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Sour Cream Coffee Cake Loaf

Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr
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Sour Cream Coffee Cake Loaf

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This buttery and moist Sour Cream Coffee Cake has a ribbon of cinnamon sugar in the middle and crunchy cinnamon streusel on top. Everyone loves a slice of warm coffee cake for breakfast with a steaming cup of coffee! I love having this sour cream coffee cake loaf recipe in my back pocket for weekend brunches and holidays.

With the holidays fast approaching, we always have family coming into town. I love baking up a sour cream coffee cake loaf for people to snack on in the morning. It’s an easy grab-and-go breakfast or snack and allows me to have something on hand for early risers. You won’t be able to resist this easy and delicious recipe for sour cream coffee cake and neither will your guests!

Sour Cream Coffee Cake Loaf: An Easy Breakfast Staple

There is just something so satisfying about a warm slice of coffee cake in the morning. It’s somehow both satisfying and filling without being too sweet and pairs so perfectly with a cup of coffee. It’s my go-to order when I’m hanging out at a coffee shop, but it’s surprisingly easy to make.

This is an easy brunch or holiday recipe that you’ll turn to over and over again! You don’t need any fancy equipment — just a hand mixer and a quality loaf pan! Sour cream coffee cake loaf is the perfect make-ahead recipe because it freezes beautifully.

The cake base for sour cream coffee cake is super moist and dense, almost like a pound cake but a bit lighter. Then, add some brown sugar-cinnamon swirl and top with the most glorious crumble ever! All the elements come together into crumb cake perfection.

sour cream coffee cake loaf

Why is it called ‘Coffee’ Cake?

Despite having coffee in the name, there’s not actually any coffee in coffee cake. The name comes from the tradition of serving a warm slice of cake with coffee. Everyone can agree that coffee and cake is the best combination ever, right? These types of cakes are more often referred to as ‘crumb’ cakes, but serving them alongside coffee stuck as a name.

No matter what you call it, this is the kind of cake you can easily enjoy for a breakfast, with your afternoon tea, or a simple dessert any time of day.

How to Make Sour Cream Coffee Cake Loaf

Once you see how easy it is to make this sour cream coffee cake loaf, you’ll turn to this recipe over and over again! It’s the perfect recipe to have in your pocket for when company comes calling.

Tools Needed

Ingredients and Substitutions

  • Butter. Butter always makes the best-flavored cakes!
  • Sugar. Sour cream coffee cake calls for both granulated and brown sugar–the brown sugar adds such great flavor and richness, don’t skip it!
  • Eggs. The right amount of eggs make the crumb light, but sturdy.
  • Vanilla. Use high quality vanilla here for best flavor results.
  • Sour Cream. Sour cream is the secret ingredient! Using sour cream adds so much flavor and great moisture to the cake. Don’t skimp on the fat and go with a low-fat version, fat = flavor!
  • Leaveners. The combination of baking powder and baking soda make a moist and light cake with the perfect crumb texture.
  • Milk. Just a little bit of milk helps loosen the batter and keep it from being too dense.
  • Cinnamon. Cinnamon in the streusel and the swirl in the middle adds the perfect amount of warmth.

The Process

  • Mix the streusel and cinnamon swirl. In a small bowl, mix the streusel ingredients until crumbly. Transfer to the refrigerator. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the cinnamon and brown sugar for the swirl and set aside.
  • Cream the butter and sugar. In a mixing bowl, use a hand mixer to cream the room temperature butter and sugar until light, fluffy, and almost doubled in size. Don’t skimp on time here–the idea is to whip air into the mix and that takes time.
  • Add the wet ingredients. Once you’ve creamed the butter and sugar, add the sour cream, eggs, milk, and vanilla and mix on medium speed for about 30 seconds, until everything is well-mixed.
  • Fold in the dry ingredients. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet, until no streaks of flour remain.
  • Prepare baking pan and bake. Line your baking pan with parchment paper with some overhang for easy removal and lightly spray with nonstick spray. Spread half of the batter in the prepared pan, sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the top, and top with the remaining batter. Take the streusel out of the fridge and loosen the pieces with a fork. Sprinkle the top of the cake with the streusel and bake until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Tips for Perfectly Moist Sour Cream Coffee Cake Loaf

Use room temperature ingredients. When at room temperature, eggs, butter, and other dairy ingredients form an emulsion which traps air. While baking in the oven, that trapped air expands and produces a fluffy baked good. Fluffy baked goods = tender crumbs and a much better texture. Cold ingredients do not incorporate together as easily. Or even at all! This will result in a baking failure.

