Thursday, August 11, 2011

Homemade coffee cake on a random Wednesday? Why not!

I've had coffee cake on the brain lately. Ever since we were in Door County two weekends ago and I saw a cherry coffee cake in one of the little  markets, I've been wanting to make a coffee cake. A strudel-y yeasted coffee cake.

I'd never made a yeasted coffee cake before. I've made bread and pizza dough, and that's about it for yeasted things. Oh, I did try making whole wheat bagels hockey pucks with my friend Kristi. They were not the best.

What I didn't realize when I set out to make this Blueberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake was that it requires several sets of rising times. It took 9.5 hours from start to finish. Not a big deal if you're a teacher and have the summer off to do as you please every day. (12 days until school starts! And then I have to start actually planning meals out and planning recipes around their ease and quickness of preparation. Ah, such is life.)

I started preparing it Tuesday around noon, and finally pulled it out of the oven around 9:30pm. How my Business Man and I kept our little fingers out of it until Wednesday morning, I'll never know...

But it was well worth the wait! One of the best coffee cakes I've ever had. It was sweet and buttery and flaky. The cream cheese-blueberry filling perfectly complemented the tender base of the coffee cake. And streusel topping! Can't go wrong there. Thanks to Annie's Eats for the great recipe.

Here's a bit of a step-by-step of the assembly.

First it has to rise on the counter for 3-4 hours, until doubled in size. Then, it has to go in the fridge for 4-24 hours. (It must be thoroughly chilled.)

Then, it's ready to go! (Please excuse the horrible lighting in the pictures... it started torrential down-pouring when I started assembling it. Good-bye natural lighting.)

Straight outta the fridge.

First, shape it into a log.

It feels almost like sugar cookie dough... it's not super stretchy like normal bread dough.

Then, roll it into a long snake-like thing, about 1-inch in diameter. 

Flatten it slightly and twist it so it looks like a rope.

Now, you're gonna coil it up so it looks like a snail. (I'm on a roll with the similes today, aren't I?)

Getting it all on the pan.

Coiling up into a snail. Leave about a 1/4-inch between the coils.

Then it has to rise. Again. Another 1.5 to 2 hours, just on the counter, covered.


Then you're ready to bake! Top it with the cream cheese filling.

Then the berry filling.

Then the streusel.

Into the oven at 350*F for 25-30 minutes, and you have delicious coffee cake!

Don't be scared of the long ingredients list... it's definitely worth it. And think of all the combinations you could do! Cherries, apricots, peaches, apple cinnamon, whatever your little heart desires.

Blueberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

  • For the dough
    • 2 ¼ oz. active dry yeast, (1 package)
    • 2 tbsp. warm water, 110-115*F
    • ¼ cup sugar
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1 tbsp. milk
    • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
    • 2 cups + 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
    • ¾ tsp. salt
    • 8 tbsp. butter, softened but still cool, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • For the berry filling
    • 1 ¼ cups fresh blueberries (or raspberries)
    • 1 ½ tbsp. sugar
    • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
    • pinch salt
    • pinch cinnamon
    • 1 ¾ tsp. cornstarch, dissolved in 1 tbsp. water
  • For the cream cheese filling
    • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened but still cool
    • 2 tbsp. sugar
    • 4 tsp. all-purpose flour
    • pinch salt
    • 1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
    • 1 egg white
    • ¼ tsp. vanilla extract
  • For the streusel topping
    • 2 ½ tbsp. brown sugar
    • 1 ½ tsp. granulated sugar
    • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
    • ¼ tsp. cinnamon
    • pinch salt
    • 2 ½ tbsp cold butter, cut into pieces


To make the dough, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; stir to dissolve. Let sit about 5 minutes. Add the sugar, eggs, milk, and vanilla. Mix until just combined. Add 1 1/2 cups flour and salt; mixing on low speed until the flour is incorporated, about 1 minute. Increase the speed to medium-low and add the butter pieces, one at a time, beating until incorporated, about 20 seconds after each addition. Replace the paddle with the dough hook and add the remaining 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp. flour; knead at medium-low speed until soft and smooth, about 5 minutes more. Increase the speed to medium and knead until the dough tightens up slightly, about 2 minutes longer. (I followed the time-lines exactly, and it turned out great.)

Scrape the dough with a spatula into a straight-sided lightly oiled plastic container. Cover tightly with plastic wrap (or the lid) and let rise at warm room temperature until doubled in size, 3-4 hours. Press down the dough, replace the covering and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least 4 or up to 24 hours.

Meanwhile, to make the berry filling, combine the berries, sugar, lemon juice, salt, cinnamon, cornstarch and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Continue boiling, stirring, until the mixture is thick and shiny. Place into small bowl, cover, and chill thoroughly before using.

To make the cream cheese filling, beat the cream cheese, sugar, flour, and salt at high speed until smooth, 2-4 minutes. Add the lemon zest, egg white, and vanilla extract. Reduce the speed to medium and continue beating until incorporated, about 1 minute. Place into small bowl, cover, and chill thoroughly before using.

To make the streusel topping, mix the brown and granulated sugars, flour, cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl. Add the butter pieces and toss to coat. Pinch the butter chunks and dry mixture together between your fingertips until the mixture is crumbly. Chill thoroughly before using.

When you are ready to shape the coffee cake, remove the chilled dough from the refrigerator, and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface.

Shape the dough into a log. Then roll evenly into a rope about 1-inch in diameter. Use your fingers to flatten the log slightly; twist the strip of dough into a coil. Loosely coil the rope in a spiral pattern, leaving a 1/4-inch space between coils. Tuck the end under and pinch to secure. Place onto a greased baking sheet or baking sheet lined with parchment. Cover and let rise at room temperature 1.5-2 hours.

Spoon the cream cheese filling over the center of the top of the cake, leaving a border around the edge. Layer the berry filling on top of the cream cheese. Sprinkle the streusel over the top.

Slide the baking sheet onto a second baking sheet to prevent the bottom crust from over-browning. Bake in a preheated 350*F oven until deep golden brown, about 25-30 minutes. Cool at least 20 minutes before digging in.


Source: Adapted from Annie's Eats


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