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My Mamma Makes It Better Episode 2: Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Yield: 1 cake (16 slices)

This 75-year-old recipe comes to us from Joan Atlas. It’s been in her family for generations, but she first learned it from her mother-in-law (who at the time was just her boyfriend’s mother!)

Watch us make this recipe come to life on the second episode of My Mamma Makes It Better here.


For the cake:

1/2 cup (1 stick) margarine or butter, softened

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. table salt

1 cup sour cream

1 tsp. vanilla extract

For the swirl and topping:

1/2 cup cinnamon sugar

3/4 cup chopped walnuts


Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F (325°F if using a dark nonstick pan). Generously butter a 10-inch tube pan with a removable bottom.

Make the cake: In a medium bowl using an electric mixer on medium speed, cream together the margarine and sugar. Beat in the eggs one at a time, blending each one completely before adding the next.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

On low speed, alternately add the dry ingredients and sour cream to the margarine mixture. Beat in the vanilla. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly.

Sprinkle half of the cinnamon sugar on top of the batter, then swirl into the batter with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle the rest of the cinnamon sugar evenly over the top of the batter. Sprinkle walnuts on top of the batter.

Bake until the top of the cake is golden brown and a wooden skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 50 to 55 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for at least an hour before removing from the pan.


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