Nana Recipe Wednesday–Fran’s Sour Cream Coffee Cake

by Sarah on May 25, 2011

Any guesses on what was in the recipe arsenal of a new bride circa 1941?  I suspect most dishes contain what was then the latest-and-greatest in food technology:  Packaged and canned foods.  All the better to get you in and out of the kitchen in no time flat!

And I know that Nana succumbed to these convenience recipes….at least for a while.  My dad tells me stories (or maybe nightmares) of the Friday Night Tuna Fish Hot Dish—thankfully there is no recipe card for that or else I’d have to make it for you here.  I think it involved tuna, noodles, cream of mushroom and crushed potato chips.  I’ll pass on that one, Nana.

Gosh, they’re cute.

For this week, I made another coffee cake.  I have about 5 more to go, in case you were wondering.  I am getting weary of coffee cake but I’m not yet brave enough to start with the aspic and Jell-O salads.

The bulk of the cake is the cake mix, with sour cream and some other stuff tossed in.  Plus this streusel–gotta have streusel for a coffee cake.

Spray your Bundt pan and put half of the sugar mixture on the bottom.

This recipe doesn’t have you mix the sugar and cinnamon with any flour or butter for the streusel.  I think I’d go with a more traditional streusel next time.

After you put the streusel in the center, fill it up with the rest of the cake batter and bake.

Let cool slightly, then invert the pan onto a cake plate.  It sure looks pretty.

I served myself a piece of this baby while it was still warm.  It was rich and delicious.

The sour cream really adds something to this one.  It was a dense, rich and velvety cake.  Try it!

Fran’s Sour Cream Coffee Cake


  • for cake:
  • 1 Duncan Hines Golden cake mix (or any yellow cake mix)
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 8 oz. sour cream
  • 4 eggs
  • a little milk to thin
  • for streusel:
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts (I used walnuts)


  • Preheat oven to 350*. Spray your Bundt pan with Pam or other spray oil.
  • Make streusel--combine the cinnamon, brown sugar and nuts. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, combine cake mix, sour cream, and oil. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. If the mixture is very thick, add a little milk to thin so that you can beat it.
  • Sprinkle half the streusel into the bottom of the Bundt pan. Pour half of the cake batter on top. Sprinkle on the rest of the streusel, then the rest of the cake batter.
  • Bake for approximately 45 minutes to one hour. Check with toothpicks for doneness.

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