Friday, January 9, 2009

Fruit Coffee Cake

I've been wondering lately what the blog will turn into after the baby is born (due end of January, so we're in the home stretch!). Will I keep up with all of these sweet recipes that have been satisfying my pregnancy cravings? My guess is, yes. At least, more than I used to pre-pregnancy. I seem to have caught a baking bug. I still think cooking is my preference and I 'cook' more often than I 'bake'. But I have a lot of fun trying out new cake, bread, or general baking recipes. A new era has dawned on me. Glad you could join me for the ride!

I had been wanting to make a coffee cake for quite a while. A rhubarb recipe caught my eye a few months back, but I missed rhubarb season. When I saw this recipe and it's flexibility of the fruit used, I decided to give it a go.

As you can kind-of see, I chose to use cranberries. Simply because they've been in season recently, and I was able to buy a fresh bag. Also, I'd never cooked with cranberries. I wasn't even sure what they tasted like. As it turns out, they're tart. Who knew?! (probably you, but no need to rub it in)

This recipe makes a very traditional, light and fluffy, not a lot of sweetness, fruit with crumble on top, coffee cake. For me, it was too bland. But I've never been a HUGE fan of coffee cakes, so take my opinion with a grain of salt.

For those who do not like overly sweet breads, this would hit the spot. The topping gives it a mildly sweet flavor, and it had a nice texture when it baked into and covered the cake. I think this recipe would hold it's own in a brunch, when paired with other savory breakfast foods. I don't think it's best served on it's own, with a cup of coffee or tea.

And in truth, I may have liked it better if I used a different fruit. Yes, back to the cranberries... I wasn't a fan of the tart flavor. It somewhat overpowered the cake and the slight sweetness of the topping. Next time I make this, I plan to use blueberries.

Make no mistake, the cake was eaten up and enjoyed. My mom's husband loved it. I just have a different preference for texture and taste in my coffee cakes, if I eat one at all.

Fruit Coffee Cake
from Tammy's Recipes

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup milk
1 cup blueberries, cranberries*, or raspberries
Topping Ingredients:
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup softened butter
1 teaspoon cinnamon

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.

In another bowl, beat eggs until frothy. (We use an electric mixer for this.) Mix in oil and milk.

Pour milk mixture into dry ingredients and stir. Fold in fruit. Pour batter into a greased 8-inch square baking pan.

Mix topping ingredients together (should be coarse crumbs/lumps of topping) and sprinkle over batter.

Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes, until cake tests done in the middle. Cover cake loosely with foil if the top starts browning too quickly (I usually place foil over the cake after about 45-50 minutes).

Serve hot, or cool in pan.

Coffee cake recipes that caught my eye:
- Raspberry Walnut Coffee Cake, from Alpineberry
- Sour Cream Coffee Cake with Chocolate and Nuts, from Bake or Break
- Strawberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake, from Serious Eats
- Moist and Marbled Coffee Cake, from Cookbook Catchall

Guten appetit!

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