This recipe makes coffee cake that is everything it should be: moist, delicious, not too sweet, easy to make. You can use whatever filling/flavoring agent you like best (chocolate chips, fresh blueberries, sugar and spice, jam, nuts and cinnamon, etc) and it always turns out great. The recipe makes 3 full Bundt cakes or 4 short Bundt cakes or 1 full hotel pan cake. You can cut it in half and make 2 short Bundts or 1 half hotel pan cake. Or whatever, experiment and see what you like best.
The Very Best Coffee Cake
- 1 lb butter (you can use a butter substitute but in this case, butter is definitely better)
- 3 scant cups sugar
- 10 eggs
- 1-2 Tbs vanilla extract (you can also use almond extract or lemon juice instead)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 6 tsp baking powder
- 8 cups flour (I suggest either unbleached white or half unbleached white and half white whole wheat)
- 4 cups milk (the best combination here is 3 cups whole milk and 1 cup buttermilk but 4 cups regular milk is also lovely)
- flavoring/filling (what you want – fresh berries, chocolate chips, sugar and spice, nuts, jam, etc)
- butter or baking spray for greasing the pans
Preheat oven to 350° F. Using a strong mixer (an upright one is better for this than a handheld) cream the butter and the sugar. Add the eggs, beating, one at a time. Beat in the vanilla then the baking soda and powder. Add the flour and milk, alternating (1 cup flour, 1/2 cup milk, etc). Beat the batter thoroughly. Well-grease the pans (I also like to use non-stick Bundt pans to start and then grease them.) Evenly distribute half the batter among the pans. Next put a layer of your flavoring/filling. If you are using something sticky, like jam or nut paste make a small indent in the batter before putting the filling in and make sure the filling does not touch the sides of the pan (it will stick and break the cake coming out.) I generally use 1/4 cup sugar ans spice (mixture of cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg) or 1 cup blueberries or raspberries or 1/2 cup chocolate chips. Play around with the flavors you like best. Try lemon zest and blueberries, chocolate chips and chopped walnuts, pecans with mixed spices and sugar, raspberry jam and chocolate chips, mashed ripe banana and nuts. What you think will taste good here probably will. Evenly distribute the remaining half of the batter among the pans, topping (or at least mostly topping) the filling. Tap the pans gently flat on the counter to evenly distribute batter. Bake at 350° F until edges are browning and cake is set. You can check with a thin knife inserted into the cake, start checking after about half an hour – time will depend on thickness of cake, kind of pan, filling, and oven. Remove cakes from oven, allow to cool at least half an hour before taking out of pan. Turn pan over, onto a plate, and cake should slide right out. If it looks like it is sticking, turn it back over very quickly and allow to cool and solidify a little longer. This cake is great as dessert, for breakfast, as a snack, with coffee (thus the name), with whipped cream, with ice cream, plain, with fresh fruit, all ways.