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Photo updated June 2012

I am a total breakfast person. If I had it my way, I would have a big, elaborate, delicious breakfast every day, and then just a snack for lunch. I’ve mentioned this before on this blog, but my mom made breakfast every day growing up, except for Saturdays. We would get to sleep on the pull out couch on Friday nights and we would wake up at the crack of dawn on Saturday morning to watch cartoons. We were allowed to eat cold cereal these mornings – I think mostly because it was the one day that my parents would get to sleep in. But every other day, we would get a hot breakfast – anything from oatmeal, cream of wheat, pancakes, eggs, muffins…the list goes on and on. Back then, I don’t think I really realized just how lucky I was. These days, I would love it if I was able to have breakfast like that every morning. And being a breakfast person, I do make sure to eat every morning, but it’s usually a protein shake, or a couple of eggs thrown on the stove while I am getting ready in the morning.

But the weekends – those are special. We actually have the time to relax and make wonderful breakfasts. My husband is usually in charge of most breakfasts, but if there is a baked good involved, I get to take over. And after seeing this Sour Cream Coffee Cake in this month’s Cookbook of the Month – Barefoot Contessa Parties! – I knew it would be gracing my table.

I don’t often make a big cake for the two of us. And although this could be halved and made into muffins, I really liked the look of the whole cake. On Sundays, we don’t usually have lunch. It’s usually a late breakfast, and then we just snack until dinner. So I figured that a whole cake wouldn’t be too bad to have around the house, since we could eat it for breakfast and lunch!!

This cake is everything I expect a coffee cake to be. It stays nice and moist due to the sour cream. In fact, even 2 and 3 days later, it was still really moist! It gets some extra sweetness and crunch from not one, but two layers of streusel. And we all know how much I love streusel!! And if you want, a maple glaze is added to the top. I don’t know if this added a whole lot of flavor because there was so little of it, so if you are looking for a maple kick, I would suggest doubling the glaze. And the only thing I would do differently is add the middle layer of streusel more towards the top, because if you can even see it in the picture below, that layer sunk almost to the bottom of the cake.

Now I’m glad it’s almost the weekend!!

Sour Cream Coffee Cake
Prep time
Cook time
A moist coffee cake with 2 layers of streusel and a maple glaze.
Serves: 8-10 servings
For the Cake
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 3 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1¼ cups sour cream
  • 2½ cups cake flour (not self-rising)*
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
For the Streusel
  • ¾ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • ¾ cup chopped walnuts (optional)
For the Glaze
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons real maple syrup
  • *I have also made this cake with all-purpose flour with good results.
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. 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 walnuts, if desired.
  4. Spoon half the batter into the pan and spread it out with a knife. Sprinkle with ¾ cup 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. 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.
  6. ------------------------
  7. From Barefoot Contessa Parties!

Others who have made this recipe:

Fresh From the Oven
Amy Cates
A Sublime Life…

Original photos from 2008

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41 Responses to Cookbook of the Month Recipe – Sour Cream Coffee Cake

  1. glamah16 says:

    You were lucky. Breakfast is a luxury for weekends . Im lucky if I can grab a bit of fruit or yogurt. Im intrigued by this book. I see the show occasionaly butI havent caught the bug.

  2. Patsyk says:

    I love the Barefoot Contessa cookbooks – don’t own one, but I am always looking through them at my mother-in-laws house. This recipe sounds devine!

  3. Augustina says:

    I’m a breakfast person too! it’s prbably my favorite meal of the entire day. This cake looks so,so good!!

  4. Elle says:

    Oh mu gosh, that looks gooood. I love streusely things, too! Bookmarking this one!

  5. Ben says:

    In my case, we never left the house without eating a big breakfast. Fruit and homemade yogurt were always ready plus eggs, or cheese quesadillas or any other breakfast dish. I was so lucky too 🙂

    This cake looks so good it is making me hungry again :-p

  6. Cakespy says:

    This makes me want to weep with joy. Coffee cake is one of my greatest pleasures in the world.

  7. Meeta says:

    Deborah I love big breakfasts and brunches. It’s a luxury we enjoy mostly on the weekends I admit but then we really indulge. This cake looks delish!

  8. kellypea says:

    I really love coffee cake, too. And with sour cream? YUM! I don’t have this cookbook, but know that with her other recipes — it’s an amazing one. Love your breakfast story. We used to have hamburgers for breakfast on Sunday mornings if you can believe that. Doncha just love those memories?

  9. Mansi Desai says:

    that looks awesome! I’ce made a modified version of this…but without the icing:)

  10. Steph says:

    Yum Deborah! I love coffee cakes, I love eating cake for breakfast anytime I can get away with it! It looks soooo good!

