Coffee Cake: A Treat for All Seasons
Photos by Carli Wentworth
Anytime’s the Right Time for a Never-Fail Coffee Cake.
When I first became a mother, I envisioned my mornings noshing on warm, fruity coffee cakes and sweet, creamy coffee, surrounded by my closest girlfriends, while our perfect children played quietly. Well, the only thing that actually came true was the coffee cake and the coffee.
Gone are the days, it seems, when friends gathered in homes for fellowship. Rather, now people flock to their local coffee house where they shell out money for a little bit of sweet “me” time. This fall, I have made a commitment to host a monthly coffee club; a time when we can come together for fellowship, counsel or just a good laugh. The only requirement is warm coffee and a baked treat – and luckily, my mom left me her recipe.
To make a real decadent coffee cake, the trick is in the sour cream and buttermilk. Both ingredients allow the cake to become tender and light. This particular recipe can easily be prepared with
1 cup flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
½ cup chopped pecans
¾ cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla coffee creamer
1 teaspoon vanilla or vanilla paste
Toffee bits, if desired
► Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a tube baking pan well with nonstick cooking spray. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add the beaten eggs, sour cream, buttermilk and vanilla. Mix only until the ingredients are incorporated. In a medium bowl, toss the flour and baking powder. Add the dry ingredients to the mixture, one tablespoon at a time, mixing well.
► To make the streusel topping: In a large bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar and cinnamon. Using a fork or pastry cutter, incorporate the butter into the dry ingredients. I use my hands since that is how my mom taught me. The streusel will be crumbly. Add the pecans.
► To assemble the coffee cake: Pour half the batter into the tube pan. Spread the batter so it covers the bottom. Add the sliced apple to the center of the cake, leaving a ½-inch border on the outside. Add half the streusel topping on top of the apples. Pour the remaining batter on top. Spread the batter to cover. Sprinkle with the rest of the streusel and bake for one hour or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool for 30 minutes. While the cake is cooling, it is time to make the glaze. In a small bowl, stir together the powdered sugar, creamer and vanilla until it’s smooth. Once the cake is cool, remove it from the pan and place on a cake plate. Drizzle the cake with the glaze and sprinkle with toffee bits. Store in an airtight container until you are ready to serve.