Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake

Photo: Tina's Chic Corner
Recently I attended an all day conference at Lincoln Center, where I ate ... I won't lie ... several squares of cinnamon streusel coffee cake (also known as crumb cake). Why do conferences always serve platters of pastry? I had to pass the sweets station to get to the morning coffee. I was not tempted by the chocolate biscotti nor the buttery croissants, but the crumb cake -- Arghh! -- was very moist and delicious! And you know what? Indulging ... opened a Pandora's confectionery box. I couldn't get its goodness out of my mind! So this weekend I baked a cinnamon streusel coffee cake.  

By definition, a streusel is a crumbly topping consisting of butter, flour, sugar and often cinnamon. It derives from the German word, streuen for "sprinkle." Here's my version:

Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake (a/k/a Crumb Cake)

For the cake --

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk, plus more if needed in the batter
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup butter

1. Combine the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and beat together with an electric mixer.
2. Next add the wet ingredients to the mixing bowl, one at a time, and blend until the batter is smooth ... not too thick or runny. If the batter seems dry, add small amounts of buttermilk until the batter is creamy and smooth.
3. Pour into a greased square 9" by 9" baking pan.

For the cinnamon topping --

1 cup oatmeal, pulverized in a food processor (or use all purpose flour, if you wish.)
4 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 cup ground pecans or walnuts
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon powdered ginger (optional: for an extra kick)
2 tablespoons cold butter
(I like to double the streusel topping, but leaving the nuts at 1/4 cup.)

1. Grind the oatmeal in a food processor until fine like flour.
2. Throw in the nuts.
2. Add the cinnamon, vanilla and ginger to the food processor and pulse until well blended.
3. Finally add the butter, but pulse using the lower setting a few seconds at a time. Leave the texture of the streusel topping lumpy. You want the crumbs.
4. Sprinkle the streusel topping evenly over the cake batter.
5. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 25 to 30 minutes.

If you use all purpose flour in lieu of oatmeal, you can mix the streusel topping by hand or with an electric mixer. 

A dusting of powdered sugar on the very top looks nice.


You may also enjoy:
Homemade Vanilla Extract
The Health Benefits Of Tea
Coffee, People Love It!   
Sacher-Torte, The Perfect Birthday Cake

1 comment:

  1. You mention conferences and confectionary sugar in the same story. Powdered sugar is the enemy of guys in dark suits at coffee breaks...I have learned this the hard way. But back on topic- coffee cake by Entenmann's is very good. Drakes used to also have some good coffee cake, though not sure if still around. Biting into those crunchy pieces is the best! Excellent story.