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Sour Cream Coffee Cake
A coffee cake that is fit for a tea party, with yogurt in place of sour cream this recipe delivers a fluffy cake with a crunchy cinnamon walnut streusel. Learn how to make this cake with a tangy lemon icing on top.
Whenever I walk into a cafe I am always comforted by the aroma of baked goods in the air and the sight of bake goods around me. There are some cakes you see on those glass cake stands and they look picture perfect. I used to see these cakes get excited to try them but most often than not I was disappointed by the taste and texture of the cake after eating it. Either it was too dry, not enough flavor, too much essence and no extract, etc. I wanted to make a cake that looked like those cake but tasted like something you would eat at your grandmas house.
If you must know, this cake doesn’t have coffee in it but it is a coffee cake or a tea cake because it is a perfect accompaniment with both of them. recipe has been adapted by some great foodies like Ina Garten, Once upon a chef and The food charlatan. I have made all their recipes and they are lovely in their own way but this is how I make my Sour Cream Coffee Cake recipe.
What ingredients do you need to make this Sour Cream Coffee Cake recipe?
To make the cake we need butter, granulated sugar, eggs and vanilla to start with. We then add some yogurt with lemon juice in place of sour cream and flour. The batter is finish with baking powder and baking soda. To make the crunchy streusel (crumble topping) we need flour, oats, brown sugar and cinnamon which is mixed with butter and walnuts. While the icing on the top consists of icing sugar and lemon juice. It is important to mention that all your ingredients must be at room temperature for all the components. Also I prefer using weighing scales but I have provided the recipe in cups as well.
What substitutes do you need to make the Sour Cream Coffee Cake recipe?
I have used salted butter here which is why I don’t add salt later. You can use any butter you like. Nut butters don’t work here but vegan butters do. Avoid using vegetable shortening as it will add no flavor the cake will not have that cloud like fluffy texture.
Granulated sugar –
The cake batter calls for granulated white sugar you can use castor sugar, fine white sugar or regular white sugar. Avoid using dark colored sugars here as this will impact the over all look and flavor of the cake once baked.
To make this recipe eggless you can substitute 1 whole egg with 1 flaxseed egg. 1 flaxseed egg is basically 1 tbsp flaxseed powder and 2 tbsp water that is stirred together, set it aside for a min and it will turn gloopy, use it in the recipe as you would with an egg.
Sour cream –
Yes this is a sour cream coffee cake and if you have access to sour cream you can use it, find it hard to get my hands on sour cream and if I do it is very expensive. So when I tried this recipe with yogurt it was just the same. No difference in texture or flavor. Which is why I use yogurt with lemon juice to make this recipe but you could use sour cream if you have access to it.
I use all purpose flour to make this recipe, you can use cake flour which will give it a tender crumb. If you are using self raising flour, remove the baking powder in the recipe.
This is not a traditional component of a streusel but I absolutely love the texture it adds. You need any form of oats, I’ve made this recipe with rolled oats, steel ground oats, instant oats and its worked fine. You don’t want to skip on it tho.
All purpose flour here is the best but you could use whole wheat flour, spelt flour, self raising flour, cake flour and oat flour to make this streusel.
Brown sugar –
Any sugar works in the streusel. You can use white sugar, palm sugar, coconut sugar etc.
Cinnamon powder –
There is no substitute for this, if you don’t like the taste of it, you can leave it out but don’t add ay other spice.
Any butter works for the streusel topping, you can also use a nut butter to make it. I have used my Roasted Peanut Pecan butter to make this streusel and it has worked beautifully.
You could use nuts like pecans, almonds or hazelnuts if you like. They compliment the cake well once baked.
Demerara sugar –
Ideally you want a granulated sugar for the top. It doesn’t get added into the streusel but once all the streusel is sprinkled over the top we add the Demerara sugar for an additional crunch factor.
Icing sugar –
You need powdered sugar to make the drippy icing, without which it is not complete. It could be powdered sugar, confectioners sugar, icing sugar, they are all the same.
Lemon juice –
I think a little acidity balances out the sweetness hence if yo do not have lemons use limes but this helps with the sweetness of the overall cake.
What equipment do you need to make the Sour Cream Coffee Cake recipe?
