Sour Cream Coffee Cake with Brown Sugar-Pecan Streusel

Brunch / Friday, June 25th, 2010

According to the “Guinness Book of World Records,” this weekend – the one that starts in approximately three hours – will be the first weekend Jeff and I will be at home, simultaneously, with no outside obligations, since the first shot was fired in the Battles of Lexington and Concord.

A free weekend! Time to go barefoot, dance in the kitchen, grill out, sit on the front step and watch the fireflies, catch up on “Dr. Who” and hang out during the World Cup.

And breakfast is covered. We’ve got plenty of eggs ready for scrambling, thick-sliced bacon, smoked sausage, a bowl full of oranges and Ina Garten’s Sour Cream Coffee Cake. The sour cream keeps this cake incredibly moist, but the streusel on top of and inside the cake is the real star – a mix of butter, flour, brown sugar and cinnamon. What every morning should smell like.

Ina’s recipe suggests adding walnuts, which would be delicious, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to work more pecans into my diet. That extra crunch in the streusel is pretty addictive. If you find yourself snacking on the streusel that doesn’t quite make it off of the cake plate, take comfort in the knowledge that YOU ARE NOT ALONE. No streusel left behind here, my friend. Not a crumb.

This is the perfect coffee cake for a free weekend, a brunch, an early meeting or a holiday. It could help you win friends and influence people. But if you’re just too busy right now, bookmark it. Your free weekend is coming.

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Adapted from Ina Garten’s “Barefoot Contessa Parties!”

The amount of streusel you see here is actually double the original quantity. It’s a change several people suggested after trying the original, and I can’t argue with genius.

Makes 8 to 10 servings

  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 extra-large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups sour cream
  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons real maple syrup
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment for 4 to 5 minutes, until light. Add the eggs 1 at a time, then add the vanilla and sour cream. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture to the batter until just combined. Finish stirring with a spatula to be sure the batter is completely mixed.
  3. For the Streusel: Place the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt, and butter in a bowl and pinch together with your fingers until it forms a crumble. Mix in the nuts, if desired.
  4. Spoon half the batter into the pan and spread it out with a knife. Sprinkle with half the streusel. Spoon the rest of the batter in the pan, spread it out, and scatter the remaining streusel on top. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.
  5. Let cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes. Carefully transfer the cake, streusel side up, onto a serving plate.
  6. For the Glaze: Whisk the confectioners’ sugar and maple syrup together, adding a few drops of water if necessary, to make the glaze runny. Drizzle as much as you like over the cake with a fork or spoon.

[ad name=”space”]

16 thoughts on “Sour Cream Coffee Cake with Brown Sugar-Pecan Streusel

  1. This looks so good.. I'm baking from the Rose Levy Beranbaum cookbook – Rose's Heavenly Cake and she has something similar.. but this one sounds perfect for a breakfast cake!

  2. I know exactly what you mean about the free weekend! This is the first "free weekend" we've had in a really, REALLY long time. I am officially locking myself up in the house. Cooking, baking, and more cooking… and blogging. Happy free weekend to you! [K]

    P.S. Awesome coffee cake. I heart coffee cake. :)

  3. OMG, I shouldn't of looked before breakfast either. It looks devine. great photo.
    ~~sigh~~ I'm just going to have to suck it up and make this………

  4. You cook and bake like you do, and like Dr. Who? Jeff should thank his lucky stars! I must resist the temptation to make this cake, as I would eat the entire thing. Gawd it looks good.

Comments are closed.