The fifth recipe in the Cakes section of the Modern Baker Challenge is a delicious and simple sour cream coffee cake. What makes this cake unique is the addition of sour cream to what is essentially a pound cake batter. But what makes it amazing is the cinnamon-sugar-nut filling!
After mixing the batter, I spread half of it in a bundt pan.
I topped the batter with half of the cinnamon-sugar-nut mixture.
Then I spread the rest of the batter on top.
Finally, I added the rest of the topping.
I baked the cake at 325°F for about an hour, until it was golden brown and baked through. I read and reread the instructions for removing the cake from the pan and kept thinking they had to be wrong. If I followed the instructions — which said to invert the pan on a rack, lift off the pan, then put a rack on top of the cake and invert it again — the cake would wind up upside down.
But when I turned the cake out of the pan, I realized that “upside down” was right side up for this cake, since the cinnamon-sugar-nut mixture was on top of the cake in the pan.
You’d think I would know by now to trust Nick’s instructions.
This was a wonderful coffee cake. The cake itself wasn’t overly sweet. The sour cream added both richness and a bit of tang to the crumb. The nut mixture was, of course, quite sweet, but it was distributed throughout the cake in such a way that it blended perfectly with the cake.
This is definitely the recipe I will reach for the next time I want to make coffee cake. And it’s just another reason I’m glad to have my well-worn copy of The Modern Baker on my cookbook shelf.