Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

I've been craving coffee cake for quite sometime. During the Christmas season, the husband introduced me to something incredible: My Grandma's Coffee Cake There is something special about this cake- it's tender and sweet. Even better, it's made by a small Boston-based company founded in 1990.

Once I tasted that coffee cake, I was convinced I could make something just as tasty. Plus, I'd never made coffee cake before. Time for something new!

Cast of characters: butter, white sugar, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, white flour, whole wheat flour, eggs, sour cream, walnuts, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla

Cream the butter and 1 cup of white sugar in your Kitchen Aid (you could also use a hand mixer) until light and fluffy. Then add the sour cream, eggs, and vanilla. Mix until well-combined.

While you are waiting for the butter and sugar to reach the fluffy stage, chop up some walnuts. You want the pieces to be pretty fine.

In a skillet, toast the nuts. This is optional, but I really think toasted nuts are nuttier than raw nuts. Agree? To toast, keep the heat just under medium heat, stirring frequently. Once you can smell them, they're done. Remove quickly- burned nuts are on par with burning rubber and burned hair on the scale of things you don't want to smell or eat.

I'm not into sifting- it's just not how I roll. Instead, I combine all my dry ingredients in a separate bowl and whisk vigorously.

Add dry ingredients to the egg/butter/sour cream mixture. Mix until just combined- do not overmix. Overmixing is why cakes become rubbery and cookies are tough. Just.say.no.
*Side note- see my cute spatula handle. It's engraved with our names- a wedding gift from the husband's aunt.

The topping/filling consists of white sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and the toasted walnuts. Mix together in a small bowl. Do your best not to just spoon it directly into your mouth.

Grease a bundt pan and spread half of the batter in the bottom. Sprinkle half of the filling over the batter, making sure to cover it evenly. Top with the rest of the batter. This is a little tricky, since the batter wants to stick to the filling. This trickiness is why there are no pictures of this step- it was a bit hands-on, smoothing out the batter. Top the batter with the rest of the filling.

Put cake in an 325 degree oven and bake for 50 minutes. When there are 10 minutes left, remove cake and drizzle the bottom with 2 tablespoons of melted butter. Place back into oven to finish baking.

This was what it looks like when it's done. See the big brown splotch at the bottom? That's the filling- yum!

Drizzle the cake with a buttermilk glaze for shine and some extra flavor.

Cross-section of deliciousness. See the thick layer of filling and the crunchy crust on the bottom. Fantastic! We both had a big slice last night and I sent the rest to work with the husband because I would eat the rest. By myself. Alone. In the dark. *sigh*

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

For the cake:
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, room temp
1 cup sour cream, room temp (leave out for 30 minutes)
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup AP flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon

For the topping/filling:

1/4 cup white sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup chopped nuts, toasted

For the glaze:

1/4 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons buttermilk

Preheat oven to 325. In a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, sour cream, and vanilla. Mix well.

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a separate bowl. Whisk to combine. Add to wet mixture and mix gently until just combined.

In a greased bundt pan, spread half the batter on the batter. Sprinkle evenly with half of the filling. Spread the rest of the batter over the filling. Sprinkle with the rest of the topping.

Bake for 40 minutes. Remove and drizzle bottom with 2 tablespoons melted butter. Bake an additional 10 minutes. Remove and let cool.

Drizzle with prepared glaze. Eat.

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