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Coffee Cake Without Sour Cream

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Who has not wanted to have dessert with their coffee? I can tell you, I am not the exception.

Many times, I want to eat that delicious coffee cake with my morning coffee every single day. I bet I’m not the only one who wants a whole coffee cake for myself.

I have the biggest sweet tooth imaginable, and I can eat two (or three…or four) portions of coffee cake. However, I also like to share with my friends and family.

The first thing we must say about this recipe is that it does not contain coffee. It was originally called coffee cake because it served as an accompaniment to coffee.

Coffee cake’s origin is European, invented by the Scandinavians. The recipe was then adopted by the English and brought to the United States by colonists.

The original version is not far from the Starbuck’s version. Some chefs incorporate a little coffee, but usually, it only contains cocoa powder and spices.

Today, I want to share with you our version of the coffee cake. While the traditional recipe uses sour cream, we are going to make a lighter coffee cake without sour cream.

This cake may seem a little complicated at first since it is prepared in layers, but I promise that it is super easy to make.

Ingredients For Coffee Cake

If you’ve ever tasted a coffee cake, you might have noticed that it is a sponge cake. With a soft filling and a crunchy topping, this coffee cake it the best of both worlds.

So what ingredients do you need for a coffee cake?

Well, the first step is making the vanilla sponge cake. We use a traditional and fluffy version of vanilla sponge cake, with the following ingredients:

  • Sugar
  • Flour
  • Butter
  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla

Then we will make a mixture of sugar, cocoa, and spices. These ingredients are combined and swirled in the sponge cake dough and then baked.

The secret of this coffee cake is that the cake is poured into two parts, alternating between the layer of cocoa and spices. By doing this, you get a beautiful dark line with a strong flavor that mixes with the sponge cake.

Finally, we make the cinnamon streusel. The streusel is a thick mixture of flour, butter, brown sugar, and spices. Many chefs use only cinnamon, but we love adding a little nutmeg and clove powder for a more complex flavor profile.

Why Make Coffee Cake Without Sour Cream?

The reality is that sour cream is not essential for this cake. In fact, some prefer firmer coffee cake in order to dip it in coffee without it immediately turning to mush.

When you add sour cream to a cake, you get a velvety texture, which is easily crumbled.

Also, sour cream is an ingredient that not everybody has in their fridge. Instead, most of us usually have butter in the fridge, so we substitute butter for the sour cream in this recipe.

The Best Molds For Coffee Cake

For baked cakes, I always prefer metal molds because metal molds distribute heat much better.

However, for this coffee cake, I used glass molds. If you’re on the market for a good glass mold, I highly recommend this loaf pan.

How To Make Coffee Cake Without Sour Cream

Below are some basic step-by-step instructions. I’ve provided more detailed instructions in the recipe card, so make sure you take a look before getting started.

The purpose of providing more basic instructions is to give you a step-by-step visual of the entire process before diving into the details. Please let us know if this is helpful!

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350 F and gather the ingredients for the streusel topping

Step 2: To make the streusel, place the dry ingredients in a bowl and stir

Step 3: Melt the butter, pour it over the dry mixture, and stir until crumbs form

Step 4: Add the nuts (I use peanuts, but you can use whatever you prefer)

Step 5: Gather the ingredients for the filling

Step 6: To make the filling, place all the ingredients in a bowl, stir with a spoon until well-integrated, and set aside

Step 7: Gather the ingredients for the coffee cake

Step 8: To make the coffee cake, place the butter in an electric mixer, and gradually add the sugar, flour, and eggs as you whisk

Step 9: Pour half of the dough into a greased baking dish, sprinkle in the filling, then add the remainder of the dough

Step 10: Cover with all streusel on top and bake for approximately 35 minutes

Step 11: When the cake topping is golden, remove it from the oven and let it cool for at least an hour

Step 12: Cut the coffee cake into slices and enjoy it with a delicious cup of coffee

Coffee Cake Without Sour Cream

Coffee Cake Without Sour Cream

Yield: 2 cakes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

This coffee cake without sour cream is light and fluffy, yet still dense enough to dip in coffee!


For the cake:

  • 4 cups (500 g) of all-purpose flour   
  • 2 cups (430 g) of sugar 
  • 1 cup (225 g) of butter 
  • 5 eggs 
  •  1 tbsp of vanilla extract or essence
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  •  Lemon zest (optional)

For the streusel topping:

  • ¾ cup brown sugar 
  • ¾ cup of wheat flour
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter 
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder 
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg powder 
  •  ⅛ tsp ground cloves 
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • ½ cup walnuts, or peanuts, or almonds (optional)

For the filling:

  •  ½ cup of sugar 
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon powder
  •  2 tbsp cocoa powder
  •  ¼ tsp nutmeg powder


For this coffee cake, you must first make the streusel topping, and then the cinnamon and cocoa filling. This process mirrors the assembling of the coffee cake.

Many confectioners don't often say so, but baking powder generally starts to work the moment it enters the mix. So, it is important that as soon as you finish mixing the cake, you put it in the oven.

Preheat your oven to 180 ° C / 360 ° F. Prepare the mold (baking pan) and cover it lightly with butter and a little flour.

To make the streusel, place the dry ingredients in a bowl: flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, and a pinch of salt. Stir them with a spoon until they are fully integrated.

Melt the butter in the microwave, 5-10 seconds will suffice. Pour the melted butter over the dry mixture and stir until crumbs form.

Add the nuts, place the mixture in a covered container, and place it in the refrigerator while you prepare the cake and the filling.

To make the filling, place all the ingredients in a bowl: sugar, the cinnamon powder, the cocoa powder, and the nutmeg. Stir with a spoon until well-integrated and set aside.

The last step is to make the cake. Place the butter in the bowl of the electric mixer, and gradually add the sugar. Whisk for at least five minutes, ideally ten minutes until the sugar has fully integrated with the butter and you see a light-yellow paste.

Add the eggs one by one, and, while continuing to beat, add the milk and the vanilla extract or essence.

Lastly, add the sifted flour with the baking powder. Beat for about three more minutes until you are sure there are no lumps.

Pour half of the mixture into the mold that you have previously prepared. Sprinkle five tablespoons of filling over the raw cake mix, then pour the second half of the mixture.

Cover the cake and filling with streusel on top. Bake for approximately 35 minutes.

When the cake topping is completely golden, try inserting a toothpick inside the cake. If the coffee cake is dry, it is ready.

Remove it from the oven and let it cool for at least an hour before removing it from the mold.

Cut the cake into slices and enjoy it with a good cup of coffee.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 20 Serving Size: 1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 228Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 55mgSodium: 112mgCarbohydrates: 37gFiber: 1gSugar: 12gProtein: 6g

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