Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Raspberry Sour Cream Coffee Cake

We're halfway through Breakfast Week, and today's newest installment is this seriously delicious Raspberry Sour Cream Coffee Cake.  There's all kinds of delicious-ness confined within this 9-inch square baking pan.  Coffee cake is one of those cakes that everyone happens to like.  Even my dad, who's not the biggest fan of cakes and sweets, loves coffee cake.  As soon as he learned that I was making coffee cake, he brought up the Seinfeld episode where Jerry and Newman have an interesting conversation involving Drake's coffee cakes.  Then, my dad tells me that when he was working at the Ronzoni Macaroni factory way way wayyy back in the day, he would always look forward to having a Drake's coffee cake during his break.  I always find it so silly when my dad tells me stories like these, because it's so surprising to hear him say how much he actually likes a particular sweet cake or dessert, which is so out of character for him.  Then again, how could anyone not like coffee cake?  Is that even possible?

I loveeee coffee cake.  I love all kinds of simple cakes and snack cakes, but coffee cakes are in a league of their own.  They're extra special.  The cake itself is typically super moist and perfectly fluffy, and is actually rather plain, and I mean that in the best way possible.  There's no flavors trying to disrupt my cake eating experience, and I can just enjoy the cake for what it is, which is delicious.  The crumbs are a whole other story though.  While I love the cake part of coffee cake for its plainness and simplicity, I love the crumbs for how over the top they are. They're rich and tender and buttery and almost cloyingly sweet, which is the perfect element to balance out the simple cake.  Coffee cake is classic and perfect as it is, so there's little reason to mess with it...except that I decided to just that.  

I have a favorite coffee cake recipe that has been my go-to recipe ever since I discovered it.  It makes a large, 9x13-inch cake, and as you're putting it in the oven, you always stop and say, "jeez, there's actually more crumbs than cake in this pan right now."   It's not necessarily a bad thing, because as it bakes, it rises into this perfectly fluffy and moist cake that's capped with a generous coating of buttery and sugary crumbs.  When I want a good old fashioned coffee cake, this is certainly the recipe that I first gravitate to.  However, there was one time that I decided to play with the recipe and modify it a bit, and I ended up making a really fantastic Boozey Banana Crumb Cake.  Given the success that I had with that reinterpretation of my favorite recipe, I decided that I would try to create a new coffee cake based on that original recipe.  Since we're in the middle of Breakfast Week, the timing was perfect.  I wanted to create a simpler variation this time, one that was a little less boozey (because it's breakfast time, after all).  Adding a little sour cream seemed like a great way to help keep the coffee cake moist, and the addition of a few fresh raspberries throughout the batter added a pop of color and extra flavor here and there.  It might sound crazy, but I actually think I liked this sour cream version of the coffee cake better than the original!

What's so great about this coffee cake is just how simple it is to make.  It's truly a one bowl kind of cake (ok, maybe one bowl and a big measuring cup), and is completely fuss-free.  If you can stir a batter with a wooden spoon, you can definitely make this cake without having to fear that it'll somehow get screwed up.  I promise!  To start, you simply whisk all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.  Then, in a large measuring cup, you're going to whisk together some sour cream, eggs, vanilla, and a little bit of oil.  You then pour everything that's in the measuring cup into the bowl with the flour mixture.  Stir that together, and you're practically done with the cake.  All you have to do is fold in the raspberries, and then pour the cake into a grease pan.  Cake=done!  To make the crumbs, simple stir together some flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and brown sugar until crumbly. Evenly sprinkle the crumb mixture over the cake batter in the pan.  Crumbs= done!  All that's left is to bake the cake for about 45-50 minutes.  During that time, feel free to wash those two dishes you dirtied, take a nap, or go for a quick run.  Before you know it, the smell of a baking coffee cake will drag you back into your kitchen, and all you can do is wait patiently until the cake is ready...and then until it cools...

I made this cake in a 9-inch square pan simply because I wanted the cake to be a little bit taller, but you could certainly bake the cake in a 9x13-inch pan (like in the original recipe) if you have a crowd to feed for breakfast. Because my cake was a little smaller, I reduced the ingredients for the crumb topping accordingly, but if you want to make the larger 9x13-inch cake, simply use the amounts for the crumb topping in the original recipe. Just be sure to adjust the baking time! I'm not exaggerating when I say this is my favorite coffee cake ever now.  I loved the original recipe, but I really think the addition of a little sour cream improved the texture of the cake and made it even fluffier and so much more tender, something I didn't even think was possible.  My parents loved this cake, and when my dad brought a few pieces to share at work, he said that they were devoured almost immediately.  It's just hard to say no to a good coffee cake, and this is certainly one of them!  Stay tuned until tomorrow's for my newest addition to Breakfast Week!

Raspberry Sour Cream Coffee Cake
adapted from Baked Bree


For the Cake

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, at room temperature
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 oz fresh raspberries

For the Crumb Topping

2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled

powdered sugar, for dusting


Begin by positioning a rack in the middle of the oven and preheating it to 350 degrees F.  Spray a 9-inch square pan with nonstick spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together the 1 1/2 cups flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Set aside.  In a large measuring cup, whisk together the eggs, canola oil, sour cream, and vanilla extract.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and mix together until a batter comes together.  Do not overmix.  

Gently fold in the fresh raspberries. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.

To make the crumbs, combine the remaining flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a bowl.  Add the melted butter and mix until large crumbs are formed.  Evenly sprinkle this crumb mixture over the cake batter.

Bake the crumb cake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 45-50 minutes.  Let the crumb cake cool completely before dusting with powdered sugar.  Cut the cake into squares, and enjoy!

Makes 1 9x9-inch or 9x13-inch cake


Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...