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Cinnamon Streusel:

1 1/2 cups (150 grams) pecans (can also use walnuts, hazelnuts and/or almonds)

1/4 cup (55 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar

1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated white sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


1 teaspoon (4 grams) baking soda

1 1/2 cups (340 grams) full fat sour cream, at room temperature

3 cups (390 grams) all purpose flour

2 teaspoons (8 grams) baking powder

1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) salt

1 cup (225 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 1/2 cups (300 grams) granulated white sugar

3 large eggs (165 grams), at room temperature

1 1/2 teaspoons (6 grams) pure vanilla extract

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Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place the oven rack in the center of the oven. Butter, or spray with a non stick vegetable spray, a 10 inch (25 cm) round tube pan. Place the tube pan on a baking sheet.

Cinnamon Streusel: Place the pecans on a baking sheet and bake for about 6 to 8 minutes or until brown and fragrant. Let cool and then finely chop (this can be done in a food processor). Then, in a bowl, stir together the finely chopped pecans with the sugars and ground cinnamon.

Cake: In a bowl, stir the baking soda into the sour cream.

In another bowl, sift or whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

In the bowl of your electric stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter until smooth. Gradually add the sugar and continue to beat, on medium high speed, until light and fluffy (about 3-5 minutes). Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Beat in the vanilla extract. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture (in three additions) and sour cream (in two additions) alternately, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Mix only until combined.

Place 1/3 of the batter (2 cups) (470 grams) in your pan, smoothing with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon. Next, sprinkle 1/3 of the Cinnamon Streusel (scant 3/4 cup) (85 grams) over the batter. Gently press the Streusel into the cake batter. Then top with another 1/3 of the cake batter (2 cups) (470 grams) again smoothing with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon. Sprinkle with another 1/3 of the Streusel (scant 3/4 cup) (85 grams) and gently press the Streusel into the cake batter. Repeat with the remaining cake batter and Streusel.

Bake in preheated oven for about 60 to 70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Then remove the cake from the pan.

Makes about 12 - 16 servings.


This Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake has three layers of a rich vanilla flavored butter cake alternating with three layers of a cinnamon flavored Streusel made with toasted pecans. I love how the Streusel turns slightly crunchy when baked, and its grainy texture contrasts so nicely with the soft and moist butter cake. You can serve this cake warm, at room temperature, or even cold.

In North America, we call this type of cake a "Coffee" Cake, although it does not usually contain coffee. The name refers to how the cake is served, that is, with a cup of coffee. While some coffee cakes contain yeast, this Coffee Cake is a butter cake, that is, leavened with baking powder and baking soda. Its rich flavor and texture comes from adding sour cream to the batter. This recipe is unique in that we first stir the baking soda into the sour cream which lightens it, making for a lighter textured cake.

This recipe comes from a cookbook by two of my favorite Canadian food writers, Rose Murray and Elizabeth Baird. Their book is called "Canada's favorite recipes". It has so many great recipes that I remember from my childhood. Things like Nut and Date Loaf, Banana Bread, Thimble Cookies, Butter Tarts, and a new twist on the Nanaimo Bar. And it doesn't only have sweet offerings, there are also lots of delicious savory dishes to try as well.