May 5, 2009

Coffee Cake with Cinnamon and Chocolate

I made this coffee cake once before in a rush to bring something to a potluck dinner.  I was so rushed I didn't take any pictures and this time I must say, I've hardly done any better.  I made it again in a tired rush the night before my last day interning for the display department at Anthropologie- but, at least this time, I got one picture.

There are a lot of great things about this cake- it's simple, endlessly adaptable and delicious, but of course, there are also a few faults.  It has one of the thickest batters I've ever worked with so the idea of "swirling" the cinnamon sugar mixture into the batter, or even layering it, as some of the reviewers suggested, was near impossible.  As you can see from the photograph, my cake has anything but a neat swirl.  Also, making it did dirty a lot of bowls.

But back to its good points.  As I said, it's very adaptable.  The last time I made it I used 2% greek yogurt instead of light sour cream (the original recipe calls for regular sour cream) and that worked just as well but resulted in a slightly drier crumb.  I also think a cinnamon apple version with chopped Granny Smith apples coated in the cinnamon sugar mixture (with no chocolate chips or cocoa) would be wonderful.

Coffee Cake Kotnuik

Adapted from Gourmet

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup buckwheat or whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons double-acting baking powder
1 cup light sour cream or 2% greek yogurt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons cocoa powder
1 handful of chocolate chips


In a bowl whisk together the flours, the baking powder, and a pinch of salt and in another bowl stir together the sour cream and the baking soda. In a large bowl cream together the butter and 1 cup of the granulated sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy, add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, and beat in the vanilla. 

Stir in the flour mixture alternately with the sour cream mixture and stir the batter until it is combined well. Pour the batter into a buttered 10-inch round cake pan [I used an 8x8 brownie pan because it was all I had and it worked in there but I do think the bigger pan that is called for would work better]. In a small bowl stir together the remaining 1/3 cup granulated sugar, the brown sugar, cinnamon, cocoa powder and chocolate chips and swirl the mixture into the batter. 

Bake the cake in the middle of a preheated 350°F. oven for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean, transfer it to a rack, and let it cool.

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