Sour Cream Coffee Cake

This Sour Cream Coffee Cake is incredibly soft and moist! It comes together in no time, and is perfect for parties. 

This Sour Cream Coffee Cake is incredibly soft and moist! It comes together in no time. Get the recipe from Savory Simple.

Growing up, there were a few baked goods I didn’t like. More accurately, I thought I disliked them because I had only tasted poorly made versions.

Coffee cake is a perfect example. As far as I can remember, the first coffee cake I tried was one of those boxed grocery store varieties with the see-through top.

The cloying white glaze was somehow supposed to make up for the fact that the cake itself was so dry it could get stuck in your throat on the way down. SAVE ME, MILK.

A photo of prepared sour cream coffee cake plus two slices.
A photo of sour cream coffee cake with milk.

I’ve since had plenty of tasty homemade coffee cakes, and it recently dawned on me that I had never prepared one myself. Instead of starting from square one, I did a bit of online research and came across an appealing recipe from Taste of Home. Doesn’t sour cream coffee cake sound wonderful? However, once I started reading reviews, I had concerns.

While more than half of the reviews were glowing, enough people complained about the cake being dry that I figured it wasn’t a coincidence. So I decided to use this cake as a starting point, and do everything I could think of to tweak the recipe and ensure the cake was moist.

(PS – sorry if you don’t like the word MOIST. I see people complain about that frequently, but no one offers a replacement. Give me an alternative for dry baked goods and I’ll use it).

Here are my changes to the original recipe:

  • The thing that immediately stuck out to me as the potential problem was “2 cups all-purpose flour.” That alone was more than likely the entire problem, and my other changes were probably unnecessary. One cup of flour can weigh anywhere from 3 1/2 – 5 ounces. Recipes for baked goods should always include weight measurements for flour. In my adapted version, each cup measures out to 4 1/4 ounce. I’m guessing the people with dry coffee cakes had 5 ounce cups.
  • In the topping, I swapped out the pecans for oats (added softness) and added a small amount of butter. I also used dark brown sugar instead of light. The original recipe just says “brown sugar.” I didn’t think this would make a huge difference, but brown sugar has molasses, and dark brown sugar has more molasses. Every little bit adds up, right?
  • I added another 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract to the cake, which if we’re being honest, didn’t do anything.

I was very happy with the results! There is no way anyone could describe this as dry. It’s exactly what I want in a coffee cake. The milk is a perfect accompaniment, not a desperation drink. Enjoy!

5 from 2 votes
This Sour Cream Coffee Cake is incredibly soft and moist! It comes together in no time. Get the recipe from Savory Simple.
Sour Cream Coffee Cake
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
40 mins
Total Time
50 mins

This sour cream coffee cake is super soft and moist! It's perfect for parties. 

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 24
Calories: 167 kcal
For the topping:
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar (light brown sugar may be substituted)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
For the cake:
  • 4 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream (preferably full fat)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 8 1/2 ounces (2 cups) all-purpose flour (use kitchen scale for best results!)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9x13 inch pan with baking spray or butter. 

  2. Prepare the topping: In a medium-sized bowl, stir together the oats, granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Press the butter into the mixture with a fork until it’s evenly incorporated. Set aside.

  3. In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment (or using an electric mixer), cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, followed by the sour cream and vanilla extract.

  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. With the mixer on low, slowly add in the dry ingredients, then turn the speed up until the batter is smooth (don’t over-mix).

  5. Spread half the batter evenly into the prepared pan (note: slightly less is better than slightly more if you’re unsure), and sprinkle with half the topping. Repeat with the remaining batter and topping.

  6. Bake for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out of the center clean. Allow to cool for at least 5 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature. 

Recipe Notes

Adapted from Taste of Home.

This Sour Cream Coffee Cake is incredibly soft and moist! It comes together in no time. Get the recipe from Savory Simple.

About Jennifer Farley

Jennifer graduated from the Culinary Arts program at L’Academie de Cuisine in Maryland, and has worked professionally as a line cook, pastry chef, and cooking instructor. Her cookbook, The Gourmet Kitchen, was published in 2016 by Simon & Schuster.

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