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Sour Cream Streusel Coffee Cake

I like a good superlative as much as the next person, but I’m not one to throw around words like “amazing” and “the best” lightly when it comes to a recipe. In fact, I probably wouldn’t use them myself to describe this particular coffee cake. I will say, however, that the lucky people who got to sample this used those exact words to describe this moist, tender, light and crazily addictive cake.

Backtracking for a moment, the reason that I wanted to make this cake in the first place was twofold: I had a mostly-unused container of sour cream sitting around in my fridge that was looking for a recipe to work itself into and I had a package of Nutorious nuts that were also looking for a job.

Nutorious is a Wisconsin company that makes gourmet candied nuts. I’m not necessarily a big nut fan, but theirs are really outstanding. They use a mix of nuts and they come in flavors like Cherry Vanilla and Cranberry Orange. It is easy to breeze through one of their bags in no time flat, especially if you have someone to help you much, but the company goes out of their way to point out how good the nuts are in various recipes, so I wanted to try them out in something. I ended up using a mixture of their Original and Cherry Vanilla flavors with excellent results, as the candy coating blended right into the cake. Any candied or sweetly spiced nut will work in this recipe, and you can always opt for plain, toasted nuts, too. Nutorious mixes walnuts, pecans and almonds, so try to use a blend if you’re not using theirs.

Sour Cream Streusel Coffee Cake
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup chopped candied/toasted nuts (Nutorious or other)
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 tsp salt

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream (light is fine)
1/3 cup chopped candied/toasted nuts (Nutorious or other)

Preheat oven to 350F and lightly grease a 9-in square pan.
In a medium bowl, stir together all topping ingredients until wet crumbs are formed. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together sugar and butter until light. Beat in vanilla, followed by the eggs, adding them one at a time until mixture is smooth.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add to sugar mixture, alternating with sour cream in two or three additions, until well mixed. Stir in nuts and scrape into prepared pan. Top with streusel mixture, spreading it into as even a layer as possible.
Bake for 35-45 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes before slicing.
Serves 12.

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  • Beth
    February 25, 2007

    Hi, Nic:
    I don’t believe I’ve commented here before. I like your site.
    Just wanted to point out you missed the streusel-sprinkling step in your recipe instructions. I suspect that most of the people who read cooking and baking sites know to add the streusel on to the top of the batter before baking the cake, but you know how very literal some folks can be. I have some friends who would say, “I have a bowl of stuff left over. What do I do with it?”

  • Madam Chow
    February 25, 2007

    I’m going to try that today – I, too, have a container of sour cream that needs to be used up, and this looks delicious.

  • Caty
    February 25, 2007

    That looks delicious!

  • Madam Chow
    February 25, 2007

    Made it and it was a big hit. Left the nuts out of the batter, and just put them on top. My husband said to put it on the repeat list!

  • Cupcake Chick
    February 25, 2007

    Looks fantastic. Makes me want to sit down with a slice of that a cold glass of milk and stare at the snow.

  • Chris
    February 25, 2007

    Looks great! I am so guilty about eating the top off Streusel cakes…and by the looks of the picture, a knife would slide in there perfectly!

  • Nic
    February 25, 2007

    Thanks, Beth. I just typed out the recipe to quickly. I’ve amended it.

  • Patricia Scarpin
    February 26, 2007


    I find the use of candied nuts for the topping a different and cool alternative – will give this a try soon.

    Tks for sharing!

  • Julie
    February 27, 2007

    I love sour cream cakes…that should be a required ingredient in coffee cake. I haven’t seen the Nutorious nuts around here in Florida, but I’ll keep an eye out. I like to make my own spiced nuts around the holidays, but for some reason I never bake with them. Seems like a no brainer:)

  • Anna
    February 27, 2007

    You and I must be on the same wave-length this week because I’ve been obsessed with New York style crumb cake. I haven’t actually made it, but I keep thinking about it.

  • Almost Vegetarian
    March 1, 2007

    There is something really special about a coffee cake. And something even more special about a sour cream-based coffee cake. I find if you are craving coffee cake, then simply nothing else will do. And now I’m craving coffee cake. Off to the store for sour cream … thanks!

  • Cassie
    September 9, 2007

    I have been on a quest to duplicate a sour cream coffee cake I had when I worked at a bakery 20 yrs ago. I just made this one, although really good, my quest continues. : (
    I was thinking I would try making it again and putting half the batter in a bundt pan and layering it with a cinnamon brown sugar and chopped pecan mixture (maybe a little chopped chocolate too). I’ll let you know how it goes.

  • shine
    October 31, 2008

    where is the coffee in this cake??

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