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Apple Streusel Coffee Cake (Wild Huckleberry Streusel Sunday Coffee Cake)

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As my readers know, I participate in the Home Bakers group (when time allows) and we are cooking our way through the book Coffee Cakes, with a different blogger hosting each month. Well this month it’s my turn to host, so I am excited to share with you the recipe of the month, Wild Huckleberry-Streusel Sunday Coffee Cake.

Apple Streusel Coffee Cake

So why, might you ask, is this recipe titled Apple Streusel Coffee Cake? Easy answer. I have no idea where to find a huckleberry around here and honestly it’s the fall and blueberries and raspberries just aren’t really in season anymore and apples are delicious and abundant. I modified the original recipe to allow for apples, but I’ll share the original recipe here too in case you happen to have a supply of huckleberries.

Apple Streusel Coffee Cake

Regardless of the fruit, this cake is really amazing! The cake is moist and light and contrasts beautifully with the crunchy streusel topping. I brought it into to work for another brunch potluck and it was gone before lunch! And my family was quite jealous that I baked such a delicious cake to bring to work instead of share with them.

The main difference between the original recipe and my apple version was that I actually cooked the apples before adding to the batter which isn’t necessary for berries. I just wanted to make sure the apples wouldn’t be too crisp after baking. If you enjoy sauteed apples, that part of the recipe stands alone perfectly. You can adjust the spices a bit and serve it as a side dish or dessert.

Apple Streusel Coffee Cake

Feel free to check out everyone else’s interpretations of this recipe at the Home Bakers site. And don’t forget to come back to The Dinner Pages soon for another delightful fall recipe to add to your repertoire.

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Wild Huckleberry-Streusel Sunday Coffee Cake (adapted from Coffee Cakes)

Yield: one 9-inch round cake (serves 8)

For the cake

nonstick cooking spray

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened

6 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 teaspoons grated orange zest

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup buttermilk

1 1/2 cups fresh wild huckleberries, blueberries, blackberries, boysenberries, loganberries, raspberries, red currants, or pitted sour cherries

For the streusel topping

1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into bits

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/3 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, plus 10 pecan or walnut halves

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray a 9-inch pie pan with nonstick spray (or butter and flour the pan).

2. Cream together the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the egg, vanilla, and orange zest and beat well.

3. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, alternating with the buttermilk, in 3 additions, starting and ending with dry ingredients, and beat until combined. Stir in the berries. Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pie pan.

4. Combine the flour, butter, sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl, the cut in the butter and crumble the mixture between your fingers until it looks like coarse sand, then stir in the chopped nuts. Sprinkle over the batter and top with the nut halves.

5. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes. Then cut into wedges and serve warm or at room temperature.

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Apple Streusel Coffee Cake (adapted from Coffee Cakes)

Yield: one 9-inch round cake (serves 8)

For the cake

nonstick cooking spray

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened, divided

2 large crisp apples (I used Jonagold)

1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

6 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup buttermilk

For the streusel topping

1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into bits

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/3 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, plus 10 pecan or walnut halves

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray a 9-inch pie pan with nonstick spray (or butter and flour the pan).

2. Melt 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) of the butter into a large deep skillet over medium heat. Then add the apples, coat with butter, turn the heat to low, then cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. After 10 minutes, add the brown sugar and cinnamon and raise the heat back to medium. Cook, stirring frequently, until the apples are tender and glazed, for about 10 minutes more. Let cool slightly.

3. Cream together the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat well.

4. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, alternating with the buttermilk, in 3 additions, starting and ending with dry ingredients, and beat until combined. Stir in the apples. Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pie pan.

5. Combine the flour, butter, sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl, the cut in the butter and crumble the mixture between your fingers until it looks like coarse sand, then stir in the chopped nuts. Sprinkle over the batter and top with the nut halves.

6. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes. Then cut into wedges and serve warm or at room temperature.

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Read more about coffee cakes on The Dinner Pages…

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French Galette with Cherry-Almond Topping

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Along with my break from blogging altogether, I also took a break from various bake-alongs this summer and I really missed the comraderie of baking something “together” from across the world! So since this next cake, French Galette with Cherry-Almond Topping, from The Home Bakers sounded tasty, I decided to give it a whirl and get back into the swing of things. It just so happened that I hosted an impromptu dinner for some friends on Labor Day and this treat made a perfect dessert to follow Chicken and Basil Stir Fry along with a Asian themed salad and rice.

