Nut-Free Cinnamon Streusel Sour Cream Coffee Cake


Sour cream coffee cakes are so rich and delicious, but they usually feature a nut-filled topping. I came up with a delicious nut-free alternative—brown sugar and cinnamon streusel.


Special equipment: a 9-inch tube pan with removable bottom.

For the cake:

  • 2/3 plus 1-3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), softened
  • 3 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 container (16 oz) sour cream

For the nut-free streusel topping:

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp. flour
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp. butter, cold


  1. In a small bowl, combine streusel ingredients by either rubbing together with your fingers or using a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 9- to 10-inch tube pan with removable bottom. In small bowl, combine 2/3 cup sugar and 1 tsp. cinnamon. In medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. In large bowl, with mixer at low speed, beat butter and remaining 1-3/4 cups sugar until blended, frequently scraping bowl with rubber spatula. Increase speed to high; beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes, occasionally scraping bowl. Reduce speed to low; add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla.
  4. Spoon 1/3 of batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle about one cup cinnamon-sugar mixture evenly over batter, then top with half of remaining batter. Sprinkle evenly with 1/2 cup more cinnamon-sugar mixture; top with remaining batter, then sprinkle with reserved streusel mixture. Sprinkle more cinnamon-sugar over top of streusel if desired, for added sparkle and crunch.
  5. Bake coffee cake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 1 hour, 10 minutes. (Check after one hour). Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes. Run thin knife around cake to loosen from side and center tube of pan; lift tube to separate cake from pan side. Invert cake onto plate; slide knife under cake to separate from bottom of pan. Turn cake, streusel side up, onto to wire rack to cool completely. Serves 16.

Jenny Kales is the mother of two girls, one with severe nut allergies. She writes about her experiences at The Nut-Free Mom blog, where you can find more allergy-friendly recipes.

Contact Jenny at [email protected].


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