Merciful God, You are great in compassion and Your tenderness for us is without measure. We ask You to give us today our daily bread, and also provide for the needs of all of Your hungry children around the world. Through Christ Your Son and Our Lord. Amen.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Strawberry Coffee Cake



Yes, it's berry season! Between freezer jam, berries in salads, shortcakes, and new dessert recipes we are certainly getting our share of berries these days.

On Sunday, I tried this recipe for Strawberry Coffee Cake for brunch and it was a huge hit. It's a soft, moist, buttery cake with a layer of strawberry filling in the middle. And while it doesn't look like much strawberry, the filling packs a big flavor punch. I found the recipe at Joy the Baker who used a 10 x 10 pan to bake her cake. I don't own a 10 x 10 and I was in a bit of hurry Sunday morning before Mass, so I didn't want to put it in a 9 x 9 and bake it longer. I decided to use a 9 x 13, and while using a larger pan thinned the filling out a little, it was not enough to affect the flavor or texture. I baked it for 45 minutes instead of the 55 - 60 minutes and it was perfectly done, but not dry. It was a little bit difficult to spread the strawberry filling, as well as the top layer of cake batter because I was spreading it a little farther, but I did my best and fortunately streusel, like charity, covers a multitude of sins.

Joy's cake looks different from mine, and other than the glaze drizzle and the pan size I followed the instructions, so I can't figure out why. But, who cares? It was delicious! I would even serve this cake for dessert. I've modified the instructions for a 9 x 13, but you can find the original recipe at Joy the Baker for using a 10 x 10.

Strawberry Coffee Cake
serves 12

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1 heaping cup sliced strawberries
⅓ cup sugar
2 T. cornstarch
2 t. water
½ cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
½ t. salt
8 oz sour cream
1 t. vanilla extract

3 T. cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
½ cup all-purpose flour
3½ T. sugar

1/2 cup powdered sugar
a few t. milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Make the strawberry mixture:

Combine strawberries, 1/3 cup sugar, water and cornstarch in a small saucepan. Cook over low heat for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring constantly until the sauce is thickened and strawberries are soft and somewhat broken down. Set aside to cool.

Make the topping:

Combine all the topping ingredients in a bowl and rub together with your fingertips until crumbly. Set aside.

Grease and flour a 9 x 13-inch baking dish, knocking out excess flour, and set aside.

To make the coffee cake:

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla extract, and almond extract if you’re using it.

Add one cup flour, baking powder, soda and salt. Add sour cream and then remaining cup flour. Beat just until combined.

Spoon 2/3 of the batter into the prepared pan. Spread the cooled strawberry mixture over the batter. Spoon the remaining batter onto the strawberries and spread evenly. Top with streusel topping and bake in the upper third of the oven. Bake for 45-50 minutes, until a knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Cool for 15 to 30 minutes. Stir powdered sugar and a little milk together until you have a glaze that runs thickly from the spoon. Drizzle over top of cake.

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