Thursday, December 8, 2011

Not My Mom’s Sour Cream Coffee Cake

My Mom used to make a coffee cake that was TO DIE FOR. It came from a recipe book called A Treasure For My Daughter. According to Mom, there were not too many other good recipes in that book, but because of the coffee cake, she held on to it. When we moved from Newfoundland to Montreal in 1988, the book was misplaced. I tried for years to find it but it was out of print. I checked used book stores in Montreal, Toronto, New York... to no avail.

Enter the internet; to be precise. I found the book last night and quickly ordered it! It should be here in two weeks. In the meantime, I was craving coffee cake so I opened my trusty bible, The Joy of Cooking, by Irma S. Rombauer and Marion Rombauer Becker to see what they had to offer.

I also opened my fridge and found that we had no sour cream. What we did have was Greek yogurt, 0% fat (Liberty). So I figured that yogurt and sour cream have similar textures, and if I used yogurt instead I’d be getting extra I decided to give it a whirl.

The recipe turned out pretty well, but I have to say, it is not the coffee cake I had been dreaming of. So I promise to return here once the cookbook arrives, to reveal to you the most delicious sour cream coffee cake you will ever have.

In the meantime, this one is pretty tasty. I made it last night and it’s already gone. In terms of texture, this one is heavier than the one I remember. When I was spooning it into the pan to be baked, it seemed to be almost like a cobbler topping. If you are familiar with that you will know that it is heavy and doesn’t spread easily like a regular cake batter.  The other thing I noticed about this cake is the streusel topping – which wasn’t as brown sugary as I had hoped. On the plus side, the cake took only 20 minutes to bake, and as I mentioned above, it’s very tasty.

So enjoy this recipe, and come back to visit in two weeks for another version!

Ingredients (all should be at about 70 degrees F):
For the cake:
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
¾ cup white sugar (Note: Original recipe called for 1 cup)
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
1 cup sour cream (Note: I used Greek-style yogurt, 0% fat)
2 eggs

For the streusel topping:
3 tbsp flour
3 tbsp butter
5 tbsp brown sugar
¾ tsp cinnamon
Mix together with a pastry cutter or a fork until crumbly. You can add some nuts if you like. 

Sift dry ingredients into a bowl (truth be told, I never sift anything). 

My eggs had just come out of the fridge and were definitely not 70 degrees F, so I put them into a mug of hot water for about 30 seconds before cracking them.

Blend the sour cream and the eggs together using a stand mixer. 

Add the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Do not over-mix because this makes the dough stiff.

Spread into a 9 x 9 inch square pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray, or greased. As I mentioned above, this is not as simple as pouring regular cake batter into a pan - you will have to press it into the pan corners with a spatula. It will spread out as it bakes so just do the best you can.

Sprinkle the streusel topping on top of the cake.  


Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes. Stick a toothpick in there – if it comes out clean, it’s done.


Enjoy with a nice cup! Or a mug of tea. Or even a big glass of milk.

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