The Sourdough Coffee Cake Recipe That’s Guaranteed to Be Your Favorite

This sourdough coffee cake, with a cinnamon sugar streusel topping and middle layer, is a delicious use for your leftover sourdough starter. It’s the perfect sweet morning treat.

slice of sourdough coffee ccakke with streusel topping.

Sourdough Coffee Cake with Cinnamon Streusel Topping

This moist and tender sour cream coffee cake will be a family favorite.  Uses all pantry ingredients and is a great way to use your sourdough starter!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Serving Size 12 pieces

Ingredients 

For the Cake:

  • ½ cup butter softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup sourdough starter
  • ½ cup sour cream or greek yogurt

For the Topping

  • ½ cup cold butter diced
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon

Instructions 

  • Prep. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees with the rack in the center.   Prepare a 9 x 9 or 8 x 8 square pan with non stick cooking spray.
  • Make the batter. Beat the butter and sugar in an electric stand mixer until combined.  Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until fluffy. Combine the dry ingredients in a separate mixing bowl.  Add to the butter mixture, 1/3 at a time, alternating with the sourdough starter and sour cream.  Mix gently until just combined.
    batter being mixed in bowl.
  • Make the topping. To make the topping, cut the butter into the flour until it is the size of peas.  Stir in the brown sugar and cinnamon.
    mixing bowl with crumbled butter and sugar.
  • Assemble. Layer half of the cake batter into the prepared pan.  Sprinkle half of the topping on the cake batter.  Gently spread the remaining cake batter on top, and top with the rest of the topping.  
    baking dish with layers of batter and cinnamon sugar topping.
  • Bake. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Cool in the pan for at least 15 minutes.  Serve in squares directly out of the pan.
    sourdough coffee cake before and after baking.

Notes

You can use fed or unfed sourdough starter in this recipe.  
If you only have a small amount of starter to discard,  use 1/4 cup of starter and 3/4 cup of sour cream
Calories: 277kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 33mg | Sodium: 254mg | Potassium: 72mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 29g | Vitamin A: 285IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 60mg | Iron: 1mg

This is our go-to for lazy Saturday mornings, paired with a strong cup of coffee for me and glasses of cold milk for the kids. They even ask for it on birthdays and special occasions, which, let’s be honest, makes my sourdough-loving heart swell with pride.

close up view of square piece of coffee cake.

It’s the perfect balance of not too sweet, wonderfully moist, and just the right amount of ‘special’ to make our weekend breakfasts feel like a celebration.

Coffee Cake Tips

  • Know Your Sourdough Starter: The flavor of your cake changes with your starter. Use a hungry strarter for a deep flavor or a recently-fed one for a lighter tast.
  • Use Room Temperature Ingredients: Make sure eggs, sour cream (or Greek yogurt), and butter are at room temp. They mix better.
  • Batter Thickness: This batter is thick. Don’t add more liquid. Spread it carefully in the pan to keep your layers neat.
  • Try Add-Ins: Once you’re used to the recipe, try adding nuts or dried fruit to the topping for more texture and flavor.

Key Ingredients and Tools

You’ll need the following for this delicious coffee cake:

ingredients on marble counter.
  • butter, softened
  • granulated sugar
  • eggs
  • vanilla
  • all-purpose flour
  • baking powder
  • baking soda
  • salt
  • sourdough starter
  • sour cream or Greek yogurt
  • cold butter, diced
  • brown sugar
  • teaspoons cinnamon

Serving Suggestions

Serve with freshly brewed coffee, fruit salad, and a breakfast casserole for a big, special breakfast.

Troubleshooting and Help

My sourdough starter is pretty lively. Can I use it even if it’s super active?

Absolutely! An active starter is actually great for this recipe. It means your cake might have a lighter texture and a nice, subtle sourdough tang.

Can this cake be made ahead of time?

Definitely! This cake actually tastes even better the next day, in my opinion. The flavors have time to meld together, and the texture remains moist. Just make sure to cover it well or store it in an airtight container to keep it from drying out. It’s a lifesaver for when you want a hassle-free morning treat.

How can I make this gluten-free?

Substitute the all-purpose flour with a gluten-free all-purpose flour blend. Look for a blend that’s designed to be a 1:1 replacement. Gluten-free cakes sometimes require a slightly different baking time. Start checking for doneness a few minutes earlier than the recipe suggests.

What about making it vegan?

Use a plant-based butter substitute. There are many great brands out there that work just like dairy butter in baking. Replace each egg with a flax egg. To make a flax egg, mix 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed with 3 tablespoons of water. Let it sit for about 5 minutes until it becomes gel-like. This not only acts as a binder but adds a little extra fiber too! Opt for a vegan sour cream or a plant-based yogurt. There are coconut, almond, and soy-based versions that would work well in this recipe.

Storage Instructions

Here’s how to store your sourdough coffee cake to keep it tasting fresh:

On the Counter:

  • Cool Completely: First, let the cake cool down completely after baking. Warm cake can create condensation when stored, making it soggy.
  • Cover Well: Wrap the cake tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. You can also place it in an airtight container. This helps keep it moist and prevents it from absorbing odors from the air.
  • Room Temperature: Keep the wrapped or contained cake on the counter at room temperature. It’ll stay fresh for about 3 days.

In the Fridge:

  • Cool and Wrap: Make sure the cake is completely cool. Then, wrap it as mentioned above or store it in an airtight container.
  • Refrigerate: Place it in the fridge. This can extend its freshness for up to a week. To serve, you might want to let it sit out for a bit to come to room temperature, or warm it slightly in the microwave for a few seconds.

Freezing:

  • Cool Completely: As always, let the cake cool down entirely before freezing.
  • Wrap Securely: Wrap the cake tightly in plastic wrap, then again in aluminum foil. Alternatively, cut it into slices and wrap each slice individually. This method makes it easier to thaw only what you need.
  • Freeze: Place the wrapped cake or slices in a freezer-safe bag or container. Label it with the date. It should be good for up to 3 months.
  • Thawing: To thaw, remove the cake from the freezer and let it sit in the fridge overnight or on the counter for a few hours. If you’ve frozen individual slices, you can thaw them briefly in the microwave for a quick treat.

More Quick Breads

I picked these because they are perfect for guests! Everyone will love them, even kids.

I promise you’ll love this recipe!

slice of sourdough coffee cake on plate.
The Sourdough Coffee Cake Recipe That\'s Guaranteed to Be Your FavoriteThe Sourdough Coffee Cake Recipe That\'s Guaranteed to Be Your Favorite

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Recipe Rating




47 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    YUMMY!
    I did not have any pecans or blueberries but will try each another time.
    I used just the cinnamon streusel, layering it in between and again on top.
    I know my family (this is the only change I made to the recipe), and I made extra so I would have lots between the layers, just the way they like it. I am here to tell you, make this version. It is moist and delicious. Served warm with a cup of tea or coffee, and you have the start of a perfect morning.

  2. 5 stars
    This is my favorite recipe to use up my sourdough discard. I’ve made it several times now, and it’s a huge hit every time! The only thing I do differently is I also add 1/2 cup of buttermilk to the batter. I made it exactly as this recipe says the first time, and it was amazing. The addition of the buttermilk is a personal preference for helping the batter to spread a little easier without adding too much additional liquid.