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. |

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. |

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. |

…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. |

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. |

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. |

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. |

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

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


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


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.

All images and text ©

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!  

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238 comments on “My Favorite Sour Cream Coffee Cake”

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  1. Love the picture of you two! Your Christmas dessert looks pretty awesome. As does this coffee cake. I am always a sucker for a good, moist & fluffy coffee cake. This one looks delicious! Yay for breakfast!

    • To me it is easier to put all the batter in the pan, spread the topping on it, then cut the topping in with a knife.

  2. As one of her current roommates, I can also vouch for this scrumptious recipe! LOVE it!

  3. That picture is so so cute! And that coffee cake looks scrumptious. My mom used to make me coffee cake after really hard Saturday morning swim practices, and I would sit around and eat the whole pan throughout the day.

  4. i just put this in the oven! AHH so excited!

    love your roomate story too! i got lucky with my random freshman yr roomate as well. cheers to great friends!

  5. this came out sooo good. the cake is really tender and moist. i hope it stays that way til tmrw. i think next time i’ll add a crumb topping just for the top.

  6. This looks wonderful and I’d love to have a piece alongside my iced coffee in the morning.

    (Like that Christmas treat too!)

  7. That’s such an adorable picture of you! I remember lots of fun times with my college roommates… Such a fun time. That coffee cake looks incredible, too. Yum!

  8. Congrats on the Christmas “creation”! :)
    This looks delish and I can’t wait to make it!

  9. I’m sorry, but I don’t see how this is a coffee cake when none of the ingredients are even coffee related? :S

    • Coffee cake doesn’t necessarily have coffee ingredients…it was originally intended to be eaten along side a cup of coffee or even on a coffee break. Make sense?

  10. This cake was just wonderful! I loved it and will make it again. I only had enough batter for one layer to fit in a 9X13 pan though.

    Thanks for the recipe!!

  11. I stumbled on your website and had to try this recipe this morning. It was a big hit with the whole family. I didn’t have any nuts so I used oats instead and it was perfect. Awesome recipe! Thank you!

  12. i just made this – it is SOOOO good! the cake comes out so light and airy .. YUM! I used almonds and absolutely love it. thanks for sharing this recipe!

  13. Looks fantastic, but I’m confused like Cyd- was coffee accidentally left off the ingredients list?

  14. Oh, just Googled it and realised in the States it just means sponge cake with streusel, to be eaten WITH coffee. Sorry, I’m not from there :)

  15. Just made this in a bundt pan and it came out wonderful! The cake is truly so moist. I substituted half the sour cream for plain nonfat greek yogurt and it’s perfect! Thanks for a great recipe.

  16. It looks delicious. I’m missing the coffee as an ingredient. Did I miss something or is this correct?
    Love to hear from you about this. And what is baking soda exactly? I’m Dutch and not familiar with this product. We use soda for cleaning.

    I would like to serve this at a picknick and surprise my guest with a real astonishing American recipe..

    Greetz from Holland, Karen

    • Hi Karen!

      Thanks so much for your interest in this recipe! Ha, unfortunately, the name “coffee cake” in the United States is a little misleading. The cake doesn’t actually contain coffee, but has that name because it is traditionally served with coffee. But I assure you, it is still absolutely delicious! :)

      Also, I just did a quick Google search, and although it sounds like it can be hard to find, I would ask at your grocery store about baking soda (our main brand in the States is “Arm & Hammer”. If not, a few people online suggested looking at an American or Asian supermarket, or a pharmacy for bicarbonate soda?? Eeks — I don’t want you to take my word on that, so I would recommend asking around.

      Best of luck!!

  17. I made this cake for my boyfriend (and of course myself!) the other night, and it was delicious! The addition of sour cream really helps and makes it so moist and yummy!

  18. I just made this for Sunday morning breakfast… um, YUM! so good!!!! Thanks for the recipe, I’ll definitely be making this one again!!!

  19. How is it possible to make a coffee cake that doesn’t contain any coffee? I’m going to try it anyway :)
    I have to make my coffee cakes with decaf coffee, as my family all have an intolerance to caffeine.

  20. This is the best every! I tried to make my kids try it but they refuse because the words “sour cream” and “coffee cake”.

  21. I just made this! It turned out soooo good. The only downside is now I can’t stop eating it :(

  22. I made this a few weeks ago and my family really enjoyed it. Thank you for sharing this. It is now in our book. I usually review recipes I have made that have been enjoyed and this is one worth sharing… and always linking back giving credit where credit is due.
    Thank you again.

