“Cinnamon is a familiar kitchen spice around the world, adding fragrance and warmth to everything from breakfast cereal, cakes and cookies to curries and roasts. But what most people don’t realize is that cinnamon is also a potent, powerful, well-researched medicine.” – Rosemary Gladstar, Herbalist and Author of Rosemary Gladstar’s Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner’s Guide.
It’s cold out my friends! That’s why this warming, drying, pungent and sweet spice-Cinnamon is a perfect addition to this cake. But don’t get fooled, this coffee cake has no coffee in it. Coffee cake is a sweet cake that is topped with some kind of streusel and served along with coffee or tea. You know the first time I made this coffee cake, the man I love was so excited. He keeps asking what’s in the oven, and I said “coffee cake” and he just wrinkled his nose dismissing me saying, what-ever you put in it doesn’t agree with me. It took him a while to get convinced that coffee cake is as delicious as it meant to be. I asked why he rejects the beautiful complexity of coffee, he then declared, “coffee tastes like a soluble pain killer.” He can’t stand the bitterness. But he makes a great coffee every morning at home as he is surrounded by a caffeine-fuelled family while he drinks his tea, black tea and more tea. To me, I love the smell that fills my kitchen when he grinds my morning brew. I love the anticipation, the ritual as my coffee machine wakes me up slowly. I love the taste, the smoothness that glides down my throat with a slice of a nice sweet cake. I love the ease of trying something new at one of those cool independent coffee shops that make my day just feels right. while I’m writing this, someone asked what’s in the oven and I said “tea cake”; At this time he can’t be fooled anymore.
This richly flavoured coffee cake is very light and feels like it just melts in your mouth. There’s a crunch on the outside from the streusel and with soft and moist interior crumbs. Finished with a dash of cinnamon and icing sugar, just a hint so that there is an intermingling fragrance of a freshly baked cake and sweet perfume from cinnamon to waft through your nose trills that give a warming energetics.
I’m fond of almond streusel. My favorite toppings for coffee cakes and any kind of muffins. Make extra, save the rest in the freezer for the next time you crave something sweet, which will give you a shorter time from prepping to eating another freshly bake cake with your coffee.
This cake is baked at a lower temperature so that it will not get overly brown. Baking using a convection oven will give a more domed top. I use full fat 5% yogurt ( my preference) but creme Fraiche or sour cream are spectacular to use as well.
Cinnamon Coffee Cake
- 8" round cake pan or springform pan lined with parchment paper at the bottom and side, leaving an extra inch taller around the side if using a regular cake pan.
- Pastry bag with 1/2" tip
- ⅓ cup Butter, room temperature
- 1 cup Sugar
- 1 Large egg, room temperature
- 1 tsp Vanilla
- 1 ½ cup All-purpose flour
- 1 tsp Baking powder
- ½ tsp Baking soda
- ½ tsp Salt
- ¼ cup Dark brown sugar
- 3 tbsp Unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
- 1 tsp Cinnamon
- 4 tbsp Butter, cold
- 1 cup Almond streusel (Recipe Follows)
- ½ tsp Cinnamon
- 1 tbsp Icing sugar
- For the batter: Sift the flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on a medium-low speed until fluffy. Scrape the bottom and side of the bowl. Add the eggs and vanilla, mix at low speed just to combine; about 15-20 seconds*(see note).Add the flour mixture in two addition. Add yogurt in between beating at low speed for 15 seconds for each addition. Avoid over mixing. Cover the batter and let it rest for 20 minutes**(see note)
- For the filling: Place the sugar, cocoa powder and cinnamon in a bowl. Using a fork, cut in the butter until crumbly.
- Preheat the oven to 325°F convection/standard. Transfer the batter to a pastry bag with 1/2" plain tip
- In a prepared pan: Pipe half of the batter, sprinkle the filling followed by the remaining batter stopping 1/4" to the side. Sprinkle the streusel on top. Bake for 40-50 minutes convection, 50-60 minutes standard or until the top is golden brown and a skewer inserted at the middle comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack and let it cool for 10 minutes before removing it from the pan. Before serving, dust lightly with icing sugar and cinnamon powder.
- 1 c Flour
- 1 ¼ c Almond meal
- ¾ c Sugar
- ½ tsp Salt
- ¾ c Butter,cold- cut into 1/4" cubes
- In a food processor, place all the ingredients and process for seconds or until the mixture is crumbly, you should see pieces of butter. OR, in a bowl; whisk the flour, almond meal, sugar and salt. Toss the butter until coated and work with your fingers until crumbly but don't allow the butter to become soft. Transfer the mixture to a Ziploc bag and put in the fridge for at least 20 minutes before using or to the freezer when you're using it later.