So what is a galette? My au pair asked me that as I was preparing it. I always thought it was a free form flat pie or tart, which according to “the internet” is pretty much correct, though it can also be a bread or cake. Though this recipe was taken from the Coffee Cakes cookbook, I expected the crust was going to be a little more pie-like and less dough-like however actually, it came out perfect just as it was, though it’s more like a sweet pizza dough in texture and appearance than a pie or cake.

French Galette with Cherry-Almond Topping

I let yeast bloom in warm water with a pinch of sugar, then using the mixing blade of my stand mixer, I beat in margarine, sugar, an egg, vanilla, salt, and nutmeg. I used freshly grated nutmeg and it smelled amazing, though the regular ground nutmeg would work fine as well. Finally I beat in flour. The dough was a bit sticky and rough. The original recipe recommends placing the dough onto a floured board and kneading at that point, but to save time and clean-up, I switched from the mixing blade to the dough hook, and let it knead itself for a few minutes. The dough became much smoother and elastic and less sticky and then I turned it into a greased bowl, covered it with a towel, and let it rise for about an hour.

After it rose, I punched it down, kneaded it slightly with floured hands, and then formed it into a 12-inch round and fit it onto a greased pizza pan. Since a galette is supposed to be free form and somewhat rustic, I didn’t bother to roll it out with a rolling pin but rather stretched and shaped it into a round with my hands, trying to keep the thickness fairly even throughout.

Then I spread softened margarine over the entire surface, leaving a slight rim at the edges (a la pizza crust), then sprinkled sugar, dried cherries, and blanched almond slivers atop, along with a pinch of cinnamon. One thing I really appreciated about this recipe is that there are unlimited options for topping the dough. I just stuck with the recipe this time just to see how it worked but I guarantee that other fruits or types of nuts would be great. I am picturing an iteration with chocolate in my future. Yum!

After letting the topped dough sit for a little longer, I baked it at high heat for 6 minutes. The aroma was amazing–I felt like I was walking past the pretzel store at the mall with the buttery dough scent emerging from my oven and the cake was beautiful. The crust puffed up and became golden brown. Watch this step closely because it cooks really fast!

French Galette with Cherry-Almond Topping

I cut it up into pizza-style slices and served fresh from the oven with ice cream. This cake is not overly sweet and the cold ice cream was the perfect compliment to the warm cake. Enjoy!

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French Galette with Cherry-Almond Topping (adapted from Coffee Cakes)

Yield: one 12-inch flatbread (serves 6-8)

For the dough
1 package active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)

6 tablespoons warm water (105-115F)

pinch of sugar, plus 3 tablespoons

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted margarine or butter (I used margarine to keep this dessert dairy free) at room temperature

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated or ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

For the topping

2 tablespoons unsalted margarine or butter at room temperature

3 tablespoons sugar

1/2 cup dried cherries

1/2 cup slivered or sliced almonds (I used slivered blanched almonds)

pinch of cinnamon

Directions:

Please see Frozen Wings for the full directions for this recipe.

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Check out The Home Bakers and see other interpretations of French Galette with Cherry-Almond Topping!

If you love “coffee cakes”, try my Milk Chocolate-Walnut Coffee Cake, Blueberry Stresel Coffee Cake, and Chocolate-Almond Souffle Cake.

Chocolate-Almond Souffle Cake

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It has been a little while since I participated in The Home Bakers group. Unfortunately as work and family commitments have ramped up, the blogging has taken a bit of a nosedive, so I missed the last coffee cake bake along. I thought I was set to miss this one too because it fell right in the midst of Passover and really, how was I supposed to make coffee cake from a regular cookbook during Passover?! But the chocolate and almond combo intrigued me since both chocolate and almonds are just fine during Passover, as were most of the ingredients in this delicious cake, so I just had to come up with a few modifications to make it kosher for Passover.

Chocolate Almond Souffle Cake

Fortunately, my changes did not alter the moist and flavorful composition of this light cake and it’s definitely a keeper for years to come. And don’t get me wrong, no need to be celebrating Passover to enjoy this cake. It’s a winner year round! The almonds add an interesting texture to an otherwise airy cake, which I think would be fantastic topped with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream!

Chocolate Almond Souffle Cake

I started off by coating an 8-inch square pan with nonstick spray and a light coating of matzah cake meal. I toasted raw whole almonds at 325F for about 8 minutes, until fragrant then let cool slightly. Be careful not to let the almonds burn so you don’t end up with a bitter cake. Once cooled, I finely ground the almonds in a food processor and combined with finely chopped bittersweet chocolate and set aside.

