Sour cream coffee cake

I’m baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!

Y’all, I can’t believe I’ve been so lazy the past six–er, seven–months. I’m truly sorry. A lot has happened since the middle of May. My brother and Sara got married in New York, over which was perhaps one of the most fun weekends of my life.  New friends; new roommate. A lovely weekend with my Sarahs in North Carolina. Bridal showers; bachelorette parties. A terrible football season following many hopeful months. (Really? We’re still not bowl-eligible?) A hilarious and unforgettable weekend in Boise with Richard. My best friend’s wedding. Lots and lots of good music, including a fantastic music festival. An ambulance ride. My sister’s extended stay in Seattle. A season of rec-league kickball. (You read that correctly–yes, kickball.) Visits from family and good friends. Three whole seasons, although summer was so short it almost doesn’t count.

And now it’s the middle of November, which is so hard to believe. I leave a week from tomorrow to head home for Thanksgiving, but it seems like it was just New Year’s…2010 has gone by ridiculously fast.

I’ve made dozens of blog-worthy (ugh, hate that descriptor) recipes over the last seven months, but I could only be bothered to photograph a few of them. Because we’re about to kick off the holiday season, I made my mom’s sour cream coffee cake yesterday afternoon. It was a gray, rainy day, and all I could think about was how much I’m looking forward to being home next week. And if there’s anything that encapsulates the entire holiday season  in edible form, it’s this coffee cake. If you know my mom and have ever been nice or friendly to her, you probably receive one of these cakes as a Christmas gift every year; it has developed somewhat of a cult following for that reason. And because it’s DELICIOUS.

Rainy Seattle

Technically, it’s my grandmother’s recipe, but my mom has really made it her own. When I got the recipe from her yesterday, she didn’t even need to look it up; she was in the car and could recite the entire recipe off the top of her head. I also was looking for an excuse to finally use this awesome sifter that I bought at an estate sale a few months ago.

It’s exactly like the one my mom uses to make her dozens of coffee cakes each December. I also got a few vintage mixing bowls (the green one is there in the background) just like the ones my grandparents had and that my mom has. Nostalgia!

Bottom line: make this cake and people will love you. Period.

P.S. I made a second attempt at Mema’s pound cake for Emma Beth’s bridal shower, and it turned out beautifully!

P.P.S. My awesome new roommate, Kacie, brought with her this amazing butcher block that belonged to her grandparents…because it’s by the window, it’s quickly become my new favorite place to photograph things for this blog!

Sour cream coffee cake

*makes one Bundt cake.

2 sticks butter at room temperature
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
6 Tbsp. powdered sugar
3 Tbsp. ground cinnamon

Cream the butter and sugar. (I pretty much love any recipe that starts this way.)

Add the eggs and beat them in.

Add the sour cream and beat it in. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into the batter. Beat until smooth and set aside for a minute.

In a small bowl, combine the powdered sugar and cinnamon. Break up the pecan halves into the mixture. How many pecans? “Enough so it looks right,” my mom says.

“Right” was about 2/3 cup to me. If you’re like me and forget to set the butter out to soften, you can do the pecan/sugar/cinnamon thing while you’re waiting for the butter to come to room temperature.

Spray a bundt pan liberally with the Pam that has flour in it. Trust me. Put about half of the cake batter into the pan, then sprinkle the cinnamon/sugar/pecan mixture on top.

Add the rest of the batter and bake at 350 for 1 hour. See that delicious, cinnamony, sugary, pecany ripple that goes through the cake? Lovely. The stuff of dreams.

Oh, and it freezes beautifully.

So, funny story. After the cake had been in the over for half an hour, I went to the basement to put my clothes in the dryer. Long story short, I locked myself out of my house while the cake was in the oven. God bless my neighbor, Connie, who helped me kick the door in and then installed the new lock that I bought at ACE hardware to replace the one I busted. As a reward, Connie was the lucky recipient of half of the coffee cake. The other half I brought with me to work today…and it was gone within two hours. Nary a crumb to be found.

I have a couple of recipes that I actually photographed, so I will work on getting those posted soon. At least one of them before Thanksgiving, I promise. I’m also working on getting other photos uploaded to flickr so that I can link to them from here (pictures from Michael’s wedding, etc.).

Thanks for putting up with my lazy butt!


7 thoughts on “Sour cream coffee cake

  1. lizbeth! i wish i lived in ATL and could see you this Thanksgiving! We will be in Minnesooota 🙂 I check your blog every few days- I was so excited that you put another post up! i love this one- i’ll be making it soon. then i can nostalge (can you make that a verb?) as a bake about eating that cake in your parents kitchen!

    • The Normans will love this cake–everyone does! I hope y’all have a happy Thanksgiving with Mark’s family. When do I get to see Ellie again??

  2. Mema submitted this recipe for the 1978 First Baptist Church of Swainsboro Family Cookbook. It’s awesome, the recipe and the cookbook. I have a paper clip to mark the page and like Aunt Martha’s, it has flour and butter spots all over it. There have been countless teachers, friends and neighbors that have recieved this as a Christmas gift. I have friends (like your mom) that have grown to expect one each year! I’m actually making one this week to give to a friend who is having her family home for Thanksgiving. Mema always said that it actually tasted better after freezing it. Can’t wait to see you next week!

    • I knew it was Mema’s recipe, but I didn’t know that that you and Martha are equally as “famous” as my mom is for making it, especially around Christmas! Of course, it only makes sense because it is so good (and pretty easy). Think of the people who have been blessed by this coffee cake!

      When I’m home, I want to get a few recipes from both you and Martha to make for this blog…I know everyone has their specialities!

  3. So now I feel like it is my duty as a daughter of a Smith girl to start baking this for everyone I know for Christmas! These Yankees won’t know what hit ’em!
    I do love to make this.
    Love you Lizzie and can’t wait to see you in a little over a month!!!!

  4. So Abby wants to come over with her future baby sometime over the Christmas holidays to learn how to make it. And I agree with Little Mona–it’s my duty to learn too. Let the baking begin!

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