Celebrate the beginning of fall with this sour cream coffee cake with spiced streusel!! Buttery, rich cake combined with the warmth of a cinnamon and nutmeg streusel, this coffee cake is sure to make your fall mornings extra cozy.
Fall is here and I couldn't be more excited. It is my favorite time of year. Hot summer days give way to cool cozy nights. Well as cool as you can get in Texas. Leaves change, spices come to life, and the world is made new. And most importantly, its my birthday!! I can't think of any other way than to welcome this time of year with the warm, comforting goodness that is coffee cake.
An ode to coffee cake
To me, coffee cake is like your favorite warm sweater. You can always count on it to keep you cozy and never let you down. Sure you can have coffee cake any time of the year. But there's something about a warm slice of coffee cake, a huge cup of coffee, fluffy socks, and an equally comfy blanket to match during those cool fall days.
The rich, lustrous cake. The crunch sound the streusel makes when you take a bite. I can only describe it as a flavor explosion of decadence and spice.
When I was in middle school, my mom would have to be at work very early in the morning. She would drop me off at my friend Jennifer's house and her mom would take me to school. I would arrive in wee hours in the morning with my blue cup filled to the brim with Honey Nut Cheerios, sit in the living room and watch Charlie Brown until everyone woke up.
It was at Jennifer's house that I was given my first proper introduction to coffee cake. Now this wasn't homemade coffee cake, it was Sara Lee. But boy was it magical. The rich, buttery cake melted in my mouth. The spicy streusel made my taste buds dance with glee. I was hooked. So much so that I had my mom buying coffee cake from the grocery store every week and we would eat it every Saturday morning for breakfast. With bacon. Always with bacon.
Flash forward to today, I was determined to create a coffee cake that rivaled the one of my youth,. It had to be rich, it had to be buttery, but most importantly the streusel had to knock everyone's socks off.
What is coffee cake
Coffee cake is thought to have originally come from Germany. American coffee cake is sweet and has the texture of pound cake, whereas German coffee cake resembles more of a sweet bread. Unlike its German counterpart, American coffee cake is usually laced with a cinnamon sugar layer and a crunchy streusel on top. There isn't any actual coffee in coffee cake. It is actually called coffee cake due to it being the perfect accompaniment to coffee!!
How to make the perfect sour cream coffee cake
There's not much standing in between you, a handful of ingredients, and the perfect coffee cake!!
- Sour Cream - The star of the show....besides the streusel. Sour cream ensures that this coffee cake will have a moist, tender crumb.
- Baking soda/Baking powder - So we get that good rise!!
- Sifted flour- Sifting the flour beforehand guarantees that it is clump free. It also helps aerate the flour.
- Eggs - For added moisture
- Butter - For that melt in your mouth, buttery richness.
- Granulated sugar - To make our cake nice and sweet!!
- Vanilla Extract - Because no cake is complete without a little extra flavor.
It is important to note that after preparing, your batter will be very thick. I found it best to spray the 8x8 inch pan with baking spray before lining it with parchment paper. This will help your parchment to stay in place as you smooth your batter with an offset spatula.
Also, do not over mix!! Mix batter in a stand mixer until you no longer see any streaks of flour then stop.
Streusel is like the holy grail of coffee cake. I know I can't be the only who purposefully eats all the streusel before eating the actual cake. I tried many different ratios before settling on what I believe is the perfect streusel. ¾ cup flour, a mixture of not only brown sugar but granulated sugar as well, cold butter, and the warm aroma of cinnamon and nutmeg. All are combined together to create the perfect streusel to go alongside this golden, buttery perfection.
How to serve sour cream coffee cake with spiced streusel
Would it be bad for be to say one slice for each hand, plate or napkin optional? Honestly there is no wrong way to eat coffee cake. Eat for breakfast as the morning light makes its way across your kitchen floor. Eat it for an afternoon snack, or as dessert when you know you can't possibly fit anything else in your stomach but you can't say no to cake. Either way you enjoy it, just know there is no wrong way to eat cake. The only wrong way is not eating it at all.
How to store Sour Cream Coffee Cake
This coffee cake is super moist so be sure to store it in an airtight container. Or you can also wrap it in plastic wrap. Sour Cream Coffee Cake will stay fresh for 7 days at room temperature. I love to heat mine up for a couple of seconds in the microwave before devouring.
Sour Cream Coffee Cake with Spiced Streusel
- 8x8 inch square baking pan
- 1 cup sour cream
- ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature 1 stick
- 2 large eggs well beaten
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 ¾ cup all purpose flour sifted
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- ¾ cup all purpose flour
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 6 tablespoons cold butter cubed
- 1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Grease a 8x8 inch square baking pan with baking spray and line with parchment paper. Set aside
- In a small bowl, combine sour cream and baking soda. It will double in size
- For the streusel, sift together flour, both sugars, spices, and salt. Cut cold butter into small cubes and add to flour mixture. Using a pastry blender, cut butter into flour mixture until it forms a crumble. If you do not have a pastry blender, you can pinch the flour and butter together with your fingers until it forms a crumble. Place in refrigerator until ready to use.
- For the cake, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and beat well. Add vanilla.
- Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture in three additions, alternating with sour cream. Begin and end with flour mixture. Batter will be very thick.
- Spoon half of the batter in prepared baking pan and smooth with offset spatula. Lightly tap pan on counter to reduce air bubbles. Sprinkle half of the spiced streusel on top of batter. Cover streusel with remaining batter. Sprinkle with the remainder of the spiced streusel.
- Bake for 45-50 minutes until cake is golden, springs back to touch, and toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. A few crumbs is ok. Start testing for doneness at 45 minutes to prevent overbaking. Remove from oven and allow cake to cool on wire rack for ten minutes. Using the parchment over hang, lift cake from pan and let cool on wire rack for 45 minutes to an hour. Slice into 16 pieces and serve warm or at room temperature.