I have used a stand mixer with a paddle attachment to make this cake batter but you could use a large mixing bowl with an electric beater. If you are feeling adventurous you could use a whisk and do it entirely by hand but it will take time and a lot of effort. I use a spatula to scrap down the sides of the bowl once the batter is made to ensure everything is combined. To make the streusel we need a mixing bowl and our hands and the same goes for the icing but we do need a whisk to bring the icing together. I bake the cake in a doughnut round bundt tin. You could use any bundt tin or a 9/8inch round cake tin. The cake can also be baked in a 9×9 inch square tin.
How to make the Sour Cream Coffee Cake recipe?
We start by creaming our butter and sugar together in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment until pale. We add the eggs one at a time with the vanilla. And mix well between each of them. We then add the sour cream and flour mixture in 3 parts, alternating between each. Add the baking powder and baking soda, mix the batter one last time and scrap down the sides, set that aside. To make the streusel we add the flour, oats, brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and stir around. Add the butter and rub together until it forms clumps. Add most of the walnuts and mix through.
It is time to line the tin with baking spray. We add half of the cake batter into the tin and evenly spread around. Add the streusel and layer with the remaining cake batter. Top with the remaining streusel and sprinkle over the extra walnuts Demerara sugar and bake in a preheated oven for 50-55mins until a tooth pick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Once baked leave to cool for 1-2 hours. While the cake is cooling we make the icing, start by mixing 1 tbsp lemon juice into the icing sugar and whisk together. We want a lovely dripping consistency, hence add more lemon juice if needed or add more sugar if it is too runny.
Remove the cake from the tin and flip it onto a cake stand (or plate), drizzle the cooled cake with the icing. Slice with a sharp knife and serve.
How to store the Sour Cream Coffee Cake recipe?
Once the cake is sliced, you can wrap each slice in cling film and transfer them to zip lock bags before placing in the freezer. They last in the freezer for up to 2 weeks. When ready to eat let it thaw and warm the slice in a microwave for 10 seconds. This will affect the icing hence I would prefer to let it thaw and eating it at room temperature instead. Alternatively the cake can be stored in air tight containers in the fridge for 5 days.
Now that we have covered how to make this Sour Cream Coffee Cake recipe let us get started. It reminds me of a cake that my grandma would make (she never made it but if she did this is what it would taste like). Happy baking ninjas!
Sour Cream Coffee Cake
- Stand mixer with paddle attachment
- Mixing bowls
- Bundt tin
For the Cake
- 220 gm / 1 cup Butter
- 380 gm / 1 ¾ cup Granulated white sugar
- 3 Eggs
- 1 tsp Vanilla
- 220 gm / 1 scant cup Yogurt
- 1 tsp Lemon juice
- 300 gm / 2 cups Flour
- 1 tsp Baking powder
- 1/2 tsp Baking soda
For the Streusel
- 75 gm / 2/3 cup Flour
- 25 gm / 1/4 cup Oats
- 45 gm / 1/4 cup Brown sugar
- 25 gm / 5 tsp Cinnamon powder
- 130 gm / 1 cup Walnuts
- 45 gm / 1/4 cup Butter
- 3 tbsp Demerara sugar
For the Icing
- 200 gm / 1 ¼ cup Icing sugar
- 1-2 tbsp Lemon juice
- Preheat the oven to 180℃ and line your bundt tin with baking spray.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment start by beating your butter and sugar until pale and light. Add the eggs one at a time beating well between each interval. Add the vanilla and beat again.
- In a bowl add lemon juice into the yogurt and stir around. We start by adding the yogurt and the flour into the batter in 3 parts. Beating well between each interval.
- Scrape down the sides and give the batter one more mix before setting side.
- To make the streusel topping we mix the flour, oats, brown sugar and cinnamon powder together. Add the butter and rub together until you have clumps and damp sand like texture. Add most of the walnuts and set aside.
- We add half the cake batter into the tin and evenly smoothen it out. We add half the streusel mixture on top and layer with the rest of the cake batter and top with the remaining streusel mixture.
- Sprinkle the leftover walnuts and Demerara sugar before baking at 180℃ for 50-55 mins until a tooth pick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool for 1-2 hours before removing and icing.
- While the cake cools we make the icing by adding a tbsp lemon juice into the icing sugar until it forms dripping consistency. Keep adding a little at a time and whisk well, this takes time but be patient.
- Drizzle the icing on top of the cake once it has cooled. Let it set for a minute before slicing and serving.
- If you want to half the recipe you can, you will need to crack three eggs, beat them up and weigh it out. Half the weight of the beaten eggs and use only one half.
- Do not over mix the cake batter as it will get tough and dense.