This wonderfully aromatic coffee cake comes from Southern Cakes by Nancie McDermott. This is the new book that was chosen by The Cake Slice Bakers to bake from throughout the following year. I'm really looking forward to simpler pound cakes and home style confections. Don't get me wrong, I'll always have a special place in my heart for statuesque triple layer beauties.
This cinnamon pecan coffee cake was really tasty. The streusel was buttery and cinnamony and the cake itself was dense and light at the same time. When I saw the picture of this coffee cake, I thought the little black pieces were chocolate chips, which only made me want to make it all the quicker. But as I started to read the recipe, I realized they were raisins. I like raisins, but not in coffee cake, so I left those out and added extra pecans for more crunch. It also had a pronounced cinnamon flavor since I used Red Ape Cinnamon again. I've been adding it to all my cinnamon dishes and Mr. H says we're going to turn into apes!
This recipe makes an entire 9x13 pan of coffee cake so I halved the recipe and baked it into an 8x8 in Pyrex (it baked for the same amount of time). It was excellent hot, right out of the oven with a cup of coffee and some salty bacon. But it was also good the next day heated slightly and topped off with a pat of butta love. This would be a nice alternative to cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning!
For the Cake:
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
For the Cinnamon Raisin Filling:
- 1½ cups light brown sugar
- 3 tbsp all purpose flour
- 3 tbsp cinnamon
- 1½ cups raisins
- 1½ cups coarsely chopped pecans
- ¾ cup (1½ sticks) butter, melted
Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 13 by 9 inch pan.
To make the filling, combine the light brown sugar, flour and cinnamon in a bowl and stir with a fork to mix everything well. Combine the raisins and pecans in another bowl and toss to mix them. Place the cinnamon mixture, nut mixture and melted butter by the baking pan to use later.
To make the cake batter, combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Stir the vanilla into the milk. In a large bowl combine the butter and sugar and beat with a mixer on high speed until pale yellow and evenly mixed, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the bowl to ensure a good mix. Add the eggs and beat for another 2 minutes, scraping down the bowl now and then, until the mixture is smooth and light.
Use a large spoon or spatula to add about a third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and stir only until the flour disappears. Add a third of the milk and mix in. Repeat twice more until all the flour and milk mixtures have been incorporated. Stir just enough to keep the batter smooth.
Spread half the batter evenly into the prepared pan. Sprinkle half the cinnamon mixture over the batter followed by half the melted butter. Scatter half the raisins and nuts over the top. Spread the remaining batter carefully over the filling, using a spatula to smooth the batter all the way to the edges of the pan. Top with the leftover cinnamon, butter and nut mixture, covering the cake evenly.
Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until the cake is golden brown, fragrant and beginning to pull away from the edges of the pan. Place the pan on a wire rack and allow to cool in the pan for 5 to 10 minutes before serving in squares right from the pan. The cake is delicious hot, warm or at room temperature.