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Classic Sour Cream Coffee Cake

With layers of moist and sweet cake, and an addictive cinnamon and sugar streusel, this Classic Sour Cream Coffee Cake is a bakery-worthy treat. This is the perfect side dish to go with coffee or enjoy as dessert.

Two slices of layered coffee cake on a piece of brown parchment paper

Sour Cream Coffee Cake with Cinnamon Streusel

This classic recipe has actually been on my website since 2016, but I made some adjustments to the recipe which have just made it that much better. The original recipe was a single layer, much smaller cake. I’ve transformed it into a monstrous double-layer coffee cake loaded with a cinnamon and sugar streusel- in every bite.

I made several variations of this recipe, but at the end of the day, the best way to enjoy this cake involves a big fat slice. There is a ton of butter, sugar, and flour in this recipe. That’s not a mistake. This coffee cake is nearly 1.5 to 2-inches tall.

Even though there’s no actual coffee in this recipe, it’s the perfect complement to a cup of your favorite brew. Coffee cake can be enjoyed for breakfast, brunch or dessert. I could think of so many excuses to make this, but a few that come to mind are: bridal showers, mother’s day brunch, Christmas morning breakfast or even for a potluck.

Why I Love This Coffee Cake

The original recipe was already good, but this updated version is just straight-up amazing. It’s all about the layers.

  • It’s super buttery & moist– not a dry crumb in the house. Unless you over baked it.
  • So much streusel! I doubled the original recipe so there’s plently of streusel in every bite
  • It’s all about the layers: Some coffee cakes just have one layer of cake and one layer of streusel on top but I took it a step further and made this a layered coffee cake. This baby is THICK.

Ingredients Needed

This Sour Cream Coffee Cake is made with basic baking ingredients, but there’s a lot of butter, sugar and flour involved. Remember how thick this cake is?

For the Cake

  • Unsalted butter – at room temperature
  • Granulated sugar
  • Eggs – at room temperature
  • Pure vanilla extract
  • Sour cream – at room temperature
  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking powder
  • Salt

For the Streusel Topping

  • All-purpose flour
  • Brown Sugar
  • Cinnamon
  • Unsalted butter – melted for the streusel

For The Glaze

  • Powedered sugar- gently sift to prevent clumps in the glaze
  • Milk
  • Vanilla extract- just a touch for flavor
  • Lemon Juice- totally optional but it can help cut the sweetness

How to Make Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Making this coffee cake is simple, as you just layer the cake and the streusel topping. The end result is a melt-in-your-mouth sweet cinnamon dessert or breakfast!

Prepare the oven and pans. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a 9×13-inch pan with parchment paper.

Combine wet cake ingredients. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Incorporate the eggs one at a time followed by sour cream and vanilla.

Add the dry ingredients. Combine the dry ingredients and slowly beat into the wet ingredients. Once incorporated, use a spatula to mix by hand and ensure everything at the bottom of the bowl is incorporated.

Make the streusel: Mix the dry ingredients and combine with the melted butter, mix together until well blended. 

Layer the cake. Pour half batter into the bottom of the pan, then sprinkle half of the streusel topping. Pour the remaining batter over the streusel, spreading evenly, and finish with the remaining topping.

Bake. Bake for 55-60 minutes, or until the toothpick comes out clean. Be sure it’s cooked all the way through in the center. Allow it to cool for a while before slicing. See the recipe notes regarding tenting the pan to prevent over browning.

Add the glaze: I recommend adding this just before serving. Simply combine the powdered sugar with the vanilla, milk, and lemon juice, whisking until combined. Be sure to slowly add the liquid ingredients to control the consistency. You can adjust the thickness of the glaze. If it’s too thick, add more milk. If it’s too thin, add more powdered sugar.

Follow These Tips

Keep these things in mind for the best coffee cake every time!

