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!
5 from 11 votes

A delicious use for your discarded sourdough starter, this sourdough coffee cake is swirled and topped with cinnamon sugar streusel for the perfect sweet morning treat.

slice of sourdough coffee cake on white plate

This coffee cake is one of our absolute favorites: a sweet and tender cake swirled with cinnamon sugar streusel that makes everything more delicious. If you love a nice cinnamon sugar topping, be sure to check out my sourdough blueberry muffin recipe too! And even though this is a great way to use your discard sourdough starter, there is no sourdough taste.

So start brewing a pot of coffee and pop this in the oven. It’s one of our favorite things to make for playdates that is loved by the mom and the little ones.

Are you unfamiliar with the world of sourdough? Visit the beginners guide to sourdough baking, or get started with a sourdough starter of your own from scratch!

Ingredients you’ll need:

for the cake

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

for the topping

  • 1/4 cup cold butter, diced
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

Helpful tools:

  • A pastry blender for blending butter and flour together easily
  • An offset spatula for spreading out the batter

Let’s make some coffee cake!

Make the batter

process shots of making batter for sourdough coffee cake

This is a thick batter, so I prefer to make it with a stand mixer, but you could use a hand mixer if you have strong arms! Make sure your butter is softened before you begin.

Beat the sugar and butter together until well combined. then add the eggs.

Combine all the dry ingredients for the cake in a separate mixing bowl. Add one third them to the butter mixture and mix. Then add the sour cream and mix. Add one more third of the dry ingredients, mix. Add the sourdough starter, and mix. Finally add the last portion of the flour and mix.

The batter will be thick.

Make the topping and assemble

process shots of making streusel and layering in pan

Now we make the cinnamon sugar topping. To get a delicious crumbly streusel, you need to blend the butter and flour together first. Start with cold butter and cut it into the flour using two forks, a pastry blender, or by rubbing it together with your hands. Then add in the sugar and the cinnamon.

Now we just have to put it all together and bake! Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and place an oven rack in the center. Prepare a square pan with non stick cooking spray.

Spread out half of the cake batter into the pan, then sprinkle half of the streusel topping on top. Place the remaining cake batter in dollops and then smooth it out, using an offset spatula if you have one. Sprinkle the rest of the topping on top.

Bake for 40-45 minutes. You will want a toothpick to come out clean, or with just a few crumbs. Let the coffee cake cool a bit in the pan, and then you can serve it directly out there.

taking bite out of coffee cake

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square of sourdough coffee cake on white plate
5 from 11 votes

Sourdough Coffee Cake with Cinnamon Streusel Topping

Print Recipe
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 mins
Cook Time:40 mins
Total Time:1 hr

Ingredients

for the cake:

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

for the topping

  • 1/4 cup cold butter diced
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

Instructions

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • To make the topping, cut the butter into the flour until it is the size of peas.  Stir in the brown sugar and cinnamon.
  • 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.  
  • 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.

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

Nutrition

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
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: coffee cake with sourdough starter, sourdough cinnamon sugar breakfast cake, sourdough coffee cake
Servings: 12 pieces
Calories: 277kcal
Author: Katie Shaw
Did you make this recipe?Tag me @heartsccontentfarmhouse so I can see!

Hope this recipe keeps you from wasting your starter!


Click here to subscribe By on April 8th, 2020

37 thoughts on “Sourdough Coffee Cake with Cinnamon Streusel Topping”

  1. 5 stars
    Wow! Great recipe! Since I have recently switched to einkorn flour, I used the cheat sheet found on “A Modern Homestead” and made the recommended adjustments. I also added frozen wild Maine blueberries to the middle layer. I’ve no doubt it would have been just as good without my changes, as the cake itself was just super moist and fluffy. Thank you!

    Reply
  2. I made this for my family and we loved it. I’m having the church ladies over for coffee and will be serving this hot from the oven! I’m so glad I found this website.

    Reply
  3. 5 stars
    Made this cake this morning and it is fantastic! I live at high altitude and baked goods tend to rise too quickly and then sink in the middle here. The sourdough really seems to help, but I also made the following adjustments: Made sure the eggs were at room temperature, used a scant cup of sugar, a generous 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and used just a bit less of both the baking powder and baking soda. Will definitely make this again soon!

    Reply
  4. 5 stars
    This recipe was so easy and delicious. There’s only 2 of us, so I made 3 mini-loaves. I baked it at 350 for 30 minutes. They turned out perfect.

    Reply
  5. 5 stars
    This was delicious. I have made it a couple of timesavers it turned out great both times. Could this work as cupcakes do you think? It would be a bit more work but make it easier to freeze and then take out just one or two at the time.

    Reply
  6. 5 stars
    This cake is moist and delicious. The whole family loved it. I added sliced plums and a pinch of nutmeg to the middle layer and cooked it a little longer until the tester came out clean. Winner!

    Reply
  7. 5 stars
    This was delicious!! Thank you so much for the recipe! I baked it in an 8×8 for 40 minutes and it was perfect. I am curious about the ratio of starter to sour cream, because you mentioned you could sub more sour cream for the starter. Do you think I could go the other way, and do more starter and less sour cream, or even 1 cup of starter and no sour cream? Thanks again for a fantastic recipe!

    Reply
    • hi liz! I’m so glad the coffee cake was a hit! you could certainly try increasing the sourdough starter to 3/4 cup, but I think 1 cup would make it too dense and doughy. the sour cream really helps keep the cake tender. 🙂

      Reply
    • 5 stars
      This is my second time making this coffee cake and it is just dreamy! Perfect moisture in the crumb, dense enough to feel really indulgent without being heavy, and with just the right amount of cinnamon and sugar!

      The second time around I actually had more excess starter than I needed, so throwing caution to the wind, I put in a full 1 cup rather than ½ cup of active starter, while still using the full ½ cup sour cream as well.

      It still performed beautifully, needing just 5 extra minutes of bake time. Probably the fact that it was active helped a bit, since that meant the starter was loose and well-aerated when it went into the batter.

      I also am baking this in my round springform pan with some parchment pinned in at the bottom – simply because I don’t have any square baking pans – and it makes serving and cutting the full cake a breeze!

      Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!

      Reply
  8. I agree. Looks and smells awesome, but took me about 50ish minutes to cook. I may try a 9×13 next time as well. Thanks for the recipe!

    Reply
  9. 5 stars
    This was absolutely delicious and fairly easy to make.
    Because it gets so tall in my 8×8, I think I’ll do it in one layer in a 13×9 and cut back on the baking time. Right now, when I take a piece I eat the bottom half first and then the top half because it’s so thick!
    Otherwise, I wouldn’t change a thing. Moist, wonderful flavor, nice topping without being too much.

    Reply

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