Since this was the cake that inspired my passion for baking and launched a thousand recipes, it is only fitting that I launch my website with Nanny Fela’s Butter Streusel Cake. My mom baked it often when I was growing up, and I could never resist plucking off the streusel, leaving behind a funny looking pockmarked cake.  I could kick myself for not having had the presence of mind to get the recipe from my mom.  I did, however, watch my mom make it, and I’ve tried to recreate it to the best of my recollection.  As I recall, the cake had lots of butter and sour cream and my mom flavored it with packets of Dr. Oetker’s vanilla sugar. So, herewith, my version of Nanny Fela’s epic butter streusel cake. It’s a reasonable facsimile but, mom’s was better!



  • 2/3 cup butter (1 and 1/3 sticks), melted
  • 2 ½ cups flour
  • 1 and 1/3 cup sugar

Cake batter

  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temp, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 16 ounces sour cream
  • 1 packet vanilla sugar

To make the streusel:

After the melted butter has cooled for a few minutes, and the flour and sugar and stir with a fork until the mixture forms small crumbs.  Take handfuls of the crumbs and form large clumps.  Separate the clumps into smaller pieces, which are larger than the crumbs.  You can decide how large or small you want the streusel by shaping them with your hands.

To make the cake batter:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Butter and flour 9 X 13-inch baking pan or spray with Baker’s Joy. Into a medium bow sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter until smooth. Scrape down the bowl and add the sugar. Beat until the mixture is smooth and starts to look fluffy.

Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the bowl and mix again for 30 seconds.

Add the sour cream and vanilla and beat just until incorporated.

Add the dry ingredients in three additions, scraping down the bowl before each addition and beating only until each addition is just incorporated. Do not over mix.

Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan. Use a large spoon or offset spatula to spread the batter evenly.

Sprinkle the streusel evenly over the top of the batter.

Bake in the center of the oven for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes, then serve.