I can’t take any credit for this recipe but if you like moist cinnamon coffee cake with a rich buttery taste and crunchy pecans, then this is for you. The recipe comes from The Inn At Playa Del Rey, a bed and breakfast which sits next to Marina Del Rey here in Los Angeles.
There is a story to this coffee cake though and the reason how it always makes an appearance in our house. Some of you might know the background, but if you don’t here’s a brief update. I’m Scottish and my wife is from California. We met in Ireland and after a long distance relationship of sorts, I threw some clothes in a bag and headed over here to sunny California!
After a year of sunburn and extra large burritos- Mexican food is hard to come by in Scotland- we decided to get married. Pictures of a huge wedding in a castle back in Scotland danced around in our young heads. A lone piper on the banks of bonnie loch such and such would play as we arrived on horseback, me in my kilt and her dressed like Merida. Drinking and dancing would follow and make William Wallace’s parties seem like a Barbie picnic. Sounds fantastic right? But it didn’t happen like that. My wife has many great qualities but one I really like is how careful she is about spending Uncle Sam’s dollars. We ended up buying a house at the perfect time and we’re still living in it to this day.
We did still get married though, albeit unconventionally. We found a minister who had a nice little patio behind her strip-mall office. We didn’t tell anyone about our plans so you could say we eloped. Curious about our honeymoon…well that’s where the darn coffee cake comes in! We spent the most luxurious and relaxing weekend ever at The Playa Del Rey Inn and they served the coffee cake as part of the breakfast. We loved it so much that Maura asked the owner for a copy of the recipe. It’s moist and for all of the brown sugar streusel that gets sprinkled through the batter and on top, it doesn’t taste too sweet. I think the not-so-secret ingredient though is the sour cream. Any baked goods that call for sour cream are usually keepers.
Fourteen years, two kids and one dog later we still have that recipe tucked away in a special place.
Sour Cream Cinnamon Coffee Cake
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp plus 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp plus 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter softened
- 3/4 cup of granulated sugar
- 1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
- 3/4 cup sour cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- For The Streusel Topping:
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a 9 inch baking pan or spring-form pan.
- Sift together the flour, baking powder and baking soda and set aside.
- Mix together the ingredients for the streusel and set aside.
- Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and the eggs and mix well. Scrape down after two minutes and mix until well incorporated.
- Add half of the sour cream and half of the flour. Mix and then add the rest of the sour cream and flour. Mix well.
- Spread half of the batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle half of the streusel on top.
- Pour the rest of the batter into the pan and spread out evenly. Top with more of the streusel and place in the oven.
- Check the cake after 30 minutes and using a toothpick, look for it to come out of the cake clean with no crumbs or wetness. It may take up to 45 minutes depending on your oven.