Ah, coffee. It is the delicious nectar of the devil. We actually mean this literally. That guy downs around five cups a day. You really want to avoid him when he hasn’t had his coffee. Scary. Anyways… back on topic. Coffee cake actually does not contain any coffee. It is thus named because it is a cake to be eaten with coffee. It is much the same in concept as tea cakes. Except that it is a better tasting treat and served with a tastier beverage. Coffee cake can be sweet, or savory but it always has a nice tangy-ness to it which pairs nicely with coffee.
Sour cream is used in baking to bring about a more moist cake and ands a slight, delightful tang. However, because it has this thing called fat, most people tend to replace it to be ‘healthy.’
Buttermilk, to continue the confusion, does not contain a lot of butter. It is actually the liquid left over after making butter. Buttermilk is used in recipes to tenderize gluten leading to a softer cake.
Yogurt is commonly used in baking to replace items high in fat, such as sour cream and butter. It is also a favorite in baking because it is full of calcium and protein. It adds a creamy texture to muffins and cakes.
Coffee cake is almost always topped with a nice streusel. Sometimes it will also be glazed but it is never frosted. And no, we don’t hate frosting. We just think it has a place it belongs and you humans tend to put it EVERYWHERE. Nuts, fruits and spices (most commonly cinnamon) can often be found swirled into the coffee cake batter. While some people will fully mix these additions in, taking the easy route, the best coffee cakes show a swirl as the added ingredients are not fully mixed in. It makes the cake more visually appealing. Be you demon or human, we all eat with our eyes.