As far as coffee cakes go, this has to be one of my husband’s favourite and most requested cake. He is not the only one either. I have served this for brunch and also for dessert and it’s always a hit. It’s a humble and simple little cake yet it has some really nice flavours in it. The texture is just right especially with a bit of the crunch from the streusel, and the glaze gives it a little sweet stickiness
What is coffee cake?
Coffee cake or cinnamon coffee cake is a tender, buttery cake topped with crunchy crumbles and a cinnamon-sugar ribbon running through the middle. Why do they call it coffee cake? Coffee cakes are called as such because they are intended to be enjoyed with a cup of coffee. It is thought that this originated with Northern and Central Europeans in the 17th century. It’s perfect with a cup of coffee just like the name of the cake suggest but equally good with a nice cup of earl grey! There is absolutely no coffee in this cake, something that many thought when I first posted the picture of it on social media. It’s merely called a coffee cake, something that any cake can be called, but the term is most often used for cakes with a German ring to them like a streusel cake or cake with a streusel on or in them. Just thought I would clarify in case you were expecting a coffee kick from this cake.
Sour Cream Coffee Cake Ingredients
- Flour – this recipe calls for cake flour. Cake flour produces the softest, most tender cakes and cupcakes. Using all purpose flour in this recipe will work but it may not yield the exact same texture so if you can get your hands on some cake flour I recommend it.
- Baking Soda + Baking Powder: Baking soda and baking powder help the cake rise.
- Sugar – Regular granulated sugar for the cake portion of this recipe and brown sugar or light brown sugar for the streusel topping and filling
- Butter - Butter adds flavor and provides structure in the creaming process.
- Salt + Vanilla Extract - Use both for flavor.
- Cinnamon - We can’t have crumb cake topping without cinnamon!
- Eggs – You’ll want large eggs for this recipe and at room temperature
- Sour cream – Please use full fat sour cream – it’s what makes the cake texture so moist and delicious.
- For the Glaze - powdered sugar, milk and some more vanilla
- Walnuts or Pecan - they add a delicious crunch to the crumb or streusel but if you prefer it without nuts just omit
- Variations - spice it up by adding more spices to the cake and streusel topping if you would like like a pinch of nutmeg, clove, allspice or cardamon. Make a boozy caramel glaze or sauce for it for more flavour. (recipe for the caramel rum sauce in recipe notes below
Can I substitute the sour cream for Greek yogurt in this coffee cake recipe?
You can substitute the sour cream for Greek yogurt in this recipe. I personally prefer it with the sour cream, but most folks say they can’t taste the difference when using Greek yogurt and like that it adds more protein and has fewer calories. Just be sure to use full fat yoghurt.
How do you make Sour Cream Coffee Cake? (Step-by-Step)
- First, prepare your baking pan of choice - grease generously.
- Prepare crumb or streusel topping and filling in a small bowl - stir the ingredients together then set aside
- Whisk together dry ingredients.
- Cream butter and sugar together. Then add the eggs, sour cream, and vanilla, and beat until combined. The mixture may look curdled– that’s OK and simply a result of varying textures/temperatures trying to emulsify.
- Combine wet & dry ingredients. The batter will be thick and creamy.
- Spread half the cake batter into the prepared pan and then spinal over ½-¾ of the streusel or crumble, top or layer with remaining batter and streusel/crumb topping -Press it down so it sticks.
- Bake. If you find the top and/or edges of the cake are browning too quickly in the oven, loosely cover the cake with aluminum foil. This is a large cake, so it takes at least 50 minutes to bake through.
Can I make it in a different size pan?
You can make this cake in a different sized pan. As written, the recipe calls for one 9- 9 ½ inch tube pan or a 10-12 cup bundt pan, but you could easily make it in a single 9×9 baking dish as well - it will be full and thick but it will definitely work. You can also make this in two loaf pan but the batter and crumb will need to be divided into fourths. The directions will stay the same, just make sure to test the center with a toothpick for doneness before removing from the oven. Baking times may vary slightly. A note about using a bundt pan with this recipe - make sure to grease the pan well and only leave the cake to cool in the pan 10-15 minutes before inverting it to cool completely.
Storage and Leftovers
How long does Sour Cream Coffee Cake last?
