Sour Cream Coffeecake

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Sour Cream Coffeecake

star rating (12) rate this recipe »
Published prior to 2008

Terry Sears, a Williamson, N.Y. resident, wrote us awhile back to tell us he'd just started using King Arthur Flour, and was most impressed. He also asked if we'd like a recipe for his "Knock Your Socks Off Sour Cream Coffeecake." How could we resist? We wrote right back and said we'd love the recipe, which Mr. Sears sent to us promptly, along with this letter.

"I am sending you the recipe for the great sour cream coffeecake. I sincerely hope that you're as pleased with it as my family always is. I believe that the unique feature of this cake is in the mixture of vanilla with cinnamon and sugar. The aroma alone will draw people to the kitchen.

"I am kitchen manager at a child care center and we use a version of this cake (increased to serve 70 little snackers) as a special treat. We always get rave reviews on 'Cinnamon Cake Day'!" Thanks, Terry.

1/2 cup shortening*
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream

1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Cream shortening, sugar and eggs. Mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream.

Grease and flour a regular-sized tube pan**. Spread half the batter in the pan, and sprinkle with half the topping mixture. Repeat with remaining batter and topping.

Bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until cake tests done. Cool 10 to 15 minutes, and remove cake from pan. Place cake right-side-up (topping up) on a plate to serve.

*I usually use a butter-flavored shortening, or margarine.

**I make this in a 9 x13-inch pan if it's for family, and just serve it right from the pan in squares.

Note: This coffeecake is also delicious made with plain or vanilla yogurt, or buttermilk. If you bake it early in the morning, you can carry it outside for an al fresco breakfast before work!

If you make this in a 9 x 13-inch pan -- a handy, stable size for transporting to picnics or potlucks -- be aware that you'll have to spread the batter quite thinly to cover the bottom of the pan. Spoon half into the pan, using a rubber spatula to spread batter out evenly; sprinkle on half the topping; then drop the remaining batter, in spoonfuls, on top. Don't bother to try to spread it around; just sprinkle with the rest of the topping. Cake will puff up and look fine by the time it's done.

Nutrition information per serving (1/20 of recipe, 51 g): 188 cal, 9 g fat, 2 g protein, 10 g complex carbohydrates, 14 g sugar, 1 g dietary fiber, 31 mg cholesterol, 137 mg sodium, 45 mg potassium, 1 mg iron, 52 mg calcium, 41 mg phosphorus. Note: using lowfat yogurt or lowfat buttermilk in place of sour cream will lower fat to 7 g.

This recipe reprinted from The Baking Sheet Newsletter, Vol. III, No. 5, May-June 1992 issue.


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  • star rating 02/21/2015
  • Brittany from Wilmore, Ky
  • It was very good, I used half whole wheat flour and all purpose. I also added some vanilla to the cake. Then I put the cake in a big muffin tin. It kept the cake moist. I love this cake:)
  • star rating 01/31/2015
  • ADL from KAF Community
  • I love this recipe! My husband said it's the best coffee cake he's had. I did use butter instead of shortening. For the topping, I added 2 Tbl of flour and 5 Tbl butter to the other topping ingredients and crumbled it with my hands. Yummy!
  • star rating 12/28/2014
  • Dave from Waynesboro Pa
  • made a lot of coffeecakes but this is one of the best I had.
  • star rating 11/19/2014
  • Patty from Williamsville, NY
  • This was very similar to my grandmother's basic sour cream coffee cake and really good. Very easy and quick to put together. I took out a couple tablespoons of butter and subbed in about 1/3 cup of pumpkin just because I had it in the refrigerator and wanted to get rid of it; same with vanilla yogurt and some half and half instead of the sour cream. Delicious!
  • star rating 11/06/2014
  • Amber from Durham, NC
  • This was really delicious! I played around with the ingredients a little bit and used reduced fat sour cream, half butter, half margarine, and then a splash of milk because it was seeming a little dry. Tip for anyone who has a cake pan but not a tube pan: I used an empty can of beans with the label peeled off, wrapped it in parchment paper, and put it in the middle of a regular cake pan. It was beautiful!
  • star rating 10/04/2014
  • Susan from Central Jersey
  • Lost original recipe, but we all loved it, so happy to find it here. Always made it with buttermilk and 100% white whole wheat flour, wasn't that in original? Also good with diced apple with topping in middle layer. Thank you Terry sears and KAF
  • 10/25/2013
  • deb from hamilton nj
  • star rating 02/19/2011
  • Jim M from KAF Community
  • I have made this recipe twice, once using the original recipe and a second with slight variations. The only comment was how to spread out the dough. With the pan greased and floured the dough was hard to smooth into the bottom of a 13" x 9" in pan. On the other hand the recipe (original) came out very moist and was gone in a day. I added lemon oil to the recipe and this really gave the recipe a nice tang. The second recipe topping was changed to chopped almonds with the addition of chopped apples. This really made the recipe take on a new dimension. I could also see adding dried fruit - apricots or cherries to give the recipe another added dimension.
  • star rating 02/17/2010
  • Sally from Montana
  • Light and wonderful. I used a stick of butter instead of margarine and light sour cream. Being a rebel, I just dumped all the ingredients including the topping in my Zo bread maker to mix. I took it out and baked in a 9x13 pan, sprinkling sugar and some nuts on top. I did that because it baked faster and I was in a hurry. Next time I'll bake in the bread machine. I wonder how applesauce instead of butter would work.
    Applesauce for part of the butter should work fine. I don't know if I would go 100% , though.Mary@ KAF
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