Sometimes the simplest cakes can be the most spectacular, and that’s just the case with this one, which comes right out of one of our favorite books, The King Arthur Baking School: Lessons and Recipes for Every Baker (Countryman Press, 2022). Here’s what the folks at King Arthur say about this recipe:
“We love coffeecakes, both yeasted and chemically leavened. This example is the perfect bridge to the world of cakes. We cream the butter just to combine it with the sugar and the eggs rather than creaming to aerate as cake recipes often do, and the result is a somewhat denser crumb. The cake itself is rich with sour cream and vanilla, and the streusel adds both flavor and texture to make this a classic example of the genre. The baking soda reacts with the acidity of the sour cream to leaven the cake, but we also add baking powder to help lift the butter and streusel. This cake is spectacular baked in a Bundt or tube cake pan, but in a pinch you could bake it in a 9 x 5-inch loaf or a 9-inch square baking pan.”
Makes 1 coffeecake
- 113 grams (½ cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 198 grams (1 cup) granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 240 grams (2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 300 grams (1⅓ cups) sour cream, room temperature
- 106 grams (½ cup) light brown sugar
- 6 grams (1 tablespoon) cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 19 grams (2 tablespoons) dried currants
- 71 grams (⅔ cup) walnuts or pecans, chopped
Make the cake
- Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
- Place the butter, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and vanilla in the bowl of a mixer and beat together on medium speed until well combined.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until thoroughly combined after each addition.
- Add the flour in three portions, alternating with the sour cream and mixing until well combined after each addition. Set aside.
- Thoroughly grease an 8-cup Bundt pan.
Make the filling and assemble the cake
- Combine all the filling ingredients.
- Spoon half of the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top.
- Sprinkle the filling evenly over the batter, then top with the remaining batter. Lightly and briefly swirl together the batter and filling with a small spatula or knife.
- Bake the cake for 45 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. If the cake is browning too quickly, cover it loosely with foil for the last 15 minutes of baking.
No Bundt? If you don’t have an 8-cup Bundt pan, you can use another pan of a similar capacity: A 9-inch square pan will work nicely. If you’re unsure about the size of any pan, you can test it out first with water; an 8-cup Bundt pan holds 8 cups of water when filled to the brim. The batter, on the other hand, comes only about two-thirds of the way up the pan, or it would spill out as it rose in the oven. To find a pan that will accommodate your batter, you’ll want to look for a pan that holds about 8 cups of water when filled, meaning the batter will fill it to the proper level for optimum rise, whatever the shape.
Recipe reprinted with permission from The King Arthur Baking School: Lessons and Recipes for Every Baker by the King Arthur Baking Company. Countryman Press, 2022. Photo credit: Mark Weinberg.