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Sour Cream Coffee Cake Recipe

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posted: 12/12/22

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This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy

This Sour Cream Coffee Cake recipe is such a delicious centerpiece to any brunch table. With this cake, you will have everyone coming back for seconds!

piece of coffee cake on a plate with fresh fruit

I absolutely love holiday brunches. They are the perfect time to cover a table in all sorts of deliciousness, sip mimosas or bloody marys, and chat with loved ones. Besides all of that, when else is it okay to have cake before noon?

This simple Coffee Cake recipe is the perfect addition to a brunch any time of year. Make it the night before and bring it out at the end with that final cup of coffee. Your guests are bound to fall in love with this moist, perfect cake.

How to Make Coffee Cake

Here is a brief overview of how this delicious cinnamon coffee cake comes together. You’ll love this easy coffee cake recipe that is so delicious that it will become your new brunch staple. Throw it together the night before for easy hosting.

  1. Make the topping. Whisk together the dry ingredients for the streusel and cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture is crumbly. 
  2. Make the filling. Whisk together the brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon for the filling and set aside.
  3. Combine dry ingredients for the batter. In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
  4. Combine wet ingredients for the batter. Beat the butter and granulated sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and then the vanilla. Make sure to fully scrape down the sides and then add the sour cream, and finally, the milk.
  5. Mix wet and dry ingredients. Slowly add in the flour mixture and mix.
  6. Build the cake. Pour half of the batter into the pan and top with the filling. Carefully add the rest of the batter. Top with the streusel and bake.
  7. Add the icing. Before serving, whisk together the powdered sugar and milk. Drizzle over the coffee cake.
overhead pan of homemade coffee cake

Cutting Butter into Sugar and Flour

A key step in this recipe is to cut the butter into the sugar and flour for the streusel topping. To do this you will want to start with cold butter. Using a pastry cutter (see the one linked below) or two forks to combine the ingredients until it becomes crumbly.

TOP PICK

Pastry Cutter

This little tool is handy for so many recipes! It is sturdy and will hold up for years and years worth of coffee cakes.
Product Image

Tips and Tricks

  • Measure the flour correctly. Scooping flour directly from the container with a measuring cup can cause it to pack and result in 25% more than you need. Use a spoon to scoop the flour into a dry measuring cup and then level it off with the flat end of a spatula.
  • Use fresh baking soda and baking powder. These ingredients need to be replaced in your pantry every six months for them to continue to be reactive. To test your baking soda, mix a little with vinegar. It should react immediately if it is fresh. Baking is a science, and fresh ingredients help!
  • Use room-temperature butter for the batter. The butter will feel cold to the touch, but you should be able to dent it with your finger easily. Do not use melted butter. (Be sure to use cold butter to make the streusel topping.)
  • Use room-temperature sour cream and eggs. Take both ingredients out of the refrigerator before you preheat the oven.
  • Make good use of your spatula. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl in between adding ingredients.
Serving spatula holding piece of coffee cake with pan of coffee cake sitting in background

FAQ

Does coffee cake have coffee in it?

No, there is no coffee in coffee cake. It pairs well with coffee and is referencing what it is served with, not an ingredient.

Can you freeze coffee cake?

If you have leftovers that you want to save, cut this into individual pieces. Place it on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Freeze for 2 hours. Then transfer to an airtight container and return to the freezer for up to three months.

Can this be made gluten-free?

This recipe has not been tested with gluten-free flour, but you could try it with a gluten-free flour alternative that is good for baking.

Variations

This is a really easy recipe to change up and vary.

Blueberry Coffee Cake

Blueberry Coffee Cake is a simple pastry that is ideal for serving at brunch. The flavors of lemon and blueberry come together perfectly, to make a light and delicious cake.
a piece of blueberry coffee cake on a plate with a drizzle of icing on top

Storing

Store your cinnamon coffee cake for up to three to five days. Cover it tightly with plastic wrap. It does not need to be stored in the refrigerator. Always use your best discretion with leftovers.

Freezing Leftover Coffee Cake

This sour cream coffee cake freezes really well. I suggest cutting the cake into individual pieces before freezing so that you can pull out just the amount you want without thawing the whole cake. For best results, store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to three months.

plate of coffee cake with fresh fruit, bowl of fruit and mug of coffee sitting in background

What to Serve with Coffee Cake

Pair this easy coffee cake recipe with a hot mug of coffee or an Eggnog Latte and serve with one of these delicious brunch recipes.

If you make this sour cream coffee cake or any of my other recipes, leave a comment and let me know what you think!

piece of coffee cake on a plate with fresh fruit. Mugs of coffee sitting in background
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Coffee Cake

Serves: 12 pieces
(tap # to scale)
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
Total: 1 hour

Ingredients

Streusel Topping

  • 1 cup brown sugar packed
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter

Filling

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Cake

  • 2 cups all purpose flour scooped and leveled
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup milk (I used skim, but you could go up in fat content)

Icing

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk (more as needed)

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 by 13 inch baking dish generously with cooking spray. Set aside.

To Make Streusel Topping

  • In a small bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients for the streusel.
    1 cup brown sugar, 1 cup all purpose flour, 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Using a pastry cutter or a fork, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture is crumbly. Set aside.
    8 tablespoons unsalted butter

To Make the Filling

  • Whisk together the ingredients for the filling and set aside.
    1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup flour, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

For the Cake Batter

  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
    2 cups all purpose flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat the butter and granulated sugar together until light and fluffy, about 3 to 6 minutes.
    1/2 cup unsalted butter, 1 cup granulated sugar
  • Add in the eggs, one at a time. Now beat in the vanilla extract. Scrape down the sides, and beat in the sour cream until the mixture is smooth and combined. Scrape down the sides again. Finally, beat in the milk.
    3 eggs, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, 3/4 cup sour cream, 1/4 cup milk
  • Add in the flour mixture, and beat on low for a few moments until you can beat on high until the mixture is just combined.
  • Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan. Top with the filling. Carefully add the rest of the batter. Top with the streusel, and bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with just a few crumbs.

For Icing

  • Before serving, whisk together the powdered sugar and milk. If necessary, add a little more milk until the mixture is runny. Drizzle over the coffee cake.
Author: Lisa Longley
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
piece of coffee cake on a plate with fresh fruit. Mugs of coffee sitting in background

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Coffee Cake

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Hi! I'm Lisa Longley, and I am committed to giving you simple dinner ideas and recipes that are easy to make; recipes that will fill your home with joy. I am the owner and author of SimpleJoy.com and I'm so glad that you are here.

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