An easy-to-make cake for when life is hard

Katie Workman
Associated Press

Sometimes simple is just what the doctor ordered. And sometimes cake is just what the doctor ordered.

You should keep this simple cake recipe on hand for just those occasions. Believe me, I love a good thick streusel topping and I love cakes that say “Look at me!” But sometimes I just need to mindlessly throw together a cake that will get itself into the oven, and fast.

Also, sometimes we need a cake that can function as a breakfast or brunch offering without too much explanation (chocolate cake requires a lot of justification before noon), or a midday snack, but also can hold up as a dessert offering.

You may also have some holiday houseguests, and you may need a few make ahead things to have on hand when people would like “just a little something sweet.” This is that something, homemade and lovely perched on your counter for guests to help themselves to a sliver of. Or two.

Sour Cream Cinnamon Coffee Cake

For the cake

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus extra for the pan

2 cups all purpose-flour, plus extra for the pan

1 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup sour cream

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

For the glaze

2/3 cup powdered sugar

1 tablespoon milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Use a bit of butter to liberally coat the inside of a 9- or 10-inch Bundt pan. Sprinkle a bit of flour in the pan and turn to coat evenly, then tip out and discard any excess.

In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat together the 1 cup of butter and the sugar. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then beat in the vanilla and sour cream. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the 2 cups of flour, the baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Stir the dry mixture into the butter mixture just until combined. Scrape into the prepared pan and spread so the top is even. Bake for 45 minutes, or until a wooden skewer inserted at the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes in the pan on a wire rack, then flip the cake out of the pan and let cool completely on the rack.

While the cake is cooling, make the glaze. In a small bowl, stir together the powdered sugar, milk and vanilla until smooth. When the cake is cool, transfer to a serving platter and use a teaspoon to drizzle the icing back and forth in a pretty zigzag pattern across the top of the cake. Serves 10.

Per serving: 400 calories; 24 g fat (15 g saturated fat; 53 percent calories from fat); 43 g carbohydrates; 23 g sugar; 110 mg cholesterol; 270 mg sodium; 5 g protein; 1 g fiber.