Hello, Good News! If you’re looking for a delicious and easy coffee cake recipe that will impress your guests, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll show you how to make Zingerman’s sour cream coffee cake at home, with step-by-step instructions and tips. Zingerman’s is a famous bakery in Ann Arbor, Michigan, that has been making mouthwatering pastries since 1982. Their sour cream coffee cake is one of their best-selling items, and for good reason. It’s moist, buttery, and rich, with a cinnamon-walnut swirl and a crunchy streusel topping. It’s perfect for breakfast, brunch, or dessert, and it goes great with a cup of coffee or tea.
But you don’t have to travel to Michigan to enjoy this coffee cake. You can make it yourself with some simple ingredients and a few tricks. We’ll share with you the original recipe from Zingerman’s Bakehouse cookbook [^1^], as well as some variations and substitutions you can try. Whether you want to make it ahead of time, freeze it for later, or add some extra flavors, we’ve got you covered. So grab your apron and your mixer, and let’s get baking!
What You’ll Need to Make Zingerman’s Sour Cream Coffee Cake
To make this coffee cake, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (132 g) walnut halves
- 3 tablespoons (41 g) packed brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 cups (395 g) granulated sugar
- 1 cup (227 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3 large eggs
- 3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons (227 g) sour cream
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 1/3 cups (336 g) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
You’ll also need the following equipment:
- A 9-inch (23-cm) Bundt pan
- A baking sheet
- A small bowl
- A large mixing bowl
- An electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or a hand mixer)
- A rubber spatula
- A knife or a toothpick
- A wire rack
- A serving plate or platter
How to Make Zingerman’s Sour Cream Coffee Cake: Step-by-Step Instructions
Step 1: Preheat the oven and toast the walnuts
The first step is to preheat your oven to 325°F (165°C) and toast the walnuts on a baking sheet for 10 to 15 minutes, or until they’re a deep golden brown. This will bring out their flavor and crunchiness. After they’re done, turn the oven down to 300°F (150°C) and let the walnuts cool slightly on a plate. Then chop them finely with a knife or a food processor.
Step 2: Make the cinnamon nut swirl
The next step is to make the cinnamon nut swirl that will go inside the coffee cake. In a small bowl, mix together the chopped walnuts, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Set aside for later.
Step 3: Spray and flour the Bundt pan
The third step is to prepare your Bundt pan by spraying it with nonstick cooking spray and coating it with flour. Tap out any excess flour and set aside. This will prevent the cake from sticking to the pan and make it easier to remove later.
Step 4: Cream the sugar and butter
The fourth step is to cream the sugar and butter in a large mixing bowl. You can use an electric mixer with a paddle attachment or a hand mixer on medium speed. Beat them together until the color lightens and the mixture becomes fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Step 5: Add the eggs, sour cream, and vanilla
The fifth step is to add the eggs, one at a time, to the creamed sugar and butter mixture. Beat well after each egg until the batter is smooth and homogeneous. Then add the sour cream and vanilla extract and beat again until well combined.
Step 6: Add the flour, baking soda, and salt
The sixth step is to add the flour, baking soda, and salt to the batter and beat on low speed until a thick and smooth batter forms. Don’t overmix or the cake will be tough. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.
Step 7: Layer the batter and the swirl in the pan
The seventh step is to layer the batter and the swirl in the prepared Bundt pan. Spoon half of the batter into the bottom of the pan and spread it evenly with a spatula. Sprinkle all of the cinnamon nut swirl over the batter, covering it completely. Then spoon the remaining batter over the swirl and spread it gently to cover it. Don’t worry if some of the swirl shows through.
Step 8: Bake the coffee cake
The eighth step is to bake the coffee cake in the preheated oven for 45 to 55 minutes, or until a knife or a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The cake will rise and crack slightly on top, and it will be golden brown.
Step 9: Cool and remove the coffee cake
The ninth and final step is to cool and remove the coffee cake from the pan. Let it cool slightly in the pan on a wire rack for about 15 minutes, then invert it onto a serving plate or platter. Let it cool completely before slicing and serving, or store it in an airtight container for up to a week.
How to Make Zingerman’s Sour Cream Coffee Cake: Table Breakdown
If you prefer a visual guide to making this coffee cake, here’s a table breakdown of the steps, ingredients, and equipment you’ll need:
|1. Preheat oven and toast walnuts||1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (132 g) walnut halves||Oven, baking sheet, plate|
|2. Make cinnamon nut swirl||3 tablespoons (41 g) packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Chopped walnuts from step 1
|Small bowl, spoon|
|3. Spray and flour Bundt pan||–||9-inch (23-cm) Bundt pan, nonstick cooking spray, flour|
|4. Cream sugar and butter||2 cups (395 g) granulated sugar
1 cup (227 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
|Large mixing bowl, electric mixer with paddle attachment or hand mixer|
|5. Add eggs, sour cream, and vanilla||3 large eggs
3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons (227 g) sour cream
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
|6. Add flour, baking soda, and salt||2 1/3 cups (336 g) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sea salt
|7. Layer batter and swirl in pan||Batter from step 6
Cinnamon nut swirl from step 2
|8. Bake coffee cake||–||Oven, knife or toothpick|
|9. Cool and remove coffee cake||–||Wire rack, serving plate or platter|
Zingerman’s Sour Cream Coffee Cake: FAQ Section
Why is sour cream used in coffee cake?
Sour cream is used in coffee cake for two main reasons: flavor and texture. Sour cream adds a tangy note that balances out the sweetness of the cake and enhances its richness. Sour cream also helps create a moist and tender crumb, thanks to its high fat content and acidity. Sour cream reacts with baking soda to produce carbon dioxide bubbles that leaven the cake and make it light.
Can I use yogurt instead of sour cream in coffee cake?
You can use yogurt instead of sour cream in coffee cake, but you may need to make some adjustments. Yogurt is thinner than sour cream,