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Tuesday, July 12, 2011


I am always looking for a great coffee cake recipe.  I love to serve coffee cake and fresh fruit for a quick breakfast treat for guests and for my family over the week-end.  I already have a great blueberry coffee cake recipe and also a recipe for a great cranberry vanilla coffee cake.  This time around I was looking for a beyond good cinnamon coffee cake.  My main goal was to find a recipe where there was an awesome sweet and crunchy streusel on top.  I found what I was looking for with a Martha Stewart recipe.  Now, I don't want to "knock" Martha, but I usually find Martha's recipes a little too plain at times and her a bit "artsy crafty" for me.  To be honest I have never really been too interested in searching her recipes.  I just happened to put in a photo google search for "Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake" and a ton of pictures popped up.  I don't know about you, but I eat with my eyes!  This picture with a mile high streusel topping just jumped off the computer at me.  It just so happened that this picture belong to a recipe from Martha.  So....long story short...this recipe turned out to be a winner.  I have made it several times in the past few months.  I recently cooked for a family for a big 8th grade graduation party and they chose this coffee cake for me to make for their breakfast the next day.  It is a perfect wrapped package as it looks  beautiful, but it also tastes as good as it looks!

* This recipe calls for a lot of salt in each of the layers of the coffee cake. The first time I made this I made it with all the salt, but for me and my family it was a bit salty.  The next few times I made it I barely used any salt (just a tad) and it was much better that way for us.

For the streusel topping and center:

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Coarse salt
1 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped toasted pecans

For the cake:

1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Coarse salt
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream

For the glaze:
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons whole milk

  1. Make the streusel topping: Mix together flour, 3/4 cup brown sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1 teaspoon salt. Cut in butter using a pastry cutter or rub in with your fingers until small to medium clumps form. Mix in 1/2 cup pecans. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. Make the streusel center: Mix together remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1 cup pecans.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make the cake: Butter a 9-inch tube pan with a removable bottom. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon salt into a bowl.
  4. Beat butter and granulated sugar with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, then vanilla. Beat in flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with sour cream, beginning and ending with flour. Continue to beat until well combined.
  5. Spoon half the batter into pan. Sprinkle streusel center mixture evenly over batter. Top with remaining batter, and spread evenly using an offset spatula. Sprinkle streusel topping mixture evenly over batter.
  6. Bake until cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack, and let cool completely. Remove cake from pan, and transfer to parchment.
  7. Make the glaze: Mix together confectioners' sugar and milk. Drizzle over cake, and let drip down sides. Let set for 5 minutes before serving.

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