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September 29, 2017 is National Coffee Day! So much of the adulting that gets done is powered by coffee; I'm tired just thinking about it. Let's take a break from all of that productivity and have some fun, okay? Let's make a cake.
Cake is often reserved for special occasions, but coffee cake is kind of disguised as breakfast--because, coffee. I'm extremely in favor of cake for breakfast and this one is perfect for fall because you get a chance to mix and match your favorite spices until your house smells like your favorite coffee shop.
I also tried my hand at roasting my own coffee in the wood-fired oven; between the roasting beans and the spiced cake aromas wafting through the showroom, I strongly considered not sharing.
You can make your own, though!
Fire the oven to 350°F. For this recipe I recommend a spring form pan, as the cake is quite tender. If you don't have a spring form pan, a 9" x 13" pan will do.
Make the topping by whisking together the sugar, salt, flour, and cinnamon. Add the melted butter, stirring until well combined. Set the topping aside.
Make the filling by mixing together the brown sugar and cinnamon. Now you can put a personal touch on the recipe by adding a dash of your favorite spices to the filling. This is a quick and easy recipe that can be made over and over, so don't be afraid to experiment. Once you have a mix that you like, set it aside.
To make the cake: In a large bowl, beat together the butter, salt, sugars, baking powder, and vanilla until well combined and smooth.
Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the sour cream or yogurt and milk till well combined. You don't need to whisk out all the lumps.
Add the flour to the butter mixture alternately with the milk/sour cream mixture, beating gently to combine.
Weigh your batter, then pour/spread half the batter into the prepared pan, spreading all the way to the edges.
Sprinkle the filling evenly on the batter.
Spread the remaining batter atop the filling. Use a table knife to gently swirl the filling into the batter, as though you were making a marble cake. Don't combine filling and batter thoroughly; just swirl the filling through the batter.
Sprinkle the topping over the batter in the pan.
Bake the cake until it's a dark golden brown around the edges; medium-golden with no light patches showing on top, and a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 55 to 60 minutes for the 9" x 13" pan, 50 to 55 minutes for the 9" round pans. When pressed gently in the middle, the cake should spring back.
Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool for 20 minutes before releasing the spring form.
This recipe was inspired by King Arthur Flour.
Roasting Your Own Coffee
In order to roast coffee in our wood-fired oven, I used a rotisserie kit and basket to hold the coffee near the flames. Fire the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and leave a small pile of embers (a little flame is ok) on one side. The coffee roasts in about 15-20 minutes, so you need to keep an eye on it and check the basket frequently to ensure that the beans aren't clumping together. Listen for the crackling of the beans; they will crackle twice and the second crackling indicates they are done. The green coffee beans smell a bit like cut grass, but as they roast, they start to release their oils and become pleasantly fragrant.
Roasted Coffee in a Wood Fired Oven
The results weren't bad, as you can see for yourself:
The coffee and the cake were pretty great together. I think I can get on board with National Coffee Day and I definitely know what's for breakfast tomorrow!