You’ve come to the right place if you’re looking for an out-of-this-world, above-and-beyond coffee cake. This classic sour cream coffee cake is wonderfully tender and moist. It has a streusel-y cinnamon swirl running through the center and even more streusel on top, finished with a maple glaze. It’s absolute perfection!

A round coffee cake on a serving plate with one slice cut away and additional slices on plates behind and in front, with two cups of coffee behind the cake as well.

It’s probably been nearly twenty years since I watched Ina Garten make this cake on an episode of Barefoot Contessa and promptly ran into the kitchen to whip it up. It was every bit as delicious as it looked on the screen, and the smell that enveloped the house while it was baking was absolutely heavenly! 

It probably isn’t shocking to hear that the streusel that runs through the middle of this cake and graces the top steals the show. The cake flour gives the cake a lighter, less-dense texture, and the maple-flavored glaze makes it an absolutely fabulous accompaniment to a cup of coffee or your favorite tea.

This is a wonderful option for holiday breakfasts, brunches, afternoon coffee with friends, or dessert any day of the week!

Key Ingredients

This coffee cake uses mostly pantry staples, but I wanted to highlight a couple of ingredients and discuss potential substitutions.

As always, check the recipe card for a full list of ingredients and quantities.

A three-photo collage of all the ingredients needed for the coffee cake, streusel, and glaze, all prepped and labeled.
  • Cake Flour – This helps to keep the cake tender and moist. It is sold in most grocery stores in the baking aisle, however if you are unable to get any, use this substitution: Measure out 2½ cups of all-purpose flour, remove 5 tablespoons of the flour, and replace it with 5 tablespoons of cornstarch, then whisk to combine and proceed with the recipe.
  • Sour Cream – Be sure to use full-fat sour cream, as this will ensure a wonderfully moist cake. You can substitute the sour cream with full-fat plain Greek yogurt or buttermilk.
  • Walnuts – These give the streusel in the center and on top of the cake a delicious crunch, but they can be omitted if you’d like. You can also substitute other nuts; pecans would be delicious!
  • Maple Syrup – This is mixed together with powdered sugar for the glaze that is drizzled on top of the cake. Be sure to buy real (pure) maple syrup, and not pancake syrup!

How to Make the Coffee Cake

This cake comes together easily with traditional mixing methods! Here’s what you’ll do:

Step 1: Mix Together the Cake Batter – You will cream together the butter and sugar, then add the eggs, sour cream, and vanilla. Next, sift together the dry ingredients and mix into the batter on low speed, stirring with a spatula until just combined.

Three photo series of mixing together the butter, sugar, and wet ingredients for the coffee cake.
Three photo series of dry ingredients being added to and mixed into the coffee cake batter.

Step 2: Make the Streusel – Combine the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt, and butter in a bowl and mix it together with your fingers, until it forms a crumbly texture. Stir in the walnuts, if you are using them.

Streusel for the filling and top of the coffee cake mixed together in a white bowl.

Step 3: Assemble the Cake – Spoon half of the batter into the bottom of the pan and smooth into an even layer. Sprinkle ¾ cup of the streusel over the batter, then top with the remaining batter, smoothing into an even layer. Top with the remaining streusel. 

Sour cream coffee cake assembled with alternating layers of cake batter and streusel in a tube pan.

Step 4: Bake the Cake – Bake until a cake tester inserted halfway between the edge and center of the cake comes out clean, about 50 to 60 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes.

Step 5: Drizzle the Glaze – Transfer the cake, streusel-side-up, to a serving platter. Whisk together the powdered sugar and maple syrup in a small bowl, then drizzle over the cake using a fork or spoon.

Side by side photos of glaze ingredients in a bowl and an overhead photo of the coffee cake freshly drizzled with maple glaze.

Can You Make Sour Cream Coffee Cake Ahead of Time?

Yes! In fact, making this the day before you serve it can help all of the flavors meld together wonderfully. 

Once the cake is completely cool, wrap it well in plastic wrap and keep at room temperature until you are ready to serve. I would recommend drizzling the glaze on the day you plan to serve the cake.

Storage and Freezing Instructions

This cake stores and freezes beautifully!

Storage Instructions – Wrap the cake tightly with plastic wrap and keep at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Freezing Instructions – You can freeze the entire cake or individual slices. In both cases, wrap well with plastic wrap, then place in a freezer-safe ziploc bag and freeze for up to 3 months (if the cake doesn’t fit in a ziploc freezer bag, wrap it in an extra layer of aluminum foil). You can either thaw overnight in the refrigerator or for a couple of hours at room temperature.

Recipe Notes

  • Equipment – This recipe uses at 10-inch tube pan (the same one you would use for angel food cake), but you can also substitute a standard Bundt pan. If you use a Bundt pan, reverse the order of assembling the cake, pudding streusel down first, then cake batter, streusel, and cake batter again. That way when you turn the cake out, there will be streusel on top.
  • Streusel – If you love streusel, you can double the amount for a more substantial filling and topping.
  • Sour Cream Substitute – You can also use full-fat plain Greek yogurt or buttermilk.
Close up photo of slice of sour cream coffee cake leaning up against the remainder of the uncut cake.

More Delicious Coffee Cake Recipes

If you make this sour cream coffee cake recipe and love it, remember to stop back and give it a 5-star rating – it helps others find the recipe! ❤️️

Coffee cake on a glass stand with a slice removed showing the inside.

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

This coffee cake is made with sour cream

  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature, (1½ sticks )
  • cups (300 g) granulated sugar
  • 3 extra-large eggs at room temperature
  • teaspoons (1.5 teaspoons) pure vanilla extract
  • cups (287.5 ml) sour cream
  • cups (312.5 g) cake flour, not self-rising
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) salt

For the streusel:

  • ¼ cup (55 g) light brown sugar, packed
  • ½ cup (62.5 g) all-purpose flour
  • teaspoons (1.5 teaspoons) ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon (0.25 teaspoon) salt
  • 3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • ¾ cup (87.75 g) chopped walnuts, optional

For the glaze:

  • ½ cup (60 g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons real maple syrup
  • Preheat the oven to 350° F. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Spoon half the batter into the pan and spread it out with a knife. Sprinkle with 3/4 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.

  • 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.

Calories: 740kcal, Carbohydrates: 92g, Protein: 10g, Fat: 37g, Saturated Fat: 18g, Cholesterol: 136mg, Sodium: 346mg, Potassium: 295mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 56g, Vitamin A: 970IU, Vitamin C: 0.5mg, Calcium: 130mg, Iron: 1.5mg

This recipe was originally published in March 2009.

Photography by Dee Frances.


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