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Sour Cream Coffee Cake

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My favorite sour cream coffee cake recipe is perfectly soft and fluffy, layered with cinnamon sugar, and always so delicious.

Sour Cream Coffee Cake Recipe

I realized the other day that it has been two decades since my college roommate, Natalie, first taught me how to make her family’s famous sour cream coffee cake. No idea how that’s even possible, because it feels like just yesterday that we were baking up a storm together in our tiny college kitchen. But all of these years later — and countless batches of coffee cake later — I have to say that this nostalgic recipe remains one of our family’s all-time favorites. ♡

It features a simple batter made with basic pantry ingredients and reduced-fat sour cream, whose tangy flavor perfectly balances the sweetness here and helps the cake bake up to be incredibly moist. Then in between the layers of cake, we’ll add in a crunchy sprinkling of cinnamon sugar (plus some chopped nuts, if you’d like). And then for one final layer of indulgence, I always love drizzling a quick 2-ingredient glaze on top. This cake is guaranteed to make your home smell absolutely heavenly as it’s baking up in the oven. And once it’s sliced served up nice and warm with a hot cup of coffee on a lazy weekend morning, well, I don’t know if there’s a more delicious way to start the day.

Let’s bake up some coffee cake together, friends!

Layering the batter to make homemade coffee cake

Sour Cream Coffee Cake Ingredients

Here are a few notes about the sour cream coffee cake ingredients that you will need to make this recipe. (Also, for anyone who may be new to coffee cake, there is no actual coffee included in the recipe. It’s a cake intended to be served with a hot cup of coffee. ♡)

  • Butter: This recipe calls for one stick (1/2 cup) of unsalted butter. But if you only have salted butter on hand, no worries, just reduce the amount of salt to 1/4 teaspoon.
  • Sugar and flour: We will use basic granulated white sugar and all-purpose flour in the cake batter.
  • Baking soda and baking powder: We use both baking soda and baking powder as leavening agents.
  • Eggs: Two eggs serve to help bind the cake batter together.
  • Salt: I wrote this recipe using fine sea salt, which is what I always use in my kitchen. If you only have iodized table salt on hand, note that you will need to reduce the amount of salt by half.
  • Sour cream: I’ve always made this homemade coffee cake recipe using reduced-fat sour cream, but full-fat sour cream would work just fine too.
  • Vanilla extract: We will add in some vanilla extract (either homemade or store-bought) to warm up the flavor of the cake.
  • Brown sugar topping: A simple mix of granulated white sugar, brown sugar and ground cinnamon will serve as our filling and topping for the cake. Feel free to mix in some chopped walnuts or pecans if you’d like too.
  • (Optional) Glaze: Finally, if you feel like drizzling a quick glaze on top of the cake for an extra touch of sweetness, just whisk together some powdered sugar and milk until combined.

Homemade Coffee Cake in Baking Pan

How To Make Coffee Cake

Full instructions for how to make coffee cake are detailed in the recipe below, but here are a few extra tips that may be helpful too:

  • Divide the cinnamon filling. Rather than eyeballing cinnamon sugar mixture to divide it, I always just measure out a quick 1/4 cup of the filling to ensure that there will be equal amounts for the two layers.
  • Add the second layer of batter by spoonfuls. This batter is quite thick and can be a bit unwieldy to spread over the cinnamon sugar filling to form the second layer. So I always recommend spooning it in small clumps over the cinnamon sugar and then gently spreading it into an even layer with a spatula or a knife. This works much better than adding the batter in one big blob. Although no worries if your second layer of batter isn’t perfectly even…it will still be delicious!
  • Enjoy warm. This coffee cake recipe will hold up well for a handful of days, but I just have to say that it is especially heavenly served warm out of the oven with a cup of coffee. Highly recommend cutting yourself a warm slice!

Slice of sour cream coffee cake

More Sweet Breakfast Treats

Looking for more yummy breakfast baked goods to try? Here are a few of my faves:

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Sour Cream Coffee Cake Recipe

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

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

Description

My all-time favorite sour cream coffee cake recipe is perfectly soft and fluffy, layered with cinnamon sugar, and always so delicious.


