Recipes so good it oughta' be a sin!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Quick and Easy Coffee Cake

The flavors of vanilla, butter, cinnamon and brown sugar can't be beat
in this easy and quick coffee cake!
A couple months ago I finally picked up Janet Evanovich's series of Stephanie Plum books. I'd never read any of her work but was looking for something new since none of my favorite authors had anything new out at the moment. I'll admit - I was hooked. They're funny and quirky and a thoroughly enjoyable read. I've also found them to be an inspiration culinary wise.

OK, so maybe Stephanie's diet isn't the stuff of champions. How she manages to go through that many doughnuts and not be huge is beyond me. But, I was turned onto to TastyKakes and in particular Butterscotch Krimpets. I'd never heard of those but happened to see them in the grocery store one day and thought, "Why not?" They were surprisingly addictive. That probably has something to do with all the chemicals in them, but still they were good.

Another staple of Stephanie's diet is the coffee cake. Usually, this involves an Entenmann's cake from the store. But, sometimes she manages to snag one from a local bakery. With that in mind I decided to whip up a coffee cake this morning.

Usually, that involves dividing batters, making streusels, and dirtying a lot bowls. This one, however, is wonderfully simple. It's also delicious.

I loved the way the topping sank into the cake and created wonderful rivers of brown sugar and cinnamon throughout. The cake itself is suprisingly buttery since it contains no butter! This cake uses just a bit of oil (in my case grapeseed oil) instead of butter in the cake. The butter flavor comes from the topping which permeates the cake as it cooks.

Give this one a try. It only takes about a half hour from beginning to end and makes a wonderful morning treat with coffee or tea.

Quick and Easy Coffee Cake

A quick and easy coffee cake with brown sugar and cinnamon and a rich vanilla cake base.
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
Yield: 12 pieces
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tbs. oil (grapeseed or canola works best)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tbs. baking powder
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
Cooking Directions:
  1. Grease a 9x13-inch baking pan and set aside. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. In bowl of electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment combine sugar, oil, vanilla and egg and beat until combined.
  3. Add flour, salt, and baking powder and mix briefly to combine.
  4. Add milk and mix on low speed until combined.
  5. Pour into prepared pan and spread evenly.
  6. Topping: Combine brown sugar, cinnamon, melted butter and nuts (if using) in a small bowl and mix well.
  7. Sprinkle topping over prepared batter.
  8. Place cake in oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until cake is golden brown. Allow to cool in pan and then cut into squares.

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