This recipe for sour cream coffee cake appears in the cookbook "All-Time Best Brunch." Photo by: Carl Tremblay/America's Test Kitchen
September 19, 2018 10:36:20 AM
This ultra-rich coffee cake is pure decadence, from its nutty topping and dramatic swirls of cinnamon sugar to its supremely moist, dense crumb. We cut softened butter into the dry ingredients for a tight, velvety crumb, and sour cream delivered distinct tang.
Sprinkling a simple streusel over the batter in two layers created a dramatic swirling effect, and topping the cake off with more streusel (this time boosted with butter and pecans) gave it a crumbly crust.
A fixed-bottom 10-inch tube pan (with a 10 cup capacity) is best for this recipe. Note that the streusel is divided into two parts -- one for the inner swirls and one for the topping.
SOUR CREAM COFFEE CAKE WITH BROWN SUGAR-PECAN STREUSEL
Start to finish: 1 hour 15 minutes (plus 2 hours 30 minutes cooling time)
3/4 cup (3 3/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces) granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed (3 1/2 ounces) dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 cup pecans, chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 2 pieces and chilled
1 1/2 cups sour cream
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups (11 1/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups (8 3/4 ounces) granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes and softened but still cool
■ For the streusel: Process flour, granulated sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, and cinnamon in food 7/8processor until combined, about 15 seconds. Transfer 1 1/4 cups flour-sugar mixture to small bowl and stir in remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar; set aside filling. Add pecans and butter to food processor and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal, about 10 pulses. Set aside streusel.
■ For the cake: Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 10 inch tube pan. Whisk 1 cup sour cream, eggs, and vanilla together in medium bowl.
■ Using stand mixer fitted with paddle, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt on low speed until combined, about 30 seconds.
■ Add butter and remaining 1/2 cup sour cream and mix until dry ingredients are moistened and mixture resembles wet sand with few large butter pieces remaining, about 1 1/2 minutes. Increase speed to medium and beat until batter comes together, about 10 seconds, scraping down sides of bowl with rubber spatula.
■ Reduce speed to medium-low and gradually add egg mixture in 3 additions, beating for 20 seconds and scraping down sides after each addition. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until batter is light and fluffy, about 1 minute.
■ Using rubber spatula, spread 2 cups batter in bottom of prepared pan and smooth surface. Sprinkle evenly with 3/4 cup streusel filling (without butter or nuts). ■ Repeat with another 2 cups batter and remaining 3/4 cup streusel filling (without butter or nuts). Spread remaining batter over filling, then sprinkle with streusel topping (with butter and nuts).
■ Bake until cake feels firm to touch and skewer inserted in center comes out clean (bits of sugar from streusel may cling to skewer), 50 minutes to 1 hour, rotating cake halfway through baking. Let cake cool in pan on wire rack for 30 minutes. Gently invert cake onto rimmed baking sheet (cake will be streusel side down); remove tube pan, place wire rack on top of cake, and invert cake streusel side up. Let cool completely, about 2 hours, before serving.
■ To make ahead:
Cake can be wrapped in aluminum foil and stored at room temperature for up to five days.
Nutrition information per serving: 532 calories; 237 calories from fat; 27 g fat (12 g saturated; 1 g trans fats); 120 mg cholesterol; 382 mg sodium; 69 g carbohydrate; 2 g fiber; 43 g sugar; 7 g protein.