So I've been searching for an excellent coffee cake recipe for what seems like ages now. And I had a few requirements. First and most importantly, it had to taste good. It had to have a moist cake and be better than Bisquick. Because really, Bisquick coffee cake is pretty decent so, if I was going to bother with a homemade one, it had to beat it. Secondly, the ingredients had to be ordinary stuff I'd have on hand. No fancy extras or tons of exotic nuts. The ingredient list had to be simple. And lastly, it had to be easy to whip together.
So I've tried many recipes over the years and they've just been okay. The cake was usually soggy, not moist, after being laden down with an overly crunchy topping. To be honest, most of them were just pretty lame. Good thing they went so well with coffee because something had to wash them down. I walked away from every recipe fairly disappointed.
Until this last weekend.
It was that time again...the monthly church potluck. Yet due to our church meeting a bit earlier now than before, the leadership decided to try something new and have everyone bring brunch food. I had planned scones but realized that they weren't going to make enough. So late Saturday night I went through my pantry and trusty old King Arthur Flour cookbook and finally settled on trying Crumb Coffeecake. I thought it'd be another bust but figured oh well, the teenage boys will eat it!
I started it at 9 pm and it was done baking a little before 10 pm. Not bad. And let me tell you, it was so good. I was surprised. I mean, seriously, I was surprised. I was really expecting it to be another disappointment. Coffee cake just isn't worth making unless it is excellent. But I think this recipe is worth it. It's a triple threat: it's easy to prepare, it has a simple ingredient list and tastes amazing.
Unfortunately I didn't take any pictures.
But try it and you'll know what I mean.
Preheat oven to 350. Grease the preferred pan(s). 2 8-inch round cake pans or a 9 x 13 pan.
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup butter (2 sticks), melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 tsp almond extract (I happen to have this but I know it's a more obscure ingredient-worth it though, I think)
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream (can use lower fat version, cake just won't be as rich-you could even try vanilla yogurt)
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
For the crumb:
Whisk together all dry ingredients. Melt butter and add the extracts to it. Mix well. Then add butter mixture to the dry ingredients until it's mixed thoroughly. Set aside.
For the cake:
Cream the butter and sugar until very light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and beat between additions. Scrape down bowl and then add vanilla and sour cream. Whisk all dry ingredients together in a medium bowl. Add to the butter/sour cream mixture, mixing until evenly combined. Pour the batter into the greased baking pan(s). Bake 20-25 minutes for the 8-inch rounds or 30-35 minutes for the 9 x 13. Bake until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the cake from oven and let cool on pan.
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