Our Favorite Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Recipe by Terry Sears

This tender cake is both filled and topped with cinnamon sugar. Sour cream adds tenderness and flavor to any baked good, and this breakfast cake is no exception. Note: For a more substantial streusel-like topping, see "tips," below.

15 mins
30 to 40 mins
55 mins
one 9 1/2" tube pan or 9" square cake
Our Favorite Sour Cream Coffeecake


Prevent your screen from going dark as you follow along.
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 9 1/2" tube pan, or a 9" x 9" pan.

  2. To make the cake: Beat together the butter, sugar, and eggs. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

  3. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture alternately with the sour cream or yogurt, stirring after each addition.

  4. To make the topping: Combine all of the topping ingredients, stirring until evenly crumbly.

  5. Spread half the batter in the pan, and sprinkle with half the topping mixture. Repeat with the remaining batter and topping.

  6. Bake the coffee cake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, or with just a few moist crumbs sticking to it. Glass pans may take an additional 5 to 10 minutes to bake through completely.

  7. Remove the cake from the oven; if you've baked it in a tube pan, wait 10 minutes, loosen the edges, and carefully turn it out of the pan. Place the cake right-side up (topping up) on a plate to serve. If you've baked the cake in a 9" x 9" pan, just serve it right from the pan.

  8. Serve the cake warm or at room temperature. Wrap the completely cooled cake airtight, and store at room temperature for several days; freeze for longer storage.

Tips from our Bakers

  • Looking for classic coffee cake topping? Here you go:

    1 1/4 cups (248g) brown sugar, packed
    1 tablespoon cinnamon
    1 tablespoon vanilla extract
    1/2 cup (57g) chopped pecans or walnuts
    2 cups (241g) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    12 tablespoons (170g) unsalted butter, melted

    In a medium bowl, mix together the brown sugar and cinnamon. Stir in the vanilla and nuts. Set aside 3/4 cup of this mixture to use as the middle layer of the coffee cake (as referenced in step 5). To the remaining (approximately 1 cup) topping, add the flour and salt and stir until evenly combined. Add the melted butter to the flour mixture, stirring until everything is moistened. You'll sprinkle this mixture on top of the batter. Bake as directed. This crumb topping can be used with either a tube or 9" x 9" pan.

  • Feel free to use low-fat (NOT nonfat) sour cream or yogurt; if using yogurt, try vanilla or another complementary flavor, if desired.