A Perfect Treat: Easy Cinnamon-Swirl Coffee Cake

When my older son was born – almost 19 years ago – I was overwhelmed. My daughter had just turned 5, and I had grown used to mothering an independent, capable child. And now here I was, “back in the saddle” again with nighttime feedings, sleep deprivation, and a tiny baby that needed me 24/7.

And I will never forget one particularly stressful morning, when a dear friend stopped by to visit and meet my son. She did two things upon entering – she immediately took the baby (and proceeded to hold him for the next two hours), and handed me this cake:

Image via Sheri Silver

And I immediately ate several slices.

It was a simple coffee cake – tender and moist, with a sugar-cinnamon filling that was also the crackly topping. And it was just what the doctor ordered. I felt pampered and loved, and have since then felt a tremendous affection for this recipe.

Image via Sheri Silver

Over the years I myself have baked this cake for many a new mom – as well as for bake sales, brunches, picnics, and school functions. And since it’s so easy – and freezes beautifully – I always double the recipe. This pretty much ensures that I’ll have a cake on-hand for any and all “emergencies”.

Like for a new mom who needs a treat.

Image via Sheri Silver

Cinnamon-Swirl Coffee Cake

makes one 8” x 8” cake (can be doubled)

  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
Image via Sheri Silver

Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour an 8 x 8 baking pan; line bottom with parchment paper.

Beat butter and 1 cup sugar in a mixer till fluffy. Add eggs, vanilla, and sour cream and beat again. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and beat till well combined.

In a small bowl combine remaining ½ cup sugar with cinnamon.

Pour half the batter into your prepared pan – spread evenly. Add half the sugar-cinnamon mixture and tilt to spread evenly. Repeat with remaining batter and sugar-cinnamon mix.

Bake 40-50 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove from pan and let cool completely.

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A Perfect Treat: Easy Cinnamon-Swirl Coffee Cake

Sheri Silver is a mom, landscape designer and author of the blog Donuts, Dresses and Dirt . She loves sharing tips and tricks on the things she's most passionate about - including baking and cooking, gardening, shopping and her adventures in and around New York City with her 3 kids. ... More

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