The leftover cake will last at room temperature a few days, or if wrapped very tightly with plastic wrap, in the fridge up to about 3-5 days. You can also freeze your leftovers so they will last longer.
Can you freeze Sour Cream Coffee Cake?
You can freeze this cake! Freeze the entire coffee cake before serving by allowing it to come to room temperature, then wrapping tightly and storing in the freezer. (Don’t forget to label well!). It will last up to 6 months in the freezer. You can also freeze leftover slices for a quick snack later. Again, wrap tightly and label well.To thaw an individual slice, place in the microwave for up to 30 seconds. To thaw a loaf, leave out at room temperature overnight. If freezing cake ahead of time, it is best to add icing or glaze right before serving rather than before freezing.
If you love streusel’y spiced baked goods you will love these:
- 1½ sticks of unsalted butter (room temp)
- 1½ cups of granulated sugar
- 3 eggs at room temp
- 1½ teaspoons of vanilla extract
- 1½ cups sour cream
- 2½ cups of cake flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 cup of all purpose flour
- 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- 6 tablespoons butter melted and cooled slightly
- ¾ cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
For the vanilla glaze
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 2 tablespoons milk or heavy cream plus more if needed
- ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Grease and flour a tube pan or a 9x9 square baking pan and preheat oven to 350°F
- In a medium sized bowl prep the streusel. Place the sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt, nuts (if using) and butter in the bowl and combine to form a coarse crumble and store in the fridge while you prep everything else
- In a medium sized bowl sift or whisk together all the dry ingredients flour, spices, baking soda and powder, and salt and set aside
- In a large mixing bowl beat or cream butter with sugar with a mixer for approx 4-5 minutes (you can use and electric hand mixer or a stand mixer with paddle attachment)
- Add the eggs one at a time mixing well in between, then add the vanilla and sour cream
- Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix on low speed until everything is just combined. Finish mixing with a spatula scraping sides and bottom of bowl ensuring the batter is completely mixed
- Spoon and spread half of the batter into the pan smoothing it out as flat as possible.
- Sprinkle ¾ of the streusel over it
- Spoon the rest of batter spreading it out in an even layer and then top with the remaining streusel
- Place pan on baking sheet and bake for 50-60 minutes or until tester comes out clean
- Let the cake cool on wire rack for approx. 30 minutes, then carefully remove from pan if using a tube pan and allow to cool on cooling rack
- To make the glaze, in a medium bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, milk, and vanilla until smooth adding more milk as needed to get the consistency you desire.
- Then carefully transfer to serving plate and drizzle the glaze over the entire coffee.
- Slice and serve
Storage and Leftovers
- How long does Sour Cream Coffee Cake last? The leftover cake will last at room temperature a few days, or if wrapped very tightly with plastic wrap, in the fridge up to about 3-5 days. You can also freeze your leftovers so they will last longer. I tend to leave it at room temperature fr the first day or two then put it in the refrigerator but its usually gone by then.
- Can you freeze Sour Cream Coffee Cake? You can freeze this cake! Freeze the entire coffee cake before serving by allowing it to come to room temperature, then wrapping tightly (and place in an airtight container) and storing in the freezer. (Don’t forget to label well!). It will last up to 6 months in the freezer. You can also freeze leftover slices for a quick snack later. Again, wrap tightly and label well.To thaw an individual slice, place in the microwave for up to 30 seconds. To thaw a loaf, leave out at room temperature overnight. If freezing cake ahead of time, it is best to add icing or glaze right before serving rather than before freezing.
- Baking temperatures vary from oven to oven and depending on what pan you chose to use to bake this in - I would say safely start checking cake at the 40min mark and every 5 min after as to not over bake it.
For the Caramel Rum Sauce:
- 1 cup of brown sugar
- ½ cup of butter
- ¼ cup of full cream milk
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tbsp dark rum
- 1 pinch of salt
- In a small sauce pan on medium heat bring the milk sugar and butter to boil whisking the whole time for about a minute or two
- Remove from heat and whisk in the powdered sugar gradually and the rum until smooth
- Continue to whisk for a couple minutes until it’s starts to cool and thicken
- You can store any leftover sauce in the fridge in a sealed container for a few days and reheat and whisk to soften