This cake is a play on the classic yellow butter cake. The biggest difference between the two is that sour cream is used in this recipe instead of plain milk in order to give the cake an ever-so-slight tanginess. When you are making this, it might seem like there is not enough batter for the baking pan, but it will rise significantly in the oven.
I love crumble topping, and it should never be an afterthought (especially in this cake). After all, the crumble is an integral part of the whole cake, creating a desirable layer of decadence. I love using big crumbs that get crunchy during the baking process, giving some textual contrast to the soft cake beneath. Don't mix the topping too thoroughly though as you'll lose those big pebble-sized crumbles.
Serving the Cake
Bake this cake in a 9x13" baking dish and you'll have a nice number of servings. This cake keeps well for several days, staying tender and moist right up until you've consumed the last crumb. Serve it, of course, with a nice cup of strong coffee.
How to Make Classic Coffee Cake
What You Need
For the crumble topping:
For the cake:
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F: Coat the baking dish with baking spray or a tablespoon of butter.
2. Prepare the crumble topping: Mix together the sugars and cinnamon in a medium-sized bowl. Stir in the butter, add the flour and use a fork to stir and toss the flour until big, slightly floury crumbs form. Set the bowl aside.
3. Mix the butter, sugar, and eggs: With a stand or hand mixer, beat the butter and sugars together at a medium-high speed until fluffy and light. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until incorporated. Mix in the vanilla and then scrape down the sides of the bowl.
4. Beat in the flour and sour cream: Whisk together the salt, baking soda, and baking powder in a small bowl. On a low speed, beat in 1/3 of the flour mixture, followed by half the sour cream. Beat in another 1/3 of the flour, followed by the remaining sour cream, followed by the rest of the flour. Beat the mixture until you see the last bit of dry flour get worked into the batter, then beat on a high speed for a few seconds until the batter has become smooth and has no lumps.
5. Transfer the batter to the pan and top with crumbs: Pour the batter into the pan and spread evenly. Using your hands, break up the crumble mixture (from step 2) and scatter it over the top.
6. Bake the cake for 40-45 minutes: Bake the cake until it feels springy when you touch the middle. If the crumbs start to get too brown before the cake is done, then tent the top loosely with some foil.
7. Cool the cake: Transfer the cake to a wire rack and leave it to cool to room temperature.
8. Drizzle the cake with icing: Whisk together the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla extract to create a thick, pourable icing. Drizzle the icing over the cooled cake.
9. Serve the cake: Slice into wedges and serve with a nice mug of hot coffee. Cover the leftovers and keep them at room temperature for up to a week.
Photos: Christine Han