The first thing I ever picked out to bake with my mother was a lemon blueberry Bundt cake.
So my mother indulged me. We bought the mix, made the cake and it was beautiful. But as it was a mix, it tasted like a mix.
Even at 5, I was disappointed. But my mother had a happy solution. The very simple and very classic sour cream coffee cake. We made that coffee cake together for years, and then for at least a decade I made the same coffee cake myself every time I went to or hosted a brunch.
Over the years, I tweaked it, adding a double layer of streusel as a topping and as a filling, and adding more pecans. Baked in a Bundt pan and sliced just where the ridges fall, it was and remains a crowd pleaser.
> Classic Sour Cream Coffee Cake
For the batter:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups sour cream (not light or non-fat)
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups sifted flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
For the cinnamon-sugar filling:
1 cup pecans, chopped
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
Pinch of sea salt
Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Coat a 12-cup (large) Bundt pan with a bit of vegetable oil or cooking spray (do not use baking spray).
To make the batter, in a large bowl, combine the butter and sugar. Use an electric mixer to beat until light and fluffy. Add the sour cream, eggs and vanilla, then mix again until well incorporated.
Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add to butter-sugar mixture a little at a time, until well mixed. Set aside.
To make the filling, in a large bowl combine the pecans, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon and salt. Mix well. Spoon a shallow layer of the filling over the bottom of the Bundt pan. Spoon half the batter into the pan over the filling. Sprinkle all but 1/4 cup of the remaining filling evenly over the batter.
Pour the rest of the batter over the filling, smoothing it with a silicone spatula. Sprinkle with the remaining filling.
Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the cake pulls away from sides and a toothpick inserted at the center comes out clean. (Start testing for doneness after the cake has baked for 40 minutes.) Remove from oven and transfer cake pan to a cooling rack. Let cool before slicing.
Per serving: 460 calories; 28g fat (13g saturated; no trans fats); 85mg cholesterol; 52g carbohydrate; 5g protein; 2g fiber; 200mg sodium.