Old-Fashioned Sour Cream Crumb Cake

Skip the bakery and make indulgently rich and buttery sour cream crumb cake at home this weekend!

slice of sour cream crumb cake with vanilla glaze

Let’s talk about breakfast. More specifically, weekend breakfast. Those impossibly lazy mornings in big comfy beds with fluffy comforters, hand delivered breakfast in bed… oh, sorry. That’s a dream.

Re-al-it-y check.

Weekend mornings = frantically running around the house, doing laundry, maybe working out, running errands, “did I forget to take off my make-up last night?”, and paying bills. Basically, the opposite of relaxing and enjoyable. Hey life! Slow down.

slices of sour cream crumb cake with vanilla glaze

Well. I need a relaxing morning and something tells me you do too. Let’s clear off our mornings this weekend and sit down to a glorious homemade breakfast and just chill. Is that orange juice on your table? Add some champagne. Because YOU deserve it.

I made today’s sour cream crumb cake just for this very special spring weekend. I don’t think anyone can ever turn down a classic crumb cake, especially one with a tempting cinnamon swirl hidden inside.

slices of sour cream crumb cake

This is a recipe every baker should have in their repertoire. It’s smaller and a little softer (more cakey) than my traditional crumb cake recipe. It also has that swirl inside! The recipe took me a few tries to truly perfect, but all you need to know is that it’s easy and it’s blissfully good. 🙂

The batter is rich and thick. I was tempted to use cake flour in the recipe to achieve an ultra soft crumb, but found that all-purpose gave a more ideal texture for a breakfast cake. Fluffy, yet tight crumbs throughout. Butter and eggs leave the cake plenty tender and rich. You’ll be creaming the butter, which produces a wonderfully cakey texture. Sour cream is the moist maker. It leaves the cake incredibly moist and lush. Remember, room temperature for all these ingredients.

To keep things simple, there’s only one streusel recipe. Half will go into the center of the crumb cake and the other half will go on top. The streusel is made from brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and cold butter. That butter must be chilled and absolutely not soft in the slightest. Why the emphasis on cold? The streusel needs to maintain some of its structure in the oven or else it will all sink to the bottom of the cake. Make sure the streusel is in pea-sized crumbs as you cut in the cold butter. Like so:

crumb topping in a glass bowl with a pastry cutter

Is it appropriate to just eat all the crumbs off first?

sour cream crumb cake before slicing

The cake doesn’t really even NEED glaze, but then again breakfast doesn’t really even NEED this many buttery cinnamon crumbs so let’s add glaze. And it will sink down into every nook and cranny of the bumpy streusel topping.

slice of sour cream crumb cake on a white plate

I mean, really. Look at this ridiculous breakfast to pair with your lazy weekend morning and mimosa. 🙂

Print
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overhead image of squares of crumb cake with vanilla icing

Old-Fashioned Sour Cream Crumb Cake

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
  • Yield: serves 9-12
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Skip the bakery and make indulgently rich and buttery sour cream crumb cake at home this weekend.


Ingredients

Streusel

  • 1/3 cup (67g) packed dark or light brown sugar
  • 1/2 (63g) cup all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 Tablespoons (43g) unsalted butter, cold and cubed

Cake

  • 1 and 1/3 cups (166g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) full-fat sour cream, at room temperature*

Vanilla Glaze

  • 1 cup (120g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons (30ml) heavy cream or milk

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Grease and lightly flour a round or square 8-inch pan. Or simply line with parchment paper.
  2. Make the streusel: Combine the brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon together in a medium bowl. Cut in the chilled butter with a pastry blender or two forks (or even with your hands) until the mixture resembles pea sized crumbs. Set aside.
  3. Make the cake: Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl. Set aside. Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed until smooth and creamy – about 1 minute. Add the sugar and beat on high speed for 2 minutes until creamed together fairly well. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. On medium-high speed, add 1 egg at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract and sour cream. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.
  4. With the mixer on low speed, beat in the dry ingredients until just combined. Do not overmix this batter. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. The batter will be smooth and thick. Carefully spread half of the batter into the pan. Sprinkle with half of the streusel. Carefully spread the remaining half of the batter on top, then the remaining streusel. You need every last drop of batter to fill this pan. Do your best spreading it out into even layers. I use the back of a spoon to spread the batter around neatly.
  5. Bake for around 30 minutes or until the cake is baked through. To test for doneness, insert a toothpick into the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, it is done. Allow cake to cool in the pan set on a wire rack for 20 minutes.
  6. Make the glaze: Whisk all of the glaze ingredients together in a medium bowl. Drizzle over cake. Slice and serve. Cover leftovers tightly and store at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: The cake can be baked and covered tightly at room temperature overnight. Make the glaze the next morning and drizzle over cake before serving. Cake can be frozen up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before serving.
  2. Sour Cream: Thick Greek yogurt works instead of sour cream.
  3. Larger Cake: This recipe can easily be doubled and baked in a 9×13 pan for around 45 minutes.
  4. Loaf Pan: This recipe can easily be made in a 9×5 loaf pan and baked for around 40 minutes.
  5. Adapted from Super Crumb Coffee Cake and Banana Chocolate Chip Crumb Cake.