  11. blogger interrupted says:

    This looks great — I’m a huge fan of breakfast too, especially if it’s something baked. And thanks for the visit and comment on my blog!

  12. Birdie says:

    Just checking in to see what you have been up to! I’ve been a way for a while and it looks like you have tested some really great recipes. The pic of the coffee cake looks great

  13. Deborah Dowd says:

    I share your perspective on breakfast- I love doing a big sit-down on the weekends. Your coffee cake makes me nostalgic for the days when we could eat coffeecake without guilt!

  14. Jessy and her dog Winnie says:

    Looks great! Coffee cake is pure heaven in the morning!

  15. Shandy says:

    My Mom used to make all of us breakfast during the week too! She also always had dinner on the table by 5:30 p.m. every night. I am still in awe of how she was able to accomplish this. The coffee cake looks delicious and a must bake. I love the look of the struesel and you stated that the cake was moist. . .a must for me =D Thank you so much for sharing

  16. Mary says:

    Can you believe I’ve been married for over a year and just found out tonight that my husband loves coffee cake? Yours looks fantastic!

  17. kamaile says:

    I love all things breakfast as well. This coffee cake looks outstanding. Love the extra layer of streusel! 🙂

  18. Elle says:

    My Mom believed in a hot breakfast every morning for all of us, too. Being a morning person, I mostly liked that, although not the cream of wheat.
    This coffee cake is better than any I’ve seen…two, count ’em two layers of strudel! The weekend is coming!!

  19. Lore says:

    I admire your mom for what she did!

    The cake looks gorgeous and I’m especially fond of the Streusel 🙂

  20. Grace says:

    yeah, i’d require a lot more glaze than that! i’m pretty sure i have an icing addiction, because i was thinking i’d quadruple the glaze recipe.

    my name is grace, and i’m a glaze-aholic.

  21. Katie says:

    Wow it looks wonderful. Is this is the kind of thing you have for breakfast can I come to stay? 🙂

  22. Lina says:

    oh my! I would looove to have that for breakfast! It looks so amazing!

  23. noble pig says:

    I have to say, sour cream coffee cake is one of the world’s best inventions. The flavors are so perfectly matched and moist. I would love to try this version.

  24. Indigo says:

    Maple syrup glaze? I’m already in love.

  25. Dana McCauley says:

    Yum! I love coffee cake. I would likely eat it after breakfast though.

    As a baker I love that coffee cake is usually gorgeous right out of the oven. I often resist making other cakes since you need to mess up the kitchen two or three times if you need a filling and a frosting.

  26. Kevin says:

    I really enjoy a nice sour cream coffee cake for breakfast. This one looks really good with the streusel and drizzle!

  27. Amy Cates says:

    I am SO HONORED! And SHOCKED! The fact that my name is tied to a cooking/food blog is quite a surprise. I am a cut-and-paste girl and did just that with the coffee cake recipe as a food salute to Seinfeld. Next thing you know, I’m mentioned on workingwomanfood.

    Thanks for the mention!


  28. Jenny says:

    gorgeous Deborah! This coffee cake looks incredible! I love breakfast foods, I almost enjoy it more at dinner time!

    Great pics and recipe!

  29. Shelley says:

    yummmmmmmmmy! I love the Barefoot Contessa. I will try the cake

  30. diva says:

    great picture. makes me really wwant some cake now.

  31. KJ says:

    I love breakfasts too. Cake is not something that is ever served for breakfast here. But I’m all for it, if it is as good as this.

  32. PheMom says:

    Yum! That is cool that your Mom was able to do that. This looks really good. I will definately try it, maybe as jumbo muffins or something.

  33. Brilynn says:

    I like the look of whole cakes too… so much though that I’d rather make myself a giant cake instead of muffins even when I’m the only one eating it!

  34. Kelly-Jane says:

    That looks superb! I’m currently cooking a lot of Ina recipes, will have to check if this one is bookmarked.

  35. Emiline says:

    Coffee cake sounds really good- Especially with lots of streusel. Isn’t streusel the cat’s pajamas?

  36. missy says:

    that looks melt-in-your-mouth good!! [love ina’s recipes]

  37. eatme_delicious says:

    I love coffee cake! This looks so good. And I love the double streusel layer. I wish I could eat something like this for breakfast everyday!

  38. Tartelette says:

    It’s being printed right now!

  39. Patricia Scarpin says:

    Deb, I can help you finish it off if you want to. 😉

  40. Pearlsofeast says:

    This is a fantastic cake recipe,I would to try them when we have our my friends coming over.

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