I have a confession to make… again. I have a lot of those, don’t I? When my brother, sister and I were kids, we would swipe money from my mothers coat pocket (she was a waitress and that”s where she hid her tips) and go to the corner store to buy junk food (I was the youngest so I blame them for corrupting me). It was usually either ice cream (Steve got vanilla, Sandra got Butter Pecan and I always got Neapolitan) or what we referred to as “pop and things”. Things were generally Hostess snacks; again, we all had our favorites. I got Ho Hos, San got Cupcakes and Steve got Suzy Q’s. Sometimes however, I would change it and with my ill gotten wealth, I would buy an entire Hostess coffee cake. You know the ones I mean. They were rectangular in shape with this white icing on top that was so slick and so plastic in texture that you could practically peel the whole thing off in one sheet. Which I did. And then ate. Often. I have to admit, that until Hostess went out of business (and even though they are back, I’ve seen no signs of the coffee cake), I would still buy one every couple of years (using my own money now lol) and eat it. I no longer peeled off the icing and ate it, but I still loved them. Nasty, dry, preservative filled… but they were a taste of childhood. That’s all that mattered was the momentary chance to be 8 again… to be free of major life worries and also to not think about the empty calories.
Now however, I DO tend to make coffee cakes form scratch when I want them. I prefer yeast risen ones but every once in a while I just want one quicker. So when I saw this recipe in Cuisine magazine, I knew I wanted to try it. The idea of cinnamon roll flavor without the rolling and cutting was too much to resist.
Be warned- this is rather fussy in the prep for a coffee cake. Is it worth it though? Yes. If you like cinnamon, like sticky toppings and tender cake, you’ll find it worth the time and fuss. You will use more than one bowl, which I try to avoid but you can’t with this and you need to be quick turning this out onto a plate or the topping sticks to the pan. So basically, follow the directions I have here to a T and you should be fine. The changes I made to this were the addition of some orange zest, nutmeg and more cinnamon in the streusel as well as some vanilla extract, cinnamon and nutmeg in the batter as it didn’t call for any spice at all.
You know the drill…
Cinnamon Roll Coffee Cake
- Caramel Topping-
- 3/4 cups packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup toasted chopped pecans
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, cold
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1/4 cup vanilla yogurt or plain sour cream (if you use Greek yogurt, use an extra 2 tablespoons buttermilk to offset the thickness of the yogurt)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp
- 3/4 cup sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9 inch cake pan or spray with cooking spray.. Make SURE to use a 2 inch deep pan, not the typical 1 1/2 deep one. I found mine at Target so I have now given you a good excuse to go shopping at Target 😀 if you use a shallower one, it WILL overflow.
- In a small bowl, mix together all your caramel topping ingredients except the pecans; stir well to mix. Spread in the prepared pan, sprinkle the pecans on top and wash the bowl; trust me, otherwise you’ll finish this and have 628 bowls to wash :-p
- For the streusel, whisk together the brown sugar, flour, spices and orange zest in a small bowl. Using a pastry blender, cut in the cold butter until fine crumbs form. Set aside.
- For the cake, combine the flour, spices baking powder, salt and baking soda. Set aside.
- In a large measuring cup, whisk together the buttermilk, yogurt or sour cream, eggs and vanilla. Set aside.
- In a large bowl (hey, I warned you about all the bowls 😛 ) cream together the 1/2 cup butter and the 3/4 cup sugar just until combined. Alternately add the flour mixture and the buttermilk mixture, starting and ending with the flour mix. Only beat until just combined each time.
- Spoon half of the batter on top of the topping in the pan. Smooth to the edges (I started with a rubber spatula for this but ended up using my clean finger. it worked better.) then sprinkle on half of the streusel. Spoon on the rest of the batter, smooth, then sprinkle on the rest of the streusel.
- Bake cake at 350 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick (or my usual one; a wooden skewer) comes out clean.
- Leave in pan for only about 2 minutes; then run a knife along the edge to loosen it and quickly invert it onto a plate. If any of the topping sticks to the pan, scrape it off and smooth it onto the top of the cake. Either finish cooling or eat it while it’s nice and toasty warm.
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