I call this sour cream cinnamon coffee cake a “weekend cake”, because all I want when I wake up on a weekend morning is a slice of this and a cup of coffee. It has the same idea as cinnamon rolls and is loved by people just as much, but it requires a lot less work. And I love that. 

Slice of sour cream cinnamon coffee cake

If you want a classic dessert that’s delicious and insanely simple, this moist coffee cake is the perfect choice. Of course it’s not made with actual coffee. It’s just “a cake” that goes great with coffee. Or a matcha latte. A simple yet indulgent treat with two not-so-secret ingredients. 

sour cream cinnamon coffee cake sprinkled with powdered sugar

Sour cream 

If you want to bet on anything, be it sour cream. Fat is what makes a cake moist. But there’s more to cake than just butter and eggs. It’s the sour cream that gives it that extra layer of moistness and richness. And helps keep the cake like that for 2-3 days.

If you’re feeling inspired and want to try more sour cream cakes, this blueberry layer cake is pretty amazing. 

close view of sliced coffee cake with cinnamon swirl

Sugar and spice (make everything nice)

If I could put cinnamon sugar into anything, I would. It’s not just the marble effect of a cinnamon swirl in a coffee cake that gets me, it’s the taste. The pools of cinnamon sugar hidden between layers of batter. Like a secret treasure waiting for me to find it. It’s magic. (And if you want more of it, this cinnamon swirl pumpkin brioche is calling your name.)

The same mix of ingredients creates another special layer if you sprinkle it on top of the cake. As the sugar bakes, the crystals will form a thin crust on top. What you get is a magical mix of texture – crunchy exterior meets the fluffy sponge. 

batter for coffee cake with sour cream
coffee cake sprinkled with cinnamon sugar before baking
baked coffee cake
sliced sour cream coffee cake

This sour cream cinnamon coffee cake is one of those recipes that has become a staple in my home. It’s a cake that’s as much a dessert as it is an indulgent breakfast. And it’s a perfect choice to serve to people. It’s safe and uncomplicated and reliable. You can also make this ahead of time, it  holds up great overnight and is the perfect “travelling cake”, if you need to bring it someplace. 

slice of cinnamon swirl coffee cake on plate

(Last updated on February 27, 2023)

sour cream cinnamon coffee cake


Sour cream cinnamon coffee cake

Moist and rich coffee cake, perfect for any occasion.
Prep 20 minutes
Cook 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 10


  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter softened at room T
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups sour cream or a combo of sour cream and yogurt
Cinnamon sugar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar light Muscovado or Demerara work too


  • Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C), with a rack placed in the middle of the oven. Butter the bottom and sides of your cake pan, then line the bottom with parchment paper. Set aside. 
  • Make the cake:
    Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Set aside. Add butter and sugar to the bowl of your mixer and beat until light and fluffy. Add eggs one by one and beat well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla.
  • Alternately add the flour mixture and sour cream to the batter, starting and ending with flour. Beat after each addition, just until the batter is smooth and scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • To make cinnamon sugar, combine cinnamon and both sugars in a small bowl. 
  • Spoon one third of the batter in the prepared pan, top with 1/3 of cinnamon sugar and repeat layers two more times.
  • Bake the cake for 50-60 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. The top of the cake should be deep brown in color. To make sure the cake is baked fully and not burned on top, you can cover the pan with some aluminum foil in the last 15 minutes of baking if you see it going dark too soon. 
  • Cool cake in the pan for 15 minutes. Slide a thin knife around the edges of the cake, then remove it from the pan and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving, if you want, or serve as is. 


Recipe lightly adapted from Taste of Home. They use a bundt pan and include nuts in the recipe. I decided to simplify the recipe a bit to meet my taste. 
Keep leftover cake covered (I like parchment or wax paper) and at room temperature. Eat with 2-3 days. 


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  1. Halmellia Green says:

    I love this website; I’m a huge Gilmore Girls fan. I love this idea of yours because I’m always wondering where can I get the food from the show. Thanks Again

    1. Alice says:

      So happy to hear that, Halmellia! 🙂