Then I beat egg whites until foamy and added in salt and lemon juice (in lieu of the cream of tartar in the original recipe) and beat them until soft peaks formed. I added in brown sugar then beat the mixture until stiff peaks formed.

In a separate mixing bowl I beat the egg yolks until thick and pale then added in more brown sugar, vanilla extract, and almond extract. I stirred matzah cake meal into the almond/chocolate mixture, then folded it into the yolk mixture, then folded in the egg whites.

I spread the batter into the 8-inch pan and baked it at 325F for 35 minutes until it was cooked through and the top sprung back when lightly touched. I let it cool completely before cutting into pieces to serve. It was a welcomed addition at our seder and for the week to come! It lasted throughout Passover kept wrapped at room temperature.

Chocolate Almond Souffle Cake

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Chocolate-Almond Souffle Cake (adapted from Coffee Cakes)

Yield: 1 8-inch square cake or 1 9-inch round cake

nonstick cooking spray

1 1/3 cups (5 1/2 ounces) slivered or raw whole almonds

4 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate

6 large eggs, separated

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon lemon juice (instead of the 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar in the original recipe)

2 tablespoons plus 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

1/3 cup matzah cake meal (instead of 1/2 cup all-purpose flour called for in the original recipe)

Directions:

Please see Life Can Be Simple  for the full directions for this recipe. Other than the pan size and ingredient modifications noted above I followed the recipe as written.

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Check out The Home Bakers and see other interpretations of Chocolate-Almond Souffle Cake and other coffee cakes featured on The Dinner Pages

Raspberry-Almond Coffee Cake

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Since February was a short month, it’s already time to share another coffee cake, baked along with The Home Bakers group; this time it’s Raspberry-Almond Coffee Cake.

Raspberry-Almond Coffee Cake

I was initially really excited about this particular cake because I love raspberries and I love cakes with streusel topping. I planned to bring the cake to work for a potluck so I had a deadline. However toward the end of an exhausting work week, with the potluck party the next day, I really wasn’t in the mood for a big baking project and almost skipped out on the coffee cake and made brownies from a mix (Gasp. Kidding…brownies from a mix can actually be pretty amazing). But I read through this recipe and realized it actually was very straightforward and quick, so I decided to drive on and make the cake. I’m very happy I did.

The results are sweet, but not overly so, with juiciness from the raspberries, texture from the almonds, and, a light tangy flavor from the combination of buttermilk, lemon zest, and nutmeg. Because this cake isn’t exceedingly rich, it does go perfectly with breakfast or brunch. I think it would also go well on a baby shower menu. It would be easy enough to switch out the raspberries for fresh blueberries if the shower was for a boy and you were trying stick with the blue for a boy color scheme.

I first prepared the streusel topping by combining flour, sugar, nutmeg, and cold pieces of butter in a bowl with my hands until crumbly. I then added in the almonds.

Streusel for Raspberry-Almond Coffee Cake

Next, in the bowl of my electric mixer I creamed the butter and sugar, then added in eggs, vanilla, lemon zest, and buttermilk. I then added in the dry ingredients including flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. I spread the batter into a greased springform pan and topped it with raspberries and then the prepared streusel topping.

Raspberry-Almond Coffee Cake

After baking it for about an hour, I removed it from the oven and let it cool in the pan before removing the sides.

Success! And in the end there were three other types of brownies at the potluck, so I’m glad I did something unique!

Raspberry-Almond Coffee Cake

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Raspberry-Almond Coffee Cake (adapted from Coffee Cakes)

Yield: one 9-inch round cake (serves 12)

nonstick cooking spray with flour

For the streusel topping

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 cup (2 ounces) sliced almonds

For the cake

10 tablespoons (1 stick plus 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter at room temperature

3/4 cup sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (I used the zest of one medium lemon)

3/4 cup plain yogurt or buttermilk (I used buttermilk)

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 cups fresh raspberries

Directions:

Please see The Charmed Cupcake for the full directions for this recipe.

My additional notes:

  • The recipe recommends baking for 55-60 minutes; it took me 65 minutes.
  • I used nonstick cooking spray with flour to grease the springform pan; you could also use butter and a small amount of all-purpose flour to get the same effect.

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Check out The Home Bakers and see other interpretations of Raspberry-Almond Coffee Cake!

If you love coffee cake, my Milk Chocolate-Walnut Coffee Cake is amazing too!

