Friday, September 23, 2016

Easy Coffee Cake

Let me say this loud and clear... because I had to convince two friends of this fact before they would even take a bite of cake: there is any coffee in this recipe. So why is it called coffeecake when there's no coffee in it? Honestly, I never questioned the name. It could be inferred that it was traditionally served with (you guessed it) coffee! A little internet browsing reveals that the original versions of this cake were Danish, yeast-based, and actually did contain coffee. The American version has no yeast and  is easy to make - ideal for a quick coffee break.

Personally, I assumed it was a fact of life that the two simply went hand in hand. It was common to come home from high school and be hit by a wave of delicious smells and laughter upon opening the front door.  At the kitchen table, my mom and her Portuguese church buddies had just finished saying the rosary and were enjoying a spread of simple sweets, coffee, tea, and fruit. This almost always included Entenmann's coffeecake, hence the association forged in my mind.

Origin stories and childhood memories aside, coffeecake is a delight. It pairs beautifully with a cup of coffee because of the brown sugar and cinnamon, as demonstrated in the Magic Iced Coffee post. The crumble topping demands it be served with some form of beverage! If you don't care for cafe, make a cup of chai or a simple glass of milk. 

This recipe includes a lovely layer of streusel in the middle that, in my opinion, is iconic of coffeecake. It's hard a line to walk as I've seen similar recipes dodge this aspect of the cake and call it a "crumb cake" instead. A likely story ya lazy bastards. Kidding.

The only qualm I may have with this cake - and this is 100% personal - is level of fluff to the dough. The batter is supposed to sturdy and solid, that's why it's not stressful to bake. However, I have recently experienced the sour cream version of coffeecake - thank you Red Truck Bakery - and it's been a bit of a game changer. I'm going to have to experiment with recipes until I can form a true opinion on the difference.
Overall, this is a solid, homey version of coffeecake. It's easy to make, the ingredient list is short, and there are no frills. Heck, throw in some nuts to the streusel if you want to be risky. This would be magnificent for unexpected company and you don't have time to wait on cookies to chill in the fridge. 

The recipe for this easy coffeecake with streusel crumb topping can be found on Go Go Go Gourmet!