Sticky Bun Sour Cream Coffee Cake

published Apr 21, 2020
Sticky Bun Sour Cream Coffee Cake

This simple sour cream cake is covered in a nutty caramel glaze, giving you all the joys of a sticky bun but none of the work of a yeast dough.

Serves9

Prep30 minutes

Cook45 minutes to 50 minutes

Jump to Recipe
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Credit: Photo: Karla Conrad; Food Stying: Trish Myers; Prop Styling: Leslie Poyzer

A slice of cake for breakfast is one of the greatest gifts you can give to yourself — especially when that cake tastes like a warm, gooey sticky bun. This simple sour cream coffee cake is covered in a nutty caramel glaze, giving you all the joys of a sticky bun but none of the work of a yeast dough. In fact, this cake is out of the oven and ready to devour in just over an hour, meaning even late risers can get in on the fun.

Credit: Photo: Karla Conrad; Food Stying: Trish Myers; Prop Styling: Leslie Poyzer

A Gooey Upside-Down Cake Best Served Warm

Similar to an upside-down cake, this cake’s caramel topping is actually the first thing to go into the pan, since the cake gets flipped before serving. After making the simple caramel sauce on the stovetop, you’ll pour it into the greased pan, top it with chopped pecans, then dollop the cake batter over top. After it’s baked, you’ll want to let the cake cool for just about five minutes — long enough for the topping to firm up ever-so-slightly, but not so long that it will harden, making it difficult to un-mold the cake.

Once it’s inverted, you’ll slice the cake into squares and serve it warm, while the nutty, crunchy topping is delightfully gooey. We think it’s best enjoyed with a warm mug of coffee, with the pan nearby so you can easily reach for seconds.

Although you’ll be baking it off in the morning, there’s still plenty of prep you can do the night before. Go ahead and place the butter in the bowl of your stand mixer to let it soften to room temperature. Chop and toast the pecans. Whisk together the dry ingredients for the cake batter. In the morning, after dreaming of this cake all night, you’ll be happy for the jump start.

Sticky Bun Sour Cream Coffee Cake

This simple sour cream cake is covered in a nutty caramel glaze, giving you all the joys of a sticky bun but none of the work of a yeast dough.

Prep time 30 minutes

Cook time 45 minutes to 50 minutes

Serves 9

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 2 sticks

    (1 cup) unsalted butter, divided

  • Cooking spray

  • 2 cups

    pecan halves (about 8 ounces)

  • 1 cup

    packed dark brown sugar

  • 1/3 cup

    dark corn syrup

  • 1/4 cup

    heavy cream

  • 1 1/2 cups

    all-purpose flour

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons

    baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/8 teaspoon

    ground nutmeg

  • 1 cup

    granulated sugar

  • 2

    large eggs

  • 2/3 cup

    sour cream

  • 1 teaspoon

    vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Place 1 stick of the unsalted butter in the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a large bowl if using an electric hand mixer) and let sit at room temperature until softened. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Coat an 8 or 9-inch square baking pan with cooking spray.

  2. Coarsely chop 2 cups pecan halves. Place on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until fragrant and toasted, about 6 minutes. Set aside to cool. Meanwhile, make the caramel.

  3. Melt the remaining 1 stick unsalted butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add 1 cup packed dark brown sugar, 1/3 cup dark corn syrup, and 1/4 cup heavy cream. Stir until the brown sugar melts. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil. Boil, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Immediately pour the caramel into the baking pan. Sprinkle the pecans evenly over the caramel.

  4. Place 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg in a medium bowl and whisk to combine.

  5. Add 1 cup granulated sugar to the bowl of softened butter. Beat with the paddle attachment on medium speed until smooth and creamy, 3 to 4 minutes. Beat in 2 large eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in 2/3 cup sour cream and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Reduce the mixer speed to low, and beat in the flour mixture in three additions, beating just until evenly combined and a thick batter forms, 2 to 3 minutes.

  6. Dollop the batter into the baking pan and spread evenly over the pecans. Bake until a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached, 35 to 40 minutes. Place the cake on a wire rack and let cool for about 5 minutes.

  7. Run a thin knife around the cake to loosen it from the pan. Invert a large serving platter over the cake. Grasping both the platter and the baking pan (careful, it’s hot!), flip both over in one motion. Remove the pan. If any nuts or syrup remain in the pan, use a spatula to scrape them back onto the cake.

  8. Let the cake cool 5 minutes more for the topping to set. Cut into squares and serve warm. This cake is best served the day it is baked.

Recipe Notes

Pecans: Pre-chopped pecans are too small, so buy pecan halves and coarsely chop them yourself. You can also use walnuts instead of pecans.

Storage: Leftovers can be stored for a day or two in a tightly covered container at room temperature. Reheat in a 300ºF oven until warmed through.