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  • Summer Berry, Cornmeal & Buckwheat Coffee Cake

    Hey! Hello! How is your summer going?

    I hope it is full of iced coffee, fresh produce and juicy tomatoes drizzled in olive oil. I hope you are grilling/sunbathing/floating down a river with good company. Roadtrippin', hiking, camping, napping, porch sitting, fishing.

    Theme: enjoying! Relaxing! Summering as much as you can, because before you know it....the pumpkin spice will be taking over. This summer has been a time of...growth? for me. I have the "?" because things are poppin' up, and sometimes, it just makes me scratch my head. Why now? Maybe a combination of summertime sadness (yes, I think it is a real thing-thank you Lana Del Ray), and preparing to move (to a really adorable rental house...more on that later). But change is real! And so is the struggle to settle the hell down to listen to your thoughts and mind. I struggle with that, but intentions are set to meditate more often in the next weeks to help me out. What helps you deal with your inner chatter and demons?

    Baking also helps me chill out. I love it, and I love to create something tasty, and even better when it involves produce that is in season. After arriving back from my Brazil trip, Wisconsin accepted me in warm (uhh, very rainy?) arms, bursting with produce and....blueberries! I snatched up 3 pints at the Viroqa farmer's market the weekend after I arrived back, so that clearly meant blueberry coffee cake was in order.

    It is one of my favorites. But my pet peeve with "berry" coffee cakes? Not enough berry action! So, don't do your cake wrong....cram in many berries. Many many berries...nestled in locally produced and milled cornmeal and buckwheat, and also local maple syrup and eggs. Spectacular, right? Wisconsin is amazing, and this cake is a tribute. Any berries would work, really, and I realized blueberry season is kinda at the tail end as I write this. But, there are so many more summertime berries to enjoy, so feel free to swap and combine whichever you please. Even peaches, nectarines and plums would work, and pairy beautifully with the cornmeal.If you cannot find buckwheat, subbing with regular wheat flour would work as well, either all purpose or whole wheat. If you're feelig zingy, add the zest of 1 orange or lemon...or even a lime! The cinnamon sugar topping, for me at least, is required: my mom always dusts the top of blueberry muffins/coffee cake with a generous sprinkle of cinnamon sugar. It bakes up into a crunchy, spicy crust that makes your whole bite juuuuust sweet enough. But, I have to admit: a drizzle of honey on top (I used some amazing wildflower Brazilian honey-best souveniers are food, right?) of a warmed piece of this is bliss, too. Enjoy this cake with coffee, tea, or by itself. Sharing is encouraged (truth: I hoarded this whole cake for myself, freezing several slices for a longer shelf life). Enjoying is required! Happy summer!Note: this recipe was adapted by a muffin recipe that I love (find it here!). You can totally make muffins by pouring 1/3 cup batter into standard muffin tins that are lined or greased/floured...you should get about 12, but that will dependon how many berries you add (a lot, I hope!). Bake muffins at 3755F for 20-25 minutes, or until a tester poked into one comes out clean. You're welcome!



    Blueberry, Cornmeal & Buckwheat Coffeecake // makes one 8"x8" coffee cake, or enough for 9 generous slices; makes batter for about 12 muffins //

    • ½ cup (65g) whole wheat flour (or other whole-grain flour, or simply use more buckwheat for a gluten-free option)
    • 1 cup (125g) buckwheat flour
    • ½ (4g) tsp sea salt (4g)
    • 1 TB (15g) baking powder 
    • ½ cup (85g) cornmeal
    • 1 tsp cinnamon
    • ½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1 ½ cups (360g) buttermilk or yogurt thinned with water, or plant-based milk with a splash or apple cider vinegar or squeeze of lemon juice
    • 3-5 TB (65g) honey or maple syrup (using more for sweeter cake)
    • ¼ cup 50g melted coconut oil or butter
    • 1 ¾ to 2 ½ 250-350g blueberries
    • zest of 1 lemon or orange or lime (optional)
    • Cinnamon, sugar and nutmeg for topping, mixed together with a fork in a bowl or in a shaker (optional)
    1. Preheat oven to 375F for muffins, or 350F for coffee cake. Prepare 12 standard-sized muffin tins, or 1 8”x8” pan with oil and flour. Sift all dry ingredients in  a large bowl. Mix all wet ingredients (and zest if using) in another medium bowl.

