If you’re not already a fan of writer Sarah Kieffer, do us a favor and go back to her first book 100 Cookies… right after you make this delectable recipe for breakfast from her newest book 100 Breakfast Treats, of course. She really knows her way around a recipe, so no doubt these will quickly become a favorite. Here’s what she has to say about it:

I’m not going to lie; cream cheese swirl is what I’ll pick in a bakery case lineup any day. This is one of my favorite recipes in the book: a layer of cake, then cream cheese, tart jam, and streusel topping in every perfect bite. I like to eat them just barely warm, but they are great the next day too.

Makes 8 cakes



  • ¾ cup (180 grams) sour cream, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup (60 grams) buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2¼ cups (320 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
  • 12 tablespoons (1½ sticks or 170 grams) unsalted butter, cut into 1 in (2.5 cm) pieces, at room temperature
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (225 grams) jam or Lemon Curd (page 288)

Cream Cheese Filling

  • 8 oz (227 grams) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature


Make the Cake:

  1. Position an oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease eight 4-inch cake pans or springform pans, and line the bottoms with parchment. Or prepare a jumbo muffin pan or ramekins.
  1. In a medium bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together the sour cream, buttermilk, egg, and vanilla.
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, combine the flour and granulated sugar on low speed. Add the butter, one piece at a time, beating until the mixture resembles coarse sand. Remove 1 cup (130 grams) of the mixture and set it aside in a small bowl.
  1. With the mixer on low speed, beat in the baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the wet ingredients and mix until incorporated, about 30 seconds. Remove the bowl from the mixer. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and use a spatula to mix the batter a few more times. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared pans and smooth the tops with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon. Spread 2 tablespoons of jam evenly over the cake batter in each pan.

Make the Filling:

  1. In the stand mixer bowl in which you mixed the cake batter, beat together the cream cheese and granulated sugar on low speed until smooth and creamy. Add the egg and mix until incorporated, scraping down the sides as needed. Divide the cream cheese mixture among the pans and smooth the tops with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon. Divide the reserved flour-butter mixture among the pans, sprinkling it evenly over the tops. Tap the pans gently on the counter twice to help get rid of any air bubbles.
  1. Place the cake pans on a large sheet pan and bake until golden brown and a wooden skewer or toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few crumbs, rotating the pan halfway through baking, 26 to 32 minutes. Transfer the pans to a wire rack and let the cakes cool until barely warm or at room temperature.
  1. Remove the cakes from their pans and serve. Alternatively, the cakes can be covered in plastic wrap after cooling and stored in the refrigerator overnight.

Note: If you don’t have 4-inch cake pans, you can bake the cakes in jumbo muffin tins or ramekins. Fill the cavities a quarter of the way with batter, and spread only 1 tablespoon of jam on each one. Top with the cream cheese mixture and then the flour-butter mixture. Smaller cakes will bake faster, so start checking them a few minutes earlier.

Reprinted from 100 Morning Treats: with Muffins, Rolls, Biscuits, Sweet and Savory Breakfast Breads, and More by Sarah Kieffer, with permission by Chronicle Books, 2023. Photographs © Sarah Kieffer.


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