Did anyone ever read Bedtime for Frances when you were a kid? Or read it to your kids? I LOVED the Frances books when I was a kid and then they became my favorites again when I was an adult reading to my spawn. In Bedtime for Frances, Frances the badger will not go to bed and during one of her nightly jaunts from her room, her parents are eating tea and cake.

For whatever reason, this picture captured my imagination (much like the gumballs and Chompo Bars in A Birthday for Frances…apparently I was fixated on food from a very early age). I wondered why my parents didn’t eat coffee cake at night after they put me in bed and also kind of why we weren’t badgers, but that’s an existential crisis for another blog post.

I made my mom make coffee cake so we could be slightly more like a family of anthropomorphic badgers, which, as Mormons in Utah in the 1980s, was slightly scandalous because even the word coffee was spoken in the same hushed tones as “cocaine.” So I’m pretty sure we called it something else, but I knew in my heart we were eating coffee cake, which was exhilarating on a number of levels.

Anyway.

Coffee cake became one of my favorite comfort foods, especially since it’s cheap to make, usually with ingredients you have lying around the house, in less than an hour. You don’t have to wait for it to cool before you frost it, so when you’re homesick in college or missing your mom (who was not a badger) or you have a really terrible day where multiple things happen that are too gross to write about on a food blog and then you faceplant on a very public lawn and then you watch your too-tough-to-cry kid cry out of disappointment, this warm, cinnamon-y, streusel-topped goodness is less than an hour away.

I slightly adapted this sour cream coffee cake from King Arthur Flour, which is one of my go-sources when it comes to baking–they’re definitely one of the gold standards! They give ingredients for a tube pan or a 9×9″ pan, and I’ve made it both ways, but I feel like it comes out better in the square pan.

To make the cake, you’ll need some sour cream or plain Greek yogurt (full fat or light is fine, but don’t use fat free), 2 eggs, some vanilla, flour, baking soda, baking powder, table salt, and a stick of softened butter.

sour cream coffee cake ingredients

You’ll also need some white sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, chopped pecans, and vanilla for the topping and filling.

cinnamon, brown sugar, white sugar, and pecans for sour cream coffee cake from Our Best Bites

Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a 9″ x 9″ pan.

In the bowl of a stand mixer or using an electric hand mixer and a large mixing bowl, combine the softened butter, eggs, vanilla, and sugar. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and baking powder.

Add about 1/3 of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, mix completely, then add about 1/3 of the sour cream and mix completely. Repeat until all the flour and all the sour cream has been added.

Mix the topping ingredients together and set aside.

Spread half of the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle half of the topping mixture over the batter, then spread the remaining batter on top and sprinkle with the remaining topping mixture.sour cream coffee cake batter in pan

 

Bake in the preheated oven for 30-45 minutes or until a pick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. This can be served warm (but let it cool for 20-30 minutes before cutting into it) or at room temperature. Cover any leftovers.

Sour Cream Coffee Cake from Our Best Bites

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sour cream coffee cake close up our best bites

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

  • Author: kate jones

Description

This moist, flavorful sour cream coffee cake with a crumbly streusel topping uses a handful of ingredients you probably have at home and comes together in just a few minutes! 


Ingredients

Cake

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups white flour, lightly spooned into a measuring cup and leveled with a knife
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 cup full-fat sour cream or plain yogurt (light will also work okay, but don’t use fat-free)

topping

1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons cinnamon


Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a 9″ x 9″ pan.

In the bowl of a stand mixer or using an electric hand mixer and a large mixing bowl, combine the softened butter, eggs, vanilla, and sugar. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and baking powder.

Add about 1/3 of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, mix completely, then add about 1/3 of the sour cream and mix completely. Repeat until all the flour and all the sour cream has been added.

Mix the topping ingredients together and set aside.

Spread half of the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle half of the topping mixture over the batter, then spread the remaining batter on top and sprinkle with the remaining topping mixture.

Bake in the preheated oven for 30-45 minutes or until a pick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. This can be served warm (but let it cool for 20-30 minutes before cutting into it) or at room temperature. Cover any leftovers.

 

21 comments

        1. I came to also comment on Albert’s lunch. A salt shaker and celery sticks and other little packets of crunchy and delectable good? Gah! My stars!

    1. I’m not sure what’s going on, but we’ve had this complaint a few times today with various recipes. I’ve tried a few things and the recipes seem to be working now, but if you still have a problem, please let me know!

        1. Hi, Phyllis! We are aware that some people are having difficulty printing the recipe (myself included). We’re looking into why it’s affecting some people but not others. In the meantime, we recommend that you highlight the recipe, copy it, and paste it into a Word document (or something similar) and print it from there. So sorry for the inconvenience!

  1. As soon as I saw this recipe this morning I made it, and it is incredible!!!! So soft and delicious! Thanks so much!!

  2. looks great, but I cannot print it… please, please re-send so maybe it will work…
    thanks
    Phyllis

  3. Oh my goodness! Frances! We love her! When my daughter was tiny she used to tell us she was not sleepy at all. She picked it up from Bedtime for Frances (along with many of her sleep evasion moves.)
    I remember thinking the food in the Frances books all looked soooo yummy…the chocolate sandwich cookies, the chompo bar and this cake! I’m excited to have a recipe to go with the picture.

  4. When my children were little we called our version of sour cream coffee cake “Breakfast Cake.” The name stuck and we still called it breakfast cake!! Yum!

  5. I LOVE Francis books and bought them all for my kiddos and loved them probably more than they did. Sour Cream coffee cake is the quintessential American coffee cake in my book! Isn’t it about the same as the famous Merkts coffee cake? YUM

  6. I, too adored the Frances series of books and read them over and over to my children. I loved poor Frances’s lament in Bread and Jam for Frances: “What I am is tired of jam”. All those lovely meals Frances’s mom made…and even Gloria would practice on a green bean! Thank you for reminding me of those wonderful books and the coffee cake looks yummy too!

  7. Oh my gracious, I haven’t thought about the Frances books in years, but I LOVED them as a kid!!! Thanks for the memory…and the delicious cake recipe!

  8. I love Sour Cream Coffee Cake!! My recipe is almost exactly the same. My son requested this as his birthday cake for many years. We usually make it with a brown sugar/cinnamon mixture and instead of pecans, we use semi-sweet chocolate chips. You’ve gotta try that version!!

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