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Sour Cream Coffee Cake Loaf

Sour Cream Coffee Cake Loaf is a simple cake with a buttery, cinnamon-y topping. Perfect for all-day sweet snacking!

slices of Sour Cream Coffee Cake on a white tray

Irresistible Sour Cream Coffee Cake

One of baking’s simple pleasures is coffee cake. There’s just something irresistible about a soft, not-too-sweet cake topped with a cinnamon crumb that’s so comforting and irresistible!

This Sour Cream Coffee Cake Loaf satisfies your coffee cake cravings while baking on a small scale. It bakes in a loaf pan for a nicely sized cake that’s perfect for sharing or for grabbing a bite pretty much every time you walk by it.

Why Is It Called Coffee Cake?

Despite the word “coffee” in the name, there’s not any coffee in this cake. These types of cakes are often enjoyed alongside a cup of coffee, so that led to their being called coffee cakes. You may also see them simply called crumb cakes.

No matter what you call it, this is the kind of cake you can easily enjoy for a sweet breakfast or brunch treat, with your afternoon coffee or tea, or for a simple dessert.

ingredients for coffee cake, including flour, sugar, butter, eggs, and cinnamon

What You’ll Need

You’ll be making a simple crumb topping as well as a cake batter to make this coffee cake. This cake is mostly made with basic baking ingredients you’re likely to have in your kitchen.

For the Crumb Topping:

  • Brown sugar: You can use light or dark brown sugar.
  • All-purpose flour
  • Ground cinnamon: Feel free to adjust the amount of cinnamon to suit your tastes.
  • Unsalted butter: You’ll melt this butter before mixing with the other ingredients for a moist, buttery topping.

For the Cake:

  • All-purpose flour: Use your favorite standard all-purpose flour for this cake. I usually use King Arthur.
  • Baking powder and baking soda
  • Salt
  • Unsalted butter: The butter will need to be softened before mixing. You can get tips for doing that here: How to Soften Butter
  • Sugar
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla extract: I love the addition of vanilla to this cake, but another extract would work well, too.
  • Sour cream: Use full-fat sour cream for the best results.

What Does Adding Sour Cream Do?

“Sour cream” is cream that has been soured and thickened with lactic acid bacteria, which gives it a tangy flavor that adds depth to baked goods. The fat also adds richness and tenderness, making treats like cakes and muffins fluffier when made with sour cream. As mentioned above, I recommend using full-fat sour cream for the best coffee cake! I also use sour cream in this pound cake recipe for the same reasons.

overhead view of Sour Cream Coffee Cake Loaf on a white tray

How to Make Sour Cream Coffee Cake

This Sour Cream Coffee Cake Loaf comes together quickly and easily using mostly basic ingredients and a simple mixing method. You’ll need a few mixing bowls, a couple of mixing spoons, a hand or stand mixer, and a standard loaf pan.

Make the crumb topping. This is a very simple combination of just a few ingredients. After adding the butter, stir until the other ingredients are thoroughly moistened and the mixture forms crumbs.

Preheat the oven and prepare the pan. Heat the oven to 350°F. To make removing the cake simpler, line the loaf pan with parchment paper to make a sling before greasing the pan. That will allow you to lift the finished cake out of the pan easily without damaging the crumb topping.

Combine the dry ingredients. Stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. I recommend using a whisk to help them mix thoroughly.

Mix the wet ingredients. Use an electric mixer to cream the butter and sugar. (See The Creaming Method if you need any tips.) Mix in the eggs, one at a time. Then mix in the vanilla.

Combine the wet and dry ingredients. With mixing on low speed, add about a third of the flour mixture. Next, add about half of the sour cream. Then add half of the remaining flour mixture, followed by the rest of the sour cream and finally the rest of the flour mixture. Alternating these ingredients while mixing will help the sour cream be fully incorporated into the batter without over-mixing. Be sure to mix just until combined.

Bake the cake. Transfer the batter to the pan, and sprinkle the crumb topping evenly over the batter. Bake 30 to 35 minutes. You’ll know the cake is done when it has browned and a pick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Sour Cream Coffee Cake Loaf in a loaf pan ready to go in the oven

Tips for Success

While this is a simple coffee cake recipe, it never hurts to have a few tips and tricks up your sleeve for best results!

