foodie friday | the best coffee cake

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There are probably hundreds coffee cake recipes out there in cookbooks, magazines, and on the Internet and many claim to be “the best”. And can you really make a bad coffee cake? I think not. But this recipe, in my opinion, is the best.

This is one of my favorite family recipes that was passed down by my grandma, along with dirt pudding, animal shaped pancakes, and oatmeal sausage (it’s a German thing). For me, this recipe tastes like childhood memories, Easter sunrise, and laughter topped with a good dash of cinnamon sugar. Oh, and butter. Seriously.

And just as an example, when I told my husband I was making this scrumptious cake he asked me, “Oh, you mean butter cake?” Yes. I mean butter cake. Which is basically code for “best cake ever” in my book.

To make this delicious cake first start with the dry ingredients:

Combine 1 cup of flour, ½ cup of sugar, 1 and ½ teaspoons of baking power, and ½ teaspoon of salt into a large bowl.

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Whisk to combine.

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And now…BUTTER. In a cute butter dish.

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Add ½ a stick (that’s ¼ cup) of softened butter to the dry ingredients and mesh with a fork until the whole lot is crumbly and combined.

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Next combine the wet ingredients:

In a small bowl add one egg and whisk. Confession: I totally looked through all 12 of my eggs to find the one I liked the best. It happened to be the one with the most speckles. It’s got character.

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Then add ½ cup of milk and whisk to combine.

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Now pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.

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Stir to till just combined (a few turns of a spoon is all it should take, no need to over-stir).

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Pour the batter into a greased 8 x 8 pan. Or a 10 x 10 pan if that’s all you have like me. And I’ll tell you right now that it works so that you don’t have a panic attack like I did over how short it looked in the pan. Don’t worry, it will rise in the oven!

Oh, and when I grease a pan I always grease it with butter (because duh). I take a pat of butter on a paper towel and use that to grease the pan!

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Now set the pan aside, because it’s time to make cinnamon sugar. Because why wouldn’t you want cinnamon sugar on pretty much everything.

In a small bowl combine ½ cup of sugar and a heaping tablespoon of cinnamon. I probably added almost 2 tablespoons of cinnamon to mine. I love cinnamon. But if you aren’t as obsessed with cinnamon as I am just the one heaping tablespoon will work.

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Stir to combine. YUM.

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Now comes the butter part of the recipe, the reason why my husband calls this “butter cake”. I know there’s already butter in the cake, and if you’re like me you’ve greased your pan with butter so there’s butter around the cake as well.

But now we need to pour butter all over the cake.

But first this butter needs to be really hot. Like on the verge of burning and turning into caramel. Confession: I burned some while I was making this. But that’s ok! Just throw it away and start again. That’s why butter comes in four-packs. And because it’s awesome.

Take ½ stick of butter and melt it in a small saucepan over medium heat.

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Watch it carefully. Once it starts to bubble, take it off the heat and bring it over to your pan of coffee cake batter.

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Holding the saucepan with the hot butter about a foot above the cake batter, slowly drizzle the butter into the cake batter. Drizzle back and forth in a zig-zag pattern over the batter.

And here’s why.

The hot butter creates caverns in the batter. Which means that the cinnamon sugar won’t just be on top, but inside the batter. Which is ridiculously yummy.

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Now sprinkle the cinnamon sugar on top. Be generous. It’s totally the best part, along with everything else. Basically it makes the cake really awesome and delicious. I didn’t use all of the cinnamon sugar, and looking back I probably could have…so don’t be afraid. Pile on that cinnamon sugar. You will thank me later.

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Now bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Check it by sticking a knife in the center. If the knife comes out clean, you know it’s done and ready to eat!

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This is the hardest part of the recipe for me.

Let the coffee cake cool.

Just a little.

Just until it won’t burn your tongue and make any other food-eating painful. Because that’s pretty much intolerable. But for this cake….it might be worth it.

Seriously though you should let it cool for 5-10 minutes.

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Cut into squares and serve with a steaming cup o’ joe. It’s a perfect Sunday breakfast. Or (let’s be honest) it’s also the perfect desert.

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Enjoy! xx! Lauren

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