One-Bowl Sour Cream Coffee Cake (with Brown Sugar Crumb Topping)

You know you’ve hit the recipe jackpot when your usually self-moderating co-worker eats not three–not four–but FIVE slices of the dessert you bring to work in one sitting, and several senior executives stop by your desk to proffer glowing reviews what they declare to be their new favorite sweet treat. Friends: Meet this One-Bowl Sour Cream Coffee Cake (with Brown Sugar Crumb Topping) that you absolutely need in your life right now. Friends, cake. Cake, friends!

If you’re like me, you LOVE a healthy dose of crumb topping on any sweet you meet…which is why, when I started writing down this recipe, I began with the crumb. One of the most memorable crumb cakes that I have ever made came from Sally’s Old-Fashioned Sour Cream Crumb Cake. Just the thought of eating this brown sugar crumble again was enough to make me short-circuit my keyboard with dripping drool, so I scribbled down the four simple ingredients (flour, cinnamon, butter, brown sugar) and kept searching for the cake to my crumb.

After a lot of research, I finally landed on a recipe for Sour Cream Coffee Cake from the New York Times that sounded like a great base for my own coffee cake. I love using sour cream, Greek yogurt, and any other tangy dairy product in my cakes since they really balance out could easily feel like an overly indulgent dessert. The sheer amount of fluff from this recipe is also unbelievable: If you’re looking for the perfect potluck dish that’s sure to be inhaled lickety-split, you’d better save yourself a slice before the hungry hordes descend, because every bite feels like sinking your teeth into a heavenly marshmallow cloud. You are so, so welcome.

And have I mentioned the very best part of this recipe? This Sour Cream Coffee Cake takes only one bowl to make! I am, of course, a huge proponent of making baking as simple as possible–half of it is because nobody has time for elaborate three-hour cake recipes on a weeknight, and the other half is purely selfish distaste for washing out greasy kitchenware after a baking session. So I was giddy when I tested this, only to discover that I could make my cake in one bowl AND eat it, too! I have since made this cake again and it’s definitely a time-tested keeper for the recipe box, so don’t forget to bookmark it for your next social function. Trust me: Everyone will love you for making it, and you’ll love you for making it, too!

One-Bowl Sour Cream Coffee Cake (with Brown Sugar Crumb Topping)

One-Bowl Sour Cream Coffee Cake (with Brown Sugar Crumb Topping)

Yield: 9x13-inch baking pan
Inactive Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

This Sour Cream Coffee Cake might be a one-bowl recipe--but its fluffy texture & perfect brown sugar crumb topping will make it an instant dessert favorite! With an unbelievably light cake layer on the bottom and a crisp, rich crumb on top, this recipe is perfect for parties, potlucks, and dessert (or breakfast, if you'd like).


For the cake (slightly adapted from [The New York Times|]):

  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For the crumb topping (slightly adapted from [Sally's Baking Addiction|]):

  • 1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoons butter, cold and cubed


To make cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9x13-inch baking pan and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and white sugar until light and fluffy, or about 3 minutes.
  3. Mix in eggs and vanilla until combined.
  4. Gently mix in sour cream. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Fold carefully into wet ingredients until just incorporated. Pour batter into prepared pan.

To make crumb topping:

  1. In the same (now-batter-free) bowl, combine both sugars, flour, and cinnamon. Cut in butter with a fork or using your hands until mixture resembles wet sand. Crumble evenly over batter.
  2. Bake cake in oven for 25-28 minutes, or until crumb topping is crispy and a toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out mostly clean.
  3. Slice, serve, and enjoy!



9 Replies to “One-Bowl Sour Cream Coffee Cake (with Brown Sugar Crumb Topping)”

  1. Hi Wallflour ! Great to see your post … wanted to ask you for a vegan version of this recipe …that is , what do I replace the 2 eggs with ?? I am from India and do only vegan baking for a lot of people … waiting your reply please 🙂

    1. Hi there! You can try subbing in vegan mayo for the eggs–3 tablespoons per egg. While I haven’t done this before, I believe it works quite well (I’ve done it with regular eggs). You can also try making flax eggs, per this recipe! Hope that helps! Can’t wait to hear how it turns out.

      ALSO, I just realized that I omitted the most important ingredient! I’ve added it back in–thanks for flagging.

  2. Hi there Wallflourgirl … just also wanted to know that there is no sour cream or coffee in the Sour Cream Coffee Cake recipe – so why is the cake called so 🙂 ?

    1. Rosemarie Rossanese says: Reply

      Unsalted butter for this recipe????

      1. Hey Rosemarie! I typically use salted butter (or margarine also works).

  3. This sounds quick and easy. One question, how much sour cream and when do I put it in?

    1. Hi Carolyn! Thanks so much for asking–I’ve added that to the recipe as well (clearly, late-night brain does *not* agree with me). Hope you enjoy it!

  4. Gosh, this looks great! Bet I’d eat more than one piece, too. 🙂 Thanks!

    1. John, you can always have as many as you like! Hehe.

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