  • Room temperature ingredients: I know it’s a pain, however, with the amount of ingredients in this recipe, it will really help to ensure it’s properly mixed.
  • Creaming the butter and sugar: There’s a lot of butter in this recipe. Cutting the butter into cubes prior to adding into the mixer will help to break it down. But spend several minutes beating the butter and sugar until it’s light and fluffy. If you’re still seeing a coarse sand texture, you need to beat for longer.
  • Mix by hand: The batter will be heavy and thick. When dividing the batter in the pan, be sure to give it a few stirs in the mixing bowl. It’s likely that the batter on the bottom of the pan is not fully incorprated, which will result in uneven baking and sinking.
  • Tent when baking: This needs quick a bit of time to bake all the way through. So if you find the topping is getting to browned, cover it with tin foil for the last 15-20 minutes.
  • Top with a glaze: If you want to take make this cake extra sweet, you can add a simple drizzle on top. It’s just powdered sugar, milk and a touch of vanilla exract. A little goes a long way here.
Stacked sliced of layered coffee cake

How To Make A Single Layer Cake

Maybe you want to enjoy this coffee cake but a full batch is way too much for you. The good news is, this can easily be adapted into a smaller cake made in an 8-inch square pan. I recommend 8-inch over 9-inch because the 9-inch pan is too thin. The single-layer cake has just a top layer of streusel but don’t worry, there’s still plenty in every bite. See specific instructions in the recipe card notes section.

How to Store Coffee Cake

If you are preparing ahead of time, I recommend waiting to add the icing until you’re ready to serve. This will last for up to 3-4 days at room temperature when keeping them in an airtight container. It probably won’t even last that long because it’s too good.

Freeze This For Later

This coffee cake is perfect for freezing. To freeze, allow it to cool completely and then remove it from the pan. Wrap it twice in both plastic wrap and aluminum foil, make sure all corners and edges are overlapped to prevent any freezer burn. You can either wrap the whole cake or wrap it in slices. When you’re ready to enjoy, thaw on the counter for a few hours.

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Twice slices of layered coffee cake on a piece of brown parchment paper and gold forks

Classic Sour Cream Coffee Cake

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4 from 8 reviews
  • Author: Julianne Dell
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 60 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
  • Yield: 15 slices
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


With layers of moist and sweet cake, and an addictive cinnamon and sugar topping, this Classic Sour Cream Coffee Cake is a bakery-worthy treat. Perfect to pair with coffee or enjoy as dessert.


For the cake

  • 1 ½ cups (339g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 cups (570g) granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups (384g) full-fat sour cream, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups (420g) all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons (11.25g) baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt

For the streusel

  • 3/4 cup (170g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 ½ cups (330g) packed light brown sugar
  • 1 ½ cups (210g) all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons (22.5g) ground cinnamon

For the glaze:

  • 1 cup (130g) powdered sugar, sifted
  • 12 tablespoons (15-30ml) milk
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) pure vanilla extract
  • 12 teaspoons (5-10ml) lemon juice (optional)


For the cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9×13-inch pan with parchment paper. Allow the butter, eggs and sour cream to come to room temperature.
  2. In a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together for several minutes until light and fluffy. Next, add the eggs one at a time beat until well incorporated, scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  3. Then add sour cream and vanilla extract and beat until well incorporated.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the remaining dry ingredients and slowly add to the batter, beating until incorporated. Then use a spatula and mix by hand until well combined. 
  5. To prepare the streusel, mix the dry ingredients and combine with the melted butter, mix together until well blended. 
  6. Pour half of the batter into the bottom of the pan and spread evenly. Then sprinkle half of the streusel over the batter. Top with remaining batter and streusel.
  7. Bake at 350°F for 55-60 minutes. If the top of the cake is browning too quickly tent with aluminum foil for the last 15-20 minutes of baking. Check the cake for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cake. If the toothpick comes out clean, then the cake is done. Allow to cool completely or serve slightly warm. 

For the glaze

  1. To prepare the glaze, slowly add the liquid ingredients to the powdered sugar and stir until desired consistency is reached. For a thicker glaze, add less liquid. If the glaze is too thin, add additional powdered sugar. Drizzle over finished coffee cake prior to serving. 