    2. Add wet to dry, mixing to just combine. Add berries, mix to incorporate. Portion out into ⅓ cup portions in muffin tins, or pour into prepared pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, using more for a more crunchy topping.

    3. Muffins: bake for 20-25 minutes; for cake: bake for 45-55 minutes until golden brown and firm. Allow to cool slightly before removing. Enjoy immediately, or refrigerate for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 2 months, reheating as needed in a warm oven.



    A kinda thin batter, full of moisture ensure that your whole grain flours don't suck the life out of this cake. Into the pan (or muffin tins), sprinkled with cinnamon sugar...amazing smells soon to come....And done! Get your coffee, sit your ass down, and enjoy. Note the bursting, juicy berries....how can you not love this cake? Cheers!

  • My Go-To Coffee Cake (with coconut butter drizzle)

    This week has been a challenge for me. And honestly, from the pit of my stomach, I feel a little whiney saying that. But this morning, as I wrote in my journal, I realized that I need to be what I am in the present moment, and try to not "force" my way out of feeling a certain way.

    Being compassionate and loving yourself is hard. And for me, I struggle with that on the daily. Feeling guilty about not getting up and working out (becauase that is what you did last week and it felt awesome!), feeling bad about declining co-workers offers to go out and do things (you are new at your job, you don't want them to think that you are a hermit!), feeling tired at the end of the day (but you didn't really run around, did you?).So today, and this weekend, and moving forward, I am going to try my best, my darndest, my all, to tell those words in the parenthesis as spoken by my insecure, attention-loving ego to STFU. Deep down, we all know what it best for us in the present moment. Listening to your innards, your guts, your intuition is HARD. Well, at least, it is hard for me. 

    I was talking to my sister about this earlier this week, and I think we both agreed on the fact that WE ARE TOO OLD FOR THIS SHIT. And by "shit" I mean "allowing our egos to push us around, feeling guilty and not worthy". Becuase goddamnit, you ARE worthy. You are AMAZING. And you ARE trying your very best with what you have right now. 

    So, with that, you are worthy of a treat. You made it through the week, and March is in sight! Warmer wearther is on the horizon, and honestly, I cannot wait. There are amazing nature things (haha, "nature things") in the Driftless area, and I am really excited to explore. Nature always calms me and makes me realize how small we really are in this world we call home. Which is really also kinda overwhelming, but mostly humbling. Ya know?Now, a little about this coffee cake: I have been making a variation of this for about 6 years now. It all started when I was living in Murfreesboro, when I truly started to fiddle with nourishing, yet tasty, treats (because after seeing how Mr. Poppin' Fresh handles his treats, you would probably do the same). I stumbled upon Ellie's recipe, and gave it a shot. Annnnd, I loved it. Wasn't too sweet, the ingredients were simple, and it was light. With more fiddling, I realized that different flours (amaranth, spelt, buckwheat, whole wheat, whole wheat pastry.....) could be used, and different fruits could also be used. Heck, I even had success with using honey and maple syrup to sweeten the batter. My most recent update: using frozen raspberries in place of the blueberries, and drizzling the entire coffeecake fresh out the oven with homemade coconut butter. Notes: If you'd like to turn this into a vegan coffee-cake, simply use 2 flax eggs (2 TB ground flax mixed with 6 TB water) in place of the eggs. Similarly, use any type of plant-based milk mixed with 2 tsp vinegar or lemon juice or a plant-based yogurt in place of the yogurt. Lastly, I have not tried a fully gluten-free version of this, but suspect a combination of buckwheat flour (I would try 1 1/3 cups) and almond flour (I would try 2/3 cups), along with a little tapioca flour (I would try 2 TB or so), would do the trick. I will update with results as I continue to experiment!

