ursula lecoeur

Christmas Tradition: Sour Cream Coffee Cake

ursula lecoeur

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Mary Reporting. Sour cream, made by fermenting cream with harmless bacteria, has more uses in the kitchen than topping baked potatoes or nachos. It’s a terrific substitute for milk in cakes. Years ago, I found this coffee cake recipe in the Century of Success Cookbook: The Best Gold Medal Recipes of 100 Years, published in 1979.

This coffee cake immediately became a Christmas morning tradition. To this day, I serve it with corn beef hash and grits for breakfast. The recipe makes two loaves so there is always plenty left over to serve drop-in guests all day long.



1 ½ cups sugar

¾ cup butter, softened

3 eggs

1 ½ teaspoons vanilla flavoring

3 cups flour

1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

1 ½ teaspoons baking soda

¾  teaspoon salt

1 ½ cups dairy sour cream


½ cup dark brown sugar

½ cup finely chopped nuts

1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon

Light Brown Glaze:

¼ cup butter

2 cups powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring

1 to 2 tablespoons milk


1)    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 2 baking pans 9x5x3 inches.

2)    Mix brown sugar, chopped nuts and cinnamon for filling and set aside.

3)    Beat butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla in large mixer bowl on medium speed, scraping bowl occasionally, for 2 minutes.

4)    Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together.

5)    Beat in flour mixture alternately with sour cream on low speed.

6)    Spread ¼ of the batter (about 1 ½ cups) in each loaf pan. Sprinkle each with ¼ of the filling (about 5 tablespoons).

7)    Repeat with another layer of batter in each pan. Sprinkle each with ¼ of the filling.

8)    Bake about 1 hour. A cake tester inserted in the center should come out clean.

9)    Cool cakes enough to remove from pans.

10)  While cakes are cooling, make glaze. Heat ¼ cup butter over medium heat until delicate brown. Stir in powdered sugar and vanilla. Stir in milk, 1 tablespoon at a time until smooth and liquid enough to pour.

11)  Pour over tops of warm cakes, letting glaze run down the sides.