Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

This coffee cake is the perfect way to show your coworkers a little love this Valentine’s Day. Ok you could make it for your family, too, but with both our boys away in college we could never get through a whole coffee cake right now! The recipe comes from my Aunt Jayme, who recently visited us for Christmas reminding me of this long time family favorite.

Before beginning make sure you have everything ready to go. I like to let my oven preheat for a good half hour while I’m sifting the flour, chopping walnuts, and thoroughly greasing my Bundt pan. I also make sure to beat the butter and sugar at a high speed until it’s really fluffy, and mix well after each egg and the sour cream and vanilla. But once the flour starts going in I slow the mixer down and make sure not to over beat. Of course you want all the flour mixed in, but if you run your mixer too long once you’ve added the flour any cake you bake will be a little tough and dry, which nobody likes.

Once you have the batter mixed you can begin layering. My aunt’s original recipe called for using 1/3 of the batter in the first layer but I found that didn’t leave me enough for the last layer. The pan gets progressively larger, so using just 1/4 of the batter for that first layer solved the problem and ensured I had enough to completely seal in that last layer of brown sugar and walnuts. As you can see, with over two tablespoons in this recipe, the vanilla extract is a big part of the flavor of this cake. You’ll want a high quality vanilla, I always use Nielsen Massey which is beyond compare in my opinion.

Bake for 60-70 minutes rotating pan after half hour. Cake will be moist and the toothpick tester should have crumbs attached when you remove it from the oven. Let it cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before gently loosening the sides of the cake from the pan with a knife. Then turn the cake out onto a wire rack to cool completely. A well buttered pan and a little prayer when you flip the pan onto the rack are my keys to getting it out in one piece!

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Prep Time40 minutes
Baking Time1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time1 hour 50 minutes
Course: Breakfast
Keyword: coffee cake
Servings: 12


  • Bundt pan


  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter softened
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar firmly packed
  • 3/4 cup walnuts chopped fine
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp water


  • Preheat oven to 325°, thoroughly butter 10" Bundt pan using 2 tbsp butter.
  • Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  • Beat 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter (3 sticks) and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add sour cream and first 1 1/2 tsp of vanilla, beating well to combine.
  • Gradually add flour mixture, mixing well without overbeating. Scrape down sides and bottom of mixing bowl and beat for an additional 30 seconds to make sure flour is completely mixed in.
  • Combine brown sugar, walnuts, and cinnamon in small bowl.
  • Spoon 1/4 of prepared batter into Bundt pan. Sprinkle with half of nut mixture. Top with half of remaining batter, using spatula to carefully even out batter. Sprinkle second half of nut mixture over batter. Spoon remaining batter over nut mixture and again carefully even out with spatula.
  • Combine last 2 tbsp of vanilla with water and pour over coffee cake.
  • Bake in 325° oven for 60-70 minutes, until toothpick tester has just a few moist crumbs.
  • Cool 10 minutes in pan on wire rack. Use knife to run along edges of pan before turning cake onto wire rack to cool completely. Dust with powdered sugar if desired.


Freezes well, wrap in heavy duty aluminum foil. Allow to thaw completely in foil before unwrapping (this allows any condensation to gather on the surface of the foil, not on your cake!).

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