Skillet Sour Cream Coffee Cake

This summer my family and I took a trip to Nashville, Tennessee. Within moments of arriving, I was entirely bewitched by the comfort food, congeniality, and charm. Music blared from every establishment, people greeted us with a smile, and we tasted the love with which the meals were carefully prepared. As a tribute to a transformative moment in my life, I also got engaged on that trip, I wanted to bring a bit of Tennessee home with me to the North, and begin a column here on Pensive Foodie dedicated entirely to traditional fare and cast iron cooking. I purchased some cookbooks, expanded my collection of Lodge and took to the stove. 

Cake. Coffee. Cake and Coffee. Coffee Cake. Two of my favorite indulgences coupled together. This recipe for Sour Cream Coffee Cake is written by Lynda King Kellerman and taken from A Skillet Full of Traditional Southern Lodge Cast Iron Recipes and Memories. It was compiled by the South Pittsburg Tennessee Historic Preservation Society, and proceeds from sales have gone to worthy causes in Lodge's hometown.

As the name would connote, a coffee cake is served to be eaten alongside a cup of coffee, as a simple sign of hospitality, or a break between meals. This variation is filled with a sugary blend of pecans, cinnamon, and sugar and topped with the same; sour cream gives the cake a heavenly texture and welcome comforting element. 


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups plus 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 eggs 
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla 
  • 2 cups flour 
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour your skillet. 

Cream butter and two cups of sugar gradually, until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, very well, and then fold in your sour cream and vanilla. 

Sift flour, salt, and baking powder together in a separate bowl. Fold mixture into the batter. Then, combine four teaspoons of sugar, with cinnamon and nuts. 

Place 1/3 of the batter into your skillet, and top with 3/4 of the sugar mixture. Cover with remaining batter, followed by the remainder of sugar mixture.

Bake about 60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on rack and serve with a cup of your favorite coffee.

For a frequent fix of drool inducing meals and inspiring history, check out Lodge. Follow along this tribute to the culinary techniques and recipes of the South on Instagram with #northernskillet.