Wednesday, 11 January 2012

The Great American Coffee Cake

Back in November, I attended my first Clandestine Cake Club (CCC) event.  What a wonderful concept!  Lynn Hill, is the founder of this club, which has taken the UK and now parts of the world by storm.  The philosophy is a simple one - it's a place where we bake, eat and talk about cake.  Now that is a great concept!  There are no brownies, cupcakes, muffins, tarts or pies allowed, only cake!  You need to register to go to an event, you can bring a guest and the best part - you get to take home cake! Lots and lots of it!  It is a wonderful time, with lovely people who love to bake, not necessarily for a living, just because it is a passion!

The event I attended, which will be the first of many, was to raise money for breast cancer, always a good cause.  The theme was memories from your childhood.  There was such an amazing array of cakes, one better than the next.  I didn't know where to begin tasting!  I would say there were 30 or so cakes, each with a memory behind it.  Lovely! 

I made two cakes!  Why?  Simple really, I didn't think the first one turned out very well, so just to be sure I made another.  Very typical Yummy Yank!

My first cake was a cake I grew up with and is a traditional Honey Cake, usually served around the Jewish holidays of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, holidays which start the Jewish New Year.  This cake is to symbolise a good and sweet year!  My family made this cake for all occasions, not only on the holidays, but year round just because it is delicious.

I was worried the honey cake wasn't baked enough, as it has so much honey, it bakes a long time and is very moist.  It did bake enough and it was delicious, but just in case, I decided to make another cake.  I baked it so last minute, it was still hot when I arrived at the Clandestine Cake Club evening.

This cake was an American Sour Cream Coffee Cake and my goodness was it a big success!  It's one of my favourites, simple, flavourful and truly a cake from my childhood.

The American Coffee Cake does not contain coffee.  It's traditionally a cake which is to be served alongside coffee.  It is agreed that the concept of coffee cake originated in Northern and Central Europe sometime in the 17th century.  The countries in these areas baked traditional sweet yeast breads, so when coffee was introduced to Europe, these cakes were the perfect accompaniment.  When the German, Dutch and Scandinavian immigrated to America, they brought with them their wonderful recipes.

Originally more bread like, coffee cakes have evolved and changed.  They are still a relatively plain cake, perfect with that cup of coffee, but now fruits, cheese, nuts, sour cream or other creams are used in this wonderfully moreish cake.  It is a true taste of American baking! 

I was asked so many times for my coffee cake recipe at the CCC evening and I promised I would get it to you.  This is for everyone to enjoy!  It is always a hit and will become an absolute favourite in your house! I guarantee it!

Sour Cream Coffeecake

16 tablespoons (250 grams) (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 3/4 cups of granulated sugar
2 very large eggs, beaten
2 cups plain flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup soured cream
1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups pecans, chopped
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, 180 degrees C.  Grease and flour a 10" bundt pan.

Cream together the butter and 2 cups of the sugar.  Add eggs, mixing well, then add the soured cream and vanilla.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.

Gently fold in the dry ingredients into the creamed mixture and beat until just blended.  Do not overbeat.

In a separate bowl, mix remaining 3/4 cup sugar with pecans and cinnamon.  (I put the pecans in the food processor to chop, not ground but chopped somewhat finely).

Pour half of the batter into the prepared bundt pan.  Sprinkle with half of the pecan/sugar mixture.  Add the remaining batter and then top with the rest of the pecan mixture.

Set on the middle rack of the pre-heated oven and bake for about an hour, or until a tester inserted into the middle comes out clean.  Serve warm!

It's great at room temperature as well, but warm is just heavenly!  Perfect for breakfast, midday snack or an elegant evening dessert!

Enjoy everyone!

As always, thanks for reading!

Have a nice day y'all.

Lisa aka The Yummy Yank


  1. I was there and can vouch for this truly scrumptious cake. Thanks so much for sharing the recipe, I will definitely be giving it a go. Hope to see you at the Next clandestine cake club Janex

  2. Sounds delicious recipe ... love coffee so must give 'coffee cake' a go!

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