Cinnamon Swirl Coffee Cake

This recipe dates back to 2011 when Jamie was working in Portland, Maine. One of the signature dishes at the bakery she working at was a Cinnamon Swirl Coffee Cake, and it was so popular that she was baking it 4-5 days per week. The second this baby comes out of your oven, you will see why it was such a fan favorite. It is a giant coffee cake that really makes a statement. It has a rich sour cream batter with an addicting cinnamon and pecan swirl. It feeds a crowd and is perfect for Easter brunch, a baby shower, or any large breakfast gathering. The key to this coffee cake recipe is to let the sour cream and baking soda sit for a long as possible before you make the batter. The sour cream turns foamy and makes the decadent batter light and fluffy while it bakes.

Cinnamon Crunch Coffee Cake

  • Servings: 8-12
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Our favorite sour cream coffee cake from Jamie’s baking days in Maine.

Ingredients for the Cake

  • 3.5 cups of flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • powdered sugar for garnish, optional

Ingredients for the Cinnamon Crunch

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 tbs cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/8 tsp salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix the sour cream and baking soda in a medium mixing bowl. Let stand until foamy.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  4. In a third mixing bowl, make the Cinnamon Nut Topping mixture by adding all of the ingredients for the cinnamon crunch to a bowl with the exception of the butter. Use a pastry cutter or your hands to mix the butter into the remaining ingredients. You want the texture to be similar to clumps of sand. Set aside.
  5. Use a stand mixer (we promise this is the last bowl) to cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, waiting until the first egg is completely absorbed before adding the next. Add the vanilla to the batter and mix to combine.
  6. Add the sour cream mixture and the and flour mixture into the mixing bowl with the butter and sugar by alternating 1/3 of sour cream mix, 1/3 of the flour mix. Just mix until lightly combined – DO NOT OVER MIX! Use a spatula to scrape the bottom of the bowl to make sure everything is completely combined.
  7. Spray a tube pan or bundt pan with cooking spray. If you are using a tube pan, add 2/3 of the batter to the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle 1 cup of the Cinnamon Nut Topping on top of the batter in an even layer. Top with the remaining batter and then the rest of the Cinnamon Nut Topping. If you are using a bundt pan, layer 1/2 of the batter into the bottom of the pan followed by all of the Cinnamon Nut Topping. Top with the rest of the batter and smooth it into an even layer.
  8. Bake the coffee cake for 60 – 70 minutes, rotating the cake 180 degrees in the oven after 35 minutes. Test the cake with a long skewer to make sure it is baked completely through before removing the cake from the oven. Cool the cake for at least one hour before removing it from the pan. Use a butter knife to scrape the sides of the pan and the center circle in the middle to gently remove the cake. Top with powdered sugar to serve.

Strawberry Buttermilk Cake with Brown Sugar Glaze

We have been seeing versions of this cake online now for weeks, and finally Tuck’s mom caved and had to make it on a Saturday morning. We based our recipe off of King Arthur Flour’s recipe for Farmhouse Buttermilk Cake and tweaked it to add fresh strawberries and a little lemon zest to give it a brighter taste. We added a brown sugar glaze to the cake which brought it to a whole new level of decadence. We aren’t sorry about it. This cake is the perfect addition to a weekend brunch menu; it’s perfectly sweet and seasonal for spring. 

Strawberry Buttermilk Cake with Brown Sugar Glaze 
Makes: 1- 8 inch round cake (6-8 servings)
Prep Time: 30 minutes Baking Time: 30 minutes Total Time: 1 hour

Ingredients for the Cake: 

  • 1/4 cup butter, room temperature 
  • 1 cup light brown sugar 
  • 1 egg, room temperature 
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • zest of 1 lemon 
  • 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature 
  • 1 tsp baking soda 
  • 1/2 tsp salt 
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour 
  • 12 large strawberries, stemmed and hulled (plus more for garnish if desired) 

Ingredients for the Glaze: 

  • 1/4 cup butter 
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar 
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk 
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda 
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • a tiny pinch of salt 


