My Favorite Sour Cream Coffee Cake

This Sour Cream Coffee Cake recipe is easy to make, perfectly soft and moist, and filled with the BEST cinnamon-y sweet flavors. It's the perfect sweet treat for breakfast, brunch, or dessert. | gimmesomeoven.com

This recipe is sponsored by McCormick Spices.

Between my three-and-a-half years of college, three summer internships in between, traveling and playing out with our band on the weekends, and apartment-hopping with friends for years after college — I feel like I lived with a record number of roommates during my twenties.  But one of those roommates was an extra-special kindred spirit:

My friend, Natalie.

She and I lived together during my final semester at our tiny Midwestern college, where I was wrapping up a degree in classical vocal performance (yes, opera) and she was studying the world of non-profit management.  And while our worlds looked very different during the days, there was one thing we both looked forward to in the evenings — cooking together.  And specifically — cooking together for friends.

Both of us were just learning how to cook at the time, and our repertoires were pretty limited.  But the good news about learning how to cook in college is that there were always plenty of hungry and willing taste-testers nearby, our other roommates being two of them.  I was the expert in the house on how to make egg drop soup and pasta galore (which we loved to toss on the ceiling back then to see if it was done 😂).  And Nat was the expert on casseroles and desserts and all things “comfort food” (for which she credited her small-town Kansas roots).  We had so much fun together that year experimenting and feeding our friends all of our hits (and definitely a few “misses”).  But without a doubt, my most delicious take-away from that year was learning Natalie’s recipe for how to make the most amazing sour cream coffee cake.

Oh my goodness, you guys.  This coffee cake.

This Sour Cream Coffee Cake recipe is easy to make, perfectly soft and moist, and filled with the BEST cinnamon-y sweet flavors. It's the perfect sweet treat for breakfast, brunch, or dessert. | gimmesomeoven.com

Many of you already experienced how life-changing this coffee cake can be, since this was actually one of the very first recipes I shared on the blog back in 2010.  But when I made it again recently, I realized how far down it was now buried in the recipe archives and that too few of you seemed to know it existed.  So for a bit of a #ThrowbackThursday post, I thought I would bring it back to the front page of the blog again to share with you.

Because if you love some good ol’ fashioned coffee cake, I’m telling you, this recipe is the absolute best.

And it also happens to be incredibly easy.  (<– Trust me, if we could make it back in those days, anyone can make it.)  😉

Just mix up a simple sour cream cake batter…

This Sour Cream Coffee Cake recipe is easy to make, perfectly soft and moist, and filled with the BEST cinnamon-y sweet flavors. It's the perfect sweet treat for breakfast, brunch, or dessert. | gimmesomeoven.com

…and then whisk together a simple cinnamon-sugar topping.  (I used McCormick Ground Cinnamon, which has been doing good work in my kitchen this holiday season.  I’ve already gone through two bottles!  😳)
This Sour Cream Coffee Cake recipe is easy to make, perfectly soft and moist, and filled with the BEST cinnamon-y sweet flavors. It's the perfect sweet treat for breakfast, brunch, or dessert. | gimmesomeoven.com

Then you just layer half of the cake batter in a baking dish, sprinkle on half of the cinnamon-sugar mixture, repeat with the remaining cake batter, repeat with the cinnamon-sugar…and then bake to delicious perfection.

(Pro tip on the batter-spreading though: Since the batter is fairly sticky, it can be a little difficult to spread.  So I recommend adding it to the pan in small clumps, then spreading it around with a rubber spatula until smooth and even.  And if the batter is sticking to your rubber spatula too much, just spray it with some cooking spray!)

This Sour Cream Coffee Cake recipe is easy to make, perfectly soft and moist, and filled with the BEST cinnamon-y sweet flavors. It's the perfect sweet treat for breakfast, brunch, or dessert. | gimmesomeoven.com

Then, if you’re really feeling indulgent, you probably should go ahead and drizzle on a quick and easy glaze.   I mean, you definitely should.
This Sour Cream Coffee Cake recipe is easy to make, perfectly soft and moist, and filled with the BEST cinnamon-y sweet flavors. It's the perfect sweet treat for breakfast, brunch, or dessert. | gimmesomeoven.com

Then, this gorgeous coffee cake will be ready to serve and enjoy.  (And yes, that yummy line of cinnamon sugar baked into the middle of the cake is the best.)

This Sour Cream Coffee Cake recipe is easy to make, perfectly soft and moist, and filled with the BEST cinnamon-y sweet flavors. It's the perfect sweet treat for breakfast, brunch, or dessert. | gimmesomeoven.com

Seriously, I’ve made this coffee cake recipe dozens and dozens of times since college, and it never gets old.  And it’s always a crowd favorite.

And I love that every time I make it, I’ll always think of Natalie.  💛  Thanks for the good memories and good recipe, sweet friend!

