Sour Cream Coffee Cake

This sour cream coffee cake gets its richness and tender crumb from sour cream and is rippled through with a cinnamon-pecan streusel and drizzled with a white glaze. Excellent for breakfast, coffee breaks, tea time, snacking, and dessert. Oh, and it shuts up kids in three seconds flat!

A whole sour cream coffee cake with a wedge cut from it.

Sour cream coffee cake? Sure, it’s good. But sour cream coffee cake with an easy crumb streusel made from scratch? Even better. See where I’m going here? There is just no way not to enjoy this moist cake. Serve it with a steaming cup of hot coffee for the grown-ups and a glass of cold milk for the kids. (And you can add me into the milk category. I simply can’t resist milk with cake.) Originally published December 8, 2015.–David Leite

LC Coffee Cake Squared Note

Craving a little extra jolt in your coffee cake? It’s as easy as replacing the milk in the glaze with strongly brewed coffee. It’s sorta like coffee cake squared. You know, like exponential and powers and other math stuff we don’t understand. Just don’t blame us when you can’t sleep at night.

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

  • Quick Glance
  • (5)
  • 30 M
  • 1 H, 30 M
  • Serves 12 to 14
5/5 - 5 reviews
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Special Equipment: 10-inch tube pan


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  • For the filling and topping
  • For the coffee cake
  • For the glaze


Make the streusel filling and topping

Dump the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, butter, salt, and vanilla in a small bowl and mash with a fork until it comes together in a crumble. Stir in the pecans.

Make the sour cream coffee cake

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and crank up the heat to 350°F (177°C). Butter and flour a 10-inch tube pan or, better yet, spritz it with nonstick vegetable spray.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.

Beat the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl with a hand mixer until fluffy, about 4 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Add the eggs, 1 at a time, blending just until incorporated after each addition. Add the sour cream and vanilla and mix just until combined.

Remove the bowl from the mixer, dump in the flour mixture, and stir it in by hand just until no dry ingredients are visible.

Spoon half the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing it with a spatula or the back of a spoon. Sprinkle about half the streusel over the batter. Spoon the rest of the batter in the pan, again smoothing it. Sprinkle the cake with the remaining streusel. Bake the cake for 50 to 60 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.

Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack until room temperature. Cover the pan with a plate, invert the pan, and then remove the pan and the removable center core. Place a serving platter or cake plate against the cake and invert it once more so it’s right side up.

Make the glaze and drizzle it all over the coffee cake

Whisk the confectioners’ sugar and milk together. If a thinner consistency is desired, add a little more milk. Drizzle the glaze over the coffee cake using a spoon.

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    Recipe Testers Reviews

    Eureka! I found it! The sour cream coffee cake recipe I've been searching for. It's super moist, has the perfect density, is not too light and not too heavy with just the right amount of sugar and cinnamon crumb. I love the light cinnamon swirl layer in the middle. I made this for my family and to share with some friends. This sour cream coffee cake will be a showstopper for any gathering or gift. I used a Bundt pan and it turned out perfectly. I was afraid the glaze would make the cake too sweet, and I almost didn't make it, but I'm glad I did because it was a nice finishing touch. For the glaze, I used milk, sugar, and a drop of vanilla. Two substitutions I made with success: I used walnuts because that's what I had on hand. They were lovely and toasty from the baking time, a perfectly acceptable substitute. I also used Daisy-brand light sour cream, and the cake was still moist and rich, and I was happy to save on some calories without sacrificing taste or texture.

    The cake part of this sour cream coffee cake is moist, and the filling and topping are crunchy and delicious. Because this recipe is made in a tube pan, you can definitely turn it over and back to get the topping back on the top; however, itʻs a little messy as the topping is crumbly. This is a really, really minor complaint, but there are a lot of ingredients in this recipe. If I made this again, I would probably cut back on the butter.

    This was phenomenal! I brought it to a family birthday party and everyone was talking about this coffee cake instead of the birthday cake! My husband, who generally doesn’t care for cake, was devastated that we had to leave it behind (ha!!) This recipe has a permanent home in my arsenal now. I wouldn't change a thing.


    #leitesculinaria on Instagram If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We'd love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.


    1. I can attest to the deliciousness of this coffee cake — the recipe is virtually identical to one I’ve been making since 1968. And since I suddenly feel faint at the thought of my advanced age, I’m going to go put a coffee cake in the oven as a little pick-me-up.

    2. I would love to try this recipe, it sounds and looks so good. I don’t have a tube pan, and I’ve been to several kitchen equipment stores without any luck finding one. Can I use a bundt pan instead? Thank you!

    3. Some of my team members are pulling an early shift for a few days and I thought I’d surprise them with a coffee run and a home-baked treat. Made this tonight and it turned out beautifully. My husband doesn’t want me to take it to my coworkers! I’ve been immersing myself in your website this past week— a couple of nights ago I made the amazing cacio e pepe recipe you posted (the one where the pasta is cooked like risotto). I have a feeling I’ll be back again very soon.

      1. Alison, welcome! And thank you so incredibly much for taking the time to let us know how well the coffee cake and the cacio e pepe turned out. Just so you know, before we decide whether or not to share a recipe on the site, we test it over and over in home kitchens just like yours to discern witherh it’s spectacular enough to merit your time, your money, and your expectations. So you can make our recipes with confidence knowing that we already tried them and think they’re worthy. Looking forward to hearing which recipes you try next!

    4. i made this last night and it was delicious! i will make this for all my special events in the future now. the cake came out moist and fluffy and my family couldn’t stop eating!

    5. Hi!!

      This sounds wonderful! I am wondering if this could be safe to ship as a holiday present? Would you recommend that? Also, I have a Nordicware Christmas house pan, it’s 2 small molds in 1, would you recommend making this recipe and splitting it in smaller cakes? thanks so much!


      1. Miriam, this would ship like a dream. I would first freeze it and then ship it frozen. As far as the house cake pan, I don’t want to venture a guess. I’ve tested and made it in the tube pan (others have used a Bundt pan), but I’d be nervous it wouldn’t bake properly in your pan.

    6. Hi- I also posted this recipe link on your Facebook page. It’s so good that I wanted put it here too! I forget where I first came across it but it gets raves whenever I make it. It’s a rather fragile cake so when I make it to bring somewhere I lower the cake flour to 1 cup and increase the AP flour to 1 cup. It also works well made in a 9×13 pan, with the streusel sprinkled just on top if you want. It is just a really tasty coffee cake.

    7. Nice recipe– basically the same as a Martha Steward recipe I’ve been using for years (that’s not a criticism, btw.)

      Two variations to recommend: eliminate the nuts from the streusel. I found they scorched during baking. Second, I add a pint of blackberries, laying them across the batter after it’s been put in the pan and covering it all with streusel.

      Because this is a perfect treat for weekend guests, measure out the the dry and wet ingredients and make the streusel the day before, and put it together in the morning.

      1. PF, not taken as a criticism! Only so many ways to make a sour cream coffee cake. I didn’t find the nuts scorched, though.

        What I also do is soak raisins in coffee or water until soft and sprinkle them over the first layer or streusel, as you do with the blueberries. And I love your idea of pre-measuring. I do it often these days–especially with the holidays coming.

      2. A thought on overly toasted nuts: lower the oven rack one or two rungs! That should fix it and as long as you test for doneness, problem solved!

    8. My Mom used to make a Sour Cream Coffe ecake. The suggestion of using coffee in the glaze is something I’ll have to try. Though I don’t drink coffee, I like the taste in baked goods.

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