Let Them Eat Cake: Sour Cream Coffee Cake

by Maris Callahan on May 12, 2009

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There is an infamous Sex and the City episode in which Miranda, a high-powered attorney and proudly independent single woman decides that she can't cope with another bad date so she goes on strike from men. She figures, what is a man when you can have a relationship with a delicious eclair?

When she tires of the astronomical New York City bakery prices (and I've been to Levain, it really does cost $4 for one cookie so I can imagine that cakes and eclairs would send me straight past the poverty line), Miranda takes to baking, an activity she had previously considered entirely too domestic to intertwine with her corporate attorney workload.

Her new relationship with Betty Crocker works out well, until she takes it too far and to prevent eating an entire chocolate cake in one night, throws it in the garbage. Well, you guessed it. Moments later she lifts the carefully tinfoil-wrapped cake from the trash can and digs in.

While I can proudly declare to the internet that I've never eaten cake (or anything, for that matter) out of the trash, I can understand that a cake can sometimes just be so good that you have to keep going back for more.

I wanted to make a cake on Mother's Day, but since chocolate cake hardly seemed appropriate for a 10:30 AM brunch I found an equally tempting recipe for a simple sour cream coffee cake from Cooking Light.

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Sour Cream Coffee Cake
Makes 12 servings

1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 large egg whites
1 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Cooking spray


1. Preheat oven to 350F. Combine first 3 ingredients; set aside.

2. Place granulated sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well-blended (about 5 minutes). Add egg whites, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in sour cream and vanilla. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife.

3. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, stirring well with a whisk. Gradually add flour mixture to sugar mixture; beat well. Spread half of batter into an 8-inch square baking pan coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle half of walnut streusel over batter. Spread remaining batter over streusel. Top with remaining streusel.

4. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool the cake on a wire rack.

And since I've been on this big "I'm eating healthier kick" I thought I'd include nutritional information on this one, provided by Cooking Light, just to show you that you actually can have your cake and eat it too.

Nutritional Information
Calories:243 (30% from fat)
Fat:8.1g (sat 4g,mono 2.2g,poly 1.4g)

{ 47 comments… read them below or add one }

Heidi Renée May 12, 2009 at 3:00 am

I was going to comment but I am too busy licking my screen. You’ll have to excuse me.


ksgoodeats May 12, 2009 at 3:00 am

I haven’t had coffee cake in ages and that looks amazing!!


Lexi May 12, 2009 at 3:00 am

I might need to try this! I wonder if it would work in muffin form?


elra May 12, 2009 at 3:00 am

Simple and classic recipe always the best! Drooling and dreaming of having this with my cup of joe! Delicious.


pamela May 12, 2009 at 3:00 am

It looks phenomenal!! Hope everyone enjoyed it.


Daryl May 12, 2009 at 3:00 am

I can attest to the fact that this cake is incredible as I am the lucky Mothers Day recipient. It was absolutely amazing. I took home 3 pieces and ate them all at once!


Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) May 12, 2009 at 3:00 am

So nice to have a “lighter” version of the classic coffee cake. I’m guessing there were no leftovers….?


Nirvana May 12, 2009 at 3:00 am

Delicious (and bookmarked) :)


Food Hunter May 12, 2009 at 3:00 am

I love coffee cake. This one looks delicious.


Catherine May 12, 2009 at 3:00 am

It’s time for tea (which I never have time to make…but I would if I could share it with a piece of this cake!)


Pearl May 12, 2009 at 3:00 am

i’ve never used sour cream in anything but that does sound like a delish way to brighten up coffee cake!


prettyneato May 12, 2009 at 3:00 am

That looks awfully tasty. And messy. Perfect! I will have to try this … maybe I can make some to take with us when we go camping on Father’s Day … !


Matt May 12, 2009 at 3:00 am

I can get down with coffee cake.


lisa (dandysugar) May 12, 2009 at 3:00 am

Mmm, yum. This looks and sounds great. I have a similar recipe in my mooswood cookbook. Sour cream adds a great moist texture. I love that it’s “light” too!


Kerstin May 13, 2009 at 3:00 am

I love sour cream in coffee cake – it looks fantastic!


kelly61 May 13, 2009 at 3:00 am

OMG! That look fabulous! Think I’ll have to try this one.


grace May 13, 2009 at 3:00 am

streusel topping. that’s all i need. of course, a moist cake doesn’t hurt, and neither does the fact that this isn’t bad for you at all! great cake!


kat May 13, 2009 at 3:00 am

love love love sour cream cake!


Rachel May 13, 2009 at 3:00 am

For some reason I have been really craving coffee cake lately! I’m going to make this for breakfast on Saturday. I love that it is lighter too! Thanks again for your sweet comments Maris! Have a wonderful day!


Susan May 13, 2009 at 3:00 am

aah, I totally know how Miranda felt in that episode.


