The secret to making cake moist is in this sour cream cake. Brew a big pot of coffee and serve warm slices of Fig Cream Cheese Sour Cream Coffee Cake for brunch.
This sour cream coffee cake has a few tricks up its sleeves. When making cake, alternating the addition of flour and dry ingredients with liquid (often milk) helps ensure the gluten in the flour doesn’t get overly activated since the goal of a cake is tender crumb. Sour cream cake uses sour cream in place of the liquid. The extra fat and diminished liquid yields a luscious texture.
But that’s not it: inside the cake is a ribbon of fig cream cheese filling. We like to think of it as the surprise inside. And, swirling it into the batter is easy to do—you just use the tip of a kebab or paring knife nudged into the batter to lightly incorporate it with the fig cream cheese filling.
For the figs, Sun-Maid and Orchard Choice Golden Figs add a nutty, delicately sweet flavor that’s a bit tangy—all delightful with cream cheese. If you prefer a more familiar figgy flavor, try Mission Figs.
Almond streusel adds a crunchy texture but also makes the cake look pretty as those almonds toast while baking. A simple dusting of confectioner’s sugar over the top completes the cake with a smooth move of rubbing citrus zest into sugar. By doing this, the oils of the citrus release into the sugar and it’s a small detail that yields fragrant big results.
Sour Cream Coffee Cake with California Figs and Cream Cheese Filling
Orange Sugar-Almond Topping
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp orange zest
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour unbleached
- 1 1/8 tsp baking powder
- 1 1/8 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp table salt
- 10 tbsp unsalted butter softened but still cool
- 10 ounces granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp orange zest finely grated
- 4 tsp orange juice
- 4 eggs large
- 5 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cup sour cream
- 8 ounces cream cheese softened
- 3/4 cup Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Figs finely chopped, stems removed
- For the Topping: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Stir together sugar and orange zest in small bowl until combined and sugar is moistened. Stir in almonds; set aside.
- For the Cake: Spray 10-inch tube pan with nonstick cooking spray. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in medium bowl; set aside. In stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat butter, 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, and orange zest at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down sides and bottom of bowl with rubber spatula. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, about 20 seconds, and scraping down beater and sides of bowl as necessary.
- Add 4 teaspoons vanilla and mix to combine. Reduce speed to low and add one-third flour mixture, followed by half of sour cream, mixing until incorporated after each addition, 5 to 10 seconds. Repeat, using half of remaining flour mixture and all of remaining sour cream. Scrape bowl and add remaining flour mixture; mix at low speed until batter is thoroughly combined, about 10 seconds. Remove bowl from mixer and fold batter once or twice with rubber spatula to incorporate any remaining flour.
- Reserve 1¼ cups batter and set aside. Spoon remaining batter into prepared pan and smooth top. Return now-empty bowl to mixer and beat cream cheese, remaining 5 tablespoons sugar, orange juice, and remaining teaspoon vanilla on medium speed until smooth and slightly lightened, about 1 minute. Add ¼ cup reserved batter and dried figs and mix until incorporated. Spoon cheese-filling mixture evenly over batter, keeping filling about 1 inch from outside edge of pan; smooth top. Spread remaining cup reserved batter over filling and smooth top. With knife or offset spatula, gently swirl filling into batter, being careful to not drag filling to bottom or edges of pan. Firmly tap pan on counter 2 or 3 times to dislodge any air bubbles. Sprinkle orange-sugar almond topping evenly over batter and gently press into batter to adhere.
- Bake until top is golden and just firm, and long skewer inserted into cake comes out clean (skewer will be wet if inserted into cheese filling), 45 to 50 minutes. Remove pan from oven and firmly tap on counter 2 or 3 times (top of cake may sink slightly). Cool cake in pan on wire rack 1 hour. Invert cake onto rimmed baking sheet (cake will be sugar-side down); remove tube pan, place wire rack on top of cake, and invert cake sugar-side up. Cool to room temperature, about 1½ hours. Cut into slices and serve.