I am having a coffee cake fix right now. A moist, but structured cake layered with a ripple of fruit meets its better half in a crisp, spice scented crumbly topping: that’s my current vision of ideal coffee cake. The irony is that I am currently not drinking coffee or black tea, either of which would be delectable with this kind of cake. I’ve been on a caffeine cleanse for the last few months. I feel healthier, and my higher consciousness knows that to be the truth. But sometimes my id dictates cravings such as buttery, not overly sweet coffee cake paired with an aromatic, creamy cup of coffee, or at least Earl Gray. I’ve held strong on the caffeine front. I have, however, made two different coffee cakes, in the last week.
I found a dreamy montage of coffee cakes on the Martha Stewart website. It makes me want to host brunch every weekend, for 12 weeks, until I’ve made them all. There is a coffee cake recipe posted already, but I wanted one with a crumb topping and a darker cake. So I scanned through the pictures and read over recipes until I figured out (a decision based also on what was in my fridge) the seemingly perfect recipe.
But in my wheat-free world, sometimes reality doesn’t match my dreams. On days when my baked goods don’t turn out as I had hoped, it is generally because the texture isn’t what I was seeking. That’s how I felt about this first coffee cake I made. I only partially enjoyed it. It seems like a travesty to post something on my blog that I don’t absolutely adore, but I was in the minority. My husband and friends who tried it, all traditional gluten consumers, really enjoyed it. So after some internal debate, I decided I would post this recipe and the next one I made (which I really liked and my husband did not) and let you decide. In the name of transparency and organization, I created the following table for you:
|First Coffee Cake – Mixed Berry Crumb Cake||Second Coffee Cake – Cinnamon Crumb Cake|
|Texture: Soft||Texture: Firm, then crispy crunch on top|
|Topping: melted in a bit||Topping: Very pronounced|
|Flavor: mild, less sweet||Flavor: spices and brown sugar more prominent|
Keep in mind, I liked the second one a lot better, but I tried to minimize any bias in the above chart. My ultimate plan is to merge the two recipes into one to create one ultimate coffee cake. I have some another phenomenal savory tart to share before then, but you will be the first to know when coffee cake perfection is achieved.
Mixed Berry Coffee CakeAdapted from Martha Stewart’s Cardamom Streusel Coffee Cake Martha’s recipe for low-fat plain yogurt, but I only had regular ol’ full fat and it works well. Sour cream could also be delicious. She also uses cardamom for flavor in the streusel instead of cinnamon. I think would be a heavenly scent in the coffee cake, but I didn’t have time to grind up the pods! Also, I did not have the 10-inch angel food pan or tube pan called for, so I baked the whole thing in a 13 x 9 cake pan. I do have this tube pan now, thanks to our new Ikea! I had to cut myself off in the kitchen section…
1/3 cup (40 g) oat flour
1 cup (160 g) all-purpose gluten-free flour mix
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
10 oz mixed berries or berries of your choice (Note: Blackberries tend to be less sweet; if you’re using just these guys, add a bit more sugar)
3 Tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 3/4 cup (280 g) all-purpose gluten-free flour mix
3/4 cup (90 g) almond flour
1/2 teaspoon xantham gum
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature (You can do this quickly by placing the eggs in a glass of warm water for 5 – 10 minutes.)
1 1/4 cup yogurt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Make the streusel
Whisk flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs; set aside.
Prepare the berries
If using frozen berries, gently defrost fruit on medium power in small increments in the microwave. (You don’t want cook the fruit). Sprinkle the berries with sugar, cornstarch, and ginger. Stir to evenly coat and set berries aside.
Prepare the Cake
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 10-inch angel food cake pan or 13 x 9 cake pan with cooking spray or butter. (I also laid down a layer of parchment and then buttered that, which made get the pieces out much easier.) Sift (or whisk together, my preferred method) flour, xantham gum, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl. Put butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to medium-low. Mix in the eggs, 1 at a time and then add the vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add the flour in two batches, alternating with the yogurt.
Spoon half the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the berries over the batter. Leave out the majority of the berry juice so the cake does not become soggy. Spoon the remaining batter over the berry filling. Press the streusel into small and large chunks and sprinkle the streusel over the top the batter. Bake until golden brown, 50 – 60 minutes. The crumbles are tasty when they are well-browned so check for this before you take out the cake. Also, of course, check that a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean to know when the cake is done. Cool on a wire rack.