Sour Cream Coffee Cake


  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 cup walnuts or pecans
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup unsifted cake flour
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened

BATTERSour Cream Coffee Cake

  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups sifted cake flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 12 Tbsp unsalted butter

Optional: 1 Greening or Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, sliced 1/4 inch thick (1 heaping cup of slices), and sprinkled with 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice. Or 1 heaping cup frozen peaches, thawed on paper towels and sliced 1/4 inch thick while still partially frozen.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

One 9-inch springform pan, greased, bottom lined with parchment or wax paper, and then greased again and floured.


In a food processor fitted with the metal blade, pulse the sugar, nuts and cinnamon until the nuts are coarsely chopped. Reserve 3/4 cup to use as a filling. To the remainder add the flour, butter, and vanilla and pulse briefly to form a coarse, crumbly mixture for the topping.


In a medium bowl lightly combine the yolks, about 1/4 of the sour cream, and vanilla.

Sour Cream Coffee CakeIn a large mixing bowl combine the dry ingredients and mix on low speed for 30 seconds to blend. Add the butter and remaining sour cream. Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Increase to medium speed (high speed if using a hand mixer) and beat for 1 1/2 minutes to aerate and develop the cake’s structure. Scrape down the sides. Gradually add the egg mixture in 3 batches beating for 20 seconds after each addition to incorporate the ingredients and strengthen the structure. Scrape down the sides.

Reserve about 1/3 of the batter and scrape the remainder into the prepared pan. Smooth the surface preferably with a small angled spatula. Sprinkle with the streusel filling and top with the apple or peach slices if desired.  Drop the reserved batter in large blobs over the fruit and spread evenly with the spatula. Sprinkle with the streusel topping and bake 55 to 65 minutes or until a wire cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean and the cake springs back when pressed lightly in the center. (Move aside a small patch of the streusel before testing.) The cake should start to shrink back from the sides of the pan only after removal from the oven. Cover loosely with buttered foil after 45 minutes to prevent overbrowning.

Let the cake cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes. The cake will have a level top. Loosen the sides with a small metal spatula and remove the sides of the springform pan. Cool completely before wrapping airtight. If you wish to remove the bottom of the pan, slide a cardboard round at least 9″ in diameter between the parchment and the bottom when the cake is completely cool.

The Cake BibleFrom: The Cake Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum

Yield: 8-10 servings

Katie: This was great! Gray made this one and he used cranberries we had frozen after making the cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving. The cranberries were tart, but not too tart, which I liked. I really liked the cake texture and it made nice layers when we cut it. The only thing I would have changed is that I think that the fruit should not have been touching the sides of the pan. Where it went through all the way to the edge, it burned against the pan. So if making again, we’d make sure to get a layer of batter around the edges. This cake was beautiful as well as tasty!

Gray: Wow, this was great.  It turned out differently than I was expecting based on the batter.  It was very doughy, and I expected it to be a little more bread-like, but it was very cake-like and delicious.  I would definitely make this again for any coffee cake appropriate occasion… you know, like morning.  I substituted cranberries for the apples/peaches since we had them on hand, and I had been wanting to make a cranberry coffee cake with them.  I had originally picked another recipe, but this one sounded so good that I wanted to try it with the cranberries.  I think that blueberries, peaches or apples would be good, and possibly other fruits as well.  The tartness of the cranberries gives a nice contrast to the sweetness of the streusel filling and topping. The hardest part for me was getting the streusel filling and top layer of batter right.  It was very sticky and wanted to pick up the fruit and move it, so I had to be careful and not mess it up.  In the end I decided it was a losing battle.  The streusel topping covers it up anyway so it wasn’t such a big deal. We hope you enjoy!

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

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