Yeasted coffee cake

My friends, let's talk about yeasted coffee cake!  Did you know there was such a thing?  Maybe it's just me but I'd never thought of it or had it before...at least not knowingly. 
Maybe it's not a huge stretch of the imagination when we think about yeasted sweet doughs we know and love - everything from cinnamon rolls to brioche, to babka. Well, now I've had yeasted coffee cake and I'll just say it is big-time tasty!  Not only that, this recipe is easy...oh so very dangerously easy...
This recent sweet breakfast came to be thanks to my son's love of these coffee cake muffins - we adore the small-batch recipe from Dessert for Two so much that I now have to double the recipe when I make it!  So I went looking for other ideas and came across a yeasted version of coffee cake that had me totally intrigued.  
Like many of Christina's recipe, it seemed almost too good to be true, too easy to be the case but again, the proof was in the results.  The process is so simple.  Just mix the ingredients together to form the dough, then spread it into a loaf pan (this is a small-batch recipe, perfect for feeding my family of 3) - no kneading involved!  All you need is about 45 minutes to an hour of time for proofing, to let the dough do its magic.  If you plan to serve it for breakfast, I can tell you it's a great do-ahead.  I made the dough and crumb topping the day before and stored everything in the refrigerator.  In the morning, I let the dough proof before popping it in the oven and we had warm, fragrant yeasted coffee cake to start the day with.
Through the magic of yeast, the cake is soft, fluffy, and a bit chewy; it has a wonderful light texture.  The crumb topping is what you know and love, with an added chocolate bonus!  I thought of the cinnamon rolls I make and how I always include a little chocolate in the filling; in that vein, I scattered a couple of tablespoons of mini chocolate chips among the streusel for this cake and it was lovely; I highly recommend it. 

If all that wasn't enough, drizzle a bit of glaze on top and there you have a sweet breakfast worthy of waking up early on a weekend morning for.  For us, it certainly perked up a cloudy Saturday morning.


Besides the timing involved with proofing this dough for about 45 minutes, this is really simple for a yeasted baked good!  You literally mix the yeast and other dry ingredients together in a bowl, then add a warmed mixture of water and butter.  Stir and just spread the dough into a loaf pan.  That's it.
The recipe states it's okay if you can't spread the dough all the way to the corners of the pan because it will spread as it rises.  I didn't have a problem with this.  The photo above shows the dough that's just been mixed and spread into the pan.
I made both the dough and streusel topping ahead and covered both with plastic wrap and stored them in the fridge overnight for baking the next morning.  It's hard to tell but the dough in the photo above has risen to about double the original size.  The streusel is made with chilled/room temperature butter cut into the sugar and cinnamon mixture.  I'm still undecided about the best way to make streusel though I'm a little more inclined to think the melted butter method might be a bit easier in terms of getting larger clumps, which I like.

As I mentioned, I wanted to incorporate chocolate into the picture.  It's totally optional but if you love chocolate as much as I do, I don't think you'll regret it.  I sprinkled about 2 tablespoons of mini chocolate chips among the topping that goes on top of the dough.
In 30 minutes, you will have a fragrant, golden-brown yeasted coffee cake to admire and treat yourself and your family to. This cake, baked in a standard loaf pan, slices into 3 solid portions but it's certainly up to you if you want to eat a little more, or less.
To take it over the top, make a simple glaze and drizzle some over the warm cake right before serving.  It may not be necessary but it sure is nice!  And for the adults, make sure there's some strong hot coffee ready to go.  What a great combination!
Like a cross between coffee cake and cinnamon roll, this cake was really tasty and we cleaned our plates.  The cake texture is light and bouncy, with a bit of chew to it. The streusel topping adds sweetness, crunch, spice, and even chocolate, in my case! I was a very happy camper after enjoying this treat.

