Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Simplicity At It's Best

I did not intend to blog about this coffee cake. I was wanting to make Belgian waffles from my Williams-Sonoma Breakfast cookbook and noticed this recipe. The original version included dried cranberries and chocolate chips. In typical fashion, I wanted to use fresh cranberries and leave out the chocolate while Mr. H only wanted chocolate and no cranberries. We both compromised and left it plain, and I'm so glad we did. This coffee cake was perfectly delicious without any additions.

We may have left the coffee cake plain, but it was anything but. It's simple in that it doesn't call for any special ingredients to gussy it up- no nuts, no oats in the streusel, no brown sugar, not even vanilla extract (though I added that anyway, because old habits die hard). It does include sour cream, but other than that, it's just butter, sugar, flour, eggs and leaveners. One unique thing about this recipe is that it has you combine the sour cream with the baking soda prior to adding it to the batter, which makes it really light and airy. I've never seen or heard of that technique before, but it worked brilliantly.

The end result was a cake, so light and spongy, but buttery and rich at the same time. There's nothing dense or heavy about this breakfast cake and it'll keep you wanting more. I took a bite when it was still piping hot from the oven and couldn't stop picking at it. Before I knew it, I had eaten a quarter of the cake myself- it was just that good! Don't feel compelled to add anything to it, just try it as it is and enjoy it, in all it's simple glory. As I mentioned above, I didn't intend to blog about this recipe so there aren't any photos of the baking process, but it was just too good not to share. If you try it, I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Sour Cream Coffee Cake adapted from Breakfast

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For The Streusel:

  • 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour

For The Cake:

  • 1 1/4 cups sour cream
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x13-inch baking dish with butter.

For the Streusel Topping: In a chilled bowl, combine the butter, sugar and flour. Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut the butter into dry ingredients until the mixture is the consistency of fine, moist crumbs. Work the mixture with your hands until it will hold together when compressed, then squeeze it between your hands into several firm pieces. Cover and refrigerate until the cake is ready to go into the oven. (I did this the night before and had it ready to go the following morning).

For the Cake: Place the sour cream in a bowl and sift the baking soda and salt into it. Stir to blend evenly and set aside. As the sour cream mixture sits, it will get airy and fluffy.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed or a wooden spoon, beat together the butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla until fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Sift the flour and baking powder over the top and mix in, then beat in the sour cream mixture. Scoop the batter into the prepared dish and smooth the surface. Scatter the streusel mixture evenly over the top, breaking it up into large crouton-sized pieces (some of the streusel mixture may be small crumbs).

Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center on the cake comes out clean but not completely dry, 40-45 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature, cut into squares.

And for those of you who are hooked on Hayden, here are a couple pics of my bright-eyed little man. For Christmas, he wore this penguin sweater, but we didn't get any pictures of him wearing it. So last week before I took the Christmas tree down, I got him dressed up and snapped a few pictures. I put him on the ottoman and slid it in front of the tree. That's his handprint in the background. I couldn't find a "baby's 1st Christmas" ornament that I liked so we just made one with stuff I had around the house- a glass ornament, glue and glitter.

This one is my absolute favorites and will find it's way into a frame, I'm sure. I might be a little biased but I think he's just so beautiful and perfect. Y'all, I'm in love!

Have a great rest of the week!


From the Kitchen said...

"Hooked on Hayden"--love that phrase! Those eyes! That little boy will only have to look at you with them and you'll be putty in his hands. Enjoy it all!

The cake looks delicious. I need to replenish the sour cream but have the rest of the simple ingredients on hand.


Emily said...

Good looking young man you got there!

I might just add cranberries and choc chips to half the batter and bake a half and half sour cream coffee cake with this recipe!

Becky @ Becky's Place said...

He is beautiful and perfect, sweet baby boy.

Unknown said...

Nathan has that EXACT same sweater!! Good taste mama!!

the wild magnolia said...

Well, his little sweet self is sweeter than this new coffee cake, which intrigues me. I am going to try it. Thank you for sharing.

Bless you and family.

Haley said...

I'm hooked. That boy is just as edible as your recipes! He's so perfect!

Unknown said...

Coffee cake is delicious, and I usually don't like my cakes all gussied up, so this sounds really good.

Hayden looks so cute in that last picture.

Ashalia said...

Aren't Baby Boy's the greatest?! They will steal your heart everytime!:) He is beautiful!!

Heather at Kitchen Concoctions said...

He has such beautiful eyes! And I'm sure you'll have more homemade ornaments to come but that first one can never be replaced! As for this cake, it sounds lovely! I set a "resolution" for this year to strive to cook more from the basics. Sometimes I get wrapped up in making things fancy and over the top, that I forget that usually simple is best! So thanks for sharing this recipe!

Marilee said...

He's a cutie.
I've only seen stirring the soda into the sour cream as the first step once before. It's in my banana bread recipe. It is the best banana bread recipe ever. I interchange sour cream and buttermilk depending on what I have in the frige.
I really like your recipes/blog.

Kim said...

We love that coffee cake at our house!! It's been a birthday favorite for years. Promise me you'll try it all fancied up because it is delicious.

garlutti said...

Un bebé precioso ...y una tarta fantastica y seguro sabrosa uhmmmbsssMARIMI

Manderley de GuindillayCanela said...

Yummmm! Delicius cake.
He's a pretty boy, so lovely!


ramya said...

Love the cake much but love Hayden more.....He's a charmer!

Coleens Recipes said...

What a handsome little mini-man...he is just precious.

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

We are in love with Hayden as well. Good day to your little man. As with the coffee cake who could resist.

Abby said...

Both the cake AND the baby are beautiful!

Pink Little Cake said...

Your little one is so adorable! the recipe and cake looks amazing

Aarthi said...

Yummy Recipe...I am gonna make it soon..Bookmarked it..


Adele @ The Dutch Door Kitchen said...

We love cofee cakes - I'm always on the lookout for new variations and recipes.

Janet said...

Who could NOT be Hooked-on-Hayden!?

And that coffee cake. Yum!

Meatloaf Recipe said...

Yummy Yummy cake! It's make me hungry :)
Thanks a lot for sharing.

buy eve account said...

OH my! that looks really great.. make me drool.

Jean said...

Monica ....haven't visited in a while.. Checking up on that beautiful baby. Growing and such a cutie. I believe that's your best work yet!

Camilla said...

I just found your site through a friend that pinned your no bake cookies onto pinterest. I have spent the last hour browsing around and decided i must make EVERYTHING on here!! I love carrot cake and so the first thing i must do is the oatmeal and pancake varieties. And my goodness all those cookies!!! I am your new hugest fan. THank you for coming up with new twists on things i love! oh and those peaunut butter cookies look JUST how i remember them as a kid, i think i need a batch of those asap! My 3 and 5 year old have browsed with me and cant wait to start baking. Thank you for all the wonderful pictures of yumminess and recipes!

Marina said...

This recipe was really good! Delightfully simple and delicious. Another home run!

I have not baked any recipe other than ones from your blog in months. Keep 'em coming! I love the pictures and love that everything I have tried has turned out terrific.

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