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!

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.)–David Leite

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

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

Prep 30 mins
Cook 1 hr
Total 1 hr 30 mins
Dessert
American
12 to 14 slices
519 kcal
5 / 7 votes
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Equipment

  • 10-inch tube pan

Ingredients 

For the filling and topping

  • 1/3 cup light or dark brown sugar packed
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons (1 1/2 oz) cold unsalted butter cut into 1/4-inch (6-mm) cubes
  • Large pinch kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans

For the coffee cake

  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 12 tablespoons (6 oz) unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the glaze

  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • Small pinch kosher salt

Directions
 

Make the streusel filling and topping

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

Make the sour cream coffee cake

  • Crank up the oven to 350°F (177°C). Position a rack in the middle of the oven, and generously butter and flour a 10-inch tube pan or spritz it with nonstick vegetable spray.
  • In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar 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 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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Notes

Coffee Glaze Variation

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. Just don’t blame us if you can’t sleep at night.

Show Nutrition

Serving: 1sliceCalories: 519kcal (26%)Carbohydrates: 64g (21%)Protein: 7g (14%)Fat: 27g (42%)Saturated Fat: 13g (81%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 114mg (38%)Sodium: 241mg (10%)Potassium: 205mg (6%)Fiber: 2g (8%)Sugar: 40g (44%)Vitamin A: 714IU (14%)Vitamin C: 1mg (1%)Calcium: 92mg (9%)Iron: 1mg (6%)

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 is 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, its 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.

Originally published December 24, 2020

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Comments

  1. 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. 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!

    2. 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. 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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