3 July 2011

The Best Coffee Cake

Please ignore the wonky topping! I stupidly chose a freaky slice to photo, the rest of the cake has a relatively even streusel, not like this funky looking (but oh so yummy) piece
When the Pioneer Woman says something is the best ever...you know its going to be good. I don't particularly like naming something 'the best' as everyone has their own preferences, but who am I to argue with the great PW!

I didn't really know what to expect when making this as I have never made a coffee cake before, but was really blown away with the results! It's not often I literally CANNOT resist a cake, ok thats an utter lie, but normally I can resist caving in for at least an hour after gorging myself silly having a slice, this one however is something altogether different. I don't know if I have ever made or tasted such an incredibly light fluffy sponge, ever. Its ethereal in its qualities, down to the folded in egg whites no doubt, but its a texture I find utterly irresistible. You probably gather I like this cake by now..and I havn't even got started on the streusel yet!

I actually only ended up using about 3/4 of the topping mix (I picked out all the pecans out of the excess and used them still so not to waste them) and still had plentttyyy as can be seen in the photos, which sadly do not do this cake justice! The streusel has its fair share of cinnamon in, which as you may have gathered from my last post is one of my favourite spices to use, and is so so moorish, it complements the delicious soft sponge perfectly.

I halved the recipe, baking it in an 8 x 8 inch but still for the full 45 minutes and it worked just fine :) If you read the comments on PW's site you will see a lot of fellow bakers had major issues with the batter overflowing during baking due to the original recipe stating a pan size smaller than 9 x 13 inches could be used, it has been updated now but just to reiterate, if doing a full batch make sure you use a large enough pan as it would be a disaster to loose any of this gorgeousness to the greedy ol' oven :)

The one and only drawback to this cake that I can think of is it is a little bit of a nightmare to cut and eat due to the crumbliness of the topping, however lets be fair this isn't really a massive drawback as its just an excuse to hoover up all the little crumbs that attempt to escape (with your mouth..obviously..not an actual hoover, that would be a disgraceful waste)

I cannot vouch that this is the best coffee cake EVER as it is the only one I have had, but if I was never to find a better one I would neither be surprised or disappointed :)

Cinnamon Streusel Cake aka
Pioneer Woman's 'Best Coffee Cake. Ever.'
Adapted from The Pioneer Woman and Droolfactor

For the cake
1 1/2 sticks butter, softened
2 cups scant caster sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/4 cup whole milk*
3 whole egg whites**

For the topping
1 1/2 sticks butter, softened
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups brown sugar (I used light)
2 Tbsp cinnamon
1 1/2 cups pecans, chopped

Preheat oven to 350F/180C and prepare a 9 x 13 inch, or larger, baking pan, preferably with high sides

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside

Cream together the butter and sugar. Add the flour mixture and milk alternately until combined (I did it in about 3 stages). Do not overbeat

Whisk the egg whites until stiff and fold them into the batter with a spatula

Spread into the prepared pan

Combine all the topping ingredients, except the pecans, using a pastry cutter until crumbly. Stir in the pecans and sprinkle the streusel all over the top of the batter

Bake for 40-45 minutes

Eat and be merry :)

* I only had semi-skimmed milk so used this but added a tiny splash of heavy cream, I don't think that was entirely necessary though and I am certain it would work with all semi-skimmed milk
** I happened to have some powdered egg whites in sachets in the cupboard, which I never had used for baking before, but I used those and they worked perfectly! I liked not having left over yolks and it also was pretty useful in my case as halving the recipe and trying to use 1 1/2 egg whites is just overly complicated to me :)

(Just as a note for anyone that has not had a coffee cake before; coffee cake can refer to both a cake containing coffee or, as in this case, a cake to be eaten with coffee - a snack cake for want of a better term - mostly with a streusel topping)

 Click for a nice little printable


  1. I made this cake last year and oh my god was it good; I think it's time to make it again soon!

  2. This looks good. I'll have to give it a try. So far, though, I don't think anything can beat New Jersey Coffee Cake for ease of making, and professional bake shop taste. It's on my blog if you want to check it out.

