Regular readers will have noticed that I enjoy cooking with sour cream almost as much as sourdough. I crave the flavor of sour cream so badly that I make it myself. It’s one of many fresh dairy products you can make with relative ease and speed and with minimal tools. In nearly six years of writing the Twice as Tasty blog, I’ve shared many of these recipes and taught them in workshops.
Sour cream has become the dairy product I make most often, so I blogged about my simplified technique on TwiceAsTasty.com last week. This one and fresh yogurt, another recipe from the blog, are fabulous ways to venture into homemade dairy and cheese. In addition to baking them into cookies, scones, and coffee cakes, you can use them in dips, main dishes, and more. I hope to inspire you to try making your own for this month’s recipes.
The coffee cake here calls for sour cream, but you can swap out yogurt or even buttermilk. At home, canned applesauce and homemade vanilla extract also go into the batter. As with homemade sour cream, they have superior flavor but can always be replaced with store-bought versions.
This simplified recipe emphasizes applesauce and sour cream, but adding more cinnamon spices would add a more complex flavor. The batter is sturdy enough to mix up to 1/2 cup of chopped almonds, walnuts, or pecans into the spices for the center layer and topping.
For a different presentation, turn this coffee cake into muffins. Alternate the batter and cinnamon-sugar mixture in buttered muffin tins and bake for just 20-25 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through.
Sour Cream and Applesauce Coffee Cake
For 8 to 10 people
1 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup applesauce
3 tablespoons melted butter, divided
2 tablespoons rolled oats
In a large bowl, combine sugar, cinnamon and salt. Transfer 3/4 cup of the mixture to a small bowl; put aside. In the large bowl, add the flour, baking powder and baking soda and stir.
In a small glass measuring cup, beat the egg, then stir in the sour cream and vanilla. Add this to the large bowl, followed by the applesauce and 2 tablespoons melted butter; stir until it forms a paste.
Pour half the batter into a buttered 8-inch springform pan or other pan. Sprinkle with half of the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Drop the rest of the dough by tablespoonfuls, then spread it evenly with the back of a spoon. Add the remaining melted butter and rolled oats to the remaining cinnamon-sugar mixture, then sprinkle over the batter.
Bake at 350°F for 50 to 55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in pan on wire rack for at least 15 minutes before serving.