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Sour Cream Coffee Cake Muffins

Sour Cream Coffee Cake Muffins are wonderfully soft and light. Serve these for a sweet breakfast treat, or just enjoy one as a snack!

Sour Cream Coffee Cake Muffins on a light gray surface

Coffee Cake Muffins

I love baking a batch of homemade muffins. It’s such a treat to be able to grab a muffin for a sweet breakfast treat or a snack.

As repeat favorites go, these Sour Cream Coffee Cake Muffins have long been a winner for me. They may have the lightest and most delicate texture of any muffin I’ve ever made. Their cake-like consistency is a nice departure from many muffins or coffee cakes. They are light and moist and just plain delicious.

If you love both muffins and coffee cake, then these beauties offer the best of both worlds. You get all the things you love about coffee cake in a portable muffin.

When I share these Sour Cream Coffee Cake Muffins, they tend not to last long. Someone once told me that these are everything a muffin should be. I couldn’t agree more!

overhead view of ingredients for Sour Cream Coffee Cake Muffins

What You’ll Need

Just the basics here! If you bake often, you’re likely to have everything you need to make these muffins.

For the muffins:

  • All-purpose flour – Use a kitchen scale to measure by weight if possible. If you don’t have a scale, use the spoon and sweep method.
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Salt
  • Unsalted butter – Set out the butter about half an hour before baking to allow it to soften properly.
  • Granulated sugar
  • Eggs
  • Sour cream – Full-fat sour cream works best.
  • Vanilla extract

For the topping:

  • Brown sugar
  • Chopped pecans – You can substitute another nut if you like. Almonds, walnuts, or hazelnuts would all work well.
  • Ground cinnamon – Spices lose their flavor over time, so make sure yours is still fresh.
overhead view of coffee cake muffins on a light gray surface

How to Make Sour Cream Coffee Cake Muffins

These muffins mix easily without any special equipment. The topping is simplified from a traditional crumb topping, with just a combination of brown sugar, nuts, and cinnamon. It’s the perfect way to top these delightful muffins. Ready to make a batch? Let’s go!

Prepare for baking. Heat the oven to 350°F. Line 24 standard muffin cups with paper liners. Alternatively, you can skip the liners and grease the pan. Liners make for softer, less brown sides, and also make the muffins more portable.

Combine the dry ingredients. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

Combine the wet ingredients. Beat the butter with a hand or stand mixer until it’s creamy. Gradually add the sugar, and mix until combined. Mix in the eggs, one at a time; then mix in the sour cream and vanilla.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. With the mixer speed on low, gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture. Don’t over-mix; mix just until blended. The batter will be thick.

Portion the batter. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups. Fill each cup about 2/3 full.

Make the topping. Stir together the brown sugar, nuts, and cinnamon. Sprinkle over the muffins.

Bake. Bake the muffins 25 to 30 minutes, or until a pick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Cool the muffins. Place the pans on a wire rack and let the muffins cool for 5 minutes. Then transfer the muffins from the pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

overhead view of freshly baked Sour Cream Coffee Cake Muffins

Tips for Success

  • Use a light-colored, metal muffin pan. You’ll get muffins that are more evenly baked. And remember if you’re reusing a pan to let it cool completely before filling it again.
  • Muffin method vs creaming method. You’ll notice when mixing these that the method used for mixing is more like that for a cake than for muffins. Instead of the muffin method, you’ll be using the creaming method. That’s what gives these muffins their amazing texture!
  • Don’t over-mix the batter. Keep mixing to a minimum for the softest texture.
  • Freeze some for later. This is a big-batch recipe, so stash some of these muffins in the freezer to enjoy in the future.
Sour Cream Coffee Cake Muffins on a gray surface and in a muffin pan

How to Store Coffee Cake Muffins

Place the cooled muffins in an airtight container. Store at room temperature up to 3 days. You can refrigerate them in the container for longer storage.

How to Freeze Coffee Cake Muffins

Wrap and seal these muffins well, and they should keep in the freezer for about 3 months. When you’re ready to enjoy them, just thaw them overnight in the refrigerator, and then bring them to room temperature or warm them slightly in the microwave.

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Sour Cream Coffee Cake Muffins

Yield 24 standard-size muffins
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes

Sour Cream Coffee Cake Muffins are wonderfully soft and light. Serve these sour cream muffins for a sweet breakfast treat, or just enjoy one as a snack!

Sour Cream Coffee Cake Muffins on a light gray surface


For the muffins:

  • 2 cups (240g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups (400g) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup (226g) sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the topping:

  • 1/4 cup (50g) packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup (120g) finely chopped pecans
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon


To make the muffins:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 24 standard-sized muffin cups with paper liners.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.
  3. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter until creamy. Gradually add the sugar and mix well. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Add the sour cream and vanilla. Beat until blended.
  4. Reduce mixer speed to low. Gradually add the flour mixture, mixing until just blended. The batter will be thick.
  5. Divide the muffin batter evenly among the muffin cups, filling each about 2/3-full.

To make the topping:

  1. Mix the brown sugar, pecans, and cinnamon together in a small bowl. Sprinkle over the muffin batter in the muffin pans.
  2. Bake the muffins for 25-30 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  3. Cool the muffins in the pans for about 5 minutes. Then remove the muffins from the pans and cool completely on wire racks.


