Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Extra-Crumb Coffee Cake

Ok, ok, I have food to talk about.


Let's talk "House of Cards". Does anyone else watch that? Who am I kidding? Tons of people watch it. You can add the hubby and I to that list. I'm utterly fascinated with the show. Love, love, love it! For those of you not familiar with the show, it's a highly fictionalized look at the inner workings of Congress and the Presidential Administration. It stars Kevin Spacey as the House Majority Whip who weasels himself into the Vice-Presidency with majorly manipulative plans to take on the presidency. The writing is superb, the characters are complex and full of nuance, and honestly, I can't stop binging on it. The hubby and I will soon be done with Season 2. If not today, then soon. Kevin Spacey is quickly working his way to my shortlist with his take on this character. I've never watched a show where I'm so acutely aware of how much I loathe the main character. Yet, I'm rooting for him. All the way. It's a full on love-hate relationship. I love to hate the guy. My brain realizes that this guy is seriously twisted, yet my heart says, "Wow, he's good!". I find myself secretly hoping the "good guys" lose. Who am I kidding? There are no good guys on this show. There's only the seriously corrupt and the sort-of corrupt. It really does make you wonder if the government is really like that. I'm sure it really is. The name of the show is so appro. A "House of Cards" built on [male cow poop] that could come tumbling down at any moment. Take one card from the wrong spot, and the whole sham collapses. "Breaking Bad" may have some competition on my list of best show and character development of all time.

Ok, now we can talk about Coffee Cake :)

This was made by special request for my mother-in-law. She was having her pastor and his wife over for coffee, and wanted to serve a cake. We finally settled on coffee cake. Coffee cake, forever and always, will remind me of Christmas. There wasn't a childhood Christmas morning to be had without a freshly baked coffee cake. Indeed, the smell wafting throughout the house as I baked this had me pining for eggnog and candy canes. Alas, it's not Christmas yet, it's not even close to Halloween! Oh brother. Coffee cake is similar to regular cake, in that I creamed the butter and sugar, mixed in eggs, mixed in dry ingredients and milk, etc. The difference is I creamed a lot less butter and sugar than I normally would. Waaaaay less. One of the biggest reasons I hear people say they hate coffee cake is because it's dry and flavorless. Here's the thing- it can be. Coffee cake is one of those baked goods where it's super-duper important not to over-bake the cake. Over-baking will leave you with dry, humdrum cake. Pull the cake at the right time though, and you will be rewarded. Therefore, it's very important to keep a vigilant eye on the cake when baking. 

I made sure to pick a recipe with plenty of crumb. The crumb is one of the best parts. I received a call late the afternoon that my MIL was serving this- the cake had been a hit. Not only did the pastor's wife proclaim it delicious and ask for the recipe, but their son ate 2 big pieces! I was pleased since coffee cake rarely makes any kids list of favorite baked goods. In fact, my MIL confessed to sneaking a couple of pieces before her guests arrived. Coffee cake success, if you ask me!

Now for some bad news. I'm going to be hit-and-miss here on the blog for the next couple of weeks. The hubby and I are headed to Minnesota at 4 am tomorrow, and as I mentioned before, we will be returning from Minnesota with my parents in tow. They'll be staying with us until the 23rd, so I imagine I won't be around the computer much until after then. That's just how the cookie crumbles, folks. 

Or maybe how the coffee cake crumbles. Oh, how I crack myself up! :)

Have a great week friends!

Ingredients (serves 9):

2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg, room temp
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup whole milk

1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 cup butter, cold

1/2 cup powdered sugar
1-2 tbsp vanilla coffee creamer


1. Preheat oven to 375º. Lightly coat a 9 x 9 square pan with cooking spray.
2. In a small mixing bowl, combine flour through salt. Whisk to combine.
3. In a larger bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy (3-4 minutes). Mix in egg. Mix in vanilla. 
4. Add half of flour mixture to bowl, and mix. Mix in half the milk. Repeat with remaining flour and milk. Spread the batter into prepared pan.
5. In a small bowl, make the topping. Combine flour through butter. Cut into mixture with a fork or pastry cutter. Continue to mix until you have a coarse, crumbly mixture. Spread topping evenly over the cake.
6. Bake in oven for 15-20 minutes, or just until a toothpick inserted comes out with moist crumbs. I started checking my cake at 15 minutes, and pulled it at 18. Prepare icing- whisk powdered sugar and creamer together. Add more creamer to get desired consistency. Drizzle over coffee cake. Cool, then slice into 9 squares. Serve immediately. Store in an airtight container.

Recipe adapted from Sweet Anna's

Looking for other recipes to serve with coffee? Try these!


  1. How timely this is!! I literally just finished season 2 of House of Cards last weekend! What an awesome show. So well-acted. And Kevin Spacey's character is a straight-up sociopath! Fascinating, Oh, and I LOVE coffee cake :)

    1. I just have to tell you, I just got my parents hooked on the show. I started them on it yesterday, and we are done with Season 1 already. Such an amazing show!

  2. Tell these parents of yours they HAVE to eat this coffee cake at least once a week while they're there. Don't take "no" for an answer! Be tough and demanding.

    1. Halfway into the visit and I haven't made this yet. Uh oh...