Thursday, May 18, 2017

Spiced Coffee Cake

 My sister sent me a beautiful picture of snow in her front yard this morning.  SNOW!   I replied back with a picture of our clear blue sky and almost dead grass (that might have been a little mean?)  We have had the most amazing weather lately.  The kind where you open all the windows and breathe in the fresh air.  The kind where you can still wear a sweatshirt most of the day, but if you didn't you wouldn't be cold.  It's May.  It's not going to last.  Next week, I will send her pictures of us melting as summer will truly hit.  I will be sad.  The cool, windows open weather reminds me of the beach.  Weather-wise I have been in my happy place. 
We have three weeks of school left and things are really starting to slow down.  Commitments are dropping off one by one and I have found myself sitting and drinking coffee and enjoying the quiet of the house before the kids are home every day.  I dislike summer heat, but I love the quiet.  The time where there are days with no plans, where we can just sit and veg all day.  Where we can be spontaneous or learn something new.
So, while I am sitting here drinking my coffee and writing (and enjoying the quiet!), I realized there there really hasn't been any food posts recently and that needs to change.  I've mentioned my love for the Bake from Scratch magazine and this one comes from their One Layer Cakes Special Edition.  I may have flagged every single page in this magazine!  I mean, one layer cakes are minimal effort deliciousness.  No worries of frosting layers upon layers of cakes. . . but delicious one layer goodness.  Easy Peazy.  And, what is one of the best one layer cakes?  Coffee Cakes, of course! 

I've had to explain to my kids that coffee cake actually is not a cake made with coffee, but a cake to be enjoyed with coffee and good conversation.  It's a easier than making muffins and scones and they come out so impressive that your company will think you went out to the local bakery and bought a fancy schmancy cake. I made this one for my family's Easter Brunch and it was a hit.  My hubby is a fan of all things bread and has added this to his "You can make this again" list. 

Spiced Crumb Cake
from Bake from Scratch

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cloves
1/2 cup buttermilk*

3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup finely chopped almonds
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup butter

Preheat oven to 350.  Spray a 9 inch round cake pan with baking spray with flour. 

In your mixer, beat butter and sugar until nice and creamy.  This will take about 4 minutes.  Stop it every minute to scrap sides of bowl.  You don't want to make your coffee cake and realize half your batter is still on the sides of the bowl! Add your eggs, one at a time.  Then beat in vanilla and sour cream. 

Slowly add dry ingredients and buttermilk alternately.  Beat until just combined.  Like most muffin-y recipes, you don't want to over beat or else it will turn out dry and bleh.  Trust me.  Pour batter carefully into your baking pan. Set aside and grab a small bowl (bigger than a cereal bowl, but smaller than a mixing bowl).

Add your crumb topping ingredients.  Grate your butter with a cheese grater and mix with your fingers until nice and crumbly.  Sprinkle over the top of your cake batter. 

Bake for 30-35 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.  Then take a knife and slide it around the cake to loosen the sides.  Flip it over onto a plate and then back onto the wire rack so it is right side up.  Do this very carefully, or you will have to half circle cakes instead of one beautiful round one. 

Let it continue cooling and then sprinkle with powdered sugar.  Dig in.

If you are making this the day before you need it.  Store on wire rack with a piece of bread on top. . . this keeps the moisture in the cake. 

*I NEVER have buttermilk.  It's just not a thing I keep in my fridge.  You would think that as many recipes that use it, I would.  However, I find that if you add a TBSP of vinegar to your measured milk and let it set for a few minutes, it will sour it enough that you get that perfect buttermilk taste. 

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