Ahh, the coffee cake.
The retro stuff of gossipy housewives and kitchen cakestands. This throwback breakfast or afternoon snack isn’t made with coffee at all, but pairs with coffee in a way that’s just miraculous. It’s one of my favorite things to make when we have overnight guests or to bring on family weekends because you can prepare it in advance and it always makes people say, “A coffee cake! Cool! Haven’t seen one of those in a while.” The generous amount of cinnamon in the crumb filling in this recipe gives the cake rich depth, and the tangy sour cream keeps it tender and flavorful. Serve it for Mother’s Day. Take it on summer beach trips. Or just make it because life is short. You won’t be disappointed.
Sour Cream Coffee Cake
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup roughly chopped walnuts or pecans
1 tablespoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons brown sugar
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a Bundt or tube cake pan, or coat it well with baking spray. Using a mixer, cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl until fluffy. Add the eggs, one a time, mixing until just combined. In a separate, medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the dry mixture and sour cream alternately to the butter-sugar mixture, starting and ending with the flour. Stir in the vanilla extract. Pour 1/3 of the batter into a prepared pan. Add ½ of the crumb filling on top. Add another 1/3 of the batter, and top with the rest of the crumb filling. Add the final 1/3 of the batter and smooth the surface with the back of a large spoon. Bake for 60 minutes.
Maggie Heyn Richardson is a regular 225 contributor and author of the food history book, Hungry for Louisiana, An Omnivore’s Journey. Reach her at hungryforlouisiana.com.