Is regular coffee cake still a thing? It seems like all I see are recipes for Nutella-swirled banana coffee cake and blueberry cream cheese coffee cake. And those sound delicious. But this recipe for Grandma’s Sour Cream Coffee Cake is much simpler. The cake itself is light, with a tender crumb. Sandwiched between the layers is a brown sugar, pecan, and cinnamon crumble, which also adorns the top. Its simplicity makes it really delightful, especially accompanied by a cup of coffee.
The recipe for Grandma’s Sour Cream Coffee Cake fittingly comes from my Grandma Cay’s recipe binder. (I previously shared Rum Balls and Classic Ginger Cookies, which are also her recipes.) It’s the first recipe in her binder, so I have no doubt that she made it for her bridge club ladies, whom she hosted weekly. They would sit around and play for pennies (yes, actual pennies), enjoying coffee and a treat as they caught up on life.
As Grandma Cay grew older, bridge club eventually came to a stop. Many ladies moved to Florida or to be closer to grandkids, some moved to retirement homes, and some passed away. At one point, Grandma explained, “all my friends are in Florida or dead.” It was the truth. Grandma herself passed away last June. If there are any games of bridge played in heaven, I will bet that Grandma has gathered the girls for another round.
Grandma’s legacy lives on in her children and grandchildren, and of course in her recipes which we still enjoy. I sent this batch of Grandma’s Sour Cream Coffee cake with my husband to work, where his co-workers LOVED it.
You’ll find the step by step photos below. Scroll down to find the recipe!
1. Cream together 1 stick of butter and 1 cup of sugar until light and fluffy (below). This will take about 2 minutes with a handheld mixer.
2. Add 2 eggs and beat well.
3. Add 1 cup sour cream and mix to combine.
4. Gently stir in the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt) until just combined. Do not overmix or the cake won’t be as tender.
5. Mix together pecans, brown sugar, and cinnamon to create the topping.
6. Spread half of the batter in a greased angel food cake pan (I sprayed it with Pam).
7. Top with half of the pecan topping.
8. Top with the remaining batter and sprinkle the remaining pecan topping.
9. Bake at 350°F for 38–42 minutes, or until golden brown.
Enjoy Grandma’s Sour Cream Coffee Cake with a cup of coffee or tea!
Grandma's Sour Cream Coffee Cake
For the cake:
- ½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick), softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
For the topping:
- ½ cup pecans, finely chopped
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
For the topping:
- In a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar, pecans, and cinnamon.
For the cake:
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an angel food cake pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar using a handheld mixer. Beat until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
- Crack eggs into the mixture and beat well.
- Add the sour cream and mix until combined. Stir in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. You can either do this by hand or with the mixer, but if you use the mixer, be careful not to overbeat it—mix it just until combined.
- Pour half of the batter into the greased angel food cake pan and spread evenly across the bottom.
- Sprinkle half of the pecan topping on top. Spread the remaining batter on top of the pecan topping, and then top with the remaining pecan topping.
- Bake for 38–42 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown.