Let yourself be transported to a bakery in the comfort of your own kitchen with this divine Milk Chocolate-Walnut Coffee Cake!
I discovered The Home Bakers group a few months back before I even started blogging but when I was in the “research” (also known as spending lots of time reading blogs) phase. This group is baking its way through an entire cookbook, currently Coffee Cakes by Lou Seibert Pappas. That’s right up my alley of course, as I really learned my way around a kitchen (baking-wise) by baking my way through Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook a few years back (I never finished, for what it’s worth)! Anyway, even though The Home Bakers have already baked halfway through this book, there are still another 30 recipes to go and if I can make my way through even some of them I figure it will be worth it to really delve into a cookbook again (unlike a good fraction of the 150 cookbooks I already own…oops…but that’s the point of this blog, right?). So I finally bit the bullet and added the book to my Amazon cart one sleep deprived night when I somehow decided I had enough time for yet another project and 2 days later, I was happy to find it in my mailbox.
I am joining in mid-bake for this first one, but I had a bit of downtime while making dinner for my family so decided to prep this cake for a dessert treat. Good move on my part. The cake was very easy to make. The crumb is moist, thanks to yogurt or buttermilk in the batter. I used nonfat vanilla yogurt though the original recipe recommended lowfat plain yogurt or buttermilk. I think the vanilla was fine, I really didn’t notice it while eating the cake. To break up the moist cake, there is a layer of tasty chopped walnuts, chocolate (I used chocolate chips), and cinnamon-sugar. Similarly, the cake is topped with more of the same which adds a lovely crusty layer on top. The cake will seem really flat when you pour the batter into a springform pan to bake it. Don’t worry. It’s not a hugely tall cake but it will definitely rise when you bake it and there will be more than enough cake for everyone to enjoy. This cake is wonderful anytime, but it is really perfect for a brunch or baby shower. It just feels like the right kind of cake for those settings. My husband said it smelled like a bakery while it was baking. I initially couldn’t place the aroma but ultimately, I think it smelled like rugelach, those fruit and nut filled Jewish pastries, while it was baking. I’ve made rugelach a few times (from that Martha Stewart book, in fact) and the scent is very comparable. And delicious!
Anyway, get ready to hear about more coffee cakes from me over the next few months. I may not have the time to participate in every bake but I’m going to try because this book has some amazing sounding recipes that I’m excited to test out and share with you!
Milk Chocolate-Walnut Coffee Cake (adapted from Coffee Cakes)
Yield: one 9-inch round cake (serves 12)
nonstick cooking spray with flour
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup buttermilk or lowfat plain yogurt (I used nonfat vanilla yogurt)
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
6 ounces milk chocolate, finely chopped (I used milk chocolate chips…no chopping needed)
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (I used walnuts)
Please see Hundred Eighty Degrees for the full directions for this recipe.
My additional notes:
- The recipe recommends baking for 25-30 minutes; it took about 40 minutes for my cake to turn golden brown and have a knife come out clean when tested but it was really cold in my kitchen when I baked so maybe that’s why. My oven is usually pretty accurate.
- I used nonstick cooking spray with flour to grease the springform pan; you could also use butter and use a small amount of all-purpose flour to get the same effect.