My favorite sour cream coffee cake recipe is perfectly soft and fluffy, layered with cinnamon sugar, and always so delicious.
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!
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.
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!
More Sweet Breakfast Treats
Looking for more yummy breakfast baked goods to try? Here are a few of my faves:
My all-time favorite sour cream coffee cake recipe is perfectly soft and fluffy, layered with cinnamon sugar, and always so delicious.
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)
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 to 2 teaspoons milk
Prep the oven and baking dish. Heat oven to 350°F. Mist a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
Mix the dry ingredients. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt until combined. Set aside.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Serve. Drizzle the glaze over the top of the warm coffee cake. Slice, serve and enjoy!
Recipe source: Recipe from my good friend, Natalie.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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!
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
Looks very delicious. My wife makes that for breakfast on Christmas morning. Love it!
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!!
Super yummy. Supermarket was out of reduced-fat sour cream so I used full fat.
Made a different topping that had melted butter and flour for a different texture.
Baked for 35 minutes because it looked a little pale after 30 at 350.
Next time I might reduce sugar by a bit- it is very sweet.
Texture is wonderful-cake-y, light, delicate crumble.
I finally made this after Pinning it years ago. The best coffee cake I have ever made. My guest can’t do nuts so I left those off. I will not next time. I love pecans on a coffee cake. Great recipe!
Just made it this afternon to use up some sour cream. One swap: 1 cup wholewheat flour for 1 cup all-purpose. Other than that… COULD have eaten the whole thing by myself, but decided instead to share with 5 neighbours. Yumms and thanks!
This is amazing! I did double the sugar/cinnamon mixture. It baked perfectly in 30 minutes even. It is so light. Truly a perfect recipe. Will definitely make again. Be sure to spray your off-set spatula for spreading.
Just Amazing 😉. I love the taste and texture!
Mine was underdone in the middle but now I realize that it’s because I used a smaller pan. But still very good, I put it back in the oven for a little bit, (after the fact… my special Pampered Chef cake tester let me down!)
Made this yesterday; amazing! So light and fluffy with a tender crumb. Best coffee cake I’ve ever made. Everyone gobbled it up. Thanks for a great recipe.
So timely for you to re-share this recipe! I make it every year for Thanksgiving breakfast and it is our absolute favorite!!
I have been making this sour cream coffee cake for at least 50 years for Christmas morning. When the kids were little we have orange juice and hot chocolate. Now we have Mimosas and hot chocolate laced with peppermint schnapps. It’s all good! Merry Christmas!
This is delicious. I had extra sour cream and glad I made it. Will definitely make again. The cake part is so light and airy and the crumb mixture with pecans just sends it over the top. I added cinnamon to the batter and just made it more wonderful. I had no problem spreading the second layer of batter. I just put teaspoons of batter all around and then spread evenly . A must try!!!
This recipe is truly the best Sour Cream Coffee Cake I have ever made!!
I had regular sour cream on hand, so that is what I used. I also made a batch and a half of the pecan and sugar combo, as that’s how we over indulge, here! Still amazingly light and luscious!!
Best cake I ever made. I’m celiac so just used gluten free flour instead of regular flour. So moist. Will make again
Would this hold up if I prepped it in advance (all the steps up until baking), then froze it, then baked it? I want to bring this to a bachelorette party but want to do as much prep ahead of time as I can.