Sour Cream Coffee Cake Heaven

Oh boy.

Baked is the name of a bakery in Red Hook, Brooklyn that is worth a visit next time you are in NYC. Baked is also the title of a cookbook that the bakery recently published, which has been getting lots of press. With good reason—it is exceptional. And perhaps most exceptional of all is their Sour Cream Coffee Cake with Cinnamon Swirl. It is a dream come true.

The cake is moist and tender with swirls of cocoa and cinnamon and the crumb topping is exactly right—not too overwhelming but just gives that cake that extra crunch it needs. It is a recipe I will make again and again.

So far, I have also made a spicy version of Baked’s brownies as well as the raspberry breakfast bars, both of which were posted over at Smitten Kitchen. They were both great. The book is full of good recipes, even though it is a little heavy on chocolate for my taste. For those of us that are already fans of the bakery we will be happy to make some of our favorite recipes at home. The rest of you will be inspired to venture out to Red Hook next time you are in New York.

Sour Cream Coffee Cake with Chocolate Cinnamon Swirl

Crumb Topping

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup pecans, toasted
  • 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1 inch pieces

Chocolate Cinnamon Swirl

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dark unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon


  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 16 ounces sour cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Crumb Topping:

Put the flour, sugar, and salt in bowl of food processor and pulse to combine. Add the pecans and pulse until they are finely chopped and incorporated. Add the butter and pulse until mixture looks like coarse sand. Cover and refrigerate.

Chocolate Cinnamon Swirl:

Mix ingredients in small bowl.

Sour Cream Cake:

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Butter a 9×13-inch baking pan. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter until smooth. Scrape down bowl and add sugar. Beat until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping bowl as needed.

Add the sour cream and vanilla and beat just until incorporated.  Add the dry ingredients in three additions, scraping down the bowl before each addition and beating only until each addition is just incorporated. Do not overmix.

Pour one third of the cake batter into the prepared pan. Use an offset spatula to spread batter evenly in pan. Sprinkle half of the chocolate cinnamon swirl mixture over batter, covering the entire surface of the batter. Spoon half of remaining batter over the swirl mixture and spread it evenly. Top with remaining swirl mixture, then the remaining batter, and spread the batter evenly. Sprinkle the crumb topping evenly over the top of the batter.

Bake in the center of the oven for one hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let the cake cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Serves 16.


The recipe originally called for 2 1/4 cups sugar in the cake. That seemed like too much so I reduced it to 2 this first go around. I think you could even try 1 3/4.

Spreading the batter in the pan takes some patience. It doesn’t need to be perfect, just do your best to get each layer evenly spread.

This seems to keep well at room temperature for a couple of days.

30 comments to “Sour Cream Coffee Cake Heaven”

  1. ooo sounds like the perfect thing to wake up to in the morning :]

  2. Thanks for the info about the cookbook. I have read quite a bit about it. Guess I better check it out.

    Your coffee cake looks outstanding. I’m loving your swirls of goodness!

  3. this does look amazing!

  4. Made this over the weekend … so very delicious.

  5. mmm, looks about as good as my mom’s! how would the recipe work if i added in some apple slices?

  6. I honestly don’t know how this would work with apple slices, but I think you should give it a try. I might cut apples into chunks and toss in some lemon juice and then the filling mixture before adding them to cake. I might also leave out the cocoa? Let me know how it works!

  7. making this right now – reduced the flour by a 1/2 cup as well as the sugar wanted it to be moister and less sweet – hope it works.

  8. Many years ago I worked in a restaurant which made a great sour cream coffee cake and have been looking for a recipe worthy of the name ever since. This one looks terrific, and I’ll be trying it this afternoon!

  9. Absolutely delicious! I used plain yogurt instead of sour cream because it was too late to go out the the store. Turned out amazing! Thanks for sharing.

  10. I made this cake last week for my birthday. Took it to work and it was a huge hit! Delicious.

  11. Yum!!

    I overbaked mine slightly (I’m always messing up something) and it was still fantabulous. Weighs a ton in the pan. Baked Rocks.