Sunflower Seed Pull-Apart Focaccia

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Bring some Mediterranean sunshine to your day with Sunflower Seed Pull-Apart Focaccia!

Sunflower Seed Pull-Apart Focaccia

It’s already time for another coffee cake recipe from The Home Bakers! Yes, I know I just shared the Milk Chocolate-Walnut Coffee Cake last week, but I joined in that bake late and now I’m right on time. This month’s bake is Sunflower Seed Pull-Apart Focaccia. Strictly speaking, this is not a coffee cake at all. The author of the book we are baking from categorizes it as a “savory picnic cake” which is somewhat accurate but to me, this is really bread and not cake. I’m totally fine with that because we have downed more desserts than appropriate lately with all my blogging and Valentine’s Day baking.

This focaccia reminds me of my vacations to the Mediterranean. The sunflower seeds and sunflower shape remind me of Vincent Van Gogh’s sunflower paintings and my visit to the south of France. The olive oil and the olives recommended in the original recipe bring back memories of my visit to Greece. I could totally picture enjoying this focaccia with a meal at a taverna in Mykonos or Santorini.

Santorini

As with many breads, there is a little bit of delayed gratification, while waiting for the dough to rise and such, but most of that time is hands off, allowing me to catch up on washing dishes and get started on cooking or baking other foods. It starts off like most bread recipes, with allowing the yeast to bloom in warm water. I then used the paddle attachment of my stand mixer to add in honey, olive oil, and dried rosemary, then switched to the dough hook to knead in all-purpose flour little by little. I added in the 3 1/4 cups of flour recommended in the original recipe, however found that my dough was very loose and sticky, so I ended up kneading in an extra cup of flour to turn my dough into a smooth elastic ball.

I let it rise for an hour and a half and was pleased that it more than doubled in size, since my kitchen was a bit cold. After punching it down, I rolled it out on my counter and stretched it to fit onto my pizza pan, which is about 13 inches in diameter. I cut out a circle in the center and then cut the rest into 16 “petals.”

Sunflower Seed Pull-Apart Focaccia

I was a bit confused by the instruction to “twist each cut strip over and lay it flat” but ultimately just flipped each petal over. I think it allows more separation so that when the dough rises again it is still distinct enough that the pieces can be easily pulled apart after baking.

Sunflower Seed Pull-Apart Focaccia

I decorated my petals with grapes since I’m not a huge olive fan and let the dough rise. Honestly it rose for a few hours instead of the recommended 45 minutes because I had to go out on some errands mid-bake but it wasn’t a problem at all. I baked the bread for 20 minutes at 425F until it became golden brown. It was delicious. The grapes added just the right amount of sweetness to an otherwise savory bread. If I make this focaccia again, I’d probably add a touch of sea salt on top since I really enjoy that flavor and texture on focaccia but was great without that too. We enjoyed it again for breakfast.

Sunflower Seed Pull-Apart Focaccia

This is a beautiful and tasty focaccia to serve at a wine tasting party or with a Mediterranean style dinner. Or just because. I really don’t need a reason to eat bread!

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Sunflower Seed Pull-Apart Focaccia (adapted from Coffee Cakes)

Yield: 1 large loaf (16 slices)

1 package active dry used (2 1/4 teaspoons if you are using a jar of yeast)

1/4 cup warm tap water

drop of honey

1 1/4 cups room temperature water

1 tablespoon honey

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus more for brushing

3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (may need more if the dough is too sticky as well as to coat the work surface)

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 tablespoon aniseed or minced fresh rosemary (I used 1 1/2 teaspoons dried rosemary)

1/4 cup sunflower seeds

2 dozen oil-cured black olives, pitted or seedless red grapes (I used grapes)

Directions:

Please see Kitchen Flavours for the full directions for this recipe.

My additional notes:

  • If the dough is very sticky after adding in all the flour, add more little by little. The dough should be smooth and elastic before the first rise.

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Check out The Home Bakers and see other interpretations of Sunflower Seed Pull-Apart Focaccia!

Milk Chocolate-Walnut Coffee Cake

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Let yourself be transported to a bakery in the comfort of your own kitchen with this divine Milk Chocolate-Walnut Coffee Cake!

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.

Milk Chocolate-Walnut Coffee Cake

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!

Milk Chocolate-Walnut Coffee Cake

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

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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)

Directions:

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.

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Check out The Home Bakers and see other interpretations of Milk Chocolate-Walnut Coffee Cake!

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