Sour Cream Coffee Cake

One of the definite highlights of my college years was getting to be roommates with my friend, Natalie.  In addition to being a wonderful friend, and my first serious walking buddy (seriously – we lived together during the year I had to stop running, and she graciously gave up her jogging to walk a few miles with me each day…such great memories!)….Natalie is also a fantastic cook.  :)

So needless to say, we had a blast in the kitchen that year.  (I threw in a picture below of the two of us and the “creation” we made for a Christmas dessert contest!)  At the time, I was obsessed with all sorts of ethnic recipes.  Whereas Nat was raised in a small town, and was the pro at all things “comfort food”.  So we had a great time swapping tips and recipes!  (And…consuming too many calories, but hey – that’s where the walking came in!)

Without a doubt, one of my favorite recipes from Natalie is her famous sour cream coffee cake.  Oh my heavens.  We made this often while we were roommates, and I have made it a few times a year ever since.  In short — this recipe is coffee cake perfection.  The texture is perfectly moist and fluffy, flavored with all of that wonderful buttery-cinnamon-sugary goodness, and people go NUTS over it.  I always get requests for the recipe.

So cheers to amazing cakes, and amazing college roomies!  Love you, Nat!!


Sour Cream Coffee Cake

This is my all-time favorite sour cream coffee cake. It's decadent, and so delicious.


Cake Ingredients:
    • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • 2 cups flour
    • 1 tsp. baking soda
    • 1 tsp. baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 1 (12 oz.) container of sour cream (I use reduced-fat)
    • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
Topping Ingredients:
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)



  1. In a mixer, cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs to the mixture, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  2. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  3. Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture alternately with the sour cream and vanilla. Mix until combined.
  4. Then pour half of the batter into a greased 9"x13" baking pan, and sprinkle with half of the topping. Add the remainder of the batter on top, and sprinkle with the remaining topping. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.

Recipe from my friend Natalie.

If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and hashtag it #gimmesomeoven. I'd love to see what you cook!

Ali’s Tip:

The batter will be pretty sticky, so I recommend adding your second layer in small spoonfuls all over the pan (rather than just adding the remaining batter in one big blob).  This may make it easier to spread out over the cinnamon-sugar layer.

(We took 1st place!)  :)

Leave a Comment:


  1. carolyn — March 1, 2015 @ 11:08 am (#)

    I got this same recipe from my mother-in-law. It is a Christmas morning tradition but we melt a half a stick of butter in one cup of Orange juice, poke holes in cake with a fork then  pour it over cake.

  2. cookinggrammy — March 15, 2015 @ 2:28 pm (#)

    I just made this wonderful sour cream coffee cake that you and a school buddy had made while presumably in college. This is one of the best ,easiest ,moist ones I have made in a long time. I did have a recipe from aunt Jemima but lost it. I did tweak this a little by using vanilla bean Greek yogurt in place of sour cream as I didn’t want to go to the store before making it. I do find a hint of vanilla but used almond extract instead of vanilla to tone down the content. My family will be so happy in the morning when I give them this for their on the go breakfast with some sausage links. I have to make things that they can take with them as they don’t have time to sit and eat. thank you for this recipe and I have added it to my permanent recipe list.

    • Ali — March 17th, 2015 @ 9:31 pm

      Thanks so much, I’m really happy to hear that, what a nice compliment! And I love your idea of using the vanilla bean Greek yogurt, I’ll have to give that a try! Cheers : )

  3. JustLookAtTheFlowers — May 17, 2015 @ 7:32 pm (#)

    This turned out great. I was looking for a good recipe to use up some, ahem, very expired but unopened sour cream.  I love the texture of the cake – moist, light, and the brown sugar mixture in between layers gave a nice, subtle crunch.  Will definitely make again.

    • Ali — May 18th, 2015 @ 7:18 am

      Thank you, so glad you enjoyed it! : )

  4. Teri — May 24, 2015 @ 9:45 am (#)

    Made this coffee cake yesterday and tweaked it ever so slightly by adding a bit more cinnamon and an extra bit of vanilla extract. It is delicious & my husband loves it.  This will definitely make a “repeat performance” at my house! Yum! Thank you Ali!  

