Sour Cream Apple Coffee Cake

Nothing sour about this sweet treat!

The Backstory: No occasion is too small for Sour Cream Coffee Cake and, if that isn’t a mouthful, Nosher has thrown some apples into the mix. Also known as Jewish Coffee Cake or Ashkenazi Coffee Cake, this dish is ideal for brunches or afternoon teas, breaking of the Yom Kippur fast, or during Shavuot. More of the Backstory after the recipe

Sour Cream Apple Coffee Cake

The perfect cake for breakfast, brunch, or as an accompaniment to coffee (with the girls, of course), this coffee cake is a nod to traditional coffee cake with the flavor turned up just so.
Course Desserts
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 1 cake


For the Topping/Filling

  • 1/3 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 cup walnuts or pecans
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup cake flour
  • 4 tbsp cold unsalted butter cut into pieces
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla bean

For the Cake

  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp Kosher salt
  • 12 tbsp unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1 apple peeled, cored and sliced into ¼” thick wedges and tossed with 2 tsp lemon juice


  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line the bottom of a 9” springform pan with parchment paper – grease and flour the sides and bottom (I chose to use a bundt pan, which I just greased and floured, without setting down parchment paper).

For the Topping/Filling

  1. In a food processor combine both sugars, walnuts and cinnamon. Pulse till nuts are coarsely chopped. Remove ¼ cup and put aside (for the filling). Add the flour, butter and vanilla and pulse briefly till mixture is crumbly. Set aside (this will be the topping).

For the Cake

  1. In a medium bowl lightly whisk the yolks, ¼ c. of the sour cream and vanilla and set aside. Combine the dry ingredients in a mixer bowl and beat on low speed for 30 seconds. Add the butter and remaining ¾ c. of sour cream. Mix on low speed till dry ingredients are moistened, and increase speed to medium – beat for 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides. Add the egg mixture in 3 batches, beating for 20 seconds after each addition. Scrape down the sides.
  2. Pour 2/3 of the batter into your prepared pan, using a small angled spatula to smooth the surface. Sprinkle with the reserved filling and top with the sliced apples. Use a spoon to dollop the remaining batter over the top and gently smooth. Sprinkle with the reserved topping.
  3. Bake for 55 to 65 minutes, or till a cake tester comes out clean. Cool cake in pan on a rack for 10 minutes. Loosen the sides of the pan with your small metal spatula and remove. Cool completely before wrapping.

Recipe Notes

  • The apple filling really brought this cake together and was moist, tasty and more-ish. I would recommend using two apples.
  • This cake can be cooked in the suggested springform pan, a bundt pan or even in small, individual servings by using a muffin tray.
  • I toasted some of the topping under my oven’s grill to give it a bit of extra flavor.

…The Backstory continues: Somewhat ironic, as modern day recipes don’t include the title ingredient of coffee, this cake is a caffeine-free, delicious treat. The beauty of cakes such as these, is that there is scope to be creative. You can add raisins, coconut or pecans to the filling, or even substitute the apple center with Nutella for a chocolate fix.

This recipe doesn’t include a glaze, but – if you’re cooking in a bundt pan – thick glazes can be spread over the cake top for a beautiful look. Martha Stewart advises mixing a cup of confectioners’ sugar with two tablespoons of milk, which should be poured over a warm cake. Run your mixture across the centre of the cake’s width, so that it runs down the sides.

Many families have a trusted sour cream coffee cake recipe. If you do, please share with us below!

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Nicole Beale

Nicole Beale

Nicky Beale is an avid cook and food photographer who hails from Johannesburg, South Africa. She is excited to be a part of The Jewish Kitchen — a special community that celebrates food, culture and family — as it was exactly this that made her feel more at home while living abroad. When she's not in the kitchen, Nicky works in television production on shows for the likes of Syfy and Starz. She earned a Master of Science degree in Television Production from Boston University and obtained her undergraduate degree in film theory and journalism from the University of Cape Town.
Nicole Beale

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