sour cream coffee cake

sour cream coffee cake

This is one of my new favorite coffee cakes. It’s a moist, dense, sweet cake that doesn’t skimp on the warm, cinnamon-y filling. I also love the big chunks of walnuts— fight the urge to chop them up because the half pieces add so much wonderful crunch and texture. The best part of this cake: it keeps incredibly well after baking. We had a few pieces lingering at room temperature about a week after baking, and it was as moist as ever. 

A few notes about the recipe. What I love about this coffee cake is the abundance of sweet cinnamon filling in the layers, but that abundance can come with a few snags. I did have some issues with the cake sticking to the pan, which is not fun at all with a bundt pan. So a few suggestions to prevent that:

  1. oil and flour the pan really well

  2. try to keep the streusel filling just inside from the edge of the pan—in the pictures below I took the filling all the way to the edge, so when it melted in the oven the sugar syrup leaked out and cemented itself to the pan. Try to keep a small border of batter alongside the edge.

  3. don’t leave the cake in the pan for longer than 15 minutes! Try to get it out before any leaking sugar has the chance to harden.

If you do have issues with this, or any other bundt pan recipes, I found a great troubleshooting tutorial on King Arthur Flour’s website. The steam bath did the trick for me, but I really hope you never have to click that link.

Don't let that scare you! This recipe is super simple and makes a delicious, casual cake for friends and family.

sour cream coffee cake

makes one 9" (12-cup) bundt pan | recipe from Zimmerman's Bakehouse


  • 1 cup + 2 tbsp (132 g) walnut halves

  • 3 tbsp (41 g) brown sugar, packed

  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon

  • 2 cups (395 g) granulated sugar

  • 1 cup (2 sticks, 227 g) unsalted butter, room temperature

  • 3 large eggs

  • 3/4 cup + 3 tbsp (227 g) sour cream

  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

  • 2 1/3 cups (336 g) all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

  • 1 tsp sea salt


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Spray a 9" (12 cup) bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray, coat with flour, and set aside.

  2. Spread walnuts out on a sheet pan and toast in the oven for 10- 15 minutes, until they smell nutty and are golden brown. Reduce oven to 300°F. Combine walnuts, brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside.

  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt and set aside.

  4. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, making sure to fully mix the batter before adding another egg. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, add sour cream and vanilla, and mix until combined. Scrape down sides of the bowl again. With the mixer on low, slowly and carefully add dry ingredients to the wet batter, then continue to mix just until smooth and no pockets of flour remain.

  5. Spoon a third of the batter into the prepared bundt pan and smooth it with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle half of the nut mixture over the batter, making sure to keep a small border of just batter along the edges of the pan (this will help prevent melted sugar from leaking out and cementing itself to the edge of the pan so you can get it out). Spoon another third of batter over the nuts then cover it evenly with the remaining nut mixture, again leaving a small border of just batter along the edges. Spoon remaining batter over nuts and smooth out with the back of a spoon.

  6. Bake for 60 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean, and cool for 15 minutes but not much longer. If any sugar from the nut filling did leak out, it will stick the cake to the pan as it cools and be difficult to remove in one piece.

  7. Put a wire cooling rack on top of the Bundt pan and then invert the pan to release the cake. Enjoy warm or at room temperature.

  • If tightly wrapped, this cake can last up to two weeks at room temperature. It can be frozen for up to 3 months when wrapped in plastic wrap and stored in an airtight container or plastic freezer bag.