Sour Cream and Cinnamon Swirl Cake

Ah, it’s Bastille Day. I should be making macarons, financiers or something with camembert in it. But I’m not…

I am a total cinnamon nut. I love it in biscuits, muffins, doughnuts, cakes, pastries, chocolate…you name it, and I will happily have cinnamon in it. Coffee too. I’ve even got a recipe for Moroccan carrots which are dressed in a cinnamon dressing.

So, here is an absolute cinnamon extravaganza. It’s a rich vanilla cake, rather like pound cake, and made with sour cream. The twist is a great big seam of cinnamon, brown sugar and chopped walnuts running right through it.

The result is superb. It’s got an air of an “olde worlde” Viennese coffee-house cake about it, assuming that you are able to limit yourself to a refined wafer-thin sliver.

The cinnamon seam is there to be mined, and it works nicely with the plain cake. The cinnamon mixture is soft inside the cake, and a little bit crunchy where it has been against the tin, making for a nice contrast. It also keeps amazingly well, so it will easily see you through several days if you are the sort of person that likes cake on tap.

Best enjoyed, one slice per day, when you’re at work. It’s been a very busy week, so that 11 o’clock break is all the more appreciate with a slice of the good stuff.


To make Sour Cream and Cinnamon Swirl Cake:

For the cinnamon swirl:

• 130g soft brown sugar
• 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
• 100g walnuts, finely chopped

Put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well.

For the cake:

• 200g white caster sugar
• 170g butter
• 3 eggs
• 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
• 300g self-raising flour
• 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
• 300g sour cream

Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F). Grease a 2.5 litre (4 1/2 pint) ring tin or bundt pan with butter.

Cream the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Fold in the vanilla extract.

In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Mix well.

Fold one-third of the flour to the butter/sugar mixture. Fold in half the sour cream. Add another third of the flour, mix well, fold in the rest of the sour cream, then add the last of the flour. Mix well until you have a smooth batter.

Put half the mixture into the cake tin. Sprinkle the cinnamon mixture over the batter. Add the rest of the batter (one spoonful at a time so as not to disturb the cinnamon mixture) and smooth the top with a spoon.

Bake for 50-60 minutes until the cake is risen and an inserted skewer comes out clean.

For a dressy look, dust the finished cake with icing sugar or sprinkle with a 50/50 mixture of cinnamon and caster sugar.

Worth making? Oh yes. This is a very easy cake to make, and it tastes superb. Great for a classy afternoon tea.

10 Comments

Filed under Recipe, Sweet Things, Uncategorized

10 responses to “Sour Cream and Cinnamon Swirl Cake

  1. Hey, sounds like a great recipe, if my mom gets sour cream I going to hijack it and hope she doesn’t mind. . . I think I’m going to have fun making this, especially if you say it tastes great afterwards too!

    • Good luck with the recipe – if you can only sneak a limited amount of sour cream, I am sure it would also make pretty decent cinnamon cupcakes too. Hope it works out.

  2. Growing up in Oklahoma, this was very popular (with good reason!) for holiday brunches. We just used pecans instead of walnuts. I can still taste the cinnamon-y, nutty filling. You’re making me hungry!

    • You’re right, I think pecans would work really well too. I think it’s just a cultural thing, walnuts are far more common in Britain than pecans. But for an American cake, it would have to be pecan nuts!

  3. This reminds me a little of a Southern Dessert (down south in the US), Sour cream gives it that awesome texture, and this looks scrumptious.

  4. I love pound cake and with a cinnamon twist is just perfect. I didn’t do anything French either for Bastille Day but did make yummy Jamaican ginger cake instead

    • Oh, all that French fancy stuff is well and good, but I like a good slice of ginger cake. Will keep an eye out for that one. Must also be the right thing to eat on a chilly winter day (I write as it’s blazing sun outside and a warm breeze wafting through and open window).

  5. Linda

    Hi. Just wanted to say thanks for this recipe. Made it today and as I only had a smaller ring tin I made the ring cake and then 12 cupcakes too. The only problem with this cake is that my partner and I can’t stop eating it. The cupcakes are all gone and we are about to attack the ring cake! It is really a full flavour cake enhanced by the cinnamon mixture. The only change to the recipe I made was to use lightly toasted cashews, chopped, as I didn’t have walnuts. This will become part of my regular recipe collection. Big thank you, regards, Linda from Australia.

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