Sour Cream Coffee Cake is one of the the best recipes from the Palo Alto Junior League Private Collection 2. In the introduction to the recipe, they call it “The lightest and loveliest of all the coffee cakes we have tested. The secret is in the proportions of the ingredients and cake flour is a must.”
The recipe is pretty straightforward, but here are some tips for making Sour Cream Coffee Cake.
1) Use salted butter rather than unsalted.
2) Toast the walnuts.
3) Use the cake flour as directed. White Lily all-purpose is an acceptable substitute. Make sure to sift before measuring. Sifted cake flour weighs less than un-sifted cake flour and a lot less than un-sifted or sifted all-purpose. For best results, use the weights given in the recipe.
If you enjoy this cake, or round coffee cakes in general, here’s another fun pan. I have my eye on this one, but am using my regular (taller) tube pan for now.
Miniature Sour Cream Coffee Cake
I’m working on scaling the recipe down to 1/4 of itself. For the first test I baked it in a 6 inch Anchor Hocking dish. The picture to the left is what the cake looked like before it went into the oven, and I did set it on a rimmed baking sheet to be safe. Total bake time should be around 30-35 minutes (40 was a little overdone). The cake rose quite a bit in the pie dish and was more well done around the edges. Next test will be a six inch cake pan.
Sour Cream Coffee Cake Recipe
Here’s the recipe. It’s the same recipe as the one in the book, but I reordered the ingredients and changed the wording to match the way I did things. All credit goes to the lovely ladies of the Palo Alto Junior League, of course. I will also add that if you have buttermilk rather than sour cream and prefer a spicy coffee cake, you might want to check out the Cowboy Coffee Cake.
Junior League of Palo Alto Sour Cream Coffee Cake
- 1/2 to 2/3 cup chopped walnuts or pecans toast and cool before using
- 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar (50 grams)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 3/4 cup sifted cake flour measure after sifting (190 grams)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 8 ounces butter softened, regular salted type (230 grams)
- 2 cups sugar granulated (380 grams)
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup sour cream room temperature (230 grams)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 10 inch tube pan.
- Prepare nut mixture first. Stir together nuts, brown sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.
- Sift together the already-sifted cake flour, baking powder and salt and set the flour mixture aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar using high speed of an electric mixer for about 2 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for 30 seconds after each egg. Beat in the vanilla, then fold in the sour cream. Add the flour mixture and stir with a mixing spoon (do not beat) into the batter, mixing until incorporated.
- Spoon about half of the batter into the greased/sprayed pan, then sprinkle a light ring of nut mixture over the batter. Spoon remaining batter over ring, then spoon remaining topping decoratively over top. Bake for 50 minutes to an hour. The Junior League baked theirs for one hour, but mine was most definitely done in 50 minutes.
- Let cool for 10 minutes in pan. Remove from pan by inverting onto a flat dish, then inverting again onto a rack to finish cooling. When you are ready to serve it, you can transfer it to a nice plate.
- Serves 12