This tender sour cream coffee cake will amaze your tastebuds and your friends! No one will guess it’s keto friendly and completely sugar-free.
Nothing quite says “Let’s brunch” like a slice of sweet, crumbly coffee cake. Bonus points if it’s studded with chocolate chips. And triple bonus points if it’s low carb and gluten-free.
What is it about keto coffee cake that is so delightfully enticing? Is it the sweet cinnamon scent and the tender texture? Or is it the fact that you can eat cake with your morning coffee and no one will give you the hairy eyeball?
Let’s face it, a big slice of layer cake might have some people judging you rather harshly. Although I would not say no to a slice of keto carrot cake for breakfast in the privacy of my own home!
But coffee cake is somehow much more socially acceptable. No one even thinks twice if you go back for seconds!
Why you will love this recipe
Sour cream coffee cake is a classic bakery treat and this keto version lives up to the promise. It has a tender crumb that isn’t overly sweet. And it’s topped with a delicious brown “sugar” crumb topping.
It both looks and tastes the part of a conventional baked good, but with a mere fraction of the carbs.
It’s also easy to make, with standard keto ingredients that you can find at almost any grocery store. You only need 20 minutes of prep time to get it into the oven and baking. Then just sit back and enjoy the delicious smells!
I took this cake to a get together recently and it disappeared astonishingly fast. No one could believe it was made without sugar or flour!
Ingredients you need
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- Sour cream: I love using sour cream in baked goods like keto muffins and cakes. It makes them extra tender. You can also use Greek yogurt, but I recommend full fat for fewer carbs.
- Brown sugar substitute: My favorite is Swerve Brown as it tastes the most like real brown sugar. If you can’t find a good sub, you can use granular erythritol and a teaspoon of molasses.
- Almond flour: As with any almond flour recipe, the finer your flour, the finer the consistency. I always have good results with Bob’s Red Mill.
- Protein powder: You can use whey protein powder or egg white protein powder. Collagen protein won’t work in this recipe.
- Cinnamon: A touch of cinnamon goes well with almost any coffee cake.
- Chocolate chips: You don’t have to add keto chocolate chips but it’s pretty tasty if you do! You can also add chopped nuts, like pecans or walnuts.
- Pantry staples: Eggs, vanilla, butter, baking powder, salt.
Step by Step Directions
1. Prepare the cake batter: In a large bowl, whisk together the sour cream, eggs, vanilla, and sweetener. Stir in the almond flour, protein powder, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. If the batter is very thick, stir in water 1 tablespoon at a time. It should be thick but pourable.
2. Spread in the pan: Add the chocolate chips and stir until well distributed, then pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and spread to the edges.
3. Prepare the topping: In a medium bowl, whisk together the almond flour, sweetener, and butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle all over the top of the cake.
4. Bake the coffee cake: Bake 40 to 50 minutes, until the top is just firm to the touch and the edges are golden brown. Remove and let cool completely in the pan.
Make sure to whisk the sweetener in with the wet ingredients and break up any clumps before adding the dry ingredients. Brown Swerve sometimes has clumps but you can mash them easily with a fork.
Sour cream adds lots of moisture to the cake batter so only add water if your batter is overly thick. You want the batter to be thick but still easily poured into the baking pan.
Nut Free Option: You can use sunflower seed flour in place of the almond flour, cup for cup. Just be aware of the fact that it can react with baking powder to cause baked goods to become green inside as they cool. You can easily offset this reaction by using a tablespoon of lemon juice.
Frequently Asked Questions
Coffee cake is meant to be served with coffee, and can be eaten for breakfast, brunch, or snack. It’s usually a simple one layer cake that has no frosting, and it’s often less sweet than dessert cakes. Think of it as a muffin in cake form!
This keto coffee cake does not need to be refrigerated immediately. You can store it on the counter, tightly covered, for up to 4 days. If you won’t finish it before then, you can store it in the fridge for up to a week. It can also be frozen for up to 3 months.
This keto sour cream coffee cake recipe has 8.2g of carbs and 4.4g of fiber per serving. So each slice has 3.8g of net carbs.