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

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

Ingredients:

Coffee Cake Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (12 ounce) reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon McCormick Vanilla Extract, homemade or store-bought

Cinnamon-Sugar Topping Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons McCormick Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)

Optional Glaze:

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1-2 teaspoons milk

Directions:

To Make The Coffee Cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with cooking spray, set aside.  Prepare the cinnamon-sugar topping (see below), set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar on medium-high speed for 2 minutes until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and add the eggs to the mixture, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Add half of the dry ingredients mixture to the butter mixture, and mix on medium-low speed until just combined.  Add in half of the sour cream, and mix until combined.  Repeat with the remaining half of the dry ingredients mixture, followed by the remaining sour cream.
  4. Pour half of the batter into the prepared baking pan, and spread it around so that it covers the bottom of the pan in an even layer.  Sprinkle half of the cinnamon-sugar topping evenly on top. Spread the remainder of the batter on top in an even layer (<-- although note that the batter will be sticky and difficult to spread, so I recommend adding with a spoon in little clumps, and then use a rubber spatula to help spread it out in an even layer).  Sprinkle the remaining cinnamon-sugar topping evenly on top.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.  Remove from the oven, then drizzle with the glaze if desired (see below).
  6. Serve warm.  Or let the cake cool to room temperature, then cover and keep for up to 3 days.

To Make The Cinnamon-Sugar Topping:

  1. Whisk all ingredients together in a small mixing bowl until combined.

To Make The Glaze:

  1. Whisk powdered sugar and milk together until smooth.  Add more milk if you'd like to thin out the glaze, or more powdered sugar if you'd like to thicken it.

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!

This post was sponsored by McCormick Spices, maker of the yummy ground cinnamon used in this recipe.  Thank you for continuing to support the brands I love who help make this site possible!  

Leave a Comment:





Comments

  1. Michelle — May 4, 2013 @ 5:50 pm (#)

    Just made this! I had a huge craving for it and haven’t baked in a while. This turned out so well! I didn’t think it would fit in the 9 x 13 pan but it fluffed up so well as it baked that it fit perfectly! Very delicious, moist and fluffy! Definitely a staple Coffee Cake recipe :)

  2. Cathy — May 13, 2013 @ 6:28 pm (#)

    What a wonderful recipe! I made it for our Mother’s Day gathering and my family wiped it out leaving NOTHING but crumbs behind! They’re already asking when can I make another!! Lol Thanks for sharing!

  3. Cathy — May 13, 2013 @ 6:29 pm (#)

    What a wonderful recipe! I made it for our Mother’s Day gathering and my family wiped it out leaving NOTHING but crumbs behind! They’re already asking when can I make another!! Lol Thanks for sharing!

  4. AJ — June 8, 2013 @ 1:19 pm (#)

    I made a glaze out of powdered sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon, and butter, to go on top of this. I didn’t measure anything out but after it came out I poked the cake and drizzled a little butter (separately) and then added the glaze. It was REEEEEEEEEEEEALLY GOOOOOOOD! It’s good without the extra butter and glaze but it was even Better with it. :)

  5. Linda — July 12, 2013 @ 10:14 am (#)

    I am going to make this today even though, it is hot and very humid up here in New Hampshire. My oven will make the kitchen really hot, but I have the urge so here I go! I will let you know how great it is!!

  6. Samantha — October 7, 2013 @ 12:04 am (#)

    Ali, why did you have to give up running?

  7. Chloe — October 12, 2013 @ 10:39 am (#)

    Don’t bother looking anywhere else. THIS IS THE RECIPE for light and fluffy coffee cake. PERIOD. Got nervous after the batter came out thick and sticky, BUT no matter–it was amazing–and a fluffy end product! I added 1/2 egg white and baked in 325 for 20 minutes and the last 15 minutes at 350. I didn’t do the middle toping because it doesn’t add to much batter for a 9×13 glass pan, which was what I had, so just used topping for the top, which I did also add a little cocoa to. Once it was cooled, I added confectionary powder. LOVED IT

  8. Clara Brown — October 31, 2013 @ 8:39 am (#)

    I was wondering if I could use a Bundt pan for this cake ???

  9. Maria — November 9, 2013 @ 1:23 am (#)

    I dont see any coffee in the recipe

    • Donna — March 23rd, 2014 @ 7:13 am

      Coffee cakes don’t normally have coffee in them. They call it a coffee cake because it’s something you can have with a cup of coffee. I’m hoping you were just being sarcastic. haha

    • Safi — March 26th, 2014 @ 12:04 pm

      There is no coffee in coffee cake!

  10. elaine — December 6, 2013 @ 3:36 pm (#)

    I thought the batter was to thick,more like muffin batter then cake. I added a little bit of milk to make it easier to pour and layer the batter with the topping. Taste is great!!!!

