Every home cook needs a solid coffee cake recipe. A sour cream coffee cake will be moist and tender without being too sweet, allowing the streusel topping to shine.
What's In This Article
Sour Cream Coffee Cake is an easy coffee cake recipe with a streusel ribbon and crumb topping. Super moist without being overly sweet. Perfect for brunch or dessert.
This breakfast cake is adapted from Ina Garten’s Sour Cream Coffee Cake recipe. Even though I typically develop my own recipes, baking is more of a science than artistry and therefore I like to start with a basic blueprint and work from there.
Only this easy coffee cake recipe was pretty good from the start and you shouldn’t fix it if it isn’t broken, right? So I only made a few minor adjustments.
However, I do have a few suggestions for making the best coffee cake that can be applied to any coffee cake recipe.
Tips for making coffee cake:
- Beat butter well for at last 4-5 minutes until pale and fluffy. It will make the batter easier to work with and smoother.
- Use cake flour instead of all-purpose flour. Cake flour results in a more tender crumb. Double check you are using regular cake flour and not self-rising.
- For streusel, grate cold butter instead of cubing it. Smaller pieces are easier to mix with flour and sugar.
- Do not over mix. I feel like this is the number one mistake for bread and cake. Only mix until dry ingredients are combined. Overmixing will results in tough and dry cakes. No one wants that!
- Soft butter in the morning can also be tricky, check out my tips on how to soften butter fast.
Specific to this sour cream coffee cake, make sure you use a real maple syrup. Many of the syrups on the market are just maple flavored. Real maple syrup is much thicker, has better flavor and will also be more expensive, but it is worth it!
There are a few types of maple on the market and anyone will do and it is because they are all the same maple sugar content of 66.9%.
The grades only have to do with the color and unlike other graded foods, like olive oil, the color of the syrup is largely based on when the syrup was produced, but this does impact the flavor as well.
Maple syrup ranges from pale golden to chocolatey brown. As the weather warms, the sap becomes darker in color, producing a darker syrup. Corresponding to color, the darker the syrup is, the stronger its flavor.
The State of Vermont, the maple syrup capital, distinguishes four maple syrup grades and colors. All of which are produced by the same process. They are:
- Grade A Medium Amber
- Grade A Dark Amber
- Grade B
Only you’ll be able to tell which is your favorite, so have a taste test and check them out! My favorite is a Grade A Medium Amber followed by Fancy.
Coffee cakes are great for holidays and when you have guests visiting. You can also make it ahead of time, like the night before. Make sure you scroll all the way down to check out even more delicious coffee cake recipes for National Coffee Cake day!
Tools for making Sour Cream Coffee Cake:
Tube Pan – sometimes known as an angel food cake pan, you can use it for any recipe that calls for a bundt pan.
Stand Mixer– I lived for years without one and I can tell you with 100% confidence that life with one is easier and it is worth the investment.
Sifter– Sifting makes all of your baked goods smooth and fluffy. No more lumps! I prefer a hand crank so I can switch directions and get more sifted through faster.
More breakfast cakes to get you going…
Questions you might have about how to make Sour Cream Coffee Cake:
Can I substitute something else for sour cream? If you aren’t into sour cream, I recommend substituting the same amount of plain Greek yogurt. It will still add the richness and keep your cake moist.
Can I freeze cinnamon coffee cake? Package your cake well, wrapped in plastic wrap with little to no air getting in there and freeze for up to 4 months.
Can I make this sour cream coffee cake in a loaf pan? You can make this coffee cake in 2 loaf pans. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until it passes the toothpick test.
Can I make this coffee cake without strudel? You sure can! But, man, the strudel makes the coffee cake! You can even double the streusel if you’d like.
Does coffee cake need to be refrigerated? Not this cake. I would keep it well covered at room temperature. It should stay fresh and soft for up to 4 days.
Does coffee cake have coffee in it? Some coffee cakes have coffee in them, but mostly they are made to be served with coffee. I would classify this as more of a cinnamon coffee cake. If you do want a stronger coffee flavor, then I suggest substituting vanilla extract for coffee extract or strongly brewed coffee or espresso.
You can even omit the maple syrup from the glaze and use coffee as the liquid. In this case, the cake, will indeed have caffeine in it.
Sour Cream Coffee Cake
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter , room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cups sour cream
- 2 1/2 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup flour
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter , grated
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 10-inch tube pan with cooking spray.
