Weekend Breakfast


I woke up early this morning and told my husband, “It’s National Coffee Cake Day!” He got a giant grin on his face and said, “Does this mean you’re going to bake coffee cake?!” I said, “No, it means I finally want to post grandma Helen’s sour cream coffee cake recipe on my blog.” He said, “You can’t tell me it’s National Coffee Cake Day and not bake the coffee cake. It’s like telling a kid it’s National Candy Day and giving him carrots.”

Well, it’s lightly snowing outside (a perfect day for baking a coffee cake!); it is National Coffee Cake Day; this recipe is so easy to throw together; and hopefully, I can finish writing this blog post by the time the coffee cake is done. It’s starting to smell so good in here!

Years ago, in my pre-Paleo and pre-Keto days, we visited Joel’s grandparents in Kansas. This was the first and only time I met grandma Helen. She was a mighty fine lady who lived a full, exciting life with Joel’s grandpa, filled with lots of travels and love for each other. Sadly, she developed Alzheimer’s disease by the time I met her, which scientists now call “Type 3 diabetes.”

LowSour Cream Coffee Cake

At some point during our visit, I asked to look at her recipe notebook and jotted down a few recipes I liked. One of them was her sour cream coffee cake recipe. Funny thing is I never baked it before I adopted the Paleo lifestyle. Then I also learned that Joel absolutely loves coffee cake, so one Christmas morning I tried modifying the recipe for the Paleo diet. I must say that it didn’t turn out too well due to the ingredient substitutions that I was playing around with at the time. It was too dry and had the consistency of a brick, but we ate it all anyway because it was a rare treat for us to have a baked good.

So, the recipe went back into a pile of recipes until a couple of months ago. I’ve been following a Keto / low-carb Paleo lifestyle for a year and a half now, and Keto allows the use of dairy and natural low-carb sweeteners that are 1:1 substitution for regular table sugar, so I’ve been baking a lot this past winter 🙂 That’s when I came across grandma Helen’s sour cream coffee cake recipe in my pile of recipes.

You know how they say that timing is everything in life? This was one of those moments. I realized that I only have to substitute 3 ingredients this time around, and one of those ingredients is simply the type of oil to use. I would have to play with the quantity of these ingredients and the baking time and temperature, but that’s the fun part! I replaced flour, sugar, and corn oil with healthier ingredients. Modifying grandma’s coffee cake recipe to be grain-free, gluten-free, sugar-free, lectin-free, low-carb, and Keto-friendly was quite satisfying.

Grain Free Sour Cream Coffee Cake

But the best part was people tasting it and asking for the recipe. You know you’re on to something when you bring it to share with others, and people seek you out to ask if you’d be willing to share the recipe. That, plus seeing the kids sneak a piece (or two!) extra. So, after numerous modifications, adjustments, and tests (my husband wasn’t complaining!), grandma Helen’s modified sour cream coffee cake recipe is ready for prime time!


For the dough:

2 eggs, preferably pastured (I use pastured eggs from Vital Farms, which are available at most grocery stores in our area)
1/4 cup avocado oil
1 cup sour cream, preferably pasture-raised
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (I use Simply Organic® no-sugar-added Madagascar Pure Vanilla Extract)
2 cups blanched almond flour
1/3 cup low-carb sweetener (I use Lakanto® Classic White or Golden Monk Fruit Sweetener, which is available on
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt (I use Himalayan pink salt for its mineral content)

For the topping:

1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
2 teaspoons cinnamon (I use Spicely® Organics True Cinnamon)
2 tablespoons low-carb sweetener of your choice (I use Lakanto® Monk Fruit Sweetener, which is available on


  1. Preheat the oven to 325° F.
  2. In a large bowl, mix eggs, avocado oil, sour cream, sweetener, and vanilla extract until well combined.
  3. Mix in almond flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt until well combined.
  4. In a small bowl, mix chopped walnuts, cinnamon, and sweetener.
  5. Grease an 8-inch by 8-inch or similar-sized baking dish with avocado oil. Pour half of the dough mixture into the baking dish. Sprinkle half of the topping mixture on top of the dough mixture.
  6. Pour the second half of the dough mixture into the baking dish. Sprinkle the second half of the topping mixture on top of the dough mixture.
  7. Bake for about 40-42 minutes. If baking at high altitude, bake for about 45-50 minutes. Ovens vary, so start checking for doneness at around 40 minutes (45 minutes at high altitude). Insert a toothpick into the cake — it should come out clean. I also loosely cover the baking dish with aluminum foil in the last 5-10 minutes of baking, so that the nuts and cinnamon on top don’t get too dark, while the batter reaches its doneness on the inside.

