junk mail sour cream coffee cake

As if we did not already have enough recipe pollution entering our home voluntarily with cooking mag subs, new cookbooks and newspaper food sections, even the unsolicited junk mail now comes with recipes. We love the Williams-Sonoma store down at the local (only the second largest mall in America but with the largest retail space as we speak in 1999) King of Prussia mall and often just browse through when we don't have a specific target purchase in mind. Somehow we got onto their mailing list, along with Victoria's Secret (which ms_ani actually uses to purchase casual and dress clothing—there is more to the catalog than underwear!), both of which inundate us with catalogs, although W-S is more restrained with only monthly (12) and seasonal (4) hits a year. Except when our little address peculiarities and list trading result in a streak of double hits: we have two last names and several variations of our street name which is too long for the allotted number of characters in certain mailing list software, BUT even notifying the distributor leads to a 6 to 8 week waiting period before they can alter the flow of their catalogs, so ...

Both of these catalogs make interesting browsing although with quite different hooks (food versus sex), but the W-S version has scattered many often interesting and possibly usable recipes throughout its pages, encouraging the reader to look at every page for fear of missing a really good one. (Clever marketing tool, eh?) Of course we go for it.

ms_ani spotted this sour cream coffee cake recipe. bob was a bit skeptical, but it tasted really good. One of the few pages of the many torn from these catalogs where we actually took action. Who knows what other treasures are hiding in our overflowing archives.


dry group one
2 T sugar
3/4 c chopped walnuts
1 1/2 t ground cinnamon
dry group two
2 1/2 c cake flour
2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
wet group
12 T = 1 1/2 sticks chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/4 c sour cream
1 1/2 t vanilla extract
3 T nonfat milk
1 1/2 c confectioner's sugar
1 c fresh raspberries


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter and flour rosette pan.
    The rosette pan is a new product from Germany which is a flower shaped pan (8 small petal indentations in the side wall) with a removable bottom, pictured next to the recipe. Not having one, we just used a 9x5 pound cake pan.
  2. Combine dry group one ingredients in a bowl.
  3. Combine dry group two ingredients in another bowl, sift mixture two times and set aside.
  4. In a third bowl, beat butter until creamy with electric mixer/beater.
  5. Gradually add the wet group sugar, and beat on medium speed until light and smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally, say 5-6 minutes.
  6. Add eggs one at a time and continue beating until mixture is thick, fluffy and doubled in volume, say 4-5 minutes. Beat in sour cream and vanilla, say 2 minutes more.
  7. Fold flour mixture (dry group two) into the wet group mixture with a rubber spatula half at a time until smooth.
  8. Pour half the batter into the pan and spread to the edges evenly.
  9. Sprinkle half the walnut mixture (dry group one) evenly over the batter.
  10. Spread remaining batter on top, making the sides higher than the center.
  11. Bake in center of oven until top is set and springs back when touched, and cake pulls slightly away from the sides of the pan, say 55-60 minutes.
  12. Let cake cool one hour.
  13. Remove from pan and set cake aside .
  14. In a bowl, whisk milk and confectioner's sugar until smooth.
  15. Garnish cake with raspberries and drizzle glaze over cake.


  1. Serves 12 according to the W-S Kitchens.
  2. We skipped the topping and it was still very good. Someday we'll have to try the whole thing. Maybe after we order that fancy pan which gives the cute shape to the cake in its attractive photo in the catalog.
  3. Somehow when we called to eliminate the second copy of their catalog, they cut us off completely. Until one started arriving at our address in ani's sister's name a few years after that.
jmsccck.htm: 16-aug-2006 [what, ME cook? 1984 dr bob enterprises]