Cream the butter and sugar together long enough. The goal here isn’t just to mix the butter and sugar, but to whip it a bit. Whipping the butter and sugar traps air in the mixture and makes for a light cake. Give the process a full 4-5 minutes.

Don’t skip the sour cream. “Sour cream” is cream that has been soured and thickened with lactic acid bacteria, which gives it a tangy flavor that adds depth to baked goods. The fat also adds richness and tenderness, making treats like cakes and muffins fluffier when made with sour cream. Don’t go low fat here, full fat sour cream is absolutely the play!

Don’t overmix. When I add my dry ingredients, I always switch from the mixer to a rubber spatula. Being able to mix the dry ingredients by hand keeps me from over-mixing the batter and ending up with a dense and dry cake.

Bake low and slow. Baking the sour cream coffee cake loaf at 325 instead of 350 allows us to bake the cake all the way through without the edges drying out. This is my secret for a lot of my loaf cakes!

sour cream coffee cake loaf

Using the right Baking Pan for Coffee Cake

Using the right size and color pan is everything in baking! The type of pan you use can either make or break your recipe. My favorite pans for baking are the USA Bakeware brand baking pans. They’re totally nonstick and light in color which guarantees your baked goods bake evenly. This isn’t sponsored, I just have so many of their pans and they’re durable and high quality.

The most important tip for baking sour cream coffee cake loaf is to make sure you’re using the right size pan. This recipe calls for a 9×5 loaf pan, but some are actually 8.5×4.5 or 10×5. In the former case, you’ll need to bake the cake a little longer, in the latter a little less. Use visual judgement when baking and adjust times accordingly. Always use a cake tester to make sure the inside of the cake is baked all the way through!

Storing and Freezing Sour Cream Coffee Cake Loaf

I love this sour cream coffee cake loaf because it’s so easy to store and freeze!

To store, you can wrap the cake in parchment and plastic wrap and keep it at room temperature for 3 days. Warming the cake for a few seconds in the microwave totally refreshes it!

To freeze, wrap before slicing in plastic wrap really well and transfer to a freezer-safe ziplock bag. This helps prevent freezer burn. You can also freeze individual slices, just make sure to wrap each slice really well in plastic wrap so that they don’t dry out. Freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost in the fridge and then microwave for 20 seconds before serving.

sour cream coffee cake loaf

More Easy Cake Recipes to Try Now

Apple Crumb Cake
Almond Ricotta Cake
Nutella Lava Cakes

This post contains affiliate links from which I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. Affiliate links allow me to keep providing great recipes for free and I never recommend products that I don’t love and personally own.

sour cream coffee cake
Baking, Breakfast, Brunch

Sour Cream Coffee Cake Loaf

This sour cream coffee cake loaf is the perfect moist and buttery coffee cake recipe! It's easy to make and freezes like a dream. This is the perfect coffee cake recipe to have on hand when company calls.
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr
Total Time: 1 hr 15 mins
Makes: 1 loaf
scale:

Ingredients

Streusel

  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Brown Sugar-Cinnamon Swirl

  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

  • 1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup sour cream, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

Instructions

Streusel

  • In a small bowl, mix together the streusel ingredients with a fork until large clumps form. Refrigerate until ready to use.
    streusel for sour cream coffee cake

Brown Sugar-Cinnamon Swirl

  • Mix the brown sugar and cinnamon together in a very small bowl. Set aside.

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

  • Preheat an oven to 325 F. Line a 9×5 loaf pan with parchment paper so that there's some overhang. This makes pulling the cake out of the pan much easier. Lightly spray the pan with nonstick spray.
  • Use a hand mixer on medium speed to cream the butter and sugar together in a mixing bowl until very fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed while mixing. The process should take about 4-5 minutes.
    butter and sugar after being creamed
  • Add the eggs, sour cream, milk, and vanilla and mix for 30 seconds or so until really well mixed and smooth.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Fold the dry ingredients in with a rubber spatula until no streaks of flour remain.
  • Spread half of the batter into the prepared loaf pan and top evenly with the brown sugar-cinnamon mixture. Top with the remaining batter and spread in an even layer. Top with the streusel. Bake for 60-70 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes before removing. Allow to cool for 20 minutes before slicing and serving.

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