If I’m going to imagine my ultimate dessert, it wil probably be something rich and chocolatey, gooey and warm. Or maybe my all time favorite, chocolate chip cookies with smooth chewy toffee centers and crispy edges. But every once in a while, I’ll feel like a really simple, plain coffee cake. The type with buttery white cake swirled with cinnamon and toped with a nutty crispy streusel. I’ve tried several recipes, all delicious, but this one by Ina Garten baked in a bundt cake pan made for an ideal dessert to take to a friends house that was met with rave reviews. The texture of the cake is made super light and fluffy by using cake flour instead of all purpose, and the streusel baked in the center gave a nice edge over coffee cakes that are only topped with streusel. I had cake flour with me, from the states (I haven’t yet found in Bahrain) but there is a really easy substitute that I’ll list below. Take this with you next time you are invited anywhere, and you’ll be invited back really soon!
Sour Cream Coffee Cake adapted from Ina Garten
- 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 3 extra-large eggs at room temperature
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cups sour cream
- 2 1/2 cups cake flour (not self-rising) *
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
*Click this link for a step by step tutorial on how to subsitute normal flour for cake flour. It’s really easy, doesn’t really need a tutorial but this really helps illustrate it.
For the streusel:
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 3/4 cup chopped walnuts, optional (I love nuts in baking, so I added the walnuts. Pecans would be great too!)
* For the glaze:
- 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 2 tablespoons real maple syrup
* I actually made the glaze, using real maple syrup no less, tasted it, and immediately decided not to use it. I felt the cake would be more than sweet enough, and I didn’t regret my decision. If you feel like you’d like the glaze on your cake by all means go ahead!
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 C). Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan.
Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment for 4 to 5 minutes, until light. Add the eggs 1 at a time, then add the vanilla and sour cream. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture to the batter until just combined. Finish stirring with a spatula to be sure the batter is completely mixed.
For the streusel, place the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt, and butter in a bowl and pinch together with your fingers until it forms a crumble. Mix in the walnuts, if desired.
Spoon half the batter into the pan and spread it out with a knife. Sprinkle with 3/4 cup streusel. Spoon the rest of the batter in the pan, spread it out, and scatter the remaining streusel on top. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes, and if using the glaze drizzle it on top when the cake is completely cool.