Recipe slightly adapted from an unlabeled clipping buried deep in my “to-bake” stack.

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    20 Comments on “Sour Cream Coffee Cake Muffins”

  1. These are just terrific. Moist and delicious. Everyone loved them, from my girl friends to my 7-year old daughter. Her only comment was that she wasn’t crazy about the nut topping. Well, it would be easy to do a crumble topping that wasn’t nuts. Thank you!

  2. Excellent post. I was checking continuously this blog and I’m impressed!

  3. These were ridiculously tasty!
    I was a bit dubious… Decided to make them anyway because of two reasons – not a single recipe I’ve tried from here has ever failed, and I love sour cream more than anyone really should.

    I may have added a couple more tablespoons of flour, as my batter seemed a tad too liquid, but that’s not unusual. I also realised at 11PM that I had no baking soda and no muffin cases, so I just added half a teaspoon extra baking powder and improvised the cases out of regular baking paper. I didn’t get 24 muffins, but 14 well-sized ones. And the topping is perfect, just that little crunch the muffins needed.

    And they are brilliant. Moist, even after a night outside in the kitchen with no cover over them, the topping is crunchy and nice, they look beautiful and didn’t sag at all and are an instant favourite! Plus, they taste like they won’t mind other additions for different flavours.

  4. Just tried them using the recipe verbatim, and that was a bad idea. They are running over the whole pan, liquid and awful-looking. So the extra half-cup of flour is necessary, for sure – this is the only thing I did different from other times.

    • Sorry for your troubles, Chai. I’ve made these multiple times with no problems. Even with following a recipe exactly, there can sometimes be differences in equipment and ingredients that can alter the outcome.

  5. Made them this am–subbed 1 cup of white whole wheat flour for 1 cup AP. used sliced almonds instead of pecans.

    got 24 muffins, filling tins 2/3 full.

    moist, tender and just plain yummy!

  6. Have you tried freezing these?

  7. Good evening! I made these a few hours ago, and your description of them is right on the mark. Light, fluffy and to die for! I tend to overfill my muffin cups so 22 came out instead of 24. Wow, I’ll definitely make these again! Simply wonderful recipe, thank you!

  8. I just made these. They smell and taste great. The only thing I was disappointed with was that they sagged in the middle and seem a little too crumbly. They don’t come easily out of the liners. Do you have any idea why that would be? I didn’t change anything in the recipe.

    • Muffins can sometimes sag in the middle if the bottoms and/or sides bake a little too quickly. If you’re using a dark pan, that could be the problem. Also, if you haven’t already done so, an oven thermometer is a small investment that will let you know if your oven temperature is correct.

  9. when recipe says 2/3 full could you tell me exactly how to measure 2/3 mine seem to be diff sizes all the time i know this sounds weird but there must be a way to measure so they are all the same .

    • Hi, Jane. It’s really just an estimate so that you’re leaving space to allow the muffins to rise. Most muffin pans will hold 1/4 to 1/3 cup of volume. It can be tough to estimate 2/3 full depending on how tapered the sides are. You can fill up each cup of your muffin pan with water to verify the volume of each cup, then use 2/3 of that volume as a reference to measure your batter for each cup.

  10. Best tasting batter ever. My granddaughter licked the spoon and bowl. I filled the cups too full so next time I will stick to the 2/3 cup. Also, I will add a little more baking poweder so they don’t sag too much in the middle. They taste excellent. Thank you!

  11. Will be baking these tomorrow for church refreshments.  They sound delicious and prefect with coffee.

  12. Few & far between muffins? My dear you have many more muffins. Than just about any blogger on line!
    I love muffins too. Real muffins not coffee shop cupcake muffins crumbly things with 7or 800 calories 
    a piece Tonight you’ve beefed up my Muffin Board considerably, along with puddings, a pie, some apple
    Hand Pies, a quick bread, A scone & a biscuit. You have some marvelous recipes! I particulars enjoyed 
    finding Maple Nut Muffins! I grew up on a farm in Maple Syrup country.  Real maple syrup is the only
    thing in this house.. May I suggest you try baking with B Grade Maple Syrup. It is very potent maple flavor..Very good eating on whole grain waffles & pancakes, hearty whole grain cereals & whole grain baked goods, try it in your Banana Muffins with Spelt flour. Or in whole grain bread. Sometime you need to try Maple Nut ice Cream. It’s normally made with toasted walnuts but you could certainly use toasted pecans.I think you will enjoy, it especially in the hot miserable 2018 summer!  Thank you for such great recipes, I will most definitely return! I’ve been following for some time. Been here & gone a couple three times. Keep up your great work. Regards MA from Boston, MA! ❤️🙃❤️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

    • Hi, Maryann! Thank you so much for your comment! I feel like I don’t bake muffins often, but I am blessed with 12+ years of sharing recipes on this blog, so they really add up. 🙂 Thanks for the tip about the B grade maple syrup. I’ll definitely give that a try. Happy baking! 

  13. PS You can make muffins any old time of day & stash them in the freezer! No sense depriving yourself
    Of muffins for breakfast! MA

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