Barbara's Watch Hill Sour Cream Coffeecake

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Hands-on time:
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Yield: 16 servings

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Barbara Lauterbach is a long-time King Arthur spokesperson and friend. This coffee cake is a favorite at her Watch Hill Bed & Breakfast in Center Harbor, New Hampshire. "its rich cinnamon aroma brings guests down on time for breakfast" says Barbara. "and it also freezes very well, so I always keepon in the freezer for drop-ins!"

Barbara's Watch Hill Sour Cream Coffeecake

star rating (17) rate this recipe »
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: 16 servings
Published: 01/01/2010


Topping and filling

  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup sugar


  • 2 1/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup (5 tablespoons) butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup light sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Tips from our bakers

  • You can use full fat or low fat sour cream, but we don't recommend using nonfat sour cream; the texture of the cake won't be nearly as tender with nonfat.


1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9 or 10" tube pan with removable bottom, or a 9" x 13" pan.

2. For the filling/topping: In a small bowl, combine the walnuts, cinnamon, and sugar; set aside.

3. For the batter: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

4. In a large bowl, beat together the butter, oil, and sugar until well mixed. Add th eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

5. Reduce the mixer speed to low, and gradually beat in the flour mixture, sour cream and vanilla. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl, and beat for 30 seconds more.

6. Spoon half of the batter into the pan, and sprinkle with half the nut mixture.

7. Spoon the remaining batter into the pan, and sprinkle with the rest of the nut mixture.

8) Bake the cake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until it tests done. If you're using a 9" x 13" pan, bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven, cut in wedges and serve warm.

Yield: about 16 servings.


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  • star rating 05/09/2014
  • Karen from Eastham, Ma
  • This sounds silly but the directions say salt but I am not seeing salt in the ingredient list as I am reading it on my iPad. I've made is recipe a hundred times and it is fabulous but now am wondering and trying to remember if I ever added salt. So how much salt should it be.
    Thanks for pointing out this discrepancy! We are going to check into this, but in the meantime if you feel the recipe needs some salt you can add 1/2 tsp. or use salted butter. Barb@kaf
  • 04/15/2014
  • Sheila from Cullowhee, NC
  • I baked this coffee cake in a 13 x 9" pan and did not have enough to cover the bottom of the pan with half the batter as instructed. Solution---I put the entire amount of batter in the pan, sprinkled on the topping and swirled it in. Great coffee cake!
  • star rating 12/31/2013
  • roo666 from KAF Community
  • Made this twice. First following the recipe. Second time added an additional teaspoon of cinnamon, 1 cup of nuts (pecans) and switched granulated sugar for powdered. Much better taste. The flavor of the cake comes through better.
  • star rating 12/29/2013
  • A grateful grandma from Wantagh, NY
  • I spent an hour looking for an easy coffeecake recipe and found Barbara's. I took it out of the oven about 15 minutes aga and sat it on my stove top to cool. Within 5 minutes I wanted to sample it. Yummmmmmmmmmm!! I will be bringing it upstairs to my family tonight. I used a 9x13 glass pan and liked the way it turned out. Also it will be easy to bake and bring to family. Thanks Barbara!!
  • star rating 12/16/2013
  • Hildie from Austin, TX
  • Tasted good but it was so dang thick I could not spread the top layer! I'm not usually a fan of nuts in my baked goods but I used pecans because my kids had picked some recently and they were yummy in this.
  • star rating 12/20/2012
  • Lynn from Wisconsin
  • Cake taste good but for us it was to crumbly. Fell apart. Was smaller then I thought it would be. If I make it again I think I would drizzle a little frosting over the top as well as adding a little more cinnamon.
    To keep a cake from crumbling, be very careful to not overbeat the batter, but be sure it is smooth. Also, if the eggs/oil/butter were over-beaten to a fluffy stage, the cake would also be more crumbly. You might also have over-measured the flour, so be sure to keep it to 9 5/8 oz of flour (weighing is much more accurate than volume measurements.). Best, Kim@KAF
  • star rating 09/12/2012
  • tobybowen from KAF Community
  • I just made this today, and it's wonderful! It has a very tender crumb and a really appealing flavor. It's a keeper.
  • star rating 03/07/2012
  • aligirl115 from KAF Community
  • This is the most delicious coffee cake recipe ever!! Easy to make and super yummy!! This is a go-to keeper for sure!!
  • star rating 02/29/2012
  • allynswt from KAF Community
  • I was looking for a tasty coffee cake recipe that keeps well. I have to say that this one takes the cake! I've just finished making it for the second time to take to a coffee party (I'm Norwegian) this evening. I omitted the walnuts, then added 1/2 cup brown sugar to the sugar/cinnamon mixture. Thank you Barbara for a wonderfully moist and scrumptious coffee cake recipe that is not only quick and easy to put together, but looks great and everyone thinks is delish.
  • star rating 02/25/2011
  • erendis from KAF Community
  • Made this for my mother in law and her mother- used pecans instead of walnuts. Everyone agreed it was AMAZING! Moist and just enough crunch from the nuts for a good contrast. I was doubtful about the amount of cinnamon, but it was just right- the best standard coffeecake (not with berries or something else) I've ever tried, and I have tried many!
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