sour cream coffee cake with cinnamon oat streusel

by jenna on September 14, 2011

The other day I realized there wasn’t a coffee cake recipe on Eat, Live, Run. Sure, there’s a cherry vanilla breakfast cake and a whole grain buttery blueberry breakfast cake, but there’s not a simple old-fashioned streusel topped coffee cake.

Well, now there is.

This is a great recipe to whip up on the weekend, take to a friend’s house for brunch or take to a church potluck. It reminds me of something my great grandma would have made in her tiny Minnesota kitchen, and I wish I could tell you the recipe is her original one but it’s not. It’s adapted from the King Arthur Flour recipe with the same crunchy streusel that I made countless times during my culinary externship.

My great grandma does have a coffee cake recipe but I haven’t tackled yet. I’ll wait until I have a dishwasher…or at least a working Kitchen Aid to tackle that retro recipe.

If you haven’t noticed, I’m on a baking kick this week!!!!

Someone pry my fingers from the flour bag…I’m armed and dangerous. Or actually, don’t. I’m having way too much fun and since I broke my mixer, my triceps are bulging from all the stirring. You haven’t tried stirring for an upper body workout? It’s the best. Except then you eat the fruits of your labor and have to repeat the whole process over and again.

Story of my life.

This coffee cake uses the traditional ingredient of sour cream to give it that fluffy rich taste. I’ve also tried it with plain Greek yogurt though, so if that’s all you have on hand it’s fine! Just don’t use non-fat because the cake won’t have the same texture (reduced fat is fine though).

Right now as I type this it’s 4:42 pm and all I can think about is a warm square of this with some fluffy scrambled eggs and bacon on the side. Maybe a fruit bowl to round it all out. And espresso. Definitely espresso.

Breakfast tomorrow? I think so. Maybe even dinner tonight! I like to live on the wild side.

Sour Cream Coffee Cake with Cinnamon Oat Streusel

adapted slightly from the King Arthur Flour recipe

Print this recipe!


1 stick butter, softened

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp almond extract

1/2 tsp cinnamon

2 cups flour

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1 cup sour cream (reduced fat is fine…you could also use greek yogurt)

for streusel:

3/4 cup rolled oats

1 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup flour

1.5 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp salt

1 stick (cold) butter, cut into small slices


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Sift together dry ingredients and set aside. In another bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy and then add the eggs, beating well after each addition. Add the almond extract and mix until smooth.

Add the dry ingredients alternately with the sour cream to the sugar mixture. Mix until just combine (batter will be thick). Spread into a greased nine inch square pan.

To make the streusel, combine all ingredients and using your fingers, incorporate butter until mixture looks like tiny peas. You still want small clumps of butter so don’t over-mix this!

Scatter streusel all over cake and bake for 45-50 minutes until cake is fluffy and streusel is golden. Stick a toothpick into the center of the cake to make sure!


1 hour and 15 minutes

You’re gonna love it.

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{ 60 comments… read them below or add one }

Kathryn September 14, 2011 at 4:24 am

I love using sour cream in cakes – they give such a wonderful texture. I love the topping of this cake, I don’t think I’d be able to stop eating it!


Khushboo September 14, 2011 at 4:32 am

Love how the fluffy texture Greek yogurt adds in baked goods!


Caitlin @ Cake with Love September 14, 2011 at 4:44 am

I really love all the cakes that use sour cream, the texture is divine!!! This looks amazing, and the crumble on top just calls my name! too bad I dont have time to make right now!


Natalie @ will jog for food September 14, 2011 at 4:46 am

The coffee cake looks delicious, and the photos are amazing!


Heather (Heather's Dish) September 14, 2011 at 4:49 am

i love your measuring cup…where did you get the set?


jenna September 14, 2011 at 9:26 am

Those are actually my old measuring cups that I got in culinary school. I think I’ve seen a set like them though at Target!


Molly @ RDexposed September 14, 2011 at 4:50 am

This would make for a good brunch or dinner turned breakfast. I have issues with prying oats from my grip in the morning.


Holly @ The Runny Egg September 14, 2011 at 4:51 am

I love coffee cake — I’ve only made a box mix, never from scratch!


Caroline @ chocolate and carrots September 14, 2011 at 4:57 am

Keep getting on that baking kick…I’m loving it!!! :-) This looks amazing. Did you have a piece for breakfast this morning? I know I certainly would! 😉


jenna September 14, 2011 at 9:26 am

I just did…and it was amazing.


katie @KatieDid September 14, 2011 at 5:02 am

I love the vintagey set up and props for all the photos, they looks awesome! And this cake sounds exactly like the one my grandmother used to make for us when we had sleepovers there, and would wake up to the amazing smell of coffee cake in the oven. I love tying food to memories!


Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga September 14, 2011 at 5:12 am

Jenna this looks awesome and I grew up in MN! Had no idea your great grandma lived in MN! You know what’s you have resemblance to so many people who are from MN. I love this little bit of trivia.

My grandmas ALWAYS cooked w/sour cream in cakes. Makes them better!

And church potlucks…the story of my childhood!

And I adore old-fashioned streusel topped coffee cakes.

This post just struck a great chord with me :)


Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat September 14, 2011 at 5:13 am

No coffee cake? Thanks for filling that void Jenna!! :) The streusel topping looks awesome!


B n B September 14, 2011 at 5:21 am

There’s a caramel coffee cake they sell in the bakeries here that is addicting. It’s the topping that makes the cake. Keep the baking recipes coming!


amy walters, aDESIGNdock September 14, 2011 at 5:29 am

Oooh I love having cake for breakie. My mum makes a delicious apple or rhubarb cake with a crumbly top. This sort of reminds me of it. Mmm…I’m kinda wishing now that my bowl of oatmeal was magically replaced with this cake. Thanks Jenna 😉


Liz @ Tip Top Shape September 14, 2011 at 5:33 am

Mixing really does give your upper body a little workout! I made cookies yesterday without a mixer and my arms were hurting!


jess September 14, 2011 at 5:33 am

seeing as the last coffee cake was made from my American Girl (Molly’s, btw) cookbook, it may behooooove me (and breakfasting pals) to make yours. it looks delicious!


jenna September 14, 2011 at 9:26 am

I may or may not have each American Doll’s cookbook, Kristen’s being my favorite!


Jill September 14, 2011 at 5:52 am

I think it looks delicious without anything else on the side. Just a bigger hunk, please. :)


Brittany @ Itty Bits of Balance September 14, 2011 at 6:03 am

Get in ma bellay!


Hilliary@HappilyEverHealthy September 14, 2011 at 6:24 am

I got really excited when I read your great grandmother lived in Minnesota, because thats where I am from. And secondly this coffee cake looks amazing, would be perfect with a hot cup of coffee or chai tea latte!


Kristen @ Popcorn on the Stove September 14, 2011 at 6:29 am

I LOVE coffee cake. Count me in! Do you think I can replace the almond extract with vanilla??


Cait's Plate September 14, 2011 at 6:34 am

My sister JUST made sour cream coffee cake with cinnamon streusel! I bet the oat streusel would’ve been absolutely amazing on top – definitely suggesting this recipe to her :)


Rachel @ Not Rachael Ray September 14, 2011 at 6:50 am

Wish I had a piece of this to eat right now while I enjoy my coffee!


sarah@spinach and spice September 14, 2011 at 6:51 am

I can’t think of a more perfect breakfast alongside a cup of joe :)


Teresa September 14, 2011 at 7:03 am

I have an old hand-written cookbook with my great-grandma’s coffee cake recipe. My mom says that her grandma (my great-grandmother) would make a coffee cake every morning. How great would that be!


Tara @ Chip Chip Hooray September 14, 2011 at 7:03 am

Oh, coffee cake is a beautiful thing. Streusel makes me happy.

And I love the little teapot and creamer lurking in the background of these photos! So colorful and unique. :)


Deva (Voracious Vorilee) September 14, 2011 at 7:07 am

Coffee cake with a hot cup of coffee and some fruit was one of my favorite breakfasts in college. They always had muffins and quick bread and coffee cake as breakfast options. I haven’t had it in years.


R @ Learning As I Chop September 14, 2011 at 7:23 am

I LOVE coffee cake. This looks delicious


Claire @ Live and Love to Eat September 14, 2011 at 7:57 am

I love baking with sour cream – I usually substitute a reduced fat version for a blueberry coffee cake. So good!


Liz @ Southern Charm September 14, 2011 at 7:57 am

Yum! This looks amazing!

Yes, keep the flour in your hand and please keep cranking out these amazing recipes :)


Kristen @ Chocolate Covered Kristen September 14, 2011 at 8:12 am

Love coffee cake! NY style crumb cake was the search that lead me to the world of food blogs! I would love to see a post on your thoughts on using a scale while baking. I’ve considered buying one, but is it worth the purchase?


jenna September 14, 2011 at 9:28 am

It’s great for being precise with your measuring…I use mine mostly to convert old recipes from school to more being standardized for this blog. If you want to get serious about bread baking though, I suggest investing in one!


