Monday, September 26, 2011

Cinnamon-Streusel Coffeecake

I have been reading King Arthur Flour's blog, Bakers' Banter for a couple of years now and I absolutely love it.  The contributors are extremely talented and knowledgeable (getting to bake all day + write about it = dream job!), yet the recipes are very accessible.  They include little tidbits about baking but don't smack you in the face with it - it's like being in the kitchen with a good friend, where you simply pick up new techniques by working with them, plus it's a lot of fun!  Oh, and if you ask a question in the comments section they give great feedback, always a nice touch. 
So, when I decided late Sunday afternoon that I wanted to make a coffeecake for Greg to bring to work I went directly to their website and after a quick search, came up with the perfect recipe.  Believe it or not, I have never made a cinnamon coffeecake before yesterday, and this one will be hard to beat.  Greg always has a group meeting on Monday and honestly, who couldn't use a little sweet treat to get the week started right?
Cinnamon-Streusel Coffeecake
from King Arthur Flour

Streusel Topping

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon salt (if you use unsalted butter)
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
6 tablespoons butter, melted


1 cup brown sugar, light or dark
1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder (did not use since it was just to add color)


3/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon salt (1 ¼ teaspoons if you use unsalted butter)
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 large eggs
3/4 cup sour cream or plain yogurt (I used yogurt)
1 1/4 cups milk (anything from skim to whole, I used skim)
3 3/4 cups flour

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9" x 13" pan.  

Topping - In a medium bowl whisk together the sugar, salt, flour, and cinnamon. Add the melted butter, using a fork to blend until combined. Set the topping aside.  Note: I would be tempted to decrease the amount of topping as mine seemed to make a bit too much and a lot of it fell off when I took it out of the pan.
Filling - Mix together the brown sugar, cinnamon, and cocoa powder, if using.  Set it aside.  Note: Next time I might add some chopped pecans to give it an extra crunch.
Cake - In a large bowl, beat together the butter, salt, sugars, baking powder, and vanilla until well combined and smooth, then add eggs one at a time, mixing well between each addition.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the sour cream or yogurt and milk until well combined. Don't worry about getting out all the lumps.  Add the flour to the butter mixture alternately with the milk/sour cream mixture, beating gently to combine.

Pour/spread half the batter (a scant 3 cups) into the prepared pan, if you have a kitchen scale half of the batter weighs about 28 ounces.   Then sprinkle the filling evenly over the batter and top with remaining cake batter.  Use a knife to gently swirl filling throughout the cake, as if making a marble cake.  Finally, sprinkle topping over the entire cake.  

Bake the cake until it's a dark golden brown around the edges; medium-golden with no light patches showing on top, and a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 55 to 60 minutes. When pressed gently in the middle, the cake should spring back.  Note: Mine took around 70 minutes and my topping never got really golden but I'm glad I stopped when I did or else I think my cake would have dried out.  (I'm starting to wonder if my oven is off because most of my baking requires extra time added on at the end...)

Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool for 20 minutes before cutting and serving. Serve cake right from the pan.  You can also cover the unbaked cake with plastic wrap and pop it in the oven (after removing plastic wrap!) the next day if you want yummy breakfast smells, just add a few more minutes since the cake will start out cold.  Definitely considering this for the holidays!

Other than the fact that this cake is delicious, I also like it because it makes makes 24 servings, which makes it perfect to share with a group.  
What is your favorite weekend breakfast treat?  Next on my list are cinnamon rolls, anyone have the perfect recipe?