  3. @bakerbynature it is stupidly addicting isnt it! I half dislike having it in the house as I fear for my hips, I dare not admit how much ive eaten today :) but i am too greedy to give it away...

    @Pattie @ Olla-Podrida Please do give it a go, I checked out your gorgeous recipe for Coffee cake and it does look utterly delicious but markedly different, I would love to compare the 2 in a taste test! (the very best kind of test :) )

  4. I've made this and for me, it's definitely the best ever. Well done!

  5. Such a scrumptious cake! This looks delicious!

  6. And another that needs to be bookmarked. I love that you are so young and so enthusiastic about baking! WTG Sasha...
    BTW, you could do the baklava with ease. It's just a cumbersome process intially but the results are more than worth the effort!

  7. Thank you for the lovely comment on my blog! Haha I love the wonky topping on the cake - adds character ;)

    This looks so yum - would love to have a slice right about now! And your blog is beautiful, now following !

  8. That looks like a slice I'd want to stick my fork in right now!! Yum!

    Another one to add to my growing 'must make' list, I fear ;-)

  9. Hi Sasha, I actually like the top photo. Cake always tastes better when it is little bit messy and funky. And it always tastes better with some spice.

  10. I think your photo looks delicious! I love coffee cake with toppings like this!
    Glad to be a new follower of your blog!

  11. Sasha, awesome, looks so tasty n juicy n juuust...yum!!
    thanks for commenting, girl.

    lets supppport :D

    wish u a great day!!!

  12. I agree this looks like the best coffee cake ever! Thanks for dropping by my site by doing that I was introduced to your wonderful blog which I really liked.

  13. I judge a coffee cake two ways, crumbs and crumbs! lol If there's a thick coating of what we call here in NY due to the great crumb cakes 'bumps', I want it. This one looks nice and bumpy!

    As for the coconut oil (answering here so I don't muddle random integer when it's time to pick a winner lol),it imparts a very light flavor of coconut. This is why I enhanced the pudding cake with toasted coconut and coconut milk. Then again, I only used 4 tablespoons of it, so maybe it's stronger with a bit more :)

  14. THat looks absolutely delicious! I love how delicate the cake looks. YUM.

  15. Sometimes a great coffee cake can hit the spot like nothing else, especially when it's from the Pioneer Woman. Yours looks delicious! The streusel topping is one of my favourite parts of a coffee cake, despite it's inability to stay in tact. :)

  16. It looks fabulous! So fluffy. I really like the scrummy topping. Surely very addictive.



  17. @Maureen Im so glad to know someone else agrees! t is a gorgeous cake is it not, angerously irresistible :)

    @Deeba PAB Thank you for such a personal comment, so so kind of you :) And i know one day I definitellyy will try making baklava as i have wanted to for so very long, if i do your recipe is right up there at the top of the list!

    @Vanessa K What a lovely comment vanessa, thank you :) well wonky suits my personality pretty well I suppose, so this slice is very much me!

    @Jill @ Dulce Dough I cannot resist a good crumb topping either! Thank you so much for 'following' me (my mum thought i had a stalker when i first told her in my over excited way that i had a follower!), its such a compliment and im very flattered :)

    @niner from wechooseorganic.com Niner I love how enthusiastic your comment is! It is indeed pretty darn good, I recommend it whole-heartedly!

    @Lisa Taylor Thank you for answering my question so quickly Lisa and for your great comment, I think i would love using coconut oil, sounds delicious and with health benefits too reportedly, you have convinced me to up my hunt for the elusive stuff!

    @Valerie Thank you for your comment :) The Pioneer Woman is totally brilliant isnt she, I know if i try one of her recipes its 100% bound to be a winner

  18. This looks seriously amazing! Cinnamon and brown sugar coffee cakes like this one are my absolute favorite. This one nails it!