Sour Cream Is The MVP For Moist Bisquick Coffee Cake

Is there anything that promises comfort on demand like a Bisquick coffee cake? Yes, there's a time and a place for a homemade cinnamon streusel coffee cake, but the Bisquick shortcut is an alluring one. Offering the ease and flexibility of a cake mix, Bisquick works wonderfully as a fluffy and tender base for the well-spiced, streusel-topped baked good. Though it may be more commonly used for waffles, biscuits, and pancakes, consider Bisquick as a kind of self-rising flour, packing flour, baking soda, and salt in its mix as well as a few other ingredients, like cornstarch, vegetable oil, and sugar. All of these things work together to create a spongey cake base, but for something even better, an extra ingredient should be added to the mix. 

This key element comes in the form of sour cream, a dairy that brings tender fat as well as tangy flavor to the cake. Stirred in with the Bisquick mix, you'll be ensuring a moist coffee cake with an excellent crumb. Not only does the acidity of sour cream ensure you get that craveable tender crumb, but the thickness of the sour cream won't thin out your batter.

The tangy powers of sour cream

First, let's talk about what kind of sour cream to use. For the best results, make sure you're using full-fat sour cream, as its high-fat content is one of the key elements that make the cake so tender. This also means that using a replacement like Greek or regular yogurt won't work as well as the fat content of even whole-fat varieties is less than sour cream.  

While fat is a crucial piece of the puzzle, you also need to consider that sour cream's acidity also aids in the lightness of your baked goods, reacting with the basic baking soda for a bubbly lift. With that in mind, you also won't get the same tender effects using heavy cream or melted butter. The only true substitute for full-fat sour cream in this hack is crème fraîche (which you can make by turning your sour cream into crème fraîche). Crème fraîche has a more nuanced flavor and higher fat content than your typical sour cream dollop but still brings that signature tangy acidity.

More ways to keep your coffee cake fresh

While using sour cream in your Bisquick coffee cake will help bring instant moisture, there are a few other ways to keep your coffee cake nice and tender after the mixing process. The first tip revolves around bake time. Always make sure that you've set your timer and keep an eye on the cake, as an over-baked cake will always be dry, no two ways about it. Once you sidestep that issue, focus on storage. Airtight containers and plastic wrap are key to trapping the cake's precious moisture, so consider doubling up on both when storing your coffee cake either at room temperature or if freezing for later consumption. 

Next, try adding a glaze or syrup to your cake. A simple syrup soak can help imbue the cake with some much-needed liquid, softening the crumb. This is an excellent opportunity to bring a bit of fun flavor to your recipe as well, so think about playing with a butter rum glaze or a coffee-scented syrup. With these hacks and your sour cream working wonders in your batter, you'll be assured a perfectly tender bite of coffee cake for the mornings to come.