Sour cream coffee cake is a type of sweet dessert made more moist and dense with the addition of sour cream. It is possible to make coffee cake without adding sour cream, but many people like to add this ingredient because it makes the cake richer. Sour cream coffee cake typically falls in between pound cake and a type of crumb cake in texture; there are many different recipes available to make different types of coffee cakes, some with additional ingredients such as chocolate, raisins, or even a light frosting glaze.
Despite the name, sour cream coffee cake typically does not contain any coffee. Instead, it is generally intended to be eaten in the morning or afternoon, with a cup of coffee or tea to accompany it. Many people eat it for dessert in the evening as well, however. It is generally just baked in a single layer, in a round or square pan, and is not usually frosted like other types of cakes. Typically, it is just eaten plain, but some people choose to add a sweet drizzled glaze onto the cake to make it appear more "finished," and to make it a bit sweeter; this is a matter of personal preference.
The basic ingredients of a sour cream coffee cake are similar to other types of coffee cakes, and include the standard butter, sugar, eggs, and flour, among other ingredients. Most recipes will call for milk or cream as well as sour cream, because coffee cakes are best when they are very moist. Using reduced fat sour cream can make the cake a bit less fattening. Ingredients such as cinnamon and vanilla are added for flavor, while some people also choose to add additional ingredients such as walnuts or even cocoa powder to make the cake more unique. Some will also add dried fruits to the cake.
All the ingredients are simply measured and combined according to the recipe, and then baked. Sour cream coffee cake is particularly delicious when it is served warm. Some people prepare a crumb topping for the sour cream coffee cake as well, which is known as streusel. This can be done in lieu of a glaze, or in addition to it. Coffee cakes of any type can make great gifts for people, and are widely liked because they are typically dense, moist cakes that make a good snack without being too sweet or filling. They are typically served in fairly narrow slices.