Sour cream coffee cake for a happy weekend

Do any of you get the Zingerman’s mail order catalog? When I was in preschool we lived in Ann Arbor while my Dad was in grad school, and my parents were big fans of the then-new Zingerman’s Deli. They now have an amazing mail order service, and my mom always ordered stuff from them as gifts. I do the same—few things are a more surefire hit than a coffee cake in a wooden hatbox, especially when the coffee cake is a really, really good one. They also have exceptional customer service, with real people on the phone who want to help you. HOWEVER. The prices are a bit steep for personal consumption, which is why I’m grateful for this recipe, which my mom has been making for as long as I can remember. It’s a heavy, dense cake, extremely moist and long-lasting (if you don’t eat it all up!).

Sour Cream Coffee Cake
1 C. butter
2 C. sugar
2 eggs
1 C. sour cream
½ teaspoon vanilla
2 C. flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt

½ C. brown sugar
½ C. pecans or walnuts
1 teaspoon cinnamon

* Preheat oven to 350
* Grease and flour a bundt pan; set aside
* Cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy
* Add eggs one-at-a-time and mix
* Add sour cream and vanilla and mix
* Sift together the dry ingredients and add, mixing just until incorporated
* Pour half the batter into the prepared pan
* Strew streusel over batter
* Top with rest of batter
* Bake about 60 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean

One thing I’ve noticed (I made the cake twice so far): It might be a bit too much streusel topping. Try to make sure there is cake batter exposed around the edges, or at least not a thick layer of the streusel, so the cake doesn’t end up with top and bottom halves, unconnected to each other.

The tricky bit it adding the second half of the thick, sticky batter, on top of the streusel. Careful dabbing with a spatula seems to work:

I have had some trouble with my oven ever since we bought the Viking. It’s not noticeable when I’m cooking meat, but when baking I sometimes find that nothing is happening after I’ve put the pan in. As in, the temperature has dropped to 150 and the baked goods are just sitting there, flabby and pale and sad. I was on the phone with Mom the first time I made this, so I popped it in the oven and kind of ignored it until about 45 minutes in, when I saw that the batter had set a bit but definitely not baked. It took an additional HOUR to cook. Anyway, that’s my oven’s problem, not the recipe’s. But does anyone else with a gas oven have that happen?

Not the best distribution of streudel on that outing, but still a great cake. I baked the first one for a girl’s weekend a couple months ago, and Bridge declared it the best coffee cake ever! But really, how can you go wrong with 2 sticks of butter, a cup of sour cream, and all that sugar? Soooo healthy.

5 thoughts on “Sour cream coffee cake for a happy weekend”

  1. Yup. Best I ever had. And I’ve had a lot of coffee cake. As one can see.
    Also, where do you hide all the lovely photos you take? We took some over girls weekend, no?

  2. Err….. I didn’t take too many, but there is one of you modeling an astonishingly ugly orange hat at the antique mall, and another where you’re “typing” in sunglasses. And one of Aileen in a pimp hat. I debated putting them on facebook but erred on the side of caution…

  3. Slurp!
    Next time I get the hankering to bake – this is what I’m going to make…
    I did not try to rhyme. It magically happened.

    And I also have a cold oven – it’s a Wolf – maybe these pricey ovens are total rip offs! I had it calibrated, but for whatever reason it falls out of calibration whenever I use the broiler. I just adjust all of my temps – when I bake, I set the oven 50 degrees hotter than the recipe calls for, and it seems to work – the timing is almost right. But I always use the smell test to know when baked goods are ready. When it smells like I have to eat it RIGHT NOW, it’s done!

    Glad you are back! Miss you!

  4. honestly, that was the best coffee cake i’ve ever had. no lie. it was so moist and like…dense in the best way. like by holding it you can tell its terrible for you and therefore more delicious than anything you’ve ever eaten before.

    wow. now i want some. not fair.

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