This cake holds so many wonderful memories for me - hours spent around our table with family and friends, sharing laughs, and conversations, competitive games, and mostly time spent with our children.
The first time I had this cake was approximately 1968/69 - can't really remember the exact date. It was brought in to our office by a co-worker and it was maybe one of the best things I had ever eaten. Ever.
She was kind enough to give me the recipe and I have been baking it ever since. The secret ingredient is Swans Down Cake Flour. You may never have heard of or used Swans Down Cake Flour, but it is 27 times finer than regular flour and was invented in my hometown of Evansville, Indiana, by the Igleheart Brothers in 1895 and has been marketed ever since. Igleheart Mills were acquired by General Foods years ago who continued to produce Swans Down. The plant was closed in 1993 and Swans Down Cake Flour is now made and distributed by Reily Foods Company of New Orleans, Louisiana. They also make Luzianne products if you are familiar with their tea. It is my favorite for making sweet iced tea.
Back to this delicious cake. In order for it to turn out exactly right, you MUST use cake flour. There are some other brands on the market, but I have always used Swans Down Cake Flour. It comes in a red box and can be found with other flour in the baking aisle of most grocery stores.
I really slipped up and forgot to take a picture of the cake before we started eating it. Oops. It is baked in a bundt pan and that is the only way I have ever baked it. You could probably use a tube pan also, but I have never tried it that way.
This cake is fabulous for breakfast or brunch and, actually, is downright good any time of the day or evening, especially with a cup of coffee. Oh my. It has always been a favorite of our four children and is requested to this day. I will tell you, we went to my mother's for a holiday and she had a bundt cake on the table. It was very brown and I had never known her to bake whatever it was before. I asked her what kind of cake it was and she said your sour cream coffee cake. I knew immediately she had not used cake flour and it did NOT even taste like this cake should. So, here is my warning - USE CAKE FLOUR! It is also important to add the ingredients as the recipe states so that you get the wonderful texture for this cake. Now that I have given you my warnings, here is the recipe.
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup commercial sour cream
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 cups sifted cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 Tbsp sugar
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and beat well after each addition. Fold in sour cream and sifted ingredients alternately - BEGINNING AND ENDING WITH DRY ingredients. Add vanilla. Spoon 1/2 mixture into a lightly greased bundt pan. Cover with 1/2 topping and add remaining batter. Cover with remaining topping. Bake at 350 for 50-60 minutes until a toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean. Cool almost completely before turning out. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.
It's a simple recipe and it is truly delicious. It's sort of like eating potato chips - you can't eat just one piece. This cake is a great gift to give, great to take to a get together, or great for friends and family. And, of course, there are the upcoming holidays and it is spectacular to serve for Christmas morning.
I made this for my friend Joyce when she came down for the weekend recently and promised her I would post the recipe, so here it is! I hope you will all give it a try and let me know how much you love it. I know the extended Kinnaird family will want one for Christmas morning when we all get together! It will definitely be on the table.
Things to Remember:
“Dining with one’s friends and beloved family is certainly one of life’s primal and most innocent delights, one that is both soul-satisfying and eternal,” Julia Child