I realize this decadent sour cream coffee is probably the last thing you want to see after all the holiday cookies and cakes, but I couldn’t help but share. The photo just came out so well! That and when you are ready to take a break from your post holiday detox, this cake is a phenomenal way to start. Just make sure you have 10+ people around because this thing is downright huge.

Now, moving on to more important matters. I want to talk about you. Up until recently I had this funny idea in my head that if I put it to you guys- ie asked you what you wanted to see around these parts, that the question would in some way suggest I was unable to come up with content on my own. I know, really silly. And maybe kind of selfish? In any event, now I’m asking. So the first part of your assignment is to tell me the following: What makes you come to CC everyday? What do you want to see more or less of? And most importantly, what do you want to see that’s not here right now? For those of you who have left comments and questions- no worries I’ve got you covered, but if you haven’t shared your opinion before, hop to!

Number two! Yep, I’m feeling pretty demanding today. Can you tell me who you are? I know some of you, but there are thousands- and well, I want to know more! What’s your name? Where are you from? What do you love to eat? Did you see Les Mis? Or anything else you’d like to share!

I appreciate you all so much and without you, well, CC wouldn’t even be possible. So in 2013 I want to make sure I know you all better- and we’re covering what you want to read! Sound like a plan? Let’s do it.

Oh! And coffee cake recipe below.

Mom’s Sour Cream Coffee Cake from Shutterbean
makes 12-16 servings

For the Cake:

  • 1 1/2 cups butter
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons each vanilla & water

Maple Frosting/Glaze

  • 1 1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 325°.

Beat butter and granulated sugar together until light & fluffy. Add the 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla, then beat in the eggs, one at a time beating well after each addition. Stir in the sour cream. Sift flour, baking powder, soda and salt together and blend into mixture.

Combine nuts, cinnamon, and brown sugar in a small bowl. Spoon 1/3 of the batter into a grease, flour-dusted 10 inch tube pan or bundt pan. Sprinkle with 1/3 of the nut mixture. Continue layering to make three layers of each, ending with the nut mixture. Blend vanilla and water in a bowl and drizzle it over top.

Bake cake for about 80 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool 20 mintues on a wire rack, then remove from the pan.

In a small bowl, mix the confectioners sugar, maple syrup & vanilla together to make the glaze.

With a spoon drizzle glaze on top of the cooled cake and serve.

  1. Andrea

    Hi Clara!
    I discovered your blog via the cookie swap feature that was done with Ina Garten recently. That was fun!
    So I checked out your blog and love it. I am a 40-something mom of two teens living in Western NY. I work full-time as a school psychologist in a small, rural school in the Finger Lakes. I would love to see more great, simple recipes a la Ina Garten - also decorating ideas and just general posts about living a more stylish life, every day!

  2. Hi Clara,
    I discovered your blog from my New York daughters, Grace from “Stripe & Sequins” and Becca from “Extra Ordinary Wonders.” I love your photography and have tried several your your recipes.
    My husband and I own an upscale restaurant on Cape Cod, The Red Pheasant Inn, which we have been doing for over 30 years! I love sharing blogs with my girlfriends, I wish we had that addition to community when our kids were young. sometimes it can be too much, too much on line, too many ideas. I like that you keep it simple. thank you for sharing bits of your life, it is refreshing!
    Denise Atwood

    • Clara

      Denise! I adore your daughters- such incredibly talented and sweet girls. I’m so touched you read my blog. I’ve heard a bit about your restaurant through Becca and would so love to eat there one day! My family is headed to the Cape for two glorious weeks this summer, so perhaps we can arrange to have lunch. We stay in P-Town but we could easily make the trip for the day. Thanks so much for the sweet words about my blog- hope to meet you this summer!

  3. Kelley

    Hi! Like Andrea, I discovered your blog after seeing the cookie swap article. I like simple recipes that are full of flavor, but not too fussy - good enough to serve to company but also to treat ourselves at home! I especially love baking recipes. I love to read, too, so it is fun to see your book recommendations.

  4. Kelly Love

    Hello! I, too, discovered you and your blog from the LHJ Cookie Swap article. I adore Ina Garten and love her style of cooking and entertaining. Good food, do ahead, enjoy your guests! I’m a mother of two busy kids, so always looking for quick but good meals to serve during the week as well as delicious but casual meals for the weekends when I have more time to cook. I look forward to spending more time on your blog and reading your recipes. Happy new year!

