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TIP OF THE DAY: Bake A Special Coffee Cake

Many of us would love a delicious piece of coffee cake with our morning coffee—or to serve to Dad on Father’s Day.

If you can find an artisan-baked coffee cake in your area, great. We live in a big city where the rents are so high that the beloved neighborhood mom and pop bakery is largely a thing of the past.

So the only solution: Order by mail (check out this terrific povitica, an Eastern European coffee cake) or bake your own.

But first….

WHAT IS COFFEE CAKE?

Coffee cake is a yeast-leavened cake that is typically served at breakfast or as a snack with coffee or tea. It is often glazed with a white confectioner’s sugar icing or topped with streusel. The latter is also called crumb cake.

Coffee cake can contain raisins, nuts, other dried fruits and/or chocolate chunks. Most are flavored with cinnamon. More elaborate recipes incorporate cream cheese, jam or fruit curd.

According to FoodTimeline.org, food historians generally agree that the tradition of eating sweet cakes with coffee likely originated in northern or central Europe in the 17th century, when coffee was introduced (see the history of coffee).

   

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A coffee cake inspired by the blueberry muffin. Photo courtesy The Baker Chick.

 
These areas already had sweet yeast breads, a natural accompaniment that evolved into “coffee cake” The made with flour, eggs, sugar, yeast, nuts, dried fruit and spices.

German, Dutch and Scandinavian immigrants brought the recipes with them to America. Over time, coffee cake recipes evolved to contain sugared fruit; cream cheese, yogurt and other creamy fillings; streusel and other toppings.

See the different types of cake in our Cake Glossary.

 

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The “cinnamon roll” coffee cake. Photo courtesy The Baker Chick.

 

There are many great coffee cake recipes out there. If you don’t have one, ask family and friends if they have a favorite before heading to recipe websites.

For an inspired coffee cake recipe, we looked to Audra Fullerton, a.k.a The Baker Chick, the writer, recipe developer and photographer for this blog. We’re big fans.

The “Blueberry Muffin” Coffee Cake

The first coffee cake from Audra, photo above, is a blueberry muffin recipe baked as a cake, with an extra brown sugar topping. It’s not a yeast cake but is super moist, with plump blueberries in every bite.

It takes all of 10 minutes to mix, and 40 minutes in the oven. How can you resist?

Here’s the recipe.

 
The “Cinnamon Bun” Coffee Cake

The second recommendation is a jumbo cinnamon roll, the size of a cake.

 

Instead of rolling and cutting the dough into individual rolls, you cut the dough into strips and attach them one by one until a monster cinnamon roll is achieved.

It’s more time consuming than the blueberry coffee cake, but isn’t that “wow” factor worth 1 hour and 15 minutes of your time to assemble?

After that, in just 20 minutes in the oven you have a warm, fragrant, gooey 9-inch “coffee cake.”

Here’s the recipe.
 
MORE BREAKFAST CAKE OPTIONS

Special enough for Father’s Day: this Apple Streusel Bundt Cake.

Also for your consideration: a Hummingbird Coffee Cake, a Southern tradition.

  




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