Sour Cream Coffee Cake

I grew up with two kinds of coffee cake…the homemade tube-pan version my mom made and the Drake’s packaged version my grandparents always had in the cabinet, alongside the Devil Dogs and Swiss Cake Rolls.

My mom’s version, sweet and crunchy with nuts, memorably served as my birthday cake one year when I had a pancake breakfast party.  The packaged version (and Nana) consoled me when I had to stay home from school with the chicken pox in kindergarten. 

Now as a grownup, when I think about coffee cake I immediately want a fruit-laden variety (oh, how I love raspberries, cherries, peaches, and pears in cakes)…but since I burned a raspberry pecan version a few weeks ago, I decided I should back it up and pay my respects to the original old-fashioned CC.

More specifically I am talking about Sour Cream Coffee Cake.  A sturdy pound cake separated in the middle and covered on top by a heavenly mixture of cinnamon, brown sugar, and nuts.  Our annual Yankee Swap at work was held in the morning this year, so I had the perfect occasion to try it out.

The result was delicious!  I will be making more of these for sure, perhaps as holiday gifts…

Speaking of the holidays, I gritted my teeth and spent all of Saturday shopping all over the city.  It was exhausting.  At one point I was sitting in one of the easy chairs positioned near the top of the escalators at Filene’s Basement, laden down with bags, and I really thought “Yes, I could fall asleep right now…”.  Those chairs are usually reserved for bored husbands, and I definitely noticed a few circling, but I took my time. 

When John finally picked me up outside the Galleria at 7:30 PM, I knew there was no way I was going to cook, so we picked up some takeout from Punjabi Dhaba (I cannot get enough of their Aloo Gobi) and went home to eat and pass out to a Christmas movie.

All in all, very productive.

Today’s Cup of Cheer, in a full circle moment from my last post which featured my Papa, is all about the littlest member of my mom’s side of the family.  My adorable “niece” Bowie!  I say niece because I grew up so closely with my cousin Jaime it just seems wrong to call her baby my “second cousin”.  Bowie just turned 1 and these are the pj’s I sent her as a present (they live in Mississippi), so Jaime sent me this photo of her wearing them over the weekend.  She is the first baby of the cousins and we all just love her to pieces.

Papa would have been thrilled with her.

Cuddle the babies in your family this Christmas, even if it’s virtually! 

Special thanks to Bowie, Liam, and Rowan (her mama’s blog Jen Loves Kev is one of my absolute favorites)…the babies currently on my fridge, making my kitchen a much cuter place!

Sour Cream Coffee Cake
Adapted from The Modern Baker

Cake Batter
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
14 tbsp. (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 eggs, room temp
2 egg yolks
8 oz. sour cream

Cinnamon Sugar Nut Filling
1 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped fine
1/3 cup light brown sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon

  • Preheat the oven to 325 and position one rack in the bottom third of the oven.  Spray a 10 inch (12 cup) tube pan with baking cooking spray (the kind with flour) or grease with butter and generously flour.
  • Combine the sugar and nut ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
  • In a large bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda and baking powder.
  • Add butter and mix on medium speed for 2 minutes.  If using a stand mixer use the paddle attachment.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together sour cream, eggs, and yolks.
  • Add 1/3 of the sour cream mixture to the flour mixture and beat for 1 minute.
  • Add half of the remaining mixture and beat for 1 minute, stopping to scraped down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
  • Add last of the egg mixture and mix just a few strokes until combined.
  • Spoon half of the batter into the pan and smooth the top.
  • Sprinkle half of the sugar and nut mixture on top of the batter.
  • Spoon the rest of the batter on top of the sugar and nut mixture, then top with the remaining sugar and nut mixture.
  • Bake for 1 hour, or until a knife inserted between the side of the pan and the central tube comes out dry.
  • Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then invert onto a wire cooling rack, and invert again right side up.  Cool completely.

5 thoughts on “Sour Cream Coffee Cake

    • Aimee says:

      Hi Ingrid! The inside was delicious – I definitely didn’t let it go to waste! I will track down the recipe at home and get it to you. I can’t remember off the top of my head which book I got it from!

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