Gina @ Running to the Kitchen September 14, 2011 at 8:16 am

This makes me want to curl up with a good book in the late afternoon :)


Lindsa @ Schnoodle Soup September 14, 2011 at 8:17 am

I’m pretty sure I could eat coffee cake for breakfast every day. I should challenge myself to that :smile:


Katrina September 14, 2011 at 8:23 am

I’m a big fan of your baking kick! Love this cake!


Moni'sMeals September 14, 2011 at 8:27 am

YES maam! Any chance you can send me a slice…pronto too! hehe, :)


Angharad September 14, 2011 at 8:35 am

Coffee cake is just the flipping best. The “classic” version I make is hands down my husband’s favourite dessert I make. All that butter goes a long way.


Casey @ Pocket Full of Sunshine September 14, 2011 at 8:40 am

I love coffee cake—I saw your tweet about your dream breakfast. I definitely agree. :) Yum!


Lauren @ What Lauren Likes September 14, 2011 at 8:53 am

This is definetly a classic recipe! Love it! It looks great :)


Jennifer September 14, 2011 at 9:09 am

I pretty much never use my mixer, and haven’t ever even unboxed the Kitchen Aid given me as a wedding gift 7 years ago.


Caitlyn September 14, 2011 at 9:20 am

It looks too good to be real!!!
I’m really excited to start trying out all of your recipes. I’ve made a few things so far and I’ve loved them all. I told my boyfriend I need him to hurry up and buy a house so I can be a domestic goddess and cook/make/bake him all the delicious things I see on this website!!


Carissa @ ChoiceSustenance September 14, 2011 at 9:23 am

Sour cream just adds so much to baked goods. I love that you kept this a simple coffee cake. It’s perfect!


Christie September 14, 2011 at 9:43 am

Hi Jenna-
I see in your one picture is what looks like a stovetop espresso maker. Is that what you use to make your espresso/do you like it? I have been thinking about getting one. Thanks! P.S. I love your blog, been reading it forever!


jenna September 14, 2011 at 9:55 am

yes! i love it. :)


Alejandra @ Mouthfuls and Morsels September 14, 2011 at 9:58 am

The pictures are gorgeous and conjure a tea (or coffee) party scene! This would be a great cake to share with the girls over morning coffee. Yum!!


Maria September 14, 2011 at 10:07 am

I love everything about this cake!


Rebecca @ How the Cookies Crumble September 14, 2011 at 10:41 am

I love using sour cream in cakes. Makes them so yummy and moist!


Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic September 14, 2011 at 12:23 pm

Well it had sour cream… and sugar… so yes of course I would love it 😉


Vicki September 14, 2011 at 1:37 pm

all of the above, and your tablecloth is so sweet! So pretty.


Heather @ Get Healthy with Heather September 14, 2011 at 1:42 pm

Sure does look fluffy. The linen you used in this shoot is so pretty. Do you get your linens from one place or random stores?


jenna September 14, 2011 at 1:43 pm

I usually get all my fabrics from Beverly’s Fabrics & Crafts


Nicole @ Giraffelegs September 14, 2011 at 3:10 pm

well this looks like a party in my mouth.


Happy When Not Hungry September 14, 2011 at 3:34 pm

This cake looks beautiful!!! I def need to try asap.


Tracy @ Commit To Fit September 14, 2011 at 8:01 pm

I have been looking for a coffee cake recipe! Thanks for sharing :)


KatieG@ Just Roll With It September 15, 2011 at 8:28 am

drooling over here….


Lara @ TresLaLa September 15, 2011 at 12:45 pm

Sounds fantastic! Love your green retro sifter!


Gina September 15, 2011 at 3:57 pm

I made this for breakfast. It is delicious, but I had about twice the amount of streusel topping necessary…and I was generous. Will be eating cinnamon toast all week


Samuel September 18, 2011 at 6:32 am

Just whipped this up for a quick Sunday breakfast – it’s great! I cut back on the streusel simply because I wanted to save my butter for toast this week, and had plenty to distribute around the cake.
As a coffee nerd though, I felt the need to quip about espresso. Those Bialetti pots (moka pots) do no make espresso, as they don’t produce enough pressure to do so. They make a potentially delicious (be careful of heat), and fairly strong brew, but not really very close to the deep, powerful richness found in espresso.


Trader Joes Recipes March 12, 2012 at 9:32 am

This looks amazing! I love homemade coffee cake. Your photos are stunning!


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