  • If the top of the cake is browning too quickly tent with aluminum foil for the last 15-20 minutes of baking.
  • If you like a little bit of crunch, try adding 1/2-3/4 cups of chopped walnuts or pecans to the streusel 
  • To make a single layer 8-inch cake, divide the entire recipe into thirds. Bake for approximately 25-28 minutes. It is enough for a single layer of cake with streusal topping (no streusal in the middle)


  • Serving Size: 1 slice
  • Calories: 719
  • Sugar: 70g
  • Sodium: 113mg
  • Fat: 33g
  • Carbohydrates: 101g
  • Fiber: 1.9g
  • Protein: 6g
  • Cholesterol: 124mg

Filed Under:

Easy Quick Bread Recipes to Try

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35 thoughts on “Classic Sour Cream Coffee Cake”

  1. The batter was very light and fluffy…so much so that it overflowed while baking, I’m not sure what I did wrong. I now have a mess in my oven.. I ended up throwing the whole thing away after being in the oven for 90 minutes and still not done.

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Tracy- Something isn’t right here. The batter should actually be quite thick. What pan size did you use? 90 minutes in the oven sounds like way too long. Did you make any ingredient swaps?

  2. This recipe was awesome! The cake crumb was moist and it wasn’t overly sweet. My entire family loved this coffee cake. My husband said it was by far the best coffee cake he has ever eaten. Thank you for another wonderfully delicious cake.

  3. Just made this today, we love it, lot of steps but worth it. I will definitely make it again.

  4. This coffee cake is absolutely to die for! My mom asked me to find a cinnamon streusel coffee cake to make since she was craving it and I knew I had to check Beyond Frosting for a recipe since it is my go to website for everything delicious!

  5. I’m thinking of trying this recipe using tulip cupcake liners. Do you recommend a different bake time and know approximately how many the recipe would make?

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Maggie, I would start with 15-18 minutes and check from there, not sure how tall or how much batter is going to be in there, so it’s hard to say

  6. Hello,
    I’m planning on trying to make this gluten free and with Lactaid sour cream, Hope it turns out well sounds delicious. Thank you.

  7. Thank you.
    The batter could not be spread. The next day the cake was way to dense and dry. I did not overmix at all.

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Did you make any substitutions? The batter is thick but you should be able to spread it, and if it was dry it’s possible it was overbaked.

  8. Hi; We neeed to half the recipe. It is too big for 2 people. How to do that and come out successful.
    Thank you

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Carol, please refer to the section in the blog post “How To Make A Single Layer Cake” and review the Notes section in the recipe card which gives specific directions for a single layer 8-inch square cake

  9. Avatar photo

    Absolutely delicious coffee cake, I baked this cake last year and loved it. I don’t keep sour cream in my fridge often, but when I do… I think about baking this cake. I’m baking it tomorrow and will use a bit less sugar for the middle layer, no drizzle needed for our taste buds.. it’s sweet enough without it.

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Yep I don’t try to hide the fact that this is a rich coffee cake, but it’s also a pretty traditional recipe

  10. Avatar photo
    Peter M Jacobs

    When I added the butter to the dry streusel mix it turned into “putty” and could not be “sprinkled”. I had to spoon it onto batter.

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Putty is a good way to describe it. But you should be able to break it up and place it on the batter, but no it doesn’t sprinkle like powdered sugar or something. I hope you enjoyed this recipe.

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Becca, love that you are sharing this with a neighbor! Yes, you should be able to split this into two 8-inch pans, just keep an eye on the bake time and don’t forget to tent the pans with foil if the top is browning too quickly. I hope you enjoy this recipe, please come back and let me know how it goes!

  11. This coffee cake is super delicious and easy to make!! It comes together pretty easily and tastes amazing! It was an absolute hit and I will definitely make it again!

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Kay- I haven’t tested it but generally speaking if you use a measure for measure gluten-free flour that includes xanthan gum, you should be fine to just swap the flour.

    1. Hi dont know if its me being stupid why is it coffee cake but has no coffee i know there will be a simple answer

      1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
        Beyond Frosting

        These are also known as sweet breads which are usually served with breakfast (and coffee), so that’s how the name came to be.