Heirloom Coffee Cake


There it was, buried in the bottom of our large bin where holiday decorations are stored. A Good Housekeeping magazine from November 1984. Now here’s the query: why was it there? It took me a few minutes to remember.  As a young mom, I was fascinated with holiday baking, and the cover photo, though faded, shows a beautifully decorated gingerbread house. “Make our cozy gingerbread cottage” was the print alongside. That’s why I bought the magazine (328 pages for $1.95)!  Did I ever make that gingerbread “cottage”? No, and even now the decorating on that gingerbread would be way beyond my ken.
Flipping through the magazine I saw the corners of 2 pages folded down –  recipe and photo for streusel sour cream coffee cake. Aha – so that’s why I kept it. Good intentions that never got realized. Until today, when I got around to baking that particular coffee cake. It turned out so well that I wanted to share it with you. It’s a substantial moist cake, baked in a 9” springform pan. You could use a 9×13 pan, too. I’ll give you instructions for both.
Nice for breakfast, brunch or really anytime. Need a thoughtful gift from the kitchen? You’ve got this.
Finding that recipe gives credence to the adage “Everything old is new again!”.
Vintage streusel coffee cake
You can freeze the cake. I adapted the recipe a bit.
Now if you don’t want nuts, no worries. Leave them out.
Ingredients for streusel
1 cup chopped nuts (I used pecans)
1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
3/4 cup sugar
Ingredients for cake
3 cups flour
3/4 cup butter, room temperature (1-1/2 sticks)
1/3 cup milk (any kind)
1-1/2 teaspoons each: baking powder and baking soda
8 oz. sour cream (I used regular)
3 large eggs
1-1/4 cups sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
Instructions for streusel
Just mix everything together. Divide in half and set aside. (Half will go in batter and half on top)
Instructions for cake
Preheat oven to 350.
Spray a 9×3” springform pan.
With mixer on low speed, beat flour, butter, milk, baking powder, baking soda, sour cream, eggs, sugar and vanilla together until blended. Increase speed to medium and beat a couple of minutes or so, scraping mixture down with spatula. Batter will be pretty fluffy at this point.
Pour half into pan, then sprinkle half the streusel evenly on top. Pour rest of batter on top, spreading evenly, then sprinkle rest of streusel on top.
Bake 50-60 minutes. Mine took about 50 minutes. When a skewer inserted in center (go as deep as you can), comes out clean, it’s done. Don’t overbake.
Let cool 10 minutes, then remove side of springform pan.
Makes a good 12 servings.
Baking in 9×13 pan:
Spray pan and bake at 350. Check after 35-40 minutes.
Measure cake pans correctly:
Measure the inside edges, not outside, since outside edges may be thicker.
Not sure if you added baking powder, soda, salt, etc. to the flour? Do what I do: before I measure the leavenings out I make indentations in the flour – that way when they’re filled, I know I’ve added them. See photo below.



Smooth top of batter before sprinkling on streusel.



Ready to bake


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