This tender sour cream coffee cake is studded with fresh blueberries and lemon zest. It’s super easy to make, then bakes until golden and fluffy. Perfect with a cup of coffee in the morning!
This easy sour cream coffee cake recipe is a riff on my black currant cake. Instead of black currants we’re using fresh blueberries, and instead of yogurt this version uses sour cream. Since black currants aren’t always available I often find myself making this cake with blueberries. It comes out perfectly and is full of sweet summer berries!
Why You’ll Love This Sour Cream Coffee Cake
- Easy. Just mix up a simple batter and spoon into an 8×8 baking dish. Bake for a bit, then add the crumb topping and continue baking until golden.
- Perfectly moist and tender. Each slice of this coffee cake is so moist and tender. That’s thanks to the sour cream, which adds both moisture and texture to the finished cake.
- Flexible. Although I’m using blueberries here, you can also use other kinds of fresh fruit like blackberries, raspberries or even black raspberries.
Can I Use a Different Kind of Berry?
Yes, you can also use chopped and drained strawberries, whole raspberries or blackberries. I have also made this cake with black raspberries when I can find them and it is totally delicious! Pretty much any kind of fruit that is about the same size as a blueberry will work. Make sure drain watery fruits like diced strawberries or peaches though.
What Does Sour Cream Do in a Coffee Cake?
Sour cream is a fantastic ingredients to use in baking coffee cakes, muffins and more. Here’s how it affects the final product:
- Moisture: Sour cream adds moisture to baked goods, which helps prevent them from becoming dry.
- Tenderness: The acidity in sour cream helps to tenderize the gluten in flour, resulting in a softer and more tender texture in baked goods.
- Flavor: It contributes a subtle tangy flavor to baked goods, which can enhance the overall taste and balance out sweetness.
- Richness: The fat content in sour cream adds richness to baked goods, resulting in a more indulgent and flavorful finished product.
If you don’t have sour cream, you can use plain yogurt like I did in my original recipe. 🙂
Tips for the Best Sour Cream Coffee Cake
- Room temperature ingredients. If you have time to let your eggs and sour cream warm to room temperature, they will be easier to mix. I have often made this cake with cold ingredients though.
- Mix well, but not too much. Gently mix the batter just until the ingredients are combined. I recommend using a rubber spatula to make sure you can scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl. However, don’t over-mix. Stop just as soon as everything is incorporated. Over-mixing and make your cake too dense.
- Keep an eye on the time. Keep an eye on the cake as it nears the end of the baking time. If it is browning quickly but the center has not yet finished baking, you can cover the cake loosely with aluminum foil. This will allow it to continue baking without over-browning.
- How to tell a coffee cake is done? Insert a toothpick into the center – if it comes out clean (no wet batter) or with a few crumbs, the cake is done. You can also carefully and gently press on the center of the cake with your finger. If it springs back, the cake is done. If an indent remains, more baking time is needed.
- Cooling. Allow the coffee cake to cool in the pan for about 10-15 minutes before transferring it to a wire rack to cool completely. This prevents it from breaking apart when you remove it from the pan.
- Want to use frozen blueberries? You can do that too! Don’t thaw them first. I also recommend tossing the berries being added directly to the batter with about 2 teaspoons of the dry ingredients. So put half of your frozen berries in a bowl, combine your dry ingredients, then add a bit to the berries and toss everything together before proceeding with the rest of the recipe. The berries that are added on top of the batter do not need to be tossed with the flour mixture.
- Want to use fresh peaches? I have also made this cake with diced fresh peaches and it is totally delicious. No need to peel the skin, just dice a ripe, fresh peach and use the same as you would the fresh blueberries. It is important that you place the diced pieces on a few layers of paper towel before adding it to the batter to drain off excess liquid. Just place them on the paper towel for about a minute before adding to the cake as directed.
I love to serve slices of this sour cream coffee cake with a dollop of whipped cream and a steaming cup of coffee. A honey vanilla latte, caramel brulée latte or pumpkin spice latte are all incredible with a tender slice of cake! You can also add a drizzle of honey on top when serving.
How to Store
- Counter. Allow the cake to cool completely, then cover it with saran wrap and store it on the counter for up to 4 days. You can also cut it into slices and transfer them to an airtight container.
- Fridge. If you want to extend its shelf life a bit, you store the slices in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 6 days. Note that the fridge does dry out the cake a little so I usually store it on the counter.
- Freezer. I recommend freezing individual slices of this cake. To do this, cut your cooled cake into slices, then wrap each slice in saran wrap or tin foil. Place the wrapped slices in an airtight, freezer-safe container and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw on the counter for a few hours before digging in.
Sour Cream Coffee Cake
For the cake:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¾ cup sour cream, or yogurt
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- Zest of 2 lemons
- 2 cups fresh blueberries
For the streusel crumb topping:
- ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
Make the Cake
- Prep your tools. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8×8 square cake pan with aluminum foil. Leave an overhang so that you can use the foil to lift the cake out of the oven later. Grease with PAM or cooking spray and set aside.
- Combine dry ingredients. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
- Mix wet ingredients. In a different bowl, whisk together yogurt, eggs, olive oil, vanilla, lemon juice and lemon zest.
- Combine wet and dry ingredients. Pour the wet mixture into the dry and mix well until combined.
- Add some berries. Add half of berries and mix into batter.
- Assemble cake. Place the batter into the prepared pan and cover with remaining blueberries.
- Bake the cake for 30 minutes. We will add the crumb topping later.
Add Crumb Topping & Finish Baking
- Make the crumb topping. While the cake is in the oven, in a small bowl combine the streusel crumb topping ingredients. Use your fingers to work the butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
- Add to the cake. After 30 minutes in the oven, take the cake out and sprinkle the streusel crumb topping on top.
- Finish baking. Return to the oven and bake for 35-40 more minutes, or until the streusel crumb topping is golden brown and a cake tester comes out clean. (No wet batter on it.) You can also test the cake by gently pressing the center with your finger. If it springs back the cake is done. If an indent stays there the cake needs more baking time.
- Cool. Remove the cake from the oven, let cool for 10-15 minutes in the pan and then remove and let cool on a wire rack.