Old Fashioned Sour Cream Cake

by Rachel on April 24, 2010

Comforting, old fashioned, but very modern too.

My mother used to make this cake quite regularly when I was growing up.  It feels comforting and familiar to me, like a well-worn sweater.  It makes a lovely addition to a Sunday brunch, or a contribution to a potluck.  If you haven’t been to enough potlucks lately you should host one yourself.  No one invites anyone over anymore.  What’s up with that?  I should probably move to Utah or Idaho – they have potlucks.  Right?  You can use this cake recipe as a foundation and adjust what you put in the middle.  I made a version of this cake using my Stepmom’s delicious Cranberry Relish and although it sank (not the cake, the nice middle ribbon of relish) it still tasted great (see post in December).  Chocolate chips would be brilliant.  Let me know what other fillings you try.

Old Fashioned Sour Cream Cake

Nut Mixture:

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup grated walnuts


  • 2 cups sifted cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 large eggs
  • 8-oz sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Stir together all three nut-mixture ingredients.  Set aside.  Sift together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  In a large bowl or stand mixer cream sugar, butter and vanilla.  Thoroughly beat in eggs, one at a time. Stir in sifted dry ingredients in four additions, alternating with the sour cream, blending just until smooth.

Turn half of the batter into a greased and floured Angel Food cake or Bundt pan. Sprinkle half of the nut mixture over the batter.  Add remaining batter; sprinkle with remaining nut mixture.

Bake until a cake tester comes out clean, about 40 minutes.  Allow cake to rest in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes.  Then, loosen sides and turn out.

{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

grace April 25, 2010 at 3:14 pm

helloooooo, cinnamon swirl! what a gorgeous cake. fact: i’d eat around the swirly part and save it for last. :)

Heavenly Housewife April 27, 2010 at 5:03 am

Old fashioned or not, these are absolutely the best kind of cakes, simply and just yummy! Got any left overs?
*kisses* HH

magali April 27, 2010 at 7:08 pm

wow, this old fashioned cake looks delicious, I will do it as soon as I can, thanks for sharing

Rachel April 27, 2010 at 9:40 pm

Heavenly Housewife: Next time I make some I’ll be sure to let you know!! Rachel

Rachel April 27, 2010 at 9:41 pm

Magali: Happy to share. That’s what it’s all about! Rachel

Barefoot Belle April 28, 2010 at 5:25 am

I love potlucks, and I agree, there aren’t enough of them!

This coffee cake looks divine. I wish I could have some for breakfast this morning!

Geo December 8, 2010 at 10:01 am

Funny you should say that. I live in Utah and I found your blog looking for a sour cream cake recipe to take to a pot luck tomorrow. Hey, hey!

Rachel December 8, 2010 at 10:04 am

Hi Geo: We actually bought a ski condo in Deer Valley so we do “live” in Utah some of the time. No one has invited me over for a potluck yet. Hopefully they will soon! Enjoy the cake!! Rachel

Stevie February 22, 2011 at 11:23 am

This cake looks extremely good. I’m looking for a recipe for sour cream cake as I’ve a lot of Mexican crema which I thought might make a really tasty cake. Yours looks like something from my childhood!

Rachel February 22, 2011 at 3:54 pm

Stevie-it is a cake from my childhood and I think Mexican Crema would be perfect in it. Cheers,

lauren April 27, 2011 at 11:17 am

everyone loved this cake..they gobbled it up so quickly, even one of my dd’s who is a real fusspot! great recipe!

Rachel April 27, 2011 at 2:01 pm

Lauren: It’s always satisfying when one pleases a fusspot!

linda hipsher January 23, 2012 at 2:08 pm


Rachel January 23, 2012 at 6:04 pm

Are crazens really just dried cranberries? Or are they a crazy raisin? I love dried cranberries, and they sound like an A+ addition to this recipe.
Be well,

Amanda April 23, 2012 at 2:16 pm

In the oven now, subbed light margerine and light sour cream so fingers are crossed.

Rachel April 23, 2012 at 2:38 pm

Amanda – good luck. I don’t cook with light sour cream. We eat a limited amount of dessert, so I stick with the real stuff. Let me know how it tastes. The other option you might like is to use nonfat plain yogurt instead of sour cream. I often do that with great results. I like the texture better than the texture of light sour cream.

diane May 27, 2012 at 7:37 am

This is just like my grandmother’s recipe! I’ve been looking for something similar ever since she died and left her recipe tin quite a mess. The only difference is in the swirl. She also added copious amounts of brown sugar. That mix was inside for the swirl and made a great topping too. Not good for diabetics, but for every adult and kid with a sweet tooth, it’s heaven!

LKes November 26, 2012 at 3:44 pm

So I made this for Thanksgiving….Can I say…..it was a HIT HIT! EXTREMELY moist, it crumbled into my mouth and was just delicious. As a matter of fact I’m going to make another one this week.

Didn’t have the cinnamon and the walnuts on hand so I drizzled the cake with icing. This time I have cinnamon and pecans =D

Great recipe, definitely will be pinning this

Rachel November 27, 2012 at 8:13 am


I’m so glad it was a hit. You must try it with the cinnamon and walnuts. MUST. It’s the bomb.


Mari January 22, 2013 at 3:19 pm

Will be trying this on the weekend. Can i freeze this?

Rachel January 22, 2013 at 4:43 pm

I’d suggest freezing the batter, rather than a baked cake. You can then defrost the batter overnight in the fridge and bake it the next day. I do this successfully with muffin batter and cookie dough. Cake batter is no different than muffin batter. I think freezing the cake will lead to a much less positive outcome. It’s an option, but it’s likely to dry the cake out. Modern no-frost freezers tend to dehydrate things.

So, yes – freeze it, but freeze the batter not the baked cake.


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