Saturday, June 19, 2010

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

This coffee cake is hands down my husband's favorite dessert.  His mother makes it each year for Christmas and her mother makes it each time we come to visit.  I make it for my husband for his birthday because he is awesome and this cake is truly delicious.

This is also hands down the easiest coffee cake in the whole world to make, provided you actually understand the directions.  You see, a long time ago, when I was just a girlfriend, I decided I wanted to make my now husband a birthday cake.  I asked him what his favorite was, hoping for a nice simple chocolate or something.  No.  Of course not.  His favorite was his mother's sour cream coffee cake.  Well, how, as just the girlfriend, are you supposed to compete with Mom's coffee cake?  But me, being me, thought I could give it a shot.  I called up his mother and asked for the recipe which she willingly gave me and explained all of the directions.  The recipe called for baking it in a tube pan.  I had no idea what a tube pan was, but rather than ask, I figured my mother would know.  Turns out, she did not know what one was either.  Its an angel food cake pan, but my mother and I never thought of that and instead turned to a tube shaped bread pan she had. Needless to say, the cake exploded out of both ends of the "tube" pan and I was left with a cinnamon cakey mess in the oven.

I eventually called his mother back and she explained to me what a tube pan was.  Ok.  Let's try this again.  This time I thought I had everything under control, the cake looked beautiful when I pulled it out of the oven.  With angel food cake, you immediately flip the cake over and since I was baking this cake in an angel food cake pan I figured you flip this cake intermediately over.  No.  It is a significantly heavier cake than angel food and it immediately came crashing out of the pan and I was left with a cinnamon cakey mess all over the counter.

At this point my dad comes through the kitchen and eats a piece of the warm mess off the counter and tells me that I can keep messing up this cake because it is really good.  And keep messing up I did.  I gradually got better and better though and now I make a pretty close version to my mother-in-law.  But really, if you are not trying to make this cake just like your husband's mother had been making it for the last 25 years, its easy and tasty.  Also, if you don't know what and angel food cake/tube pan is, you can look here.  Although, my husband's grandmother always makes it in a spring-form pan, so there are options.

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

1 Yellow Cake Mix (do not get a cake mix with pudding in the mix, I don't know why, but it messes things up)
1 small box instant vanilla pudding and pie filling
8 ounces sour cream (1 cup)
2 sticks butter or margarine melted (I use margarine in this instance because you can not tell a difference flavor wise and it is cheaper)
4 large eggs

1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons cinnamon (to me this seemed like a lot of cinnamon, but it works)
chopped walnuts (optional.  I never put these in because my husband doesn't like it that way)
Mix these together in a small bowl. I usually make a double batch of this topping because I like a lot of cinnamon.  I typically use more than one batch but slightly less than a double.  It's good on toast though.

Mix ingredients for the cake batter together.  The batter with be very thick.  Take 1/2 the batter and spread it in the bottom of a greased and floured tube/angel food cake pan.  (Flouring after you grease a cake pan is very important because it gives the cake something to grab as it climbs the sides of the pan).  Next sprinkle a healthy portion of the topping mixture over the cake batter in the pan.  Then spread the remaining batter on top of the cinnamon/sugar mixture.  Sprinkle more cinnamon/sugar on top of that last round of batter.  Finally, you marbleize the batter so that there are swirls of delicious cinnamon and sugar in the final cake.  I usually make s shaped swirls, but you can marbleize how ever you desire.

Bake the cake at 350 degrees for 45-55 minutes.  Make sure a cake tester or toothpick come out clean, but you do not want to over bake.  Allow to cool completely before removing from the pan.

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