Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Cinnamon Coffee Cake Recipe and My Favorite Coffee Beans

I'm a homebody at heart.  I love being at home and can go days on end without leaving my home other than to go for hikes with Simcha.  One of the things that makes being at home enjoyable for me is having freshly baked breads, cookies, and cakes to eat and that's one reason that I bake as much as I do.  It has literally been years since I bought a loaf of bread from a store or bakery and the same for cookies and sweets.  About the only time I'll eat something store bought is when I'm on vacation or happen to be in a coffee shop. And when I do I'm often disappointed.  It's either heavy (usually because its "gluten free") too sweet, or lacking in flavor.  I think I might be spoiled because when I bake I use the very best tasting ingredients like European butter, Belgium chocolate, and that makes a difference to taste.  But obviously there are exceptions and one bakery in Los Angeles that I highly recommend is Republique (in West Los Angeles on La Brea). You simply can't go wrong with anything you order there!  And I'm sure there are others but as I mentioned at the start I'm a homebody and don't get out much.

Since winter is a time when many people are at home whether they are homebodies or not I am sharing a recipe for a lovely rich and moist Cinnamon Coffee Cake that's easy to make and calls for ingredients that you are likely to have on hand.  I would describe it as having a texture similar to a carrot cake and it's wonderful with a cup of coffee or warm with a scoop of ice cream.  I love that it stays fresh for days (and is actually better the second day) and can be left sitting out on the counter. There's something very inviting about walking into your kitchen and seeing a coffee cake sitting there waiting for you.  I've made this many times over the years and hope you find the recipe as reliable and enjoyable as I do.

Cinnamon Coffee Cake Recipe ~ 8" round cake


2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon (divided into 1 1/2 tsp. and 1/2 tsp.)
1 cup light brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 vegetable oil (light tasting such as safflower or canola)
1 cup walnuts - finely chopped
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 egg - beaten
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk (to convert 1 cup regular milk to buttermilk simply substitute 1 Tbs of the milk for either lemon juice or white vinegar, stir and let sit for 5 minutes before using)


1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Prepare 8" round deep cake pan.  You can either use a spring form cake pan or lightly grease a cake pan with butter and coat with flour.  Alternatively you can use an 9" x 13" pan and adjust the baking time.
3. In a large mixing bowl combine: flour, salt, 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, both sugars, and oil.  Remove 3/4 cup of this mixture and in a small bowl add this to the walnuts and the remaining 1/2 tps. cinnamon. Set this walnut mixture aside.
4.  To the original large bowl of flour mixture add the baking soda, baking powder, egg, vanilla, and buttermilk.  Mix until well combined.
5.  If using a round cake pan (deep) pour 1/2 of batter into cake pan and cover with a 1/2 of walnut mixture. Pour the remaining batter on top of the walnut mixture and top with the remaining walnut mixture.  If you are using a 9x13 sheet pan pour a layer of mixture and top with walnut mixture.
6.  Bake cake for 60 to 65 minutes or until cake tester comes away clean.  Allow round cake to cool for 10 minutes before turning onto a wire rack to finish cooling.  If using sheet pan allow to cool completely before cutting into squares and removing.

My Favorite Coffee Beans ~

Because coffee cake goes so well with a cup of coffee I thought I would share my favorite method of making coffee and the beans that I use for a great home brew.

As a preface I used to be a huge fan of barista coffees and went out of my way to visit coffee shops for my favorite fix which typically was a cappuccino in a large frothy mug.  But somehow over time I became plain coffee drinker.  I simply realized one day that there's something about the rich flavor and pure taste of coffee that gets lost in all the cream and froth and cinnamon sprinkles.  And a plain cup of coffee has a lot less cholesterol and calories too so there is that as well.  But with a plain cup of coffee the quality of the bean and preparation process becomes much more important as the flavor and body is everything.

For years I used a French Press to make my coffee at home.  But inevitably they would crack, or the wire filter would come apart or in some fashion die and while it made a nice cup of coffee it wasn't a great cup of coffee.  So after tossing yet another french press I looked for a better mouse trap and found one!  It's the AeroPress coffee method and for years I've been a fan.  In fact as soon as I had my first cup I knew this was the end of the road for me.  If you've not heard of or tried this method it's pretty inexpensive to try and I think you'll be hooked.  Now all that's left is your choice of beans....

My Top 5 Favorite Coffee Beans

1.  Intelligentsia - El Diable Dark Roast Blend.  A blend of coffees, changes seasonally.  Celebrates the savory side of coffees highlighted by carmalized sugars, molasses and chocolate flavors.  This is my go to daily brew.

2.  Christopher Bean - Irish Cream.  It's one of their most popular flavors and uses 100% Arabica beans.  I don't drink a lot of flavored coffees but once a week or so I'll go for a cup of this.

3.  Blue Horse - 100 % Kona - dark roast.  Shade grown, hand picked, and sun-dried.  This coffee has a rich, full aroma with low acidity and low caffeine.  It's very expensive but it's nice to have this on hand and I like to offer it to company after dinner with their dessert.  I drink this Kona on Saturday mornings.  With my feet up.  Surfing social media and reading the news.

4.  Stumptown - Trapper Cream Decaf (using Swiss water method).  This has a wonderful buttery flavor combining the sweetness of raisins and caramel.    Stumptown is a local Los Angeles coffee roaster and their most popular blend is Hair Blender (notes of cherry, toffee and fudge) named for the original location that was housed in a "hair" parlor. This is typical "insider" LA humor.  And despite the quirky name it does make a great cup of coffee.

5.  Raven's Brew.  Wicked Wolf - dark roast.  I discovered this coffee on our trip to Alaska and remember loving