What do you get when you streamline a coffee cake down to its bare essentials? This cake. It's the contrast between the rugged, sugar crunch of the topping with the tender softness of the sour cream cake that makes it so special. No nuts to take away from the brown sugar sweetness, no chocolate, no swirl. I love a good minimalist, if you can call the glorious excess of this crumb minimal, that is.
This is extreme streusel, people. I got a little nervous when I poured the melted butter over the brown sugar. What if the sugar dissolves? How am I going to clump this together? But then I read the rest of the recipe and after I added two and a half (!) cups of flour, the mixture did indeed form boulders of streusel.
Can I tell you how much I love the proportions of this cake? It's genius, really. Texture contrast gets me every time. It's something about the taste of sour cream in the pillow-soft cake, just barely able to support the weight of all that topping. It's a brilliant combination and as much as I love add-ins like nuts and chocolate, the simplicity of cinnamon-sugar and cake is comforting. It beckons you to grab just one more piece to finish your mug of coffee.
Take a tour of the other bakers who made this coffee cake over at Baked Sunday Mornings. And don't forget to nibble on a few streusel nuggets. They were made for snacking.