  12. I search like a madman for your blog/recipe whenever I need to make coffeecake, I always seem to lose my bookmark. Thank you so much for this! It’s divine.

  13. Wow, made this cake last night and it was phenominal! I had some topping leftover that I’ve been eating by the palmful (hehe). Don’t think it will last through another breakfast though. Thanks for sharing!

  14. HI Tim! I am 12 years old and I LOVE to bake! i made this coffeecake for my brother who was in heaven when he first took a bite! I also made your vanilla caramel cake and it came out delicious!! I am trying to find a good recipe for spice cake with coffee as one of the ingredients! Also, my moms birthday is coming up on May 18 and i was wondering if u also had a good recipe for almond………….. something! it can be cake or tarts just something with almonds!

  15. Honestly I just so want to know the real, actual reason why baking soda is needed in some cakes and not others? Do you happen to know why it is needed at all?
    P.S. I really love what you guys are doing on this site :)

  16. I have a Question: I want to take this to work on Saturday morning, but won’t have the time to make it on Friday. Do you think I could make it Thursday and just keep it in the fridge until Saturday morning?

  17. Hi Molly, Sure- it won’t be as good as it is in the first 24 hours, but it will still be good. Wrap it very tightly if you are going to store it in the fridge.

  18. The easiest trick for spreading the batter layer is to take a spoon and dip the back in a bowl of cold water and then use it to spread the batter. It´s a huge difference and the amount of water doesn´t bother one bit.I swore by Budapest coffee cake (by Maida Heatter) as the greatest, but now you really put me in a tight spot! This is a great recipe.

  19. Stephanie says:

    July 18th, 2012 at 10:56 pm

    Made this!!! Truly delicious. It made a bunch so took it to work to share (one of my admitted joys of cooking). This recipe is SO good that folks sought me out to tell me how yummy it was – passing on the thanks to you. Your recipes are not only inspiring (and photos gorgeous) they coax me into all the extra little steps i’d otherwise consider cutting corners on, like toasting the pecans and bringing out BOTH the food processor and stand mixer. Thank you much for all put into these recipes and the sharing of them.

  20. Would this work in a bundt pan?

  21. no, mj, it wouldn’t.

  22. That one is delicious with cranberries! =)
    I had some left in a fridge and decided to put them into batter. They are very refreshing in this sweet-sweet coffecake.

  23. Do you think this could be assembled the night before, refrigerated, and then baked in the morning?

  24. Hi CJ, No, you can’t do that with cake batters. Your should just bake it the night before and rewarm in the morning.

  25. Yum! This has become my go-to coffee cake recipe. And for anyone that likes coconut, I made a variation where I replaced half of the sour cream with coconut milk, added a bunch of flaked coconut to the batter at the end, and replaced the nuts with more coconut in the crumble. It was really good! This recipe is definitely a good coffee cake springboard.

    (Side note: I’ve also tried making it in two loaf pans instead of the 9×13, which I don’t recommend. I don’t think the crumb holds up as well for a deeper cake… But I should have known!)

  26. For the cake the ingredients says 2sticks of butter. What us the actual measurement? How much is one stick?
    Can’t wait to try this sounds amazing!

  27. I ran out of all-purpose flour and white sugar, so I used a light whole wheat flour and a combo of brown sugar and turninado sugar. Still turned out great!

  28. I remembered this cake and post for the past 8 years. And now when I was in Brooklyn,
    I went to Baked. Their sour cream coffee cake was amazing. Thanks for the great tip. And now after another big move, I’ll have to make this at home.

  29. Made this tonight, it was delicious! Super moist but still dense and the crumble added the perfect crunch. The cocoa was just subtle enough to be noticed but didn’t throw off the balance. I also had to do a last minute sub of 8oz sour cream and 8oz 2% Greek yogurt but it turned out fine. Thanks for posting, will definitely be making this again!

  30. This is our christmas morning tradition. My husband and I went to this Cafe in Red Hook on our first date – our kids are now 11 and 13 and we are still making this amazing dish. It is worth the work.

What do you think?