  • Measure accurately. Use a kitchen scale to measure by weight if possible. Otherwise, use the spoon and sweep method to measure as accurately as possible.
  • Use a light-colored metal loaf pan. The cake will bake more evenly with this type of pan.
  • Line the pan with parchment paper. This will make removing the cake from the pan easier and will keep your beautiful crumb topping intact.
  • Don’t over-mix the batter. Too much mixing leads to dry, overly dense cake.
  • Adjust the cinnamon to suit your tastes. Go with a little more or less than the amount in the recipe if you like.
slice of Sour Cream Coffee Cake on a white and beige plate

How to Store Leftovers

Store any leftover cake in an airtight container. It will keep at room temperature for about 3 days, although it will be best within a day of being baked.

Briefly warming slices of this cake will help soften and refresh it after a couple of days.

Can You Freeze Coffee Cake?

Yes! After the cake has cooled completely, either wrap individual slices or an entire loaf in plastic wrap. Place inside a freezer bag or wrap in aluminum foil. Be sure to label the packaging with the name and the date baked.

Thaw the frozen cake overnight in the refrigerator or for a few hours on your kitchen counter.

overhead view of slices of Sour Cream Coffee Cake on white and beige plates

Video Tutorial: Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Find more cake recipes in the Recipe Index.

Sour Cream Coffee Cake Loaf

Yield 8 to 10 servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes

This Sour Cream Coffee Cake Loaf is simply delicious with its soft cake and cinnamon crumb topping!

slices of Sour Cream Coffee Cake on a white tray

Ingredients

For the crumb topping:

  • 1/3 cup (67g) firmly packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (60g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 tablespoons (42g) unsalted butter, melted

For the cake:

  • 1 & 1/2 cups (180g) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (113g) sour cream

Instructions

To make the crumb topping:

  1. Combine the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl.
  2. Add the melted butter, and stir until thoroughly combined. Set aside.

To make the cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9" x 5" loaf pan with parchment paper so that it overhangs on the long sides. Grease the paper. (If you don't want to use parchment paper, simply grease the pan.)
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla.
  4. Reduce mixer speed to low. Mix in the flour mixture in three portions, alternating with two portions of sour cream. Mix just until combined.
  5. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan, and spread evenly.
  6. Sprinkle the crumb topping over the top of the batter.
  7. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until the cake has browned and a pick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  8. Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack for about 15 minutes. Then use the overhanging parchment paper to lift the cake out of the pan to cool completely on a wire rack.

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    16 Comments on “Sour Cream Coffee Cake Loaf”

  1. does this recipe double well?

  2. I made this coffee cake , the issue I had was with the crumbl didn’t have much flavor and the crumble came off the cake I follow the instructions exactly. what could have happened
    🤔

    • Hi, Rebecca. The main source of flavor for the topping is the cinnamon, so be sure you’re using a good quality cinnamon. Also, ground cinnamon tends to lose its flavor over time, so a fresh jar might do the trick. I don’t have issues with the crumb not sticking, but my guess is that yours may have been too dry. Be sure you’re measuring the flour by weight or by spooning and sweeping. (See more about that here: How to Measure Flour)

  3. I followed the directions and kept it in the oven for 35 minutes and it wasn’t even remotely done baking. I have a conventional oven and don’t often have this issue.  My oven was set at 350F so I know it’s not the oven.  

    • Hi, Ginette. Every oven is different, so that means sometimes baking times will vary a bit. After 35 minutes, most any cake should be done or almost done, unless it’s a thick cake like a Bundt. However, as you’re describing the cake being very under-baked, then my first thought is the oven. They can need to be recalibrated sometimes, so I would check it with an oven thermometer. If that’s accurate, then my next best guess is the pan. As I wrote above, I recommend a light-colored metal loaf pan that measures 9″ x 5″. Glass, stoneware, etc. conduct heat differently and can cause problems in getting baked goods baked thoroughly.

    • I had the same issue, not sure why but it took around 60 minutes in the oven before a knife inserted came out clean.

      • Check your loaf pan’s dimensions. “Standard” loaf pans are sold in two different sizes. If you use an 8.5″ x 4.5″ pan, it will take longer to bake. I would also check the accuracy of your oven’s temperature with an oven thermometer.

  4. Absolutely delicious!

  5. This was yummy! I think next time I might do a cinnamon swirl into the cake as well 🙂

  6. I made this recipe a second time with cinnamon swirl no crumble topping I substituted caramel icing instead and it was absolutely delicious this is a keeper recipe 👍

  7. The recipe sounds delicious. Can I triple it?  I have 3 friends I give baked goods for Christmas. I have 3 loaf pans, although they are dark coated. Your thoughts, please. Thanks. 

    • Hi, Pam. It’s worth a shot! Sometimes large scaling can take some tweaking to get things just right. As for the dark pans, you may want to reduce the oven temperature (maybe about 25 degrees) to try to combat the downsides of baking with dark pans.

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