Cake isn’t the only thing I have on the brain these days.
I’ve been thinking about New York City, too!
Not that I’ve ever been, but, c’mon, I have to go — you’re not a real foodie if you haven’t eaten in NYC (and Daisy has been torturing me with her posts)! That said, I can’t tell you if New York style coffee cake is actually popular in New York or not.
Out here on the west coast it’s not all that common — just because people are too healthy!
They just want oatmeal and egg whites for breakfast before they drive off in their Jetta to go do yoga in their Lululemon and grab a latte from Starbucks.
Not my thing. Cake and an opportunity to sleep in for me, please!
Coffee cake ought to be crazy popular around here, though — I mean, just look at it.
Look at this cake: a sweet, crumby, melt-in-your-mouth topping, with light and fluffy layers of tangy, vanilla-scented cake, sandwiching soft strawberry and cinnamon filling.
Beat that, dry toaster bagels and mass-produced muffins! Ha!
In other news, I just recently finished a class project that tickled my serious cake-on-the-brain itch all over again: having to make a rolled fondant-covered wedding cake.
I gotta admit, at first I was really, really, really not pleased with having to do this project — I mean, there’s no cake inside that cake!
See, I’m what my chefs have been calling a “production” person — as in, I’m more interested in what goes inside the cake/pie/tart/cookie than I am about how it looks on the outside.
But doing a wedding cake was more fun than expected, and by the end I was surprisingly into it.
Especially because not only could I do what I wanted, but also because the cake I had in my head turned out even better in reality!
Also, it gave me a lot of time to lazily daydream about recipes to replace the styrofoam rounds my class decorated with real cakey insides (for mine: blue velvet spongecake with layers of cream cheese frosting and blueberry-lemon preserves).
New on the bucket list for this week: have real New York style coffee cake in New York, make a for reals wedding cake one day, and try out my blue velvet cake combination in cupcake form.
In the meantime, have some cake for breakfast.
Make it with whatever fruit you have sitting in your fridge or your freezer, call it healthy, call it a good morning.
Strawberry Cinnamon Coffee Cake
- 6 tablespoons butter, cold
- 1/3 cup white sugar
- 1/3 cup almond meal, firmly packed
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- zest of half an orange
Coffee Cake Batter
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
- 2/3 cup (140g/5oz) cream cheese, softened
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 & 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup whole milk
Strawberry Cinnamon Filling
- 1 cup strawberries, fresh or frozen
- 1/3 cup strawberry jam
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- zest of half an orange
Preheat the oven to 325°F/160°C. Line the bottom and sides of a 8-inch square or 9-inch round baking tin with parchment paper.
First, make the crumb topping — sift together the white sugar, almond meal, flour, cinnamon, and orange zest. Drop in the cold cubes of butter and, using your hands or a pastry cutter, work the butter into the dry ingredients until a coarse meal is formed.
Cover the crumb topping and reserve in the fridge.
Next, prepare the strawberry cinnamon filling — chop and reserve your strawberries. Whisk the strawberry jam, cinnamon, and orange zest together. Place the jam in a piping bag (or a small zip-lock baggie with a tiny corner snipped off) and set aside.
Time to make the coffee cake batter –sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Set aside.
In a large bowl, mix the butter and cream cheese together until smooth and evenly incorporated, then add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
Beat in the eggs, one at a time, add the vanilla extract, and mix until smooth once more.
Gently fold in the sifted dry ingredients, taking care to not over-mix. Once the flour is almost completely incorporated, add the milk and gently stir until the batter is free of any large lumps of flour (try to break up anything bigger than a chickpea).
Scrape a little more than half of the coffee cake batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly over the bottom.
Pipe the strawberry cinnamon jam evenly over the top of the batter, taking care to not get too close to the sides of the pan. Place the chopped strawberries evenly over the jam piping.
Spread the remaining batter over top the jam and strawberries, covering as best as possible. Top the batter with the reserved crumb topping.
Bake for 55 ~ 60 minutes, or until the edges of the cake are well-browned and the top is golden and firm to the touch.
Let cool in the pan for 30 minutes before removing and serving.
Enjoy this strawberry cinnamon delight with a cup of coffee, obviously! Yum!