It’s hard to say when it happened exactly. But at some point, my future husband fell madly in love; some might say addicted, even. In return, I began withholding—knowing that just a taste every so often would make him want it more. Of course, I’m talking about my Grandma Tommie’s Sour Cream Coffee Cake, just one in my treasure trove of East Texas recipes that make an appearance on holiday occasions.
Honestly, I’m not at all sure that the Sour Cream Coffee Cake is one of my grandmother’s favorites—I don’t really remember her making it. But the recipe was given to me in a bundle from my sister years ago, and well, it just makes a better story here in Yankee land.
Believe me when I say I don’t pull out the white trash stops too often. And in the early years of my relationship with my fiancé, a professional chef making him a full-time intimidating true foodie, I kept them hidden. So the Sour Cream specialty first debuted at a long ago Christmas or Thanksgiving when our house was filled with visitors, and I knew just what to make to keep the hordes happy in the morning. From the first bite of moist goodness of sugar, sour cream, eggs, flour, with layers of pecans covered in cinnamon, and of course, more sugar, my fiancé was hooked. Which keeps him coming back for more. And as a famous doyenne of the kitchen always tells us, that’s a good thing.
For no real reason, and despite the ease of the cake, I insist on making it only one time a year—during the holidays. Over time, I’ve steadily resisted to making modern changes. Grandma Tommie wouldn’t have known what to make of the Vegan Organic Sugar I used last year, and I wasn’t convinced it made the cake any better. A few years back, to spice things up, I shelled out a fortune to an antique dealer in Fairhope, Alabama and carted home a turn-of-the-century copper bundt pan as a special gift for my fiancé. He could have cared less—it’s all about the cake, stupid.
This year, for one of the first times, there are no guests in our house. But I’m still whipping up the oh-so-thick batter. Because if I held out any longer, my man might go looking elsewhere.
For the batter:
1 cup soft butter
2 cups sugar
1 cup sour cream
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup ground pecans
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
Preheat over to 325 degrees. Beat butter and sugar well. Add eggs, beating after each one. Add sour cream and vanilla. Add dry ingredients and beat well. This will make a very heavy batter. Grease a bundt pan. Mix topping ingredients together. Pour, more likely, spoon less than half of the batter into pan. Sprinkle with half of the topping mix. Add remaining batter and then remaining topping. Bake for 45 minutes at 325 degrees or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool briefly and invert on to a cake plate.