Well, the time has come. Here I am, my belly full of extra-crumb coffee cake, starting to really think about what I need to pack (and purchase!) for my summer yoga retreat in Florida. As someone who is about to embark on the journey to becoming yoga certified, it is certainly silly to interpret all of the things on my to-do list as stressful. In all honesty, I just keep reminding myself to make time to do the things I love to do before I leave. Everywhere, there are toothbrushes and new yoga pants and headphones and lotion and pharmacies and dentists and anything else that that little, paranoid voice in my head keeps telling me I need RIGHT NOW.
Things I am learning in the process: keep calm, take deep belly breaths, and eat coffee cake.
This particular recipe was a fortuitous find. With an equal ratio of crumble-to-cake, you might find yourself wondering why you ever wanted any other coffee cake, ever. Seriously, though, why? Why don’t we always make them like this? We all know that the crumble is the best part. Why doesn’t everyone just make more? Why do we spend our lives yearning for something that is so fixable? Here’s to giving in and getting everything little bit you ever wanted.
One Year: Guacamole with Basil and Shallots
‘Big Crumb’ Coffeecake
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon*
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick or 4 ounces) butter, melted
1 3/4 cups cake flour
1/3 cup sour cream
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup cake flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons softened butter, cut into 8 pieces.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease an 8-inch-square baking pan. CRUMBS: In a large bowl, whisk together sugars, spices and salt. Whisk in melted butter until fully combined. Add flour with a spatula or wooden spoon. It will look and feel like a solid dough. Leave it pressed together in the bottom of the bowl and set aside.
CAKE: In a small bowl, stir together the sour cream, egg, egg yolk and vanilla. Beat together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add butter and a spoonful of sour cream mixture and mix on medium speed until flour is moistened. Increase speed and beat for 30 seconds. Add remaining sour cream mixture in two batches, beating for 20 seconds after each addition, and scraping down the sides of bowl with a spatula. Scrape batter into prepared pan. Using your fingers, break topping mixture into big crumbs, about 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch in size. They do not have to be uniform, but make sure most are around that size. Sprinkle over cake. Bake cake until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean of batter, 45 to 55 minutes. Cool completely before serving.
*I used 3/4 tsp ceylon cinnamon (which is true cinnamon; all the other stuff we see in grocery stores is actually cassia, cinnamon’s cousin) and 3/4 tsp vietnamese cinnamon (which is spicier). You can find cinnamon variations at a specialty foods store or spice store. Whatever you find at your grocery store is fine, as well, but the mixture of these two cinnamons made this coffee cake outstanding.