Keywords: sour cream crumb cake, old fashioned crumb cake

More lazy weekend favorites:

Homemade Monkey Bread with Caramel Sauce

caramel monkey bread on an orange plate

Strawberry Cheesecake Muffins

stack of strawberry cheesecake muffins on a blue plate

Unbelievable Blueberry French Toast Casserole

overhead image of blueberry french toast casserole in glass baking dish after baking

Chocolate Chip Scones

stack of chocolate chip scones

78 Comments

  1. Lorrie Bryan says:

    I made this and it is wonderful! Very easy and fast, I sprinkled chocolate chips on it, because, really, why not? The girls and I loved it. Thanks for the great recipes. So many remind me of my grandmother’s recipes. I love the memories and making more with my girls.

  2. Daphne yannai says:

    My niece made it today. Sheer pleasure.

  3. Linda Stone says:

    Can I use the crumb topping from your pumpkin crumb cake muffins on top of this cake or do you think it might sink as it is made with melted butter? It held up very well on the muffins.

    1. Hi Linda! The crumb topping for the pumpkin crumb muffins would be just fine on top of this crumb cake batter.

  4. Made this for my husband today. He was disappointed with the last store-bought crumb cake we got and I thought I would surprise him with this… he loves it! Said this is what a good crumb cake should taste like … tks !

  5. Lucia Calcetto says:

    Hi, Sally! I made this cake and it turned out great! Really tasty and fluffy! The only thing is that I made the glaze as directed and as soon as I drizzled it over the cake, it was absorbed by the cake and disappeared! But other than that, I really liked the cake!

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed it! If the cake was still hot when you added the glaze this can happen. You can also try to decrease the liquid in the glaze next time to make it thicker.

  6. Your recipe sounds delish! Have you ever made it using almond flavoring instead of vanilla? If not, do you think it would taste ok? Thanks, have a blessed day.

    1. I haven’t tried it but you certainly can! I recommend still using the vanilla and then adding 1/4 or 1/2 teaspoon almond extract for an extra layer of flavor. Let me know if you try it!

  7. This was easily the best coffee cake we’ve had! My husband hates sour cream but just adored how it made this cake turn out!

    Sally- how easily can this be doubled?

    1. I’m so happy to read this! Thank you for your positive feedback 🙂 For a doubled recipe- I always suggest making two cakes. I double breads and cookies, but always try to make two separate batches when it comes to cakes. Helps me avoid overmixing, which ruins the texture.

  8. Clare. Dowell says:

    I have been looking for a good sour cream crumb cake for some time, but now my search is over. This cake couldn’t be any better than it is, unless one has a personal preference to add nuts or chips. The crumb is perfect. Thanks again Sally!

  9. Fantastic! I really used every last drop of the batter, but the crumb topping was great for covering up any odd spaces on top 🙂

  10. Donna DeGraaf says:

    I am planning on doubling this recipe and putting it in a 9×13 pan and would like to serve it from the pan, so is a glass pan ok to use? Would I need to adjust the temperature and/or timing?

    1. You can certainly use a glass pan and keep the same temperature. Since you’re doubling the recipe, bake for about 45 minutes. Enjoy!

  11. Sloboda Andjelkovich says:

    Excellent recipe! Just made it, so happy with results! Thank you sharing.

  12. Followed the recipe exactly, except I added a tablespoon of sour cream, and a dash of salt to the glaze. Really happy with the finished result. Thanks!

  13. Simply delicious!
    I didn’t have cinnamon so I used pumpkin spice. It was a hit with the family during this time of . Thanks!