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8 inch cake pan with extra butter or a good layer of cooking spray; set aside. 
  2. Stem and hull the strawberries. Slice 6 of the strawberries vertically; these will go on the bottom of the cake pan. Chop the other 6 strawberries, which will be folded into the batter. 
  3. Beat the butter and brown sugar in a large bowl with a stand mixer or hand mixer. Add the egg, vanilla extract, and lemon zest and fully combine.
  4. Add the baking soda, salt, and 1 cup of the flour to the bowl. Mix until just combined, scraping the bowl with a spatula as necessary to get everything out from the bottom. 
  5. Add the buttermilk to the bowl and mix until just combined, again scraping the bowl as necessary. Add the remaining flour and chopped strawberries to the bowl.
  6. Arrange a layer of strawberries in the design of your choice on the bottom of the cake pan. If you have extra slices, fold those into the cake batter before pouring the batter in to the cake pan. Use a spatula to gently even out the batter before placing in the oven. 
  7. Bake the cake for 30 – 35 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean from the center of the pan. 
  8. While the cake is baking in the oven, make the glaze. 
  9. Combine the brown sugar and butter in a small pot on the stove over medium heat. Whisk the ingredients to combine and add the buttermilk. Add the baking soda- the mixture will start to bubble- continue whisking until the mix thickens up. This can take a good 5 minutes on the stove, but mix until the glaze is the texture you desire. Add the vanilla and salt and remove from the heat. Whisk again to combine and set aside.
  10. When the cake has finished baking, give it at least 15 minutes to rest before removing it from the pan. Serve with a generous pour of brown sugar glaze and additional strawberries, if desired. 

Blueberry Coffee Cake Muffins

When Tuck’s mom graduated from culinary school, she took her first cooking job at a bakery in Portland, Maine. The bakery was known for a number of great dishes, but one of the standouts was coffee cake. Tuck’s dad gained approximately 15 lbs that baseball season eating said coffee cake because it really was that good. A moist sour cream batter, lots of fresh blueberries (which are all over Maine in the summer) and a buttery crumb topping that is to die for. We decided to recreate the coffee cake into muffins as an homage to that year in Portland. All the same taste but a smaller portion size so you can eat them guilt free. 

Blueberry Coffee Cake Muffins 

Makes: 16 muffins 

Prep Time: 15 minutes     Baking Time: 30 minutes 

Ingredients for Muffin Batter: 

  • 1 1/4 cups sour cream 
  • 1 tsp baking soda 
  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour 
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder 
  • 1/2 tsp salt 
  • 1 cup sugar 
  • 1/2 cup butter (room temperature)
  • 2 eggs 
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract 
  • 1 1/2 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen) 

Ingredients for Crumb Topping: 

  • 1/2 cup flour 
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter (room temperature) 
  • 1/8 tsp salt 
  • 1 tsp cinnamon 


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Put 16 muffin liners into a muffin tin and spray the linters generously with cooking spray. Set aside. 
  2. Make the crumb topping. Gently combine the topping ingredients (flour – cinnamon) in a medium sized mixing bowl. This works best by using your hands and pinching the ingredients together. The final texture should be similar to wet sand. Set the bowl aside. 
  3. Make the muffin batter. In a small bowl, combine the sour cream and baking soda. Set aside. 
  4. In a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar together on medium speed until the ingredients are combined and the texture is light and fluffy. Add the eggs one and a time, mixing the first in completely before adding the second. Add the vanilla and mix again until combined. 
  5. Alternate adding the sour cream mixture and the dry ingredients to the mixing bowl, adding about 1/2 of each at a time and mixing between each addition. When adding the first batch of dry ingredients, add all of the baking powder and salt to the mixing bowl and alternate with just the flour after that. Mix until the batter is just combined; do not over mix. Use a spatula to remove any of the batter from the bottom of the bowl between mixes. 
  6. Add the blueberries to the mixing bowl. Use a spatula to gently mix the blueberries in by hand, being careful to not crush them and turn the batter blue. 
  7. Use a a 1/4 or 1/3 cup measuring cup to scoop the batter into each of the muffin tins. The batter should come up about 3/4 of the way to the top of the liner. Add about 1 tbs of crumb topping to each of the muffins, using your fingers to break it up across the top of the muffin batter. 
  8. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, testing the center of a muffin with a knife or skewer after 20 minutes. Let the muffins cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.