Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

Hello and Happy Wednesday!  Welcome to the latest episode of Adventures In Baking.  So I wanted to step away from all the cookies I've been making and try something a little more traditional.  I found this recipe for Coffee Cake at Bake or Break and you can find the full recipe here.  Now, I'm not a coffee drinker.  I have no desire to smell it either.  Blech.  When I was in college, I worked at a shoe store in the local mall.  To get to the shoe store each day, I had to pass a Gloria Jean's coffee shop.  Twice a day, four times if I left the store for lunch or break, I had to walk past the place.  I'd walk clear on the other side of the hallway, against the flow of traffic, and hope there weren't people blocking the way so I could make it through without having to take a breath.  And the aroma wasn't just right in front of the store, oh no, it had to contaminate all the air in the vicinity of the place.   Nope, coffee is not for me.  But this cake sure hits the spot......

The ingredients.  This is one of the most involved recipes I've attempted in quite a while.  Lots of ingredients, lots of utensils used, lots of prep work. 

Let's get started.  The crumb layer.  Combine all the crumb ingredients in a small bowl.  Mix with a fork until mixture resembles crumbles.  Set aside. 
Butter, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, pecans and salt.... All things that make a good topping.  And there you have the crumb layer. 
Next step.  The cream cheese layer.  Beat cream cheese and brown sugar until fluffy.  Mix in vanilla and cinnamon.  Stir in pecans.  Set aside.
  This would be the cream cheese layer.
Final step.  The coffee cake layer.  Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Set aside.
Beat butter and sugar until fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating just until combined after each addition.  Mix in vanilla.
For those keeping track, this is bowl number four of ingredients.  Four bowl and my limited counter space.  Add in a hand mixer and a pile of measuring utensils and I'm all out of room.
Gradually add dry ingredients.  Stir in sour cream and mix just until combined.
Transfer batter to prepared pan.  Top batter with spoonfuls of cream cheese swirl.  Use a knife to swirl.  There isn't a lot of color contrast between the batter and cream cheese layer so it's a little difficult to see the swirl, but it's there.

Sprinkle crumb mixture evenly over top of cake.

Taste test.  This is really, really good!  Nice texture, moist and springy to the touch.  I could use a little more crumb topping to cake ratio, but definitely a winner!  With all the butter and cinnamon you know it smells fabulous. 

The clean up.  The recipe said to use a 9x13 baking dish.  I used the largest one I have.  And it's full!  This would be nice to make for a special occasion such as a holiday brunch or a treat to take to work.  You could easily get 24 pieces out of this cake.  Or you could just hand everyone a fork and tell them to dig in!

On the next episode of Adventures In Baking, I'm thinking I want to try a flavor I haven't worked with yet.  Maybe orange or peach? 

See ya next time


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