Coffee Cake

Years ago my grandmother gave me a bundt pan.  When I first moved out on my own I brought it with me, and it has served me well over the years–creating cakes, ice rings, flower-pot holders–all the good things a good bundt pan should do.  This time of year it’s not quite the holidays in my family unless you’ve made a boatload of Gram’s Sour Cream Coffee Cakes, and the bundt pan, particularly THIS bundt pan, creates a perfectly shaped cake, and it bears all of the battle scars of a well-loved kitchen tool to prove it.

But I lost it.  I went to make cakes last year and couldn’t find the blessed thing.  I had a freak out, and tore apart every cabinet and every shelf in the house, and tried to retrace my bundt-steps, and finally concluded that the thing grew legs and walked off.  I was inconsolable for about 24 hours, and then tried to accept my failure at handling precious heirlooms, and then gave up on coffee cake making all together.

This week I made my mind up to suck it up, use the other bundt pan, and get on with my life.  I reached into the cabinet that holds those pans, wrapped my fingers around one and pulled, and much to my disbelief Gram’s pan came out.  I have no idea where it was hiding, but like an old friend with whom the conversation is easy no matter how long you’ve been apart, this pan and I kicked some serious coffee cake ass.

The batter for these comes together super quick, and it’s very easy to bust out several (I made six in one day…eep!) in one session.  I love giving them as neighborhood gifts, but they also make welcomed additions at potlucks, breakfasts, or my favorite, Christmas Morning Breakfast.

Gram’s Sour Cream Coffee Cake
1/4 lb butter
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla (or for a nice twist almond extract)
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
Cream butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla.  Mix dry ingredients together in a separate bowl.  Add dry ingredients to the sugar mixture alternately with sour cream.  Put half of the batter into buttered tube pan, and sprinkle filling liberally over batter.  Put the other half of the batter on top, and then top with filling.  Bake at 375 oven for 35-40 minutes.  Cool on rack, sugared side up, then serve.  
GAL’s note on filling:  I mix this in triplicate in a small tupperware container so it’s always on hand.  Makes for great cinnamon sugar toast or for when you want to whip up a quick apple pie.  


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