Friday, March 9, 2012

Cinnamon Pecan Coffee Cake

I love baked goods in the morning. An awesome cup of coffee + coffee cake = a happy Katelyn. Dessert for breakfast? Heck yes. (Don't look at me weird, my friend Sam likes to eat cannolis for breakfast when she visits Italy. I call that smart calorie prioritization.)
This recipe is not healthy, but it's not a complete diet wrecker either. That's because the moisture content comes from applesauce, yogurt, and butter rather than butter, butter, and more butter. There is no sacrifice in taste however. The cake has a great moist crumb and tastes mildly of vanilla and the topping is cinnamon-pecan-brown sugar crumbly awesomeness. It reminds me of the cinnamon swirl coffee cake they serve at Starbucks, but better because this has pecans and doesn't cost $3 a slice. You can go even lower on fat/calories with this recipe by replacing the stick of butter with more applesauce, but the cake will taste pretty apple-y and be drier, without as much of the delicate vanilla flavor. You could also scale back the sugar in the cake significantly if you don't like your dessert-for-breakfast super sweet.

To start this cake, you beat a stick of butter until it's nice and fluffy. Add the applesauce and yogurt. Beat in the sugar and vanilla.
Then you beat in the eggs one at a time. Sift the dry ingredients over the top and gently fold the mixture until it's just combined. You'll have a fairly thick, lumpy batter to spread in a greased 9 by 13 pan. (This would also be really good baked in a bundt pan with the crumble layered in the center, but you'd probably need to adjust the baking time.)
The topping is simply a little butter stirred together with brown sugar, cinnamon, and chopped pecans and sprinkled over the top.
 Half an hour or less of baking time and you've got this:

Cinnamon Pecan Coffee Cake
Yields 16 small servings (3.25" by 2.25" slices)
Cooking Time: 50 min. (20 active)
Adapted from this recipe

For the cake:

2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder

1 stick (4 ounces) butter (room temp. is easier to beat, but not strictly necessary)
1 cup good quality, unsweetened Greek Yogurt or sour cream (I use Fage 0% in all my recipes!)
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce (often snack sizes come in 1/2 cup portions so you don't have to worry about using up an opened container if you go that route)

1 1/2 cups sugar (or less)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 eggs

For the topping:

2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup pecans, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon cinnamon


1. Grease a 9 by 13 pan and preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a flour sifter, stir together the flour, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.

3. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter until it is light and fluffy. Beat in the applesauce and yogurt.

4. Beat in the sugar and vanilla. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time.

5. Sift the flour mixture over the wet ingredients and gently fold them together by hand until just combined.

6. Spread the batter into the prepared pan.

7. In another bowl stir together the topping ingredients. Sprinkle evenly over the cake.

8. Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. (Using the convection setting on my toaster oven it takes exactly 25 minutes for me.)

1 comment:

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