This tender Sour Cream Coffee Cake is a family favorite with two layers of cinnamon sugar streusel for that irresistible sweet and nutty flavor in every bite. A slice of this cake is perfect for breakfast, dessert or even as a mid-afternoon snack. Trust me; there's a reason my grandma's recipe has stood the test of time - it's that good!
Have you made coffee cakes before and been disappointed? I know I have. They are too dry, too dense, too crumbly. That's why I always come back to this one.
My grandma's Sour Cream Coffee Cake is rich and flavorful with the perfect tender crumb. It's the only cinnamon streusel coffee cake recipe you'll ever need.
What makes this recipe unique
- Time-tested: Grandma's recipe has been passed from my mom to me and my family and now to you! Four generations of approval? That's the sign of a quality recipe.
- Moist and tender cake: A lot of coffee cake recipes claim they are soft and moist, but they end up dry and dense. This one lives up to the promise thanks to ample amounts of sour cream and butter.
- Versatility: You can make this cinnamon streusel coffee cake in a Bundt pan or a 9x13 pan. I've included instructions for both below.
- Freezer friendly: Because there is no powdered sugar glaze needed for this coffee cake, it's a great recipe to make ahead of time and freeze, either as a whole cake or individual slices.
There are two separate sets of ingredients here: one for the streusel and another for the coffee cake:
A few ingredient notes:
- Walnuts: When combined with butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon, nuts add the perfect crunch to your streusel. I prefer walnuts in this recipe, but feel free to swap in pecans or almonds if you like.
- Sour Cream: Full fat sour cream is the only way to go here as it adds moisture and a soft crumb to the cake.
- Butter: I recommend using a high quality grass-fed or European butter for this recipe. These types of butters have a higher butterfat content which gives the cake a richer flavor with a tender crumb. We're big fans of Kerrygold Irish Butter but any butter with a higher butterfat content will work. Try to avoid a generic grocery store brand, if possible.
This cake isn't hard to make but there are a few steps involved. You'll make the streusel to begin.
Combine streusel ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside.
To make the cake, cream together the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs and vanilla.
Mix in half of the flour followed by all of the sour cream and then the remaining flour.
Place half of streusel mixture in the bottom of a well-greased bundt pan.
Add ⅔ of cake batter to pan, top with remaining streusel and remaining batter. Bake for 50-60 minutes.
Not at all. I personally like the bit of crunch they add to the streusel, but if you dislike nuts in your baked goods or have a food allergy, then simply eliminate them.
Nope! This cake stays fresh at room temperature for up to 3 days. I have one of these Rubbermaid cake carriers that seals tight and make it easy to prolong the life of the cake, but wrapping leftovers in regular old plastic wrap does the job, too. Avoid storing this cake in the fridge. It tends to dry out faster there.
It's a great mystery! There's actually NO coffee flavoring in this cake as it's meant to be SERVED with coffee or tea..
Expert tips for making this Sour Cream Coffee Cake
- Don't own a bundt pan? If you're looking for a recommendation, this Nordic Ware pan is my favorite (Shout out to a Minnesota company!). It's substantial, durable and just plain pretty, but you can also make this coffee cake in a regular 9x13 pan. It will be thinner than a cake made in a bundt pan with more of a layer of streusel rather than a swirl but just as tasty. I've included directions for both pans in the recipe card below.
- I use a food processor to quickly blitz the streusel mixture together. If you don't have one, you can also make the streusel by using two forks or a pastry blender to mix the ingredients together. If you're going this route, make sure you use chopped walnuts and room temperature butter to make incorporating the ingredients a lot easier. The streusel should look like coarse crumbs when you are done with it.
- This cake batter is THICK and does not pour well. Instead use a spatula to scrape it into the pan and a small offset spreader to easily level the batter. If the batter is sticking to the offset spreader, simply run it under hot water, dry and return to spreading.
- Everyone should own an inexpensive oven thermometer as oven temperatures vary widely from brand to brand. It's an easy way to quickly assess if your oven runs hot or cold and you can adjust the baking temperature accordingly.
- Your cake will be baked through if a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean. Start checking your cake at the low end of the prescribed baking time and add time from there, if needed.
- You can bake and freeze this cake up to three months ahead of time. Cool the cake completely and then tightly wrap in a layer of plastic wrap and a layer of foil. You can also freeze the cake in individual slices using the same freezing method (plastic wrap and foil).
More breakfast recipes
You'll find all of our best Breakfast Recipes and make ahead Brunch ideas in our archives.
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Grandma's Sour Cream Coffee Cake
- 1 cup walnut halves
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- ⅓ cup brown sugar, packed
- ⅓ cup unsalted butter, chilled
- ½ cup flour
- 2 cups flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 325°F . Grease and flour a bundt pan. Set aside.
To make streusel:
- Combine all streusel ingredients in a food processor. Pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
To make cake:
- Combine flour, baking soda and baking powder in a small bowl and gently whisk to combine. Set aside.
- Place butter and sugar in a large bowl and mix on medium speed for 2-3 minutes or until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla and mix until incorporated. Add half of flour mixture to butter mixture and mix. Beat in sour cream until incorporated and mix in remaining flour. Batter will be thick.
- Pour half of streusel mixture in the bottom of the bundt pan and spread evenly. Add ⅔ of batter on top of streusel and gently level with offset spatula or back of a spoon. Sprinkle remaining streusel evenly over batter and top with remaining ⅓ batter. Smooth top and bake for 50-60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in cake comes out clean. Cool completely in pan and invert on serving tray when ready to eat.
Nutrition info not guaranteed to be accurate.
Was searching for my mom’s recipe but, couldn’t find it. I came across this recipe and it’s very similar ~ cake turned out delicious, so tender and moist, this will be my new go to coffee cake. Thank you for sharing. Gonna try and bake in individual bread pans just need to figure out the bake time.
Thanks for this fantastic recipe! I'm the office baker, and one of my colleagues requested a sour cream coffee cake. I came across this recipe and it was a huge hit! Another colleague said it was hands down the best coffee cake he has ever had in his life. I did put a glaze on top. 4 Tbs melted butter, 1 1/2 c powdered sugar, 1/2 tsp vanilla, and 2 Tbs milk. May need a few seconds in the microwave after it's mixed up to make it pourable enough to drop down the sides.
Love this! Thanks for coming back to leave us a review. We really appreciate it. Happy baking!
This cake turned out perfect. I made it with Fage 2% yogurt because that is what I had and gluten free all purpose flour. It’s the first cake I have made that I couldn’t tell by texture that it was gf. My family loved it. I am not a baker so I’m thrilled to have such a hit on my keeper list. Thank you
What great feedback! Thanks for stopping back to share your experience. Happy Holidays!
Hı Anna, can I use salted butter for this recipe?
Hi Mel, Yes, you can! Happy Baking!