Tried-and-true recipes that are handed down from mother to child or shared from friend to friend are the jewels in every woman’s recipe collection. A tattered pink index card holds an all-time favorite sour cream coffee cake recipe of mine, and is a good example of a jewel in my collection. Even though I can’t recall the source of the recipe, the delicious ribbons of nuts, sugar and cinnamon swirling through a moist cake are unforgettable. Coffee cakes just don’t get better than that. That is, until now! From the Grand Central Baking Book comes this easy and well-written recipe that has several great things going for it. One – the recipe is from the Grand Central Bakery, a renowned bakery in the Pacific Northwest. Two – the coffee cake bakes in a 9 by 13-inch pan instead of a deep tube or bundt pan, thus decreasing baking time. Three – this coffee cake offers the versatility of adding a layer of fresh seasonal fruit on top of a delicate, moist cake. Four – a crunchy oat streusel covers the fresh fruit. The author likens it to a fruit crisp on top of a cake. You’ll want to add this “jewel” of a recipe to your own collection!
Sour Cream Coffee Cake
Recipe from the Grand Central Baking Book
½ cup (4 ounces, or 1 stick) cold unsalted butter
½ cup (3.5 ounces) granulated sugar
1 cup (7 ounces) packed light brown sugar
½ cup (2.5 ounces) all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
¾ cup (2.75 ounces) rolled oats
3 cups (15 ounces) all-purpose flour
¾ cup (5.25 ounces) granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
¾ cup (6 ounces, or 1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ cups (12.75 ounces) sour cream
2 cups diced fresh fruit or berries
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease and flour a 9 by 13-inch baking pan.
2. Dice the butter into ¼- to ½-inch cubes, then combine it with the granulated and brown sugars, flour, and salt. Use two knives, a pastry blender, or your fingers to mix the ingredients until crumbly, then mix in the oats. If you’re making the streusel ahead of time, cover and refrigerate it until you’re ready to proceed with the recipe.
3. Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt into a bowl with high sides. Make a well in the center.
4. In another bowl, lightly whisk the eggs, butter, and vanilla together. Pour the mixture into the well, then add the sour cream by evenly distributing large spoonfuls around the edges of the dry ingredients. Gently mix the batter, using a large spatula to fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Use big, slow, circular strokes that scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl with each motion. Don’t worry if the batter appears slightly lumpy, or if there are streaks of sour cream. The delicate texture of this batter is achieved through minimal mixing. (Some small patches of flour may still be visible; this is okay, as they’ll be absorbed during the baking process.)
5. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Distribute the fruit in an even layer over the batter, then sprinkle evenly with the streusel. Bake for 45 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time. The streusel should be crunchy and brown, and a skewer inserted in the center should come out clean.
Serve the coffee cake straight from the oven with plenty of fresh, piping hot coffee.
I used fresh blueberries that I tossed in a little bit of flour first to prevent them from sinking and turning the batter purple.
This cake stays moist for days – not that it would last that long, but there are only two of us at home to eat it!