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My Favorite Sour Cream Coffee Cake

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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!

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Sour Cream Coffee Cake

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 15 servings 1x

Description

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


Ingredients

Scale

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
  • 12 teaspoons milk

Instructions

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.

Notes

Recipe from my friend Natalie.

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!

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Recipe rating

277 comments on “My Favorite Sour Cream Coffee Cake”

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  1. I absolutely loved this recipe!! I made it gluten free using gluten free flour and it was delicious!! It was so moist and had a wonderful taste!

  2. I just really, really wanted to make a coffee cake – and when I Googled “best sour cream cinnamon coffee cake recipe” yours came up! And I’m so glad it did! This is delicious. My husband keeps saying “that cake is so good” – I almost wish we had company to share it with, but also I’m happy that we get to devour the whole thing ourselves over the next few days (although I know it won’t be better than right now, fresh out of the oven and warm.) I didn’t have quite enough sour cream so I made up the difference with Greek yogurt (about 1/4 cup). And I doubled the cinnamon to a tablespoon. Otherwise, followed the recipe exactly. Thank you!

  3. Made this today as I had some full fat sour cream to use up. Turns out I was 1/2 cup short so I improvised and added 1/2 cup of buttermilk. Other than this change, I stuck to the recipe. I’m all for making use of what you have and not letting ingredients go to waste.

    Wow, this cake turned out wonderfully moist and flavourful. The batter is super thick so after putting down the top layer of batter I got impatient trying to even it out, so I grabbed a chopstick and purposefully swirled it and evened it out to avoid trying to have an even layer of streusel in between. I then topped it off with the remaining streusel and scattered lots of chopped walnuts on top. Got rave reviews from family and MIL.

  4. The first time I made this cake it came out wonderful everyone loved it. Now I have made it three more times since and it doesn’t come out right at all. It’s not cooking all the way through even after 50 minutes and it rises in the oven but falls while cooling. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong. But it’s a great cake and I’ll keep trying.

    • Tracy Try a metal pan ( Aluminum Nordic Ware has a good one [ Amazon]. Google the differece between baking on glass pans and metal. Hint : Aluminumin is recommended over glass yo prevent cake falling in the Middle. You can also google ” why cakes fall in the middle. One site said most common reason is under baked ( by just a bit)
      Flour 2 hints. Be sure you are dpooning flour into your measuring cup..NOT dipping cup into flour. It packes it down and makes for a dense cake Level off w/ BACK of knife.
      Oven : get an oven thermometor ck oven yemp against what you set it at. Do not keep opening oven door to check if done. Oven temp drops by 5 to 10 degreed. Check at or close to baking time listed.

  5. Almost identical to my mom’s treasured recipe, but with more sour cream, the added brown sugar, and made in a 9×13 instead of tube pan. I made it as written, only adding craisins (because we do that in my family). Wow, it’s fabulous! Thanks for sharing – I can see why it’s such a favorite!

  6. I made it but instead of the glaze topping I made a caramilk sauce It was delicious I definitely will cake this cake again and im not a baker. usually cake mixes but this cake was easy and really really delicious 5 stars for sure Ive been asked for the recipe

  7. Looks very delicious. My wife makes that for breakfast on Christmas morning. Love it!

  8. This is my first coffee cake and my first review of any recipe! This cake, as sooooo many who made it before me have said, is absolutely delicious. I didn’t read any of the comments beforehand, but now I agree with some about making adjustments— I would add more of the cinnamon crumb mix–because I like it and it could really use more in the middle. Also, I thought it was my oven, but I had to increase the bake time by alomst 15minutes. I checked it every five minutes. I was starting to think it would be overdone, but it was perfect.
    I believe I’ve found my “forever” coffee cake recipe!!