Coffee Cake Your Way

     cake, kids, boat-7-15 018

Cinnamon-Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake (One Choice)

I love a versatile cake recipe. Cake baking is chemistry. Messing with the basic ingredients can often guarantee a cake that flops. However, it is fun to personalize a cake with extras. This coffee cake works great with substitutions or add-ins.

The chocolate chips can be replaced by raisins, dried fruit such as cranberries, cherries, or blueberries. Dried fruit pairs well with lemon or orange zest. I especially like orange zest with dried cranberries. About one tablespoon of zest will nicely flavor your cake. Or change up the vanilla with almond extract, especially with dried cherries. I often add nuts to this cake. The cake can be baked in a 10″ tube pan or a 9″ X 13″ pan. The cinnamon-sugar mixture goes between the layers and on top of the cake regardless of which pan you choose.

Important Note: I’ve learned from experience that the best way to insure that your add-ins are distributed throughout the cake and not bunched up at the bottom of the pan is very simple. Place the chocolate chips, raisins, and/or nuts in a separate bowl. Add one tablespoon of flour and mix to coat the add-ins. Then add them to the batter after it is all mixed.

Another substitute: This recipe calls for sour cream. If you don’t have any, don’t worry. Just use that old standby for buttermilk or sour cream: for 1 cup measure – add 1 Tablespoon lemon juice (or vinegar) to a measuring cup. Add regular milk to the 1 cup line. Allow to stand about 5 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour pan

Ingredients: Cake

1/2 cup butter (one stick), room temperature

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 cup sour cream (or see substitute above)

1 cup chocolate chips, or dried fruit of your choice

1/2 cup chopped walnuts, pecans, or almonds

Ingredients: Cinnamon/sugar mixture

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon (add more or less to taste)

Directions:

Cream butter, add sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Blend. In a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients together (except cinnamon/sugar mixture). Add to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Add chocolate chips, dried fruit, nuts or whatever your heart desires. Mix on low with mixer or fold in by hand.

In a separate bowl, blend cinnamon and sugar together until well mixed.

Add half the cake mixture to your baking pan. Sprinkle half the cinnamon/sugar mixture over the top. Repeat.

Bake 35-40 minutes. Cake is done when a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean from center of the cake.

Glaze: (Optional)

Sorry, I can’t give exact amounts for this. I simply mix some confectioner’s sugar with a little milk (and I do mean a little – if you put too much milk in the bowl, it will take a lot of sugar to thicken it up. Add a very small amount at a time). For extra flavor, stir in a little vanilla extract – about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon. (The glaze won’t be as pure white, but it will taste good!) Stir until mixture is thick but will pour from a spoon. Glaze cake after it is well cooled.

Fun Facts About Coffee: (Source: http://theoatmeal.com/comics/coffee)

Legend has it…Ethiopian shepherds first noticed the effects of caffeine when they saw their goats appearing to become frisky and “dance” after eating coffee berries.

In 1675, the King of England banned coffee houses, claiming they were places where people met to conspire against him.

***

I wonder if those colonists were meeting at coffee houses. Wouldn’t they have loved Starbucks…

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