Recipe:  

Yeasted Coffee Cake
Adapted from Dessert for Two

- For one 9x5 inch loaf cake, approximately 3 servings - 

For cake:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons instant dry yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 large egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For streusel:
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons mini chocolate chips (optional)

For glaze:
1/3 cup powdered sugar
Splash of milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a medium bowl, stir the flour, yeast, sugar, and salt together.  Place water and butter together in a measuring cup and heat in the microwave until mixture reaches 130 degrees (use a thermometer to check; because the yeast has already been added to the flour mixture, the appropriate temperature is hotter than normal).  

Stir the egg yolk and vanilla into the water-butter mixture and pour immediately into the flour mixture in the bowl (don't let the liquid mixture sit because it can cook the egg yolk).  

Stir the dough together with a wooden spoon, then spread it into a greased 9x5 inch loaf pan.  (Although I didn't have this issue, it's okay if the dough doesn't reach the corners of the pan as it will expand as it proofs.)

Cover the pan and let rise in a warm spot for about 45 minutes, or until doubled in size.*

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Make streusel by combining all the ingredients except for the chocolate chips into a bowl, working the butter into the mixture with your fingertips (I try to squeeze some larger clumps together).  If using, lightly stir in the mini chocolate chips.  Spread the streusel topping evenly over the dough.

Bake for 30 minutes, until crumb topping is browned and a cake tester comes out clean.  Remove from the oven and while cake cools slightly, make the glaze by whisking ingredients together. 

Slice and plate cake.  Drizzle with icing, then serve immediately while still warm.

*Do Ahead option: To prep the cake in advance, prepare the dough as described (without proofing) the night before.  Cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate.  In the morning, remove the dough from the refrigerator and let rise in a warm spot until doubled in size (this may take about an hour).  Continue with recipe as listed.  

Streusel topping can also be made ahead of time.  Cover with plastic wrap and store in the fridge until ready to use.    




38 comments:

  1. I've been wanting to try a yeasted coffee cake for a while and after seeing yours I totally need to soon. It looks amazing and I love that this recipe makes a small batch! Anything with a streusel topping gets my vote!

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    1. I never thought about/realized that some coffee cakes were made with yeasted dough. Felt like maybe I've been living under a rock. Anyway, such a treat!

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  2. What a wonderful way to wake up in the morning! I have made a yeasted pastry topped with figs that I loved, but never tried other variations. This is brilliant and beautiful and the perfect size! Thanks for sharing Monica :)

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    1. Yes, it made breakfast an "occasion" almost because it was super sweet. : )

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  3. Yeast cakes are very popular over here. Your coffee cake looks amazingly delicious!

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    1. I bet. Such great texture on yeasted doughs of all kinds...

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  4. This looks awesome!! I love that it's a smaller batch since a whole coffee cake would be dangerous for me to have in the house :)

    Sues

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    1. Yes...amazing how much you can gobble up so it's a safer bet to make a smaller portion.

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  5. Wow, this looks great! I haven't had a yeasted cake…May be yes, Panettone is a kind of cake, right? I am glad you shared this recipe for two. It looks so tempting, would be great for breakfast!

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    1. I just never realized coffee cake can be yeasted...it's a great cake base but yet has that elasticity and fluffiness of sweet bread. Not as rich as brioche...really nice. The topping is more than sweet enough, obviously! : )

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  6. Oh Monica, the look of this yeasted coffee cake is just perfect with a cup of coffee or tea...I can imagine the lovely smell when this is coming out of the oven...thanks for sharing the recipe!
    Have a wonderful week :)

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    1. It did smell wonderful. Thank you, Juliana.

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  7. Oh my goodness why have I never had a yeasted coffee cake before??? This looks sooo good! I just finished lunch and could use a sweet treat right about now! :)

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    1. I'm not so secretly relieved I'm not the only person who's never had it. Though it's possible we've had it and didn't realize it was made with yeast. As you can figure, it gives it a nice light texture. : )

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  8. This weekend I had a slice of soft and probably the best cinnamon coffee cake and since then, I have been dreaming to try to make it at home! I am loving this yeasted version Monica and can't wait to make it at home soon!

