Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Crumb Cake

This is another fabulous recipe from Rose Levy Beranbaum’s book “The Cake Bible”. The cake is buttery, the streusel topping just melts in your mouth and lets face it…the aroma of coffee cake baking in your house is a hard one to beat. Anything with a streusel topping just makes me happy, as a kid I used to pick it off the tops of those Marie Callender’s frozen pies my mom would bake.  And I’m not gonna lie, I’ve been picking off the topping to this cake all morning too. But I can’t really blame myself because the streusel topping is pretty darn delicious. This is the second time I’ve made this and had to use a little substitution. So as a side note for streusel topping, oats make a good fill-in for crushed nuts, is just as yummy, and is often found in many streusel toppings to begin with.

And who wouldn’t this impress? It is a quick cake to put together that is perfect to make if you have a brunch to attend or just want something delicious for breakfast on the weekend. This recipe can knock any bakeries coffee cake out of the park and is great because it’s easy to make your own variation. Seasonal fruit such as pears for these cold winter months or berries during the summer, would bring a sweet and delicate flavor to this sinfully, crumbly cake.

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Yields: 8-10 servings


Streusel Topping and Filling

  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 cup walnuts or pecans
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup cake flour, unsifted
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups cake flour, sifted
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter

Special Supplies Needed:

  • 9-inch springform pan


For Streusel Topping and Filling:

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

To Make Batter:

  1. In a medium bowl lightly combine the yolks, about 1/4 of the sour cream (2 tablespoons+ 2 teaspoons), and vanilla extract.
  2. In 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 (1/3 cup + 2 tbsp + 1 tsp). Mix on low-speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Increase to medium speed and beat for 1+1/2 minutes. Scrape down the sides. Gradually add the egg mixture in 3 batches, beating for 20 seconds after each addition. Scrape down the sides.
  3. Reserve about 1/3 of the batter and scrape the remaining into the prepared pan. Smooth the surface using a small angled spatula. Sprinkle with the streusel filling (*See Recipe Note below if using fruit*). Drop the reserved batter and delicately spread over the streusel filling or fruit. Sprinkle the streusel topping and bake for 55-65 minutes or until cake tester inserted int he center comes out clean.Crumble Banner
  4. Let the cake cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes. Loosen the sides with a small metal spatula and remove the sides of the springform pan. Cool completely before wrapping airtight.

Recipe Note:

It is very easy to amp up this recipe! You can add fruits such as apples or peaches to give a great seasonal variation to this cake.

  • Using either 1 Greening or Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, sliced 1/4-inch tick, 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, top the streusel filing.

4 thoughts on “Sour Cream Coffee Cake

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