Bundt coffee cake honors mother

The first thing I ever picked out to bake with my mother was a lemon blueberry Bundt cake. I’d seen an ad for the cake and thought it was the most sophisticated, beautiful cake possible.

So my mother indulged me. 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 simple and classic sour cream coffee cake. We made that coffee cake together for years.

Over the years, I tweaked it. Predictably, I can’t make a sour cream coffee cake without thinking of my mother.

Start to finish: 1 hour 15 minutes (15 minutes active)

Servings: 12

For the batter:

1 cup unsalted butter

1½ cups granulated sugar

1¼ cups sour cream (not light or nonfat)

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups sifted flour (sift before measuring)

½ teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon fine-grain sea salt

For the cinnamon-sugar filling:

1 cup pecans, chopped

¾ cup packed dark brown sugar

¼ cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon cinnamon

Pinch of sea salt

Heat the oven to 325 F. Coat a 12-cup (large) Bundt pan with 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.

Measure and sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add the flour mixture to butter-sugar mixture a little at a time, mixing between additions and scraping the sides of the bowl as needed, 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 mixture over the bottom of the Bundt pan. Spoon half the batter into the pan over the filling. Sprinkle all but ¼ 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 since ovens and pans vary in the way they bake. Remove from oven and transfer cake pan to a cooling rack. Let cool before slicing.


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