  11. John Carman — December 11, 2013 @ 12:42 am (#)

    I was craving Mom’s excellent Sour Cream Coffee Cake when I came across your excellent recipe.
    I had ALL the ingredients except the Vanilla, but tried it anyway.
    I mixed the liquids on a mixer and the dry ingredients in a stainless steel mixing bowl…So far so good! Boy that batter was “thick”, but I took time to spread it all out. Everything else to the recipe.
    I can wait to taste it!! If the bowel tastes as good, the cake will be better. With a 1/2 gallon of milk to drink with the cake. Yummy !!
    Thanks for sharing at a moment of necessity!! My Mom passed away 3 years ago and she made the best cakes and cheesecakes.
    Thanks for helping me enjoy the best cake in the world!!! John

  12. Kellie E — December 15, 2013 @ 10:57 am (#)

    This is my most favorite coffee cake recipe! I had to share! I’ve linked to your recipe here: : http://happyturtlefamily.blogspot.com/2013/12/happenings.html

  13. Earl — December 23, 2013 @ 10:30 pm (#)

    Gosh this just looks so yummy. can’t wait to make it and then eat it all. all by myself. because i have no one to share christmas with…

  14. Hillary — December 28, 2013 @ 9:20 am (#)

    I found this on Pinterest and had to make it it looked so good but I didn’t have sour cream so I substituted plain whole milk yogurt…it was perfect! Thanks for the recipe!

  15. Melly — December 29, 2013 @ 10:35 am (#)

    Ali, we just made the cake yesterday. It was so yummy! We had friends over and they kept “straightening” the cake line …
    Thanks!

  16. Jill Simmons — January 25, 2014 @ 3:41 pm (#)

    That looks so moist and yummy! I can’t wait to make it. Thanks for the recipe.

  17. Ellie Goldberg — January 27, 2014 @ 4:43 pm (#)

    It’s in the oven now…smells so yummy! I had to make another half batch of the batter because I did too much in the first layer…hard to measure half the batter!

  18. Sierra — February 26, 2014 @ 12:50 pm (#)

    Does the cake taste like sour cream or can you not tell? I’m a bit nervous to use so much sour cream, could I replace it with plain Greek or whole fat yogurt? Thanks so much!

    • Ali — April 5th, 2014 @ 9:37 am

      You could definitely sub in Greek yogurt. I have not tried whole fat yogurt.

      ~Ali

  19. Julie — March 2, 2014 @ 12:35 pm (#)

    It’s freezing and sleeting in Dallas so I decided to try your recipe after finding it on Pinterest. It is delicious – light, fluffy and moist! I halved the recipe and baked it in an 8×8 pan since there are just 2 of us and I had a feeling I’d eat the whole 9×13 if I had it in front of me. Thanks!

  20. Phill — March 8, 2014 @ 11:44 am (#)

    I’ve made this at least a dozen times….my little family loves it….doesn’t take long to make either.
    Increase the white/brown sugar to 1/3 cup, double the cinnamon and add a bit of nutmeg. 12oz sour cream = 1.5 cups. Change vanilla to 2 teaspoons. Bake for ~ 40 minutes (3Kft elevation) in an 8″ cast iron skillet coated with butter and flour. Use only real eggs, butter and sour cream or grandma will come down from heaven and hunt you down.

  21. Dorothy Wimbush — March 14, 2014 @ 9:55 pm (#)

    made this cake and it was so wonderful. Could not stop eating it got ate up in a day.that was five days ago,getting ready to make again.it was such a hit in the house.thank u .

  22. Donna — March 23, 2014 @ 7:16 am (#)

    I found your recipe a while back and I added it to my favorites. It’s very simple to make and tastes great. I’m getting ready to make another one right now. Thanks for sharing your recipe with all of us.

  23. Nicole — April 30, 2014 @ 7:30 pm (#)

    Can I use gluten free flour?

    • Ali — July 18th, 2014 @ 4:53 pm

      Actually, the cake will not turn out well when baked with GF flour. I’m working on a GF alternative, though! :)

  24. Kaitlin — June 1, 2014 @ 9:05 pm (#)

    My cake turned out a bit dense. I made half of the cake recipe and cooked it in a 7×11 inch baking dish for 30 minutes. I used full fat sour cream because I had it on hand, would that have made a difference?

  25. Brandie — October 10, 2014 @ 5:15 pm (#)

    The recipe is gone… I can see a couple photos and the story behind the coffee cake but cannot see the recipe. Is there something I should click on or is it removed for a reason?

    • Ali — October 10th, 2014 @ 5:28 pm

      Oh no! So sorry, we’re having technical difficulties today. I will look into it right now!

  26. Karly — October 12, 2014 @ 7:59 am (#)

    Delish!! Just made this morning. I didn’t have enough sour cream so I subbed half of it with a container of blueberry greek yogurt.  Perfect hint of blueberry flavor.  Thanks for a great recipe. 

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