This sour cream coffee cake is my childhood in a nutshell. My mom would make this recipe whenever it was a holiday, we had people coming over, or just for fun. It’s one of me and my siblings absolute favorite recipes from growing up! It’s soft, crunchy from the sugar and nuts, and literally melts in your mouth. The recipe actually came from my great grandmother, Kitty. This is honestly one of the most underrated recipes on our blog in my opinion. It is honestly phenomenal! It’s actually so easy to freeze to use for later too!
What you need to make this sour cream coffee cake + substitutions:
Unsalted butter- You can use salted as well but I always go for unsalted in baking. If you use salted, you can still follow the recipe the same.
Granulated sugar- A classic in any recipe. You can use white sugar, cane sugar, whatever you prefer. I haven’t tested coconut sugar in this sour cream coffee cake.
Eggs- The eggs help to bind the recipe and really help to give it taste and texture. I don’t know if flax eggs would work as an alternative.
Vanilla extract- No baked good recipe is complete without vanilla extract in my opinion. It’s key!
All-purpose flour- I usually use King Arthur all-purpose flour for all my recipes. You could substitute with gluten-free 1:1 all-purpose flour. Almond flour and coconut flour won’t work.
Baking soda- Helps the coffee cake to be light and airy.
Baking powder- The baking powder helps the topping to rise and be nice and fluffy.
Sea salt- Salt is key in a baked good, because it really helps to bring out the flavor!
Walnuts/ pecans- My mom always used a mix of walnuts and pecans. I never actually liked nuts in my desserts, but I actually love it for the crunch in the coffee cake. You can do all walnuts or all pecans.
Sugar/ brown sugar- Doing a mix of both adds sweetness and caramelization.
Cinnamon- Cinnamon adds the perfect sweetness & spice!
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Sour Cream Coffee Cake
For the batter:
- 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour spoon & leveled
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 1 cup sour cream
For the filling/ topping:
- 1 cup walnuts chopped
- 1 cup pecans chopped
- 1 cup cane sugar
- ½ cup dark brown sugar or light
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
- In a large mixing bowl, start with just the batter ingredients and beat together the butter and sugar until fluffy.
- Add in the eggs and vanilla extract and mix.
- Next mix in the flour, baking soda, baking flour, and salt.
- Lastly, add in the sour cream and mix until everything is smooth and combined.
- In a small bowl, add in all the filling ingredients. Mix until combined.
- Coat a 9in baking pan with oil or butter. Pour in half the batter, half the filling, then the rest of the batter, and the rest of the filling on top. Make sure to pull all the batter to the edges!
- Bake for about 1 hour. Check it after 50 minutes, and cook until toothpick comes out pretty clean! I prefer mine a little underdone, but cook it to your liking. Let cool, and enjoy!
Can you freeze this?
Yes, 100%! If freezing slices, just make sure they are wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and then frozen in a bag or something to prevent freezer burn. You can also wrap the whole cake and freeze it in one piece. Wrap in plastic wrap and then aluminum. Thaw on the counter and just warm in the oven and it’s just as delicious. My mom always did this!!
I want to try this but every
time I try brownies and or anything cake-like mine is always too underdone when I take it out at the timeframe allotted so then I stick it back in and then it ends up overdone and too chewy. Is it my pans?
Can I make this in an 8x8x2 pan?
Hi Anne, we apologize for the delay! 9in or bigger is preferred because the toppings would likely overflow in anything smaller. Enjoy!
Could not get the second layer of batter to spread over topping without it coming up – so i just mixed second layer together.
Hi Lori! Oh so sorry about that, it’s definitely thick and harder to spread but maybe next time add more to the second layer instead of the first layer, it should be easier to spread that way 🙂 I hope it still tasted delicious!
Would this be okay without nuts?
hi! we have never tried this ourselves, but I do not suspect any difference! Let us know how it turns out!