Melissa May 13, 2009 at 3:00 am

Great looking cake! Now that I’m interested in baking, I’ve been eying a lot more recipes from Cooking Light. There’s only two of us here and I fear becoming like Miranda… just too much for two people to eat and stay healthy.


Erin May 13, 2009 at 3:00 am

That looks really yummy! I’ll admit I’ve never made a coffee cake!


Jamie May 14, 2009 at 3:00 am

We all love a great coffee cake wit streusel on top and it is really the house favorite – with mini chocolate chips in the streusel (and chopped pecans when I can – hubby is allergic). Yours looks equally delish! It is the perfect breakfast!
And I have often been tempted to throw cakes and such in the trash to keep from eating the entire thing….in fact, I have.


Venus May 14, 2009 at 3:00 am

Oh! That looks so good I want to jump in through the screen and eat it!! I will HAVE to make this. Thank you for sharing it.
(Btw, which season is that Miranda episode? I have to watch it because it sounds great I can’t remember it)


Amy I. May 14, 2009 at 3:00 am

Hey Maris, thanks for stopping by my blog! Glad to have found yours too, looking forward to reading along. The coffee cake looks YUM :)


Sara May 14, 2009 at 3:00 am

I love that episode of Sex and the City. This cake looks really delicious, I find that sour cream adds a lot of moisture to baked goods.


Hayley May 14, 2009 at 3:00 am

I know exactly the episode you’re talking about. Too funny. This looks great!


Hopie May 14, 2009 at 3:00 am

Thanks for stopping by my blog. I’m certainly enjoying discovering yours. This cake looks delicious (as do lots of your recipes)!


gastroanthropologist May 14, 2009 at 3:00 am

I loved that episode – and when she goes to the trash to get one last bite.
Sour cream coffee cake…yum…


alexandra May 14, 2009 at 3:00 am

Love that episode! I love when she throws the cake in the trash and then two seconds later is reaching in the can for one last taste. i could watch Sex and the City reruns every night … ok, i do watch Sex and the City reruns every night. Gotta love TBS.
This cake sounds fabulous! I love baking with sourcream. It adds a nice tang.


E.P. May 14, 2009 at 3:00 am

Yum! This sounds absolutely wonderful!


Jen May 14, 2009 at 3:00 am

Wow! Looks yummy! And thanks for the nutritional info too..


Debbie Davis May 14, 2009 at 3:00 am

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm……….. YUMMY!


Bridgett May 14, 2009 at 3:00 am

Not only are your photos gorgeous, but this looks downright scrumptious. I love coffee cake and am hopelessly addicted.


lisamichele May 14, 2009 at 3:00 am

This is so odd, Maris, as I was reading this post and marveling over your beautiful coffee cake, my email alert went off and there was a comment from you. Brain waves :)
That said, that coffee cake looks amazing, as do your photos!


Dana Treat May 14, 2009 at 3:00 am

I love that episode and could totally relate to Miranda. I’ll put things down the garbage disposal so I don’t eat them! The cake looks terrific!


FatFighterTV May 14, 2009 at 3:00 am

Yum, that looks so gooey and delish! I love pretty much anything Cooking Light.


Sunny May 15, 2009 at 3:00 am

oh my, this looks and sounds delicious!! i have to try this, especially since it’s a fairly healthy recipe. i have some banana bread baking in the oven right now, i figure it’s healthy since it has bananas in it, right?! :)


mandy May 15, 2009 at 3:00 am

This looks fantastic. I am going to make it this weekend when I am in Columbus visiting friends it will be perfect.


Andrea May 15, 2009 at 3:00 am

I love coffee cake (in the morning too, but also in the afternoon with a cup of tea!). I have a very similar recipe – it’s from my mom’s collection, but you never know how it ended up to be her favorite…cooking light perhaps?


Monica Shaw May 15, 2009 at 3:00 am

Oh my god that looks seriously decadent. I want a piece… and a cup of coffee to go with it!


Cate O'Malley May 15, 2009 at 3:00 am

I totally remember that part with Miranda … and the butt shots of her walking down the street. :) Sour cream is a great addition to make something extra moist, and this looks perfect to bring into the office next week.


Juliana May 15, 2009 at 3:00 am

Yummie! The coffee cake looks so delicious, moist…love the pictures. By the way, thank you so much for visiting my site.


Janel May 15, 2009 at 3:00 am

I can’t resist coffee cakes! Last Christmas I went on a quest for the perfect one – my family was definitely happy with my obsession!


Chrissy May 16, 2009 at 3:00 am

I don’t love all cakes (I’m not sure why, I love everything else!), but I am particularly fond of coffee cake. This one looks delicious. And, being from Cooking Light and all, I guess you don’t have to feel so guilty if you end up eating the whole thing Miranda-style. :-)


Carissa May 17, 2009 at 3:00 am

yummy! I love coffee cakes, especially “light” ones :)


Rachel May 18, 2009 at 3:00 am

I made the cake for brunch on Saturday! We loved it! Thanks for the recipe!


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