Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Sour Cream Streusel Coffee Cake

I have a backlog of photos, mostly of food, that I've been meaning to post. I love my digital SLR, and I have been on a photo-taking frenzy on the weekend hours that I'm not at work.

First up is a coffee cake that I made a week and a half ago. I modified it pretty heavily from the original recipe, which I found on, because I'm leery of Bundt cakes just at the moment. I know that it was mostly the fact that I used a boxed cake mix that makes me not want to deal with Bundt cakes, but I'm a strange girl and I need time to get over things that come out differently than what I had anticipated.

Sour Cream Streusel Coffee Cake

- 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped walnuts
- 1 1/4 cups packed golden brown sugar
- 5 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 5 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 16-ounce container sour cream

The original recipe also calls for dried currants and a simple icing, but the amount of sugar already in the recipe made me decide that this thing wouldn't need any extra sweetness. I also didn't have dried currants and I don't like dried fruits in my coffee cakes, so I omitted that. The original also calls for cake flour, but I wasn't about to go buy some cake flour for one measly recipe, so I used all-purpose. I also used more cinnamon and cocoa powder than suggested. I'm a rebel!

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Butter 12-cup Bundt pan. (Or, in my case, a large Pyrex baking dish.)

Mix first four ingredients in small bowl (walnuts, brown sugar, cinnamon, cocoa powder). Set nut mixture aside- if you are adding currants, this mixture is where they would go.

Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt into medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat butter and sugar in large bowl until blended. Beat in eggs 1 at a time. Mix in vanilla.

Mix dry ingredients and sour cream alternately into butter mixture in 3 additions. Beat batter on high 1 minute.

Pour 1/3 of batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle with half of nut mixture. Spoon 1/3 of batter over. Sprinkle with remaining nut mixture. Spoon remaining batter over.

(Cake assembled, just before I put it in the oven.)

Bake cake until tester inserted near center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Cool cake in pan on rack 10 minutes. Cut around pan sides to loosen cake. Turn cake out onto rack and cool 1 hour. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.

(Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cool completely. Wrap in foil and let stand at room temperature.)

I loved this cake, it was delicious and just a touch tangy from the sour cream, which also added moistness for a very soft and yielding crumb.

The reason my cake looks so very dark (the picture above is the cake just out of the oven) is because there was just too much of the nut mixture. I'm sure it works in a Bundt pan, but that brown sugar? Way too much! I ended up using 1/3 of the nut mixture between the batter layers, then just topped the whole thing with the remaining 1/3 of the nut mixture.

Next time, I'm halving the amount of the nut mixture. It's too sweet and I really liked the batter part of the cake.

It was yummy- a bit messy, as coffee cakes tend to be, but definitely worth it. The part of the cake that took the longest was actually layering the layers, which a Bundt pan would make easier (dollop into the pan and then shake it, giving it a couple thwacks on the counter to even it out).

I'll be making this one again, though perhaps with a little extra sour cream or butter. Cake flour results in softer batter, so I'll have to get the same results through more moisture and fat- I still refuse to buy cake flour.

Work is a zoo, so I'm sure cooking will dwindle down. I only have a few more posts to eke out with existing photos- I'll be back to whiny, why-do-I-have-to-work blogging very soon!


Diana E. December 2, 2009 at 10:05 PM  

I am so jealous of your oven.

jeanny December 3, 2009 at 10:05 AM  

Back when I lived alone and hated turning on the giant oven, I used to just use a toaster oven. It worked really well, except for the fact that they seem to be hotter and tended to scorch baked goods a bit if I didn't pay attention.

You should try it!

Diana E. December 3, 2009 at 6:57 PM  

I don't want to buy any more appliances when I'm leaving in less than a year. We already have too much stuff to get rid of. :(

I've taught myself how to make tortilla pizza and "baked" salmon on the stove... I'm sure one day i will figure out breads.

jeanny December 3, 2009 at 7:10 PM  

You'll be back before you know it, making cakes and breads in a giant American oven. :)