  14. Do you think I could use plain vanilla yogurt instead of sour cream? I have some I need to use up!

    1. Yes you can!

  15. The batter tasted absolutely wonderful, however I didn’t seem to have quite enough of it to layer it properly.. even with using every drop I could get. It’s in the oven now baking… I hope it turns out okay regardless!

  16. I made this yesterday and it was absolutely delicious. The batter on it’s own tasted so yummy. I struggled to get a top layer and you’re right about using every drop but it turned out perfect. Will definitely make it again. Thank you so much, I’ve been looking for a sour cream cake recipe for years and this is the best.

  17. Delicious recipe. I ran out of butter, so I subbed with shortening and the cake still came out great! My mom and sister loved it too.

  18. Hi Sally,

    Would this recipe work for a 9×5 or 10×5 loaf pan???

    1. Hi Laura, I have not tested this recipe in a loaf pan so while the batter would likely fit in either (see my Cake Pan Sizes and Conversions chart) I am unsure of the bake time needed.

    2. I made this today in a 9×5 non stick loaf pan and it took about 50 minutes. I started checking it after 40 minutes. It came out perfect and can’t wait to make again!

  19. I thought there needed to be a bit more batter… I also doubled the streusel. One batch in the middle and another on top. Mostly I was disappointed with the recommended cook time for a 9×13 recipe. It is most certainly not 45 mins. I set my timer at 40 mins and ended up taking it out 6 mins early and the edges were all overdone. I wish I watched it better 🙁 and also put parchment in there… I figured it would finished baking in the pan and it wouldn’t matter. Oh well. At least the middle should be good.

  20. I ended up making this in a glass 8×8 dish. It did require a bit more cooking time (about 45 mins), but it turned out amazing! It is a perfect blend of flavours without being overly sweet. At first I thought there wasn’t enough batter, as I had just enough to spread thin layer on top, but when it baked it had risen so much! Be patient and trust the recipe!

  21. I have made this recipe two times in three days in those 8 inch tin pans that you get from the grocery store. The perfect little cake to give as a gift to somebody and turns out PERFECTLY – EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. This has become one of my go- tos!

  22. Hi! I made these last night, I followed the recipe exactly but I used a glass ~9×6 dish I had (all my metal pans are round and this was the closest I had to size/shape). I reduced the oven temperature by 25 to accommodate the glass and increased the baking time to 50 minutes total. They came out DELICIOUS! Amazingly moist but not too moist, perfect level of sweetness, right level of crumb crunch. I omitted the icing since I had a feeling these would be tasty on their own! I’ll save this as my go to crumb cake recipe, but I think next time I’ll increase how much streusel I make for the top since I prefer more/bigger crumbs 🙂

  23. Molly Norback says:

    This is our new favorite cinnamon treat in our house. Perfectly sweet, perfectly cinnamon-y, and the perfect amount of cake to balance it all. ❤definitely a keeper recipe!

  24. Came out perfect ❤

  25. Had to switch this to a 9×5 last minute after realizing my square pan was a 9×9 but it still came out great. Had to bake it for about 50 minutes

    My one complaint is I didn’t get any crumbs really. I had to cut my butter in with 2 forks so that may have played a part, but I just have something more like a cinnamon-sugar top layer. It’s still tasty, but next time I might try a melted butter streusel.

  26. A perfect nostalgic coffee cake
    Great recipe- thanks!!

  27. took longer than 30 minutes to bake, more like a hour, unsure if i did something wrong. but it still was really good!

    1. i also needed to add more heavy whipping cream to the glaze to make it a glaze and not icing

  28. I have made this cake before and it is fantastic as is. But today I tried something new. I doubled the recipe, spread it all in a 9×13 pan lined with parchment and topped it with sauteed cinnamon/brown sugar apples. Then I doubled the struesel and spread that evenly over the apples. It took about 70 minutes to bake and was well worth the wait!!! Thank you, thank you for this delicious cake! I think I’ll try it with peaches next.

  29. Hi,

    Will it affect the texture of the crumb if I skip the cinnamon and replace it with some coffee?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Kinjal, we don’t recommend that replacement. The addition of brewed coffee would add too much liquid to the streusel and coffee grounds could be quite coarse. What you could try is replacing some of the cinnamon with espresso powder if you have it.

  30. I made this recipe 2x now (used 9×5 loaf pan) and still a winner … not too sweet which my husband likes. Yummy!

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