Sunday, November 7, 2010

sour cream coffee cake

I'm home for the weekend! Haven't been home for about a month now, and after 2 insanely busy and mildly stressful weeks, I decided it was time for a much-needed weekend back home.

Also, dad's birthday is on Tuesday. Not that he really does much for his birthday, but I wanted to see him for it. Interestingly, my dad's tastes in foods are pretty much the exact opposite of mine. As in, he doesn't care much about it at all. He likes a few time-tested dishes and isn't one for experimenting with new foods and flavors. Consequently, we don't have big dinners or anything for his birthday, because his idea of a good time is eating one of his 'acceptable' meals and watching some terrible action movie.

But he does love one particular cake; Ina Garten's delicious, moist, perfect, sour cream coffee cake. So it was only appropriate that I bake it while I'm home this weekend so he can have it with his morning tea before work. An early 'birthday present,' if you will.

[also, I'm broke and this is the best that I can do.]

I also love this cake. It always turns out spectacularly. Plus, I always trust in Ina Garten's dessert recipes.

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

For the cake, you'll need:
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsps vanilla
  • 1 1/4 cups sour cream
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsps baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt

For the streusel, you'll need:
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsps ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp cold, unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 3/4 cups chopped walnuts or pecans, optional

For the glaze, you'll need:
  • 1 cup confectioner's sugar
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan.

Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed until light and fluffy, 4-5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, and then mix in vanilla and sour cream. In a separate bowl, sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add dry ingredients to wet mixture on low speed, or fold with a rubber spatula, until just combined.

For the streusel, combine brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt until evenly mixed. Using your hands, pinch butter into the dry mixture until it forms a crumble. Add in the nuts, if desired.

Pour half the cake batter into the tube pan and spread it evenly. Sprinkle half of the streusel evenly over the batter. Top with the remaining batter, spreading evenly, and sprinkle the remaining streusel. Bake for 50-60 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.

To prepare glaze, sift powdered sugar into a medium bowl. Pour in maple syrup and stir vigorously until mixture has thinned. If too thin, add more sugar; if too thick, add some water. 

Let cake cool for at least 10 minutes before removing from the pan. Run a butter knife around the edges of the pan to gently loosen it. Cool the cake on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes [preferably until completely cooled], before drizzling glaze on top.

It takes every ounce of restraint for me not to pick off the streusel topping while the cake is cooling. And when you cut into it, there's a gorgeous streusel ribbon in the center. Plus, the sour cream makes the cake super moist and not too sweet.

It's the perfect coffee cake recipe. I've literally made this dozens of times, and each time I feel like it gets better and better. Not because my skills are improving much, but more because this cake just tastes amazing, and it never grows old with time.

Though, I made this yesterday, and I woke up this morning and about half of it was gone. I don't think there will be any left by his birthday on Tuesday.



Thanks so much for reading!
I'd love to hear your thoughts :)