    • Ali — May 25th, 2015 @ 8:17 am

      So happy to hear that, Teri! : D

  5. Maria LoRusso — May 30, 2015 @ 5:32 pm (#)

    I have made this recipe many times.  It is delicious.  Moist and tender.  I cut down the total sugar by about a 1/4 cup, two tablespoons less in batter and two less in toppings and I add a 1/4 tsp of nutmeg in the topping.    It is a great recipe!

    • Ali — June 1st, 2015 @ 9:53 am

      Thank you, Maria, so glad you like it! : )

  6. Franca — July 18, 2015 @ 3:22 pm (#)

    This was by far one of the easiest and delicious cake recipes I have ever made. I am no baker and don’t bake often. My family of 3 ate the cake two days. I have never received sooio many compliments. Thanks for sharing

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — July 19th, 2015 @ 11:36 am

      Thank you Franca, that’s so sweet! We’re really happy you and your family enjoyed this!

  7. Pierrette — September 3, 2015 @ 4:15 pm (#)

    Thanks SO MUCH for sharing this recipe! Simple, delicious and elegant😊. I just wanted to tell everyone I’ve made this recipe about six time and have always followed it to the letter and have always been pleased with the results. I was trying to do too many things at once while making it today and neglected to cream the butter and sugar first (I mistakenly mixed ALL the dry ingredient together – duh). Well I decided to just dump the rest of the ingredients into the bowl (minus the topping) and see what happened. The batter seemed to be stickier than usual so I threw in 1/2 cup of heavy cream to loosen it up. I popped it in the oven an VOILA…perfect coffee cake. So not only is it good, its idiot proof!😜 Thanks again for sharing!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — September 7th, 2015 @ 1:41 pm

      You’re very welcome, we’re so happy you enjoyed this! And oh no, we’ve totally made that same mistake before! We’re glad you were able to fix it, and that it still turned out so well! Good to know. :)

  8. kero — September 7, 2015 @ 12:21 pm (#)

    So yummy! Subbed coconut oil for the butter (mostly motivated by not wanting to wait for the butter to come to room temp) and, because my family doesn’t usually do overly sweet, omitted the topping. Came out really good — lightly sweet and not too dense. I imagine in this way it would be great with some whipped cream and/or a compote. Perfect for a sweet snack on its own and so easy to whip together! Thank you!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — September 8th, 2015 @ 8:55 am

      Yay, we’re glad to hear that! Now we totally want to try this with coconut oil! :D

  9. Deborah Rice — December 14, 2015 @ 5:36 pm (#)

    Delicious. Thank you!!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — December 14th, 2015 @ 7:41 pm

      You’re welcome Deborah, we’re happy you liked it! :)

  10. Sarah B. — December 19, 2015 @ 9:23 pm (#)

    Can this be made the night before by preparing the wet and dry ingredients separately, storing and then combining in the morning? Thanks!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — December 21st, 2015 @ 8:42 am

      Hi Sarah, you can definitely prepare the dry ingredients in advance, but we wouldn’t recommend prepping the wet ingredients in advance. We hope you enjoy this!

  11. catherine — December 20, 2015 @ 12:44 am (#)

    I’m excited  to bring this to tomorrow’s Sunday’ church service. My house smells like Christmas. 

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — December 20th, 2015 @ 10:35 pm

      Awesome, we hope you enjoy it Catherine! :)

  12. Leanne — January 8, 2016 @ 6:39 pm (#)

    Can this cake be frozen?

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — January 9th, 2016 @ 8:00 pm

      Hi Leanne! Yes, this cake freezes really well – we hope you enjoy!