Sugar Free Sour Cream Coffee Cake

I didn’t get a chance to finish writing this post before the coffee cake was done. You want to eat it warm, right? Plus, Joel was giving me a puppy face 🙂 We sat down to have a slice or two for breakfast and talked about grandma Helen’s and grandpa Dena’s life and the love they shared. I am grateful I got a chance to meet her and write down this recipe before she passed away. I am grateful for the knowledge of and access to healthier ingredients that allow us to enjoy her legacy guilt-free.

Try this sour cream coffee cake with some grass-fed butter on top. Let me know how you like grandma Helen’s sour cream coffee cake recipe in the comments below. Enjoy!

If it isn’t sweet enough for you, use 1/2 cup of Lakanto® Monk Fruit Sweetener. If you use a different natural low-carb sweetener, you may need to adjust the quantity depending on your sweetness preference.

Don’t like nuts, or they don’t like you? Omit them!

Looking for more breakfast recipes? Check out my pancakes recipe. We finally figured out the best pancakes that are grain-free, sugar-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, lectin-free, low-carb, Keto, and Paleo!

We finally figured out the best pancakes recipe that is grain-free, sugar-free, gluten-free, dairy-free (unless you fry them in and top with butter), lectin-free, low-carb, Keto, and Paleo! I don’t know how many more “-free” adjectives I can add 😉 These are so delicious and guilt-free that I would make them more often if I had the time on weekdays. For us, it’s typically a weekend or a holiday breakfast.

These pancakes are more like regular pancakes than the recipes I’ve tried before. I really have to credit Joel for playing around with this pancakes recipe to get just the right consistency. In the past, our pancakes would turn out thin, more like French crêpes or Russian pancakes, but this recipe makes them thicker like your traditional American pancakes. That’s probably because Joel wants his pancakes like what he’s used to 🙂

Keto Pancakes

Whether the pancakes are thin or thick, they remind me of growing up in Russia. When I was little, I often stayed at my grandparents’ house on weekends. I would wake up to the smell of my grandmother making pancakes. There would be a tall stack of thin, buttered pancakes. The house smelled amazing.

She served them with hot cocoa. My grandfather liked his pancakes with melted butter. I liked mine with my grandmother’s homemade raspberry jam. Talk about sugar, gluten, and more sugar! Luckily, our pancakes recipe has no sugar, no gluten, and no worries, only the amazing smell and taste that reminds both of us of our childhood.

We serve them with grass-fed butter (or goat butter as pictured in the photos) and Lakanto Maple Flavored Syrup, which is monk-fruit-sweetened and sugar-free. You could use coconut oil instead of butter if you are dairy-sensitive.

Paleo Pancakes

This makes my weekend. Now I can go to my Yoga Burn class and burn those few net carbs 😂

Makes about 2 servings


3 large eggs, preferably pastured (I use pastured eggs from Vital Farms, which are available at most grocery stores in our area)
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
1 tablespoon natural, sugar-free sweetener (I use Lakanto® Monk Fruit Sweetener, which is 100% as sweet as regular table sugar. Adjust your sweetener accordingly.)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (I use Simply Organic® no-sugar-added Madagascar Pure Vanilla Extract)
2/3 cup full-fat coconut milk, preferably no-guar-gum-added
1/4 cup of water or less depending on the consistency of the pancake batter
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
A pinch of salt (I use Himalayan pink salt for its mineral content)
Grass-fed butter, goat butter, French butter, or coconut oil for frying
Lakanto Maple Flavored Syrup to taste for serving (or another sugar-free maple syrup of choice)


  1. Mix eggs, coconut oil, sweetener, vanilla extract, and coconut milk until well combined.
  2. Add coconut flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix together without over mixing, especially if you want thicker pancakes.
  3. Check the batter consistency. If it’s too thick, add water, up to 1/4 cup, or until the batter resembles regular pancake batter.
  4. Heat a frying pan on medium heat. Once the pan is hot, add a spoonful of butter or coconut oil. Pour 1/4 cup of the batter into the pan to make a large pancake.
  5. Cook like traditional pancakes until bubbles appear and the edges look a bit browned.
  6. Flip to the other side and cook about 1 minute or until browned.

Let me know how you like our grain-free, sugar-free pancakes recipe in the comments below. Enjoy!

Low Carb Pancakes
Joel enjoying our low-carb pancakes!

If you like low-carb breakfasts, check out my Cinnamon Muffin In A Bowl recipe and Strawberry Muffin In A Bowl recipe.