Cinnamon Swirl Coffee Cake

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Light and fluffy with a decadent brown sugar-cinnamon swirl, my morning coffee routine just got even better.

Cake for breakfast? Count me in.

While this coffee cake is certainly sweet enough to fall into the dessert category, to me, it’s more of a treat-yourself breakfast for those mornings when you need a little something extra to get you motivated for the day.

In all honesty, I’ve been treating myself plenty since the Covid-19 pandemic started (“Quarantine 15” is a frighteningly real term), but I had sour cream in the fridge that was about to expire, so here we are.

The sour cream is what keeps this cake from drying out, but Greek yogurt would work if you don’t have any on-hand. Everything else in this recipe is a pantry staple, which makes it perfect for quarantine baking.

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Ingredients

Adapted from onceuponachef.com

For the cake

  • 2 cups of flour, spooned and leveled
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 stick of butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 2 eggs at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of sour cream at room temperature (or Greek yogurt)
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon

For the glaze

  • 1 cup of powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • a splash of milk or water

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease and flour a Bundt pan*. I used homemade cake release.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar together on medium speed with the whisk attachment until pale and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes).
  4. Then, beat in the eggs one at a time and stir in the vanilla extract.
  5. Alternate adding the dry ingredients and sour cream in parts, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Mix until just combined.
  6. In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.
  7. Pour half of the batter into the prepared Bundt pan, then generously sprinkle the brown sugar mixture over the batter. (I try to keep the brown sugar from touching the edges of the pan. This helps the swirl stay in the middle of the cake instead of spilling out the sides while baking.)
  8. Pour the remaining batter into the pan, and smooth the top with a silicone spatula to cover all the brown sugar. Bake for about 35 minutes or until a toothpick can be removed cleanly.
  9. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes, then invert it onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  10. To make the glaze, whisk together the powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and milk. (You can add more sugar if the glaze looks too thin.)
  11. Drizzle the glaze over the cooled cake, and enjoy!

Notes

*I used a 12-cup Bundt pan, which is admittedly a little too large for this cake. A 10-cup Bundt would work great.

This coffee cake is a quick and easy treat, and that swirl just puts it over the top. I’ll definitely be making it again, but next time I have a feeling I’ll be doubling the recipe. Quarantine 15, here I come!

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