  5. Hi Clara! I discovered your blog a couple months ago when you so nicely commented on mine and I’ve been following non-stop ever since. I love reading your entertaining posts and your Thanksgiving prep posts were amazing! You keep it simple and your recipes are always inspiring.
    I’m a 26 year-old banker/blogger/wife living in Houston, Texas.

  6. Clara, what a sweet post. I’m Lauren from Flee to the Cleve. I keep coming back to your blog because it’s so visually attractive, and the ideas are attainable and inspiring, especially in the kitchen. This coffee cake, for example, makes me doubt my holiday detox. I look forward to the blogging tips you mentioned at the end of 2012. :)

  7. rachel

    I wish I could tell you exactly when and how I discovered your blog, but I’ve loved it since the day I found it. Call me a late bloomer, I didn’t pay much attention to blogs prior to planning my wedding in 2012. At that point the flood gates opened and one blog led to the next. Now, I am hooked. The blogs that I enjoy, such as yours, have offered inspiration to me on a visual and creative level. I am an occasional cook/baker - those times come in spurts, usually this time of year when the colder weather makes me want to nest. I have tried a recipe or two from your blog, but I come back again and again for your aesthetic and the experiences you share about starting your own business. After reading stories like yours and others, I am inspired to do the same. 2013 will be an interesting journey as I prepare to pursue my passion of photography. I am excited (and a little scared) about what lies ahead - but I am thrilled to finally follow a dream. I hope you will continue to share your experiences of working for yourself and developing your business - it’s so helpful to know it is possible. Thank you!

  8. Hi Clara,
    What a great idea! I discovered your blog when you were featured on Freshly Pressed many months ago - I believe you had shared a sandwich with basil in it?! My memory is failing me…in any case, I love the simplicity that I find here, not to mention the fabulous recipes and thought-provoking posts. The food brought me here, but I am enjoying how you are incorporating more posts about daily life, design, etc. Your little space here has become one of my favourites to visit.
    And in case you didn’t know…I’m 28, live in Alberta, Canada, am a social worker in a Children’s Hospital by day, have a crazy golden lab named Bella, and love to cook and eat. (Obviously). Thanks for doing what you do here. And Happy New Year!
    PS. I saw Silver Linings Playbook over the weekend and it is SUCH a great movie. Highly recommend it. :)

  9. Sandy

    I’m not sure anymore how I found your blog. I thought it was through a link on The Pioneer Woman, but when I revisited that website, I don’t see anything that would link me to your blog. So I’m not sure. I just know it was through some link on another blog/website. In any event, I’m glad I found you. You’re my kind of cook….contemporary, yet real. And by real I mean you don’t offer recipes with ingredients that are hard to find. I hate it when I find a recipe that looks enticing, but when I look through it, I find it’s made with ingredients I’ve never even heard of. My only real suggestion would be to offer a way to save a recipe so I can go back to it at a later date. I sometimes print it but then misplace it so when I’m looking for it, I can’t come up with it. I never cook from cookbooks anymore. I strictly go to the internet and pull up my saved recipes I have stored away on various websites. It makes me feel so 21st century. :) I’m 62 yrs. old and looking for good healthy recipes for a family of 2. Now that the kids are gone, it’s challenging to find things to cook that don’t leave me with leftovers for the next few days. Keep up the good work. Whatever you come up with will be great. It always is.

  10. You know me, Clara! Well, sort of. See, we obviously have chatted a bit on each others blogs and via social media, but it has been a long time (an embarrassingly long time, really) since I did a thorough audit of my RSS feeds and added in blogs I WANT and MEAN to follow. Which is what I did tonight. Which is why I opened up this post. Because coffee cake always reminds me of my grandmother and mother, who adore it, whereas I could never really stomach sweets for breakfast. But I like the turn the post has taken much better, despite your absolutely gorgeous coffee cake photo!

    I’m rambling. I live in SF, I cook a lot too, and I have never seen Les Mis. The original musical or the new feature film. I have no idea what it’s about. Which is funny, since that same coffee cake-loving grandmother used to take me to musicals all the time when I was little. I saw The Book of Mormon last weekend — now THAT was a musical!