Ingredients

Scale

Coffee Cake Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated white sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) reduced-fat sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Cinnamon-Sugar Topping Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)

Optional Glaze:

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

Instructions

  1. Prep the oven and baking dish. Heat oven to 350°F. Mist a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt until combined. Set aside.
  3. Mix the batter. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together butter and granulated white sugar on medium-high speed for 2 minutes until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and eggs to the mixture, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add half of the flour 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, mixing until combined.
  4. Prep the cinnamon-sugar topping. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the granulated white sugar, brown sugar, ground cinnamon and nuts (if using) until combined.
  5. Layer the batter. Pour half of the batter into the prepared baking pan and spread it in an even layer. Sprinkle half of the cinnamon-sugar topping evenly on top of the batter. Add the remaining batter by spoonfuls evenly on top of the cinnamon-sugar topping (this makes it more easy to spread), then gently spread the batter out into an even layer. Sprinkle the remaining cinnamon-sugar topping evenly on top of the batter.
  6. Bake. Bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Transfer the baking dish to a wire rack and let it cool for at least 10-15 minutes before serving.
  7. Make the glaze. Meanwhile, if you would like to use a glaze, whisk the powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon milk together until combined. Add an extra teaspoon of milk if needed to thin the glaze to a drizzle-able consistency. Or if it seems too thin, add extra powdered sugar.
  8. Serve. Drizzle the glaze over the top of the warm coffee cake. Slice, serve and enjoy!

Notes

Recipe source: Recipe from my good friend, Natalie.

Sour Cream Coffee Cake with Fork

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285 comments on “Sour Cream Coffee Cake”

  1. Made this today and it turned out great! Perfect to take to a friend’s place for a late night get-together!

  2. This is a terrific recipe. We enjoyed it so much on Christmas morning. It worked well with Pamela’s GF Baking Mix and we ran out of sour cream, so substituted some yogurt to make up the difference. Foolproof recipe—thank you!

    • I totally agree with Sarah. This is a foolproof recipe. I only have a cup of sour cream so I substituted the remainder with greek yogurt which I have in my fridge. I used dark brown sugar too. It is the perfect coffee cake recipe. Moist and not too sweet.

  3. Holy Moly! This is the best coffee cake I’ve ever had let alone made myself! The recipe is perfect and easy to follow. Don’t be daunted by the steps! Also I always have all the ingredients on hand!

  4. I have made this recipe 8 times in the last 3 months.. love it. But you call out 1 cup sugar at the top list of ingredients but only 1/4 cup in the body text. What about the other 3/4 cup sugar. It could be me but i read it several times.. help?

  5. This was a delicious coffee cake. I halved the recipe since I a was only preparing it for two people. I made it exactly as called, and it was just perfect. Not too sweet, very moist. The cinnamon sugar on top develops a great crunch too. I will be making this delicious easy recipe again!

  6. Wonderfull cake!
    I wish upload my cake picture!
    Thanks alot Natalie.

  7. Hi,
    I made this tonight and even after 1 hour of cooking didn’t seem entirely baked, extremely moist.
    Is this normal?
    Could you please give me the exact measurements of your baking pan ( the bottom) to give me an idea, maybe I used a pan too small.
    Thank you!
    Ingrid

    • Hi again,
      What I meant is that the cake is wet and sticky in the middle.
      Does this recipe really calls for 1 1/2 cup of sour cream?
      Thanks again,
      Ingrid

