- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 22, 2005

If you haven’t baked a coffeecake in too long, then you’re moving too fast. Take some time to slow down, sip coffee or tea with friends, and enjoy a slice of this moist and fragrant cake, usually baked in a loaf or Bundt pan.

Easter is upon us, and a pretty coffeecake, such as the one I share here, is just the right recipe to add to your favorite menu because it serves double duty, as a bread and a dessert. It comes from a neighbor friend and is similar to the popular sock-it-to-me cake. I really think it’s better than that famous cake.

Because the pecans are added first, they have a chance to toast against the hot edges of the pan and become more flavorful as the cake bakes.

Round out the meal with purchased sliced ham; a grits casserole or potato dish your family loves; colorful fresh fruit; steamed springtime asparagus; and a platter of deviled eggs, if you adore them as much as my family does.

Everything can be made a day ahead. You can just pull things out of the refrigerator, heat the casserole, slice the coffeecake, and brunch is ready when you are.

One of our favorite brunch standbys is that classic casserole of bread and beaten eggs and milk, to which you add cheese, sausage — you name it — then bake.

Kathy’s cinnamon breakfast cake

Nonstick cooking spray for misting the pan

Flour for dusting the pan

FILLING AND CAKE:

1/3 cup packed light brown sugar

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

½ cup chopped pecans or walnuts

1 (18.25-ounce) package plain yellow cake mix

1 (3.4-ounce) package vanilla instant pudding mix

3/4 cup vegetable oil, such as canola, corn, safflower, soybean or sunflower

4 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

GLAZE:

1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted

2 tablespoons milk

½ teaspoon vanilla

Lightly mist a 12-cup Bundt pan with vegetable oil spray, then dust with flour. Shake out the excess flour.

For the filling, place brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and stir until well-combined. Set bowl aside.

Sprinkle nuts in bottom of prepared pan. Set pan aside. Place cake mix, pudding mix, oil, 3/4 cup water, eggs and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 1 minute. Stop machine and scrape down sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.

Increase mixer speed to medium; beat 2 minutes more, scraping sides down again, if needed. The batter should look thick and smooth. Pour a third of the batter into the prepared pan. Scatter half the filling evenly over the batter.

Pour another third of the batter evenly over the filling. Scatter remaining filling over the batter. Pour remaining batter evenly over the top, smoothing it out with the rubber spatula. Place pan on center rack of preheated 350-degree oven.

Bake cake until it is golden brown and springs back when lightly pressed with your finger, 58 to 60 minutes. Remove pan from oven and place it on a wire rack to cool for 20 minutes. Run a long, sharp knife around edge of cake, and invert cake onto a rack. Allow it to cool completely, 30 minutes more.

Meanwhile, prepare the glaze. Place confectioners’ sugar, milk and vanilla in a small bowl; stir until smooth. Place the cooled cake on a serving platter, and spoon glaze over the top so that it drizzles down sides and into center of cake. Slice and serve. Makes 16 servings.

TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES

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