  23. Stumbled upon this recipe… I halved the recipe and added more cinnamon than the recipe called for, since I’m a huge cinnamon lover. It was SO fluffy right out of the oven, but I think it is even more flavorful the second day, eaten at room temp! MMM!

  24. So glad I googled and found this recipe I had lost which has been a 25 yr favorite of family and friends

  25. This is absolutely the best coffee cake ever. We will only be making this recipe in my family from now on. We used 16oz of sour cream instead of the 12oz. The best cake. You go girls.

  26. This is the exact recipe I ahve been using for a number of years. It IS THE BEST. soooo yummy.

  27. I’m forwarding this to my mom, who just reported a coffee cake disaster that called for 1 cup of vegetable oil! She’s trying to replicate her coffee cake made from Bisquick. This sounds like a good candidate and I like the idea of adding more topping

  28. Needed a coffee cake recipe and saw this on pinterest. I loved it. The sour cream made this coffee cake very moist. My kids and husband ate it all up. Thanks for the recipe!!!!

  29. This cake was so incredibly yummy! I made it last night for my co-workers and they all cannot stop raving about it. The best part is that it is so quick and easy. I acually cooked it in a 9×9 pan and had to cook it for an extra 10 minutes but it worked out great. Thanks for sharing!

  30. I want to thank you for this recipe. I have been looking for the recipe for years. I used to have it in a church cookbook I had but my ex husband had it at his restaurant when we divorced and he refused to give it back to me. I can’t wait to make this recipe for my family again and to have some with my coffee!!!! Thank you , thank you, thank you!!!!

  31. I just have to thank you for posting this recipe. We have made it a gazillion times! We love it so much that it has become a household favorite! It doesn’t last longer then 2 hours in my house!

  32. I love this recipe its perfect! I have also made it with a layer of fresh apples and also have used frozen blueberries. still comes out perfect. thanks so much and love the story:)

  33. I just made your sour cream coffee cake this morning and it is wonderful! Thank you for sharing your recipe!

  34. I plan to make this for work Wednesday morning. How does it do in a bundt pan? Thanks!

    • Hi Faith! Haven’t tried this before in a bundt pan, but imagine they would do well! Would love to hear how it goes! :)

  35. This recipe sounds delicious. I am hoping to take it with me on a family vacation. Does it freeze well?

  36. Making it today. ;)

  37. made it twice and my family loves it they would die for more! :)

  38. I make this all the time and it is so good! It makes good cupcake like things too!

  39. I made this last week – my whole family loved it! We added a little butter and flour to the topping. Great recipe. Thanks so much.

  40. Pingback: Sour Cream Coffee Cake — Eat Laugh Purr

  41. I just realized that I have to take a coffeecake to church to tomorrow. I am really busy, as are most people about now. I thought of a sour cream coffeecake and looked at a lot of them that I could put together easily since it is now 4:00 p.m., and I have to go do a lot of things tonight. I found this particular sour cream recipe and Ali made it sound so good and easy that I am preheating the oven for it even as we speak. Mary Curtis

  42. Absolutely delicious! Gone in minutes……..

    Thanks for sharing a great recipe.

  43. Made this yesterday, made half the recipe. Big mistake! This is too good, next time I will make the whole recipe.
    Thank you so much.

  44. I knew soon as I saw the pic of it that this is the coffee cake I grew up with. Everyone who has ever had it says it is the best coffee cake they have ever had. My boyfriends co-workers beg for it! Only difference in the recipe I have is that you can use sour cream OR buttermilk…done it both ways and both are awesome!

  45. This coffee cake was excellent. Not too sweet but very good. It was so light and moist. I am going to use the batter recipe to make blueberry muffins. Thanks for sharing.

  46. Love your recipe and website! I wanted you to know that I made your coffee cake in mini bundt cake form this past weekend. They turned out great! To make sure there was enough topping, I added a few extra layers of it. Wonderful! And the bake time was about the same.

  47. I have this receipe however in the middle I use fruit.

  48. I just made this and it is delicious! I used half sour cream and half buttermilk, because it’s what I had in the house. 1 tablespoon of vanilla because I love it.

    I think next time I would reduce the baking soda – I used a scant tsp and it is quite strong.

  49. Pingback: Sour Cream Coffee Cake | Culinary Adventures in the Kitchen