Monday, February 3, 2014

Brown Sugar Pecan Coffee Cake

Coffee cake is the greatest thing ever that has made it totally acceptable to eat cake for breakfast.  This is an airy sour cream cake that has a layer of crumbly streusel sprinkled over the top as well as ribboning through the center.

When there's coffee cake for breakfast, you know it's going to be an extra special kind of day.

One Year Ago:    Homemade Pop Tarts
Two Years AgoChocolate Covered Espresso Bean Cookies

Brown Sugar Pecan Coffee Cake

·         ½ cup all-purpose flour
·         ½ cup light brown sugar, loosely packed
·         ½ teaspoon salt
·         1 teaspoon cinnamon
·         ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
·         6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, diced
·         ½ cup chopped pecans

Coffee Cake Batter:
·         ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
·         ½ cup light brown sugar (or up to 1 cup, if you like it a little sweeter)
·         3 eggs
·         1 teaspoon vanilla
·         1 cup sour cream
·         ¼ cup whole milk
·         2 cups all-purpose flour
·         2 teaspoons baking powder
·         ½ teaspoon baking soda
·         ¼ teaspoon salt
·         ½ teaspoon cinnamon
·         ½ teaspoon nutmeg
·         ½ cup chopped pecans

Baker's Note:  For a shorter coffee cake that bakes more quickly, prepare the ingredients as directed but spread all of the batter in a greased 9x13 baking dish and sprinkle with the topping.  Bake until done (I have not tested this, but I'm guessing 25-35 minutes should do it) and cut into generous squares.

Preheat oven to 350.  Line an 8 or 9-inch cake pan with 3-inch sides with parchment paper, so that the corners of the paper hang over the edge.

In a bowl, combine the topping ingredients and use your fingers or a pastry cutter to work the butter into the mixture until it’s coarse and crumbly, but you can still see visible chunks of butter.  Chill in the freezer while you prepare the batter.

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then the vanilla extract, until thoroughly combined.  Scrape the bowl down and add the sour cream and milk, mixing well.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and pecans.  With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture and stir just until moistened.  Batter will be thick.

Spoon half the batter into the bottom of the prepared pan.  Sprinkle with half the streusel.  Spread the remainder of the batter over the streusel layer and spread it out to the edges and sprinkle with the rest of the streusel.

Bake for 45-60 minutes, until a sharp knife or skewer inserted in the center comes out clean; start checking for doneness at 45 minutes, and cover the top loosely with a piece of foil to prevent it from over-browning while it finishes baking.  Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then grasp the parchment paper overhang and carefully lift the cake out of the pan.  Pull the paper away from the cake, cut into slices and serve warm.

Yields 8 servings.

Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen