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Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Posted Apr 16 2010 5:00am

I absolutely love walking in the kitchen and seeing a beautiful cake on a crystal pedastel under a dome. It looks so elegant, but also homey at the same time. However, these cakes have a magical way of disappearing quickly in my home, so I don't make them often. Since we had a house of six last week, I thought a coffee cake on the counter would be nice for anyone to eat for breakfast, snack on with a cup of tea, or cut a small slice for dessert. The cake was gone in 2 days!
When I was a barista at Starbucks (best job ever), one of my favorite things to snack on was the reduced fat cinnamon swirl coffee cake. When I stumbled upon this Ina recipe, it brough back memories of that cake. It's simple and clean in flavor, but is so tender with a great crunch. I think next time I make it, I'll double or 1.5x the strudel portion because I would have liked a more defined swirl layer in the middle, but other than that, this was the perfect coffee cake. I did omit the icing just because I didn't think it needed more sugar, and my family prefers icing-less pastries.
Also, I realized I had no tube pan when it was time to make this, so I improvised! I used a spring form pan lined with parchment, then placed a soda water can full of water in the center, wrapped the bottom in parchment and greased it. The center wasn't perfect looking, but it held its shape well!

Sour Cream Coffee Cake
adapted from Ina Garden

For the cake12 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown 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 
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

For the streusel1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan (or a 9" springform pan with soda can in the center...)
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 pecans.
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.
Let cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes.
Carefully transfer the cake, streusel side up, onto a serving plate.

Improvised tube pan
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