Sour cream coffee cake is a moist breakfast cake swirled with a cinnamon streusel inside and out. Serve with a freshly brewed cup of coffee or afternoon tea!

coffee cake square on plate. Fork holding bite of coffee cake

Good morning friends! I can only assume it’s morning if you are here to make sour cream coffee cake. This recipe makes a rich coffee cake with a tight-knit, tender crumb. The cinnamon streusel makes the perfect swirl inside and pairs well with the vanilla icing on top.

If you’re new to baking you might be wondering, “What is coffee cake?” Well, I’ll tell you. Coffee cake is simply a buttery, yellow cake topped with a cinnamon streusel crumb. The important ingredient here is sour cream. Sour cream makes coffee cake extra moist and rich. It adds moisture without thinning out the batter and adds fat for creaminess. Ultimately it makes a richer more flavorful cake thanks to its fat content and acidity.

coffee cake square on parchment paper with vanilla glaze. Cinnamon stick and icing spoon

Overview: How to make coffee cake

Sour cream coffee cake involves a few steps. Start by making the cinnamon streusel, then the cake batter. Once the cake is baking, you have the option to make a vanilla glaze to drizzle on top.

  1. Make the streusel: Whisk brown sugar, flour and cinnamon together. Cut cold butter into the mixture. Keep streusel in the refrigerator while making the cake batter.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease an 8×8 baking pan with butter. Set aside.
  3. Whisk together dry ingredients—flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  4. Combine wet ingredients: Beat butter and sugar together in bowl of a stand mixer. Mix until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as necessary.
  5. Alternate adding dry ingredients and sour cream. Mix just until combined.
  6. Layer coffee cake and streusel: Pour half the cake batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle half the streusel topping evenly across the bottom layer of batter. Drop dollops of remaining batter on top of streusel. The easiest method is to use an offset spatula to connect the dollops without spreading the streusel too much. Sprinkle remaining streusel on top.
  7. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes . Allow to cool 20 minutes in the pan before cutting and serving.
  8. Make the icing: In a small bowl, whisk 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, 1/2 teaspoons vanilla and 1 tablespoon milk together. Use a spoon to drizzle icing over cooled coffee cake.
photo collage demonstrating how to make sour cream coffee cake with streusel filling

Storing coffee cake

How to store coffee cake: Coffee cake can be store at room temperature for 2 days or in the refrigerator for 5 days. Once the cake has cooled, wrap the pan tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap. If you are making this cake ahead of time for an event or entertaining, wait to make the glaze until you are ready to serve.

Can you freeze sour cream coffee cake? Yes, once the cake has cooled, leave the cake uncut and wrap the entire pan in aluminum foil or plastic wrap. A double layer of wrap will keep any moisture out. Store in a flat surface in the freezer for up to 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator before bringing to room temperature and serving.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does coffee cake have coffee in it?

Nope, there is no coffee in the batter.

Why is it called coffee cake?

It is called coffee cake because it is meant to be served with coffee oftentimes in the morning.

What goes well with coffee cake?

Coffee of course! As well as fresh berries, a yogurt parfait or smoothie.

Can you add nuts to coffee cake?

Yes, 1/2 cup chopped nuts such as pecans or walnuts can be added to the cinnamon streusel topping.

There are plenty of coffee cake varieties, but my favorite is coffee cake muffins. They have the best streusel on top with the same glaze as this cake. If you like a little kick in your breakfast, then try my Irish cream coffee cake. It is made with Bailey’s for extra flavor. Other recipes to try include raspberry coffee cake (Spoonful of Flavor blog) and blueberry coffee cake (Centsless Meals blog).

spoon drizzling icing over slice of coffee cake

This coffee cake has quickly climbed to the top of my list of favorite things to bake for brunch. It’s a crowd pleaser and you can easily make it ahead of time! If you make this sour cream coffee cake, be sure to tag @ifyougiveablondeakitchen on social media so I can see your baking!

coffee cake square on parchment paper with vanilla glaze. Cinnamon stick and icing spoon

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Sour cream coffee cake is a moist breakfast cake swirled with a cinnamon streusel inside and out. Serve with a freshly brewed cup of coffee or afternoon tea!
5 (5 ratings)

Ingredients

Streusel

  • cup (66 g) packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup (62 g) all purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons (42 g) unsalted butter, cold and cut into 1/4-inch cubes

Coffee Cake

  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (140 g) all purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons (85 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ¾ cup (150 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup (180 g) sour cream, room temperature

Vanilla Glaze

  • ½ cup (60 g) confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon milk

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease an 8×8 baking pan with butter and set aside.

Streusel

  • In a small bowl, whisk together brown sugar, flour and cinnamon. Cut the butter into the mixture using a pastry blender (or your hands) until the mixture forms coarse crumbs and resembles sand. Place bowl in the refrigerator to keep cold while you prepare the coffee cake batter.

Coffee Cake

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer (or using a hand mixer), beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  • Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and mix just until combined. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as necessary.
  • With the mixer on low, add half of the flour mixture and mix just until combined. Add the sour cream and mix until incorporated. Add remaining flour mixture and mix just until combined.

Assembly

  • Pour half the coffee cake batter into prepared pan. Use an off-set spatula or knife to spread evenly across the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle half the streusel mixture evenly over bottom layer of cake batter.
  • Pour remaining cake batter on top—the best method is to do dollops of batter across the streusel then connect the batter by using your off-set spatula. Sprinkle remaining streusel on top.
  • Bake coffee cake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with little to no crumbs. Allow cake to cool for 20 minutes. Prepare glaze if desired.

Vanilla Glaze

  • In a small bowl, whisk together confectioners' sugar, vanilla and milk. Use a spoon to drizzle glaze over coffee cake. Cut and serve the cake. Enjoy!

Notes

Storing coffee cake: Cover pan tightly and store at room temperature for 2 days or in the refrigerator for 5 days.
Freezing coffee cake: Once the cake has cooled completely, cover tightly (double layer of tin foil works well) and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator before bringing to room temperature and serving. Make the glaze right before serving.
9×13 pan: If you are serving a bigger crowd, this recipe can be doubled and baked in a 9-inch by 13-inch pan. Increase baking time to 40 to 50 minutes.
High altitude adjustments: This recipe was tested in Denver, CO (altitude 5,820 ft or 16,09 m). Reduce granulated sugar to 2/3 cup. Reduce baking powder to 1 teaspoon.
Suggested tools:
Serving: 1serving, Calories: 199kcal, Carbohydrates: 27g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 43mg, Sodium: 73mg, Potassium: 79mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 18g, Vitamin A: 294IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 41mg, Iron: 1mg

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