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Sour Cream Coffee Cake with Brown Sugar Streusel

Scott Phillips

Yield: Yields one 8-inch square cake.

Servings: nine.

Start breakfast by making this quick cake. After your eggs and bacon, cut still-warm pieces and serve them with coffee (and maybe a second glass of Champagne).


For the Streusel

  • 3-3/8 oz. (3/4 cup) all-purpose flour; more for the pan
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. table salt
  • 2-1/4 oz. (4-1/2 Tbs.) unsalted butter, melted; more if needed

For the Cake

  • 1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 2 drops pure almond extract
  • 4 oz. (1/2 cup) very soft unsalted butter; more for the pan
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1/4 plus 1/8 tsp. table salt
  • 5-1/4 oz. (1-1/3 cups) cake flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp. baking soda

Nutritional Information

      Calories (kcal) : 400
      Fat Calories (kcal): 180
      Fat (g): 20
      Saturated Fat (g): 12
      Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1
      Monounsaturated Fat (g): 5
      Cholesterol (mg): 95
      Sodium (mg): 210
      Carbohydrates (g): 51
      Fiber (g): 1
      Protein (g): 4


Make the streusel

  • In a small bowl, stir the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Drizzle the melted butter over the dry ingredients and stir until well combined. The streusel should feel clumpy, not sandy, when gently squeezed between your fingertips. If it seems dry, add more melted butter.

Make the cake

  • Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Lightly butter the bottom and sides of a 8-inch square metal cake pan. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment and butter the parchment. Dust the pan with flour, tapping out any excess.

    In a small bowl, whisk the sour cream, vanilla, and almond extract.

    In a large bowl, cream the butter, granulated sugar, and egg yolk with a wooden spoon until blended, about 20 seconds. Using a whisk, whisk in the whole egg and salt and continue to whisk until the batter is smooth and the sugar begins to dissolve, about 30 seconds. Whisk in the sour cream mixture. Sift the cake flour, baking powder, and baking soda directly onto the batter. Whisk until the mixture is smooth and free of lumps.

    Spread the batter evenly in the pan. Sprinkle the streusel over the batter, squeezing it with your fingertips to form small clumps. Bake until puffed and golden and a skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out with only moist crumbs clinging to it, 28 to 30 minutes. Set the pan on a rack to cool for 15 minutes.

    Run a knife between the cake and the sides of the pan. Invert the cake onto the rack and remove the parchment. Invert again onto a serving plate, so the streusel is on top. Let cool at least 10 minutes before serving. This cake is best served warm.


Rate or Review


  • sanni | 06/08/2013

    The streusel are awesome. I doubled the recipe for a 13x9 pan but next time I will only make 1.5 of the batter as I found there was too much of it. But with a little tweaking this will be a keeper!

  • NannieD | 05/28/2012

    I love this coffee cake! I made it twice, once with the streusel made with the melted butter as described in the recipe and the next time with using semi-softened butter cut into the streusel with a fork. I prefer the second way better, the streusel is not as mushy; it's more crumbly and has better flavor. Also I recommend placing streusel close to the edges of the cake so each bite has a delicious morsel of it!

  • karenkitchen | 01/09/2011

    This turned out really delicious - exactly the kind of coffee cake I wanted. I used a mixer instead of making it by hand. The only trouble I had was that it did not cook in 30 minutes at 350. After 45 minutes the center still wasn't cooked so I cranked up the heat. It came out fine but I will play around with the temperature and time next time.

  • User avater
    Lorrainesfav | 03/17/2010

    Not quite a NY crumb cake but really light and tasty. Not a quickbread batter and it takes some muscle to whisk and beat the ingredients by hand. Tried a few different tools to help ease the mixing process. Use a pastry blender to mix the crumbs but the wooden spoon is the best tool for blending the butter and flour for the cake. Worth the effort. Great recipe that takes a bit of time. I added 1/8 teaspoon allspice to the crumbs.

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