Keto Sour Cream Coffee Cake
- ½ cup sour cream
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅔ cup Swerve Brown lightly packed
- 2 cups almond flour
- ¼ cup unflavored whey protein powder or egg white protein powder
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 to 2 tbsp water, if needed
- ⅓ cup sugar free chocolate chips
- ½ cup almond flour
- ¼ cup Swerve Brown
- 2 tablespoon melted butter
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF and grease an 8-inch round cake pan. Line with parchment paper and grease the paper.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the sour cream, eggs, vanilla, and sweetener. Stir in the almond flour, protein powder, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. If the batter is very thick, stir in water 1 tablespoon at a time. It should be thick but pourable.
- Add the chocolate chips and stir until well distributed, then pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and spread to the edges.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the almond flour, sweetener, and butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle all over the top of the cake.
- Bake 40 to 50 minutes, until the top is just firm to the touch and the edges are golden brown. Remove and let cool completely in the pan.
- Sprinkle with powdered sweetener, if desired.
what can be used on place of whey?
Please read the blog post.
Going to try this using g carb quick instead of almond flour. My wife has a nut allergy
I will be curious to hear how it works out!
Martha G. says
HI. Did the recipe work with CarbQuick?
I just made this for a great weekend breakfast. It was super yummy! I omitted the chocolate chips and added walnuts to the topping. Growing up my Mom made coffee cake so I was attempting to make one similar but low carb. I was so happy with this. I warmed up a slice with a little butter and was in heaven!
Wondering how it might work to use vanilla flavored whey protein powder and omit or reduce the vanilla extract?
Yep, that can work!
carol walter says
can I use sour whipping cream or does it have to be cultured sour cream? thank youl]
This is delicious, and the texture is great! I added chopped pecans to the topping.
Delia Bottoms says
This comment is from my husband! Steve came in a short while ago and he was starving. He walked in the kitchen , took one look at the coffee cake and grabbed a slice. I was in the laundry room when this occurred. He took one bite and said out loud, “This cake is delicious!” 😊
Delia Bottoms says
I just tried a slice of the cake that I baked today after it cooled. It is delicious and has a lovely flavor! I can see this as a basic coffee cake that can be varied with different types of dried fruit and nuts. I did toss in some toasted pecans into the batter with the chocolate chips! My oven runs a little hot, so I may try next time to bake it at a lower temperature. I may also try making breakfast muffins with this same recipe! I certainly like that idea as well. Thank you!
Maggie H says
I just made this recipe this morning – it’s another winner! I made muffins instead of the cake and made it with pecans instead of the chocolate chips. It’s easy to grab and go with a muffin! Ya’ll will definitely want to make this one!
Great recipe. I substituted cardamom for the cinnamon and made donuts with crushed walnuts on the top.
oh I’m going to eat the whole cake w no regrets!.like you I have a sweet tooth.. you’re the best Carolyn
Holy moly this is fantastic! I only had 9” pans, so that is what I used. Checked it after 30 minutes of baking and it was perfect. The cake is soft and moist but still has the density of a great coffee cake. I’m not sure what magic is in the ingredients (maybe it’s the cinnamon) but the whole thing just smells and tastes so sophisticated, but it is really simple to make. It is just so good I’m having to stop myself from having another slice!
Excuse my ignorance, but I am new to using protein powders. I was recently given some vanilla flavored whey protein powder (from Costco I believe). Would that work ok with this recipe?
That would be fine, just don’t add any additional vanilla extract.
I made yesterday, It was a bit dry, I used paleo flour instead of almond flour, used 2 teaspoons of cinnamon and 2 teaspoons of vanilla, I like to add extra. Chopped pecans instead of chocolate chips And used 1/2 coconut sugar & 1/2 allulose instead of swerve, can’t do the sugar alcohols, aftertaste, cooling, gas. Baked for 40 on 330, I go a little lower on temp. I did enjoy the crumble better than cake, used coconut sugar.
It’s dry because you switched up the flour. Almond flour has a lot more moisture and Paleo flour blends usually contain things like tapioca starch. I recommend making the recipe as written.
I will use the almond flour next time I make this hopefully switching swerve to allulose and coconut sugar won’t affect the texture. Love your recipes.
what can be substituted for the whey powder?
The recipe includes an alternative.
Can I use Dairy Free Sour Cream as a substitute?
I haven’t used it myself so I can’t be sure but I *think* so.
As a novice cook, I have one quick question: if I omit the chocolate chips, should I add somethinginits place…or ok to just omit? Thank you!
YOu can just omit! Or add chopped nuts. They aren’t critical to the texture.