Ugh, the little photo skills I had are rusty as well

Verdict: Win

I'm back! With the end of school and moving back home for the summer, I've been happily enjoying my mom's homecooked (delicious) food every day. There's been little need to post any planned "meals of the week" posts, but it's been over a month since I've updated this thing at all...and I've been itching ever since to be in the kitchen. Today I couldn't stand it any longer and decided to start with something simple to get my cooking/baking muscles back in shape: a coffee cake.

As always, King Arthur Flour is reliable for their recipes and their products (I love their line of flour - it's the only flour I use). This coffee cake comes together easily and quickly, but it does require a lot of bowls. In under 2 hours, I had a coffee cake reminiscent of a giant cinnamon sugar donut - and who doesn't love cinnamon sugar donuts?

Cinnamon-Streusel Coffee Cake from King Arthur Flour
Yield: one 9x13 inch pan (about 24 servings)

streusel topping
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt (if you use unsalted butter)
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
6 tablespoons butter, melted

1 cup brown sugar, light or dark
1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder

3/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon salt (1 1/4 teaspoons if you use unsalted butter)
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 large eggs
3/4 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
1 1/4 cups milk (anything from skim to whole)
3 3/4 cups all purpose flour

1) Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9" x 13" pan.

2) Make the topping by whisking together the sugar, salt, flour, and cinnamon. Add the melted butter, stirring till well combined. Set the topping aside.

3) Make the filling by mixing together the brown sugar, cinnamon, and cocoa powder. Note that the cocoa powder is used strictly for color, not flavor; leave it out if you like. Set it aside.

4) To make the cake: In a large bowl, beat together the butter, salt, sugars, baking powder, and vanilla until well combined and smooth.

5) Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

6) In a separate bowl, whisk together the sour cream or yogurt and milk till well combined. You don't need to whisk out all the lumps.

7) Add the flour to the butter mixture alternately with the milk/sour cream mixture, beating gently to combine.

8) Pour/spread half the batter (a scant 3 cups) into the prepared pan, spreading all the way to the edges.

9) Sprinkle the filling evenly atop the batter.

10) Spread the remaining batter atop the filling. Use a table knife to gently swirl the filling into the batter, as though you were making a marble cake. Don't combine filling and batter thoroughly; just swirl the filling through the batter.

11) Sprinkle the topping over the batter in the pan.

12) Bake the cake until it's a dark golden brown around the edges; medium-golden with no light patches showing on top, and a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 55 to 60 minutes. When pressed gently in the middle, the cake should spring back.

13) Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool for 20 minutes before cutting and serving. Serve cake right from the pan.


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