Have you every heard of (or had) a Zingerman’s Sourcream Coffeecake? This legendary coffee cake has been a holiday tradition in our house for some time now, always having one for Thanksgiving and one for Christmas. It is also a popular gift that I’ve given around the holidays and my recipients are always smiling and grateful.
This year, when it was time to place my regular order for us to enjoy, Zingerman’s was sold out! Honestly, this has never happened before so I was panic stricken. I’m really not exaggerating – I was in quite a tizzy and didn’t know what to do. It was equivalent to no turkey on Thanksgiving or no holiday tree at Christmas … a tragedy of epic proportions, people.
It took a couple of days to sink in before I realized that this holiday season of 2012 would not be the same. I grudgingly began searching online for a sour cream coffee cake recipe that might be somehow similar and evoke the same cinnamon/walnut flavor profile along with happy holiday foodie memories. Every recipe that I looked at just didn’t seem right; however, after a couple of days I tripped across one that looked like it might work. I told myself that it would not be what I was accustomed to but at least I tried, right?
I quickly jotted down a few notes and reluctantly went to the kitchen, fully knowing that this just would not work. Looking back, I really wish that I had taken the time to bookmark the location or even print the recipe out because the result completely surprised me. When this cake came out of the oven, I was overwhelmed to see that it LOOKED just like the Zingerman’s Sourcream Coffeecake that I know and love. One bite and I knew that this was so close to the famous version that the holy grail of coffee cakes had been found. The crispy, sweet, sugary exterior juxtaposed against the soft, dense, creamy interior … all taken to another level by the heavenly center of cinnamon and walnuts. The hubs and I was in heaven and the holiday was saved.
- 2 cups walnuts
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 3 Tbsp brown sugar
- DRY INGREDIENTS
- 2-1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp sea salt
- WET INGREDIENTS
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup butter
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1.5 tsp vanilla
- Set out all ingredients to come to room temperature.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Coarsely chop walnuts & toast for 5-10 minutes in a 350 degree oven, until fragrant & golden.
- Place these on a cooling rack & allow to cool completely, about half an hour.
- When cooled, combine nuts, cinnamon & brown sugar together in a medium bowl & set to the side.
- While walnuts are toasting & cooling, work on the cake batter can begin.
- Liberally butter a bundt pan & set to the side.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together dry ingredients (flour, baking soda & salt) & set to the side.
- In a stand mixer, cream together the butter & sugar until light & fluffy, about 5-10 minutes on medium to medium-high speed.
- Turn down mixer speed to low & add eggs individually, allowing batter to completely combine before adding the next one.
- Add sour cream & vanilla, mixing until smooth & fluffy.
- Pour half of the cake batter into the prepared bundt pan, shaking from side to side to level out the mixture.
- Pour the walnut, cinnamon, brown sugar mixture on top of the cake batter.
- Add the second half of the cake batter on top of the filling & smooth out batter with a spoon or spatula.
- Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Allow cake to cool completely before turning out onto a serving platter.
Around the holidays, I don’t try to low carb or vegan-ize special foods like this so I wouldn’t recommend that anyone toy around with this version. Since we only have this twice per year, I go full AP flour, full sugar, full dairy & full fat. Honestly, it’s worth it :-)