  8. I made this coffee cake and it was delicious. I bake all the time for me this is a 5 star recipe.

    Cynthia

  9. I haven’t made it yet, but I just have to tell you that you made my day!
    I was on Amazon Pantry and searched for “gluten-free,” when a coffee cake mix popped up. Wow, something I haven’t had in ages. I was crushed when it turned out that the first ingredient was “wheat.” No biggie since I’m not much of a mix person, much preferring to bake from scratch. And this recipe seems so easy and sounds wonderful. I’m actually looking forward to getting up early tomorrow, despite being a night owl, and slowly waking up to the delightful smell of this baking in the oven.
    The biggest shame is that being here in NY in these harrowing times, the only person I can share this with is my husband, but I figure I can freeze what we don’t eat for another morning.
    Thanks Ali. I hope you are safe and well.
    I can’t wait to make this.
    (For your gluten-free fans, I use King Arthur gluten-free all-purpose flour and everything I make, from muffins to pie crusts, comes out just the way I remember when I could eat wheat. My grandmother, who taught me how to bake more than half a century ago, gave King Arthur the thumbs-up back then, and it never disappoints).
    Being of a certain age, as my grandmother’s generation would say, when I saw the little 2x and 3x symbols, I thought it was like ⌘+ and would make the text of the recipe bigger LOL – It’s certainly a wonderful little app if you’re baking for a crowd, something I look forward to being able to do.

  10. That is a great cake. Moist and so tasty.

  11. Thanks so much for the great recipe! We all loved it!

  12. Terrific, best recipe for a simple coffee cake. I added 1/2 teaspoon vanilla to the topping. 35 minutes was spot on.

  13. This is the first coffee cake I have made and it turned out so good!!!! I used dark brown sugar and doubled the toppings because that is my favorite part :) So mine turned out much darker looking on top. I did not do the drizzle. I highly recommend this recipe.

  14. The best cake I have ever baked!!! Thank you

  15. Proclaimed to be the best coffee cake ever by my 96 year old mother. And she’s had a lot! Put in an 8×8 pan and baked an additional 10 minutes. Really excellent. Thank you.

  16. It’s in the oven now. Would bake again just for the smells.

  17. BUT… there’s no coffee in it? I’m so confused?

  18. Tried this recipe to surprise my husband. Decided to make muffins so I could freeze them individually since we’ve been trying to eat more healthy and we would have eaten the entire batch if f they were left out on the counter. Also sent some over to my elderly next-door neighbor. Well, they were a BIG HIT! Both men said they were the best they’ve ever tasted. Great recipe, and easy peasy. Will definitely make again!

  19. The best, tip: add packette of vanilla sugar into dry ingredients, smell up the whole town

  20. What a wonderful coffee cake. I was just browsing and found this recipe. So this will be my go to coffee cake for here on out. Moist and delicious.

  21. Easy to follow recipe that produces a light delicious coffee cake. I only put 3/4 cup of sugar into the batter and just love how perfectly sweet it is, no topping needed. Thanks for another Great recipe!

  22. This was so simple to make and was absolutely delicious! Thank you!

  23. Delicious! Left off the nuts. Other than that, followed the recipe. Baked exactly 30 minutes in my convection oven, checking it after 25 minutes. I was pleasantly surprised how moist it was. Recipe is a keeper!

  24. So enjoyed this recipe, I would make it again. I did sift my flour but not sure if that matter but this cake was so light and airy! I choose not to use nuts nor the glaze -did not matter. It was so yummy! A keeper for sure.

  25. I made this recipe with a low fat sour cream/greek yogurt combo and it turned out great. I also added some chopped rhubarb in the middle. Going to add sliced apples next time.

  26. You will not feel more popular than when you’re the one who brings this cake to a gathering! I make it just as written and it comes out moist and flavorful each time. Warm from the oven or cooled, you can’t go wrong serving this cake!

  27. This is the best sour cream coffee cake I have ever had and I should know. I am 77 years old and have been baking most of my life.

  28. This is such a good recipe, I love it! It is also really simple, since I’m 12 and making it PERFECTLY.

  29. Baked longer to adjust for smaller round baking dish. Has the best crust! Will be dark brown when baked. Easy ingredients list and easy to follow. Thanks for the recipe. Also subbed in Greek yogurt instead of sour cream. Can’t wait to have for breakfast.

  30. Can I replace the all purpose flour with cake flour? If so, need any adjustments in the flour amount?

  31. Wow! Thank you! I always needed to write on my website something like that. Can I include a portion of your post to my blog?

  32. Have to add my comment,since I also received so many compliments!Thanks for the great recipe.?

  33. Does anyone know the per-serving calorie count?

  34. Easy and delicious – super moist ! Just made it for Christmas morning and let’s just say we’ve already dug in on Christmas Eve. I added a combo of milk and maple syrup into the icing sugar for the glaze – yumm!!