  13. ghizlane — January 16, 2016 @ 8:41 am (#)

    Hi I would like to make this cake but I got confused why it’s called sour cream coffee cake ? Do we have to add coffee to the ingredients? Thanks

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — January 17th, 2016 @ 8:26 pm

      Hi there, we’re sorry for the confusion! This cake doesn’t have coffee in it, but is called a “coffee cake” because of the style of cake it is (excellent for enjoying alongside a nice cup of coffee). :) Here’s a little backstory on the origin of the “coffee cake”

  14. Monique — February 26, 2016 @ 8:57 am (#)

    Made this cake 2 days ago. SOOOOO good, it’s more then half gone. Gave some to my neighbor too! A recipe keeper for sure!! 

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — February 26th, 2016 @ 10:11 am

      We’re so happy you enjoyed it Monique! :D

  15. Jessica — February 28, 2016 @ 1:15 pm (#)

    I used to make this coffee cake for my boyfriend in high school and that was 50 years ago!  Same recipe, I was so thrilled to find it.  Cake is in the oven ask we speak.  Good recipes never die, sometimes they just fade away.  But always return.  P.S.  I married him 42 years ago.  Must have been the cake!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — February 29th, 2016 @ 12:50 pm

      Thanks for sharing this with us Jessica, this is such a sweet story! <3

  16. Kelly — April 14, 2016 @ 10:47 am (#)

    I made this to use up leftover sour cream and added chocolate chips to increase the decadence! Absolutely delicious and very easy. I will definitely make this again

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — April 14th, 2016 @ 2:25 pm

      Thanks for sharing Kelly — we’re so glad you enjoyed it! And extra chocolate chips are never a bad thing. :D

  17. m. — April 15, 2016 @ 6:55 pm (#)

    This is the coffee cake recipe I have been looking for! Light, moist, SO delicious.  Only thing I did differently was add a tiny bit of cardomom to the topping mixture the second time, which we all decided was a keeper. Thanks for this! 

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — April 18th, 2016 @ 8:19 am

      Thanks, we’re so happy you loved this! We think that addition of cardamom sounds lovely too. :)

  18. Shabnam — April 18, 2016 @ 12:42 pm (#)

    You didnt mention coffee in the whole recipe .when n how much to add?

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — April 19th, 2016 @ 10:12 am

      Hi there! Coffee cakes typically don’t have coffee in them (despite their name). They’re just historically called “coffee cakes” because they are usually enjoyed with a cup of coffee. :)

  19. Lindsay A — May 22, 2016 @ 7:00 pm (#)

    Thanks for a great recipe! Made it for my family and it turned out perfect. Best of all, they loved it! This will be made again. Cheers

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — May 23rd, 2016 @ 7:45 am

      You’re welcome Lindsay — we’re happy you and your family enjoyed it!

  20. Huda — May 22, 2016 @ 9:20 pm (#)

    Thank u so much for the recipe . I made it and it’s so good and moist. My kids loved it 

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — May 23rd, 2016 @ 8:19 am

      You’re welcome Huda — we’re so glad you and your kiddos enjoyed it!

  21. Stacy — September 8, 2016 @ 6:27 am (#)

    This was SO good!!!! I used fresh ground soft white wheat for the win!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — September 8th, 2016 @ 1:29 pm

      Thanks for sharing, Stacy — we’re so glad you enjoyed it! :)

  22. Tina — September 20, 2016 @ 4:17 am (#)

    Hi, there is no coffee in the ingredients so how does the coffee flavour come through please. Thnx Tina

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — September 20th, 2016 @ 9:54 am

      Hi Tina — coffee cakes generally don’t have coffee in them (we know, the name is misleading) but historically they’re called coffee cakes because they go so well with coffee. :)

  23. Kelli — November 13, 2016 @ 9:50 pm (#)

    My whole family loved this and I’m going to make it whenever I need a go to dessert! It was so light and fluffy and not too sweet. My mom even said it was the best coffee cake she ever had and that’s high praise from a very critical lady! Thank u for sharing this!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — November 18th, 2016 @ 2:25 pm

      Thanks for sharing with us, Kelli — we’re so happy they enjoyed it! :)


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