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    1. I love it when I eat something so good that I go to bed thinking about it...or just thinking about it a lot in general. : ) I had sweet thoughts about this all day after tasting it. It's great!

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  9. What mom would not love this for breakfast in bed with a cup of coffee/tea! Going to have to send some messages to the boys to give them a hint. Hope you are doing well.

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    1. Hi there, Bobbi! Hope you are doing well and thanks for stopping by. I know you must deserve whatever it is you desire for Mother's Day! Your boys can totally handle this easily...make a bigger one so the cooks can have some, too. Why not! ; )

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  10. Oh Monica, your cake is making my mouth water! Can't wait to make it:)

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    1. haha - glad you like it! It was dangerously tasty!

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  11. Wow ! Your cake is very sexy, I love your tea service - very elegant and so warm, as always. I hope you are doing fine, dear Monica :)

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    1. Thanks so much! Glad you like it...a little piece of this cake, with a cup of coffee or tea just makes life so much sweeter. : )

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  12. This looks completely delicious. Coffee Cake is the best - love the idea of just giving it a hint of chocolate!

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    1. Hi - thank you! I didn't eat coffee cake growing up but it's definitely a 'woah' once you have it. I'm glad you're with me on the chocolate. A little goes a long way...though I always find myself wishing I'd added more when I'm actually eating it. ; )

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  13. Oh I love this! An yeasted coffee cake...Gosh how amazing with a streusel and glaze. You have taken yeasted desserts to a completely new level.

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    1. I never even knew about yeasted coffee cakes so I get no credit except for finally opening my eyes! haha. It was a great experience making and tasting this sweet cake.

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  14. I have always wanted to try a yeasted cake. I love coffee like anything and your cake looks absoluelty amazing. So I can tell that I am gonna love it. A HUGE piece of this cake along with some hot coffee would make a perfect brunch for me. :)

    Anu
    http://www.mygingergarlickitchen.com/

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    1. I know it...it makes for a great sweet treat for a weekend brunch. : )

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  15. This sounds like a great recipe. I know this is a dumb question but I'm in Malaysia where we go with Celsius so I just wanted to check that you mean 130 degrees F? Also, I don't have a thermometer and should probably invest in one but approx. how long does it take to heat the water/butter in the microwave to get to the appropriate temperature?

    Thank you!

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    1. Hi there - yes, 130 degrees refers to Fahrenheit. : )

      Usually, we warm liquid to roughly 110 degrees when working with yeast; at that range, the liquid feels warm to the touch. With this recipe, I'm told you take the temp up to 130 degrees because the yeast has been mixed with the flour already so you need a higher temperature. At 130 degree F, the water feels hot. I would really recommend getting a thermometer because it's hard to say how long to heat it for since it depends on the temp of the water you're starting out with, etc. But if you must estimate it, heat the liquid so that it's a bit beyond warm and starting to feel hot. Too hot and you can kill the yeast and it won't work...good luck!

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    2. Thank you so much! I know it's hard to give these directions when so much depends on being accurate. I'm just not sure I can hold out on making this until I buy a thermometer :)

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    3. You are so welcome! I absolutely know the feeling. Good luck...there's usually more room for error than we think. I'm sure it will work out. : )

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  16. I love coffee cakes and this is no exception!! Looks so yum :)

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  17. This looks great. I don't think I've tried making a yeasted cake before, I really should. Thanks for the inspiration!

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    1. This is almost as easy as a regular cake. Hope you give it a try.

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  18. I've never made yeasted coffee cake either, but yours looks so good! I've made a few recipes from that cookbook and think it's a great idea - I have a sweet tooth, but there are only two of us at home now, so we don't need lots of leftovers.

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    1. I hear you. For me, I'm constantly baking so small scale recipes let me try new things out more often. Plus, there's only 3 of us. : )

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