  35. Recipe is great, one small adjustment I would recommend is to add 1/8 to 1/4 cup milk and increase cook duration to 35 minutes.

  36. I halved the recipe, used an old fashion Pyrex bread loaf pan and full amount of nuts and cinnamon sugars. The cake was moist delicious very light but had to cook it 15 minutes longer possibly because of the shape of the pan, just kept testing it with a toothpick.
    I squirted/drizzled the cake slightly warm still so the icing soaked into the sugars and nuts on top-Not the traditional stark white that I was originally going for, but delicious regardless, crunchy!
    This dough is very challenging and sticky even while bringing ingredients together, give yourself some extra time..

  37. Delish even without the glaze! I made half recipe in an 8×8 pan and kept the full filling/topping amount as others suggested. Baked for 30 minutes in my convection oven. This is a keeper.

  38. I made cupcakes yesterday and it required sour cream. The amount used in the recipe was little and I did not want it to go to waste. I googled sour cream recipes and this came up and I’m so glad it did. It was sooooooo good. However I must add that the sour cream I had was full fat but I doubt this made a difference to all the reviews I read. I will definitely be making this again!

  39. Cut the recipe in half, exactlly, and baked in a 9 x 5.25 glass bread loaf. Baked up beautifully in about 45-50 minutes.

  40. Loved the moistness, so yummy!
    Shared with my daughter and her colleagues, they love it as well!
    I was looking for a recipe to use extra sour cream I had, this was perfect, thankyou!

  41. Great recipe to the rescue! Started mixing dry ingredients for Banana Bread! I used 1/3 C almond flour to 1& 1/3 cups reg flour & cut in (1T butter & 4T light butter alternative) .
    ❄ing⛄outside!
    Tossed bananas, not good! So, Googled far a recipe using the same ingredients. Stumbled on this gem! Made streusel, set aside. Beat eggs & vanilla, mixed in dry ingredients and sour cream. Used clay 9× 13 baking dish. Baked 350 ° 40 min. The rest was- a piece of (yummy coffee) cake. Thanks!

  42. Can this be made in cupcake pans? Trying to make individual servings during Covid. Wondering if time or temp needs adjustments or if sugar topping would come out if I tried to remove cupcakes after baking. Thanks

  43. So easy and SOOOO good! I chopped peeled apples into the batter and with the cinnamon, it is delicious!
    I love how quick it was to bake!

  44. Thank you for the recipe! I have made it a few times now and it turned out great! One question…can this recipe be made into muffins??? I would assume so, but didn’t know if you had done it with this recipe so thought I’d ask. Thank you!

  45. I never comment on recipes that I find online but I have to say, this is the best coffee ☕ cake ? I’ve ever had. So moist and fluffy and delicious!!!
    The added a little bit of oil, and some cinnamon, to the batter. And I baked it in a 9inch round because I couldn’t find my 9×13. Took longer to bake and didn’t have the perfect layers but the FLAVOR. This cake is soooo good.
    Next time I make it, and there will be a next time, I’ll use the correct pan and add streusel on top instead of just cinnamon sugar.
    So so so so good!!

  46. The Coffee Cake was delicious light and moist. Only changes I made were to use raw sugar instead of processed and brown sugar instead of white. I put some cinnamon in the batter and gave it a nice flavor. I will definitely make this again. I used a Bundt pan and added 10 minutes to the time and came out perfect.

  47. Fantastic! I added flour and butter to the cinnamon topping, and placed all on top. This is one of the best coffee cakes I’ve had. Thank you!

  48. I also used a tablespoon of molasses, as I was out of vanilla. Amazing.

  49. I cut the recipe in half to make an 8×8 size, as there is only 2 of us. It turned out perfectly and is the best coffee cake! Ty for sharing this recipe!

  50. This recipe was delicious. I followed the recipe exactly used walnuts and my family loved it. A new favorite for us. Loved that it was moist and not dry. Will def bake this again. Thank you for sharing your recipe.