    Such a treat. Not terrible for you. And it tastes like a warm hug with your coffee at 6AM (or whatever time you want to eat it, or whatever you want to eat it with...you get the idea). 



    My Go-To Coffee Cake // makes one 8"x8" cake, or similar sized in whichever type of pan you have on hand // plant-based, vegan option, soy-free, nut-free option, gluten-free suggestion (see notes above)//

    For The Batter:

    • 2 cups flour of choice (my favorite thus far has been 1 cup organic whole spelt + 1 cup organic all-purpose)
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • 1/2 tsp sea salt
    • 1/2 cup granulated sugar of choice, or, use 1/3 cup of liquid sweetener of choice (such as honey, maple syrup or agave)
    • 3 TB melted oil or butter, or liquid oil at room temperature (avocado oil, canola oil, coconut oil, olive oil all work!), or use a combination of whatever you desire
    • 2 eggs or two flax eggs (2 TB ground flax plus 6 TB water)
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract or other extract as you see fit (almond is sometimes nice if you are choosing to use raspberries or cranberries in the filling)
    • 1 cup yogurt, or 1 cup milk of choice mixed with 2 tsp vinegar or lemon juice
    • optional: zest of 1 lemon or orange (especially tasty when using blueberries!)

    For The Middle & Topping:

    • 3 TB granulated sugar of choice
    • 1 tsp cinnamon (I sometimes double this, so do that if you are a cinna-holic like I am)
    • 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
    • plus any other spices you'd like, such as ginger, cardamom or garam masala
    • heaping 1/2 cup of walnuts, pecans, chopped almonds, or other nut/seed of choice 
    • heaping 1 cups of berries or other fruit of choice, using fresh or frozen (if using cranberries, chopping them a little or blitzing in the food processor is recommended; blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, ~1" chunks of pear or apple...they all work here)
    • Coconut butter for drizzling on top (see recipe here for homemade, OR use purchased)

    1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour an 8"x8" glass or metal baking pan. Make the mixture for the middle and topping by combining everything except the berries together in a bowl. Set aside. In another large bowl, sift the flour, baking soda and sea salt together and set aside. In another bowl, whisk the sugar, oil, eggs, vanilla and yogurt/milk and acid together, as well as citrus zest if using, until thoroughly combined. Note: if ambitious, and if using granulated sugar and zest, you can massage the zest with the sugar first to really get the essential oils out, and then mix everything up as noted...but this is totally optional.

    2. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture, and mix with a spatula until just combined, scraping the bottom of the bowl to make sure no large clumps of flour remain (but some small flour lumps are a-ok!). Spoon a generous half, or up to 2/3's of the batter into the prepared pan, and spread it, using the spatula, as best you can to cover the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle the berries or fruit, and about half of the cinnamon-sugar-nut mixture on top. Spoon the remaining batter on top, spread it around as best you can with the spatula (doesn't need to be perfect!), and sprinkle with the rest of the cinnamon-sugar-nut mixture.

    3. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a tester from the center of the coffe cake comes out clean. If using frozen berries, the coffee cake may take a few extra minutes to bake. Cool slightly, then cut and enjoy. Leftovers can be kept in the same pan, covered, and stored in the fridge for up to 4 days. Or, freeze individual slices for up to 1 month, and re-heating in a warm oven.



    Pre-bake...layered raspberries, walnuts, cinnamon, sugar...you really can't go wrong here!Post-bake. So proud. Now, drizzle at-will with coconut butter. Or not, up to you. But highly recommended that you do! Cut it, share it, stuff it in your face...enjoy!Cheers my friends...cheers to you for being amazing!