- In a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer or in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter alone for 3-4 minutes until light and pale.
- Add sugar, creaming for an additional 2 minutes.
- Add the eggs 1 at a time, then add the vanilla and sour cream.
- In a medium mixing bowl, sift together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and kosher salt.
- Add dry ingredients in 3 increments, only mixing until just combined. Do not over mix.
- For the streusel, place the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt, and butter in a bowl. Mash with a fork to combine. Set in refrigerator until ready to use.
- Pour half the batter into the prepared tube pan, tapping to evenly distribute. Sprinkle with 3/4 cup streusel. Spoon the rest of the batter in the pan, spreading it out to cover the middle streusel layer. Top with remaining streusel.
- Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until it passes the toothpick test.
- Let cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes. Carefully transfer the cake, streusel side up, onto a serving plate.
- Whisk powdered sugar and maple syrup together, adding a few drops of water or milk if necessary, to make the glaze runny. Drizzle over cake before serving.
- If you’ve tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was!
More Coffee Cake Recipes!
- Coconut Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake – Creations by Kara
- Lemon Rhubarb Coffee Cake – Crumb
- Coffee Cake Muffins – Pretty Providence
- Lemon Cream Cheese Coffee Cake – The Baker Upstairs
- Easy Carrot Coffee Cake – An Italian in my Kitchen
- Peach Coffee Cake – Real Mom Kitchen
- Coffee Cake Muffins (Vegan) – Namely Marly
- Slow Cooker Coffee Cake – 365 Days of Slow Cooking + Pressure Cooking
- Cinnamon Coffee Cake Muffins – My Mommy Style
- Mason Jar Pecan Streusel Coffee Cake – Premeditated Leftovers
- Grandma’s Cinnamon Coffee Cake – Simply Stacie
- Apple Coffee Cake with Streusel Topping – Supergolden Bakes
And the list goes on….
- Traditional Coffee Cake
- Blueberry Coffee Cake
- Easy Monkey Bread Coffee Cake
- Caramel Apple Monkey Bread Coffee Cake
- Eggnog Crumble Coffee Cake
- Hot Chocolate Coffee Rum Cake
- Kahlua Coffee Poke Cake
- Carrot Coffee Cake Muffins
- Cream Cheese Almond Coffee Cake
- Cinnamon Pumpkin Coffee Cake
- Blueberry Lemon Coffee Cake
- Buttermilk Coffee Cake
I love this cake, it was easy to make and taste good.
Regarding your question on coffee cakes, streusel or no streusel, with my family it is ALWAYS “YES” to streusel! Even, “DOUBLE STREUSEL”!! I think I would probably be SHOT if I made one with NO streusel! Just kidding! (I hope!) I would at least be getting pouts and mean looks!
Had fun viewing your website. Thanks for writing this. You found a lifetime fan.
My daughter (6yr old) have made this at least 5 times using GF flour (she has celiac disease) and it turns out PERFECT every time. Best coffee cake I have ever had (homemade or purchased)! It is lucky to last mote than 2 days at our house. Thank you for this amazing recipe!!
Forgot the stars! 5+ stars
Aw, THANK YOU for coming back to let us know. THIS is why I do this job. <3 If you send me a pic to email@example.com next time, I’ll upload to the post and give her credit. 🙂
I’m with Kara and vote for Team Streusel every single time…even though it can make eating them kinda messy! Bring on the mess! This recipe looks so tasty!
I have made this recipe twice now and it is amazing!
Yay! Thanks for stopping by to let us know~
This cake looks so tender and moist. Wish I could have a slice right now!
That coffee cake is beautiful, and I know it has to be really moist and delicious with that sour cream. Great recipe!
This coffee cake recipe with the ribbon of brown sugar and cinnamon is perfect for quite Sunday mornings with a big mug of coffee.
This one looks so rich and flavourful and your glaze looks perfect! If I had a big slice of this right now with a couple of cups of coffee I’d be set 😉
When I was a kid I would eat Drakes Coffee Cakes. I have no idea if they still exist, but this started my coffee cake obsession. This one looks moist and delicious and like something I would be proud to serve to guests.
This recipe looks amazing! We only use real maple syrup here too. It makes a big difference in recipes!
I am definitely on team streusel! Who wouldn’t want that yummy layer? This looks irresistible, and I love the idea of using maple syrup in the glaze. I bet it’s so yummy!