  11. Jessica

    Hi Clara! I need your expertise & help! The people who live above my apartment smoke (like a 24/7 bachelor party up there! My apt complex has done every step to try to get rid of it & the next step is for me to transfer apts….really don’t want to do that because I will be moving again in June anyway. In the meantime, I’m a crazy batty (& neurotic!)lady with the smell of smoke lingering on my clothes when I leave. I’m at my boyfriend’s house most of the time, but would really like to enjoy the smell of my own home when I do go there!! Do you have any suggestions?? My next idea is to create my own home scents using essential oils to at least cover up the smell to plush through 5 more months:) do you have any good sources for recipes for this??? I love your blog & would also like to see more of your home organization tips, etc. I LOVED your closet overhaul post:):):) thanks for your wonderful blog I explore daily:)

  12. Pingback: The CC of 2013 | Channeling Contessa

  13. Hi Clara,

    I live in Northeastern Pennsylvania and blog over at http://www.love-laurie.com. I absolutely love to cook and bake. I discovered your blog several months ago (I can’t remember from where) and have been following ever since. I love coming to CC every day to see your recipes and gorgeous food photography. (I’m usually drooling over my computer keyboard after reading through your food posts.) In 2013 I hope you keep up the recipe posts because I love them. I also would love to see more restaurant reviews. I enjoyed the review of Cookshop in NYC that you did recently. I am adding that restaurant to my NYC list of places to try.

    Have a great weekend!

    PS: I did see Les Mis over the Christmas holiday, and I loved it!

  14. Clara! I’m just catching up on blogs after spending a week in NYC! I run green beans & grapefruit- a food blog centered around fruits and vegetables (with california flare!) and I can’t recall how I came across CC, but love it! I really appreciate your honesty and admire your style! I also used to live/cook/work in NYC so I love seeing that familiarity in your posts. And certainly not least, I love that you love jcrew!! Happy 2013!

  15. Aurora

    Hi Clara,
    I’ve been reading your blog for a few months - I don’t remember how I found it, but it was through another blog. I was excited to see someone writing based in NYC, as so many of the blogs that I read are by writers living elsewhere and there’s something nice about reading someone’s writing who’s based where I am. NYC provides such a unique way of life, after all, it’s nice to relate to what I’m reading. I’m 29, married, and I own a design business/cafe with my husband in Manhattan. I try to eat healthy, veggie based meals, and I’m just getting back into the groove of cooking (it’s seemed too tiring and not fun for the last few months), but sometimes I do fall back on Indian and Thai takeout too much. I come back to your blog because I like that you combine some excellent recipes with real talk, and I love hearing about your developing business. Entrepreneurs are a certain breed of people (crazy? awesome? a little bit of both?).
    Keep doing what you’re doing!

  16. Good Morning - I too found you through the Ina Garten cookie swap article - I am also a huge Ina fan - and had the opportunity to meet her a few years back at her book signing in Santa Monica - I love her style,her home, her food and have all of her cookbooks!! I started my blog in 2008, with a love for all things Italian, and eventually created a business with the same name, which has evolved into an italian inspired dessert catering business.- In 2013 I hope you venture into the wedding field - I mean who doesn’t want dessert at a wedding!! I will be following you and your blog this year - here’s to a successful year for all of us!

  17. Hmmmm…..I don’t even remember for sure how I found your blog, but I’ve been following for a while now. I always love your design/decor posts. And of course your recipes blow me away. I’d love more quick recipes for week nights that feature lots of veggies. Other than that, I’m not too fussy :)

    I’m from WI and I started my own blog a few months ago. I’ve always loved to cook and bake, but now my new favorite challenge is trying to learn as much about photography as I possibly can.

    I love learning about almost every topic, but my current favorites are money, food, birth, pregnancy, parenting, natural beauty products….I could go on :)

    I love to eat almost everything, but it it’s healthy and tastes wonderful, that’s even better!

    Have a great weekend!

  18. I know I’m late, but I’m here! I love your blog for your beautiful pictures of food! I love how you clearly have an eye for presentation. I live in VA and I like to eat pretty much everything :) I did see Les Mis, and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it!

  19. Caz Wilson

    Hi Clara! I found your blog through your Everygirl features and I just love it. I’m just getting into baking and am always looking for new recipes to try out. I love your mix of content and can’t wait to see more in the new year! And I’m so glad you posted this recipe - I saw the Instagram during the holidays and it looked unbelievable!

  20. Pingback: Maple Bacon Oatmeal | Channeling Contessa

  21. Dee

    Made this today and took it to a friends gathering. Everyone loved the cake! It was so moist & tasty. I’ll definitely be making it again. Thank you!!

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  26. Brenda Herrmann

    I’m so glad I found you! Not only can I wait to make this coffee cake I can’t wait to learn more about you also. Our local fair is around the corner and I uasally make jellies but I decided to dazzle them with a baked good . So in my search I found you. You are brand new to me and I’ve so enjoyed reading comments from your extended family of foodies . I’m from Brenham Texas between Houston an Austin where Our famous Blue Bell ice cream is home. I’ll let you know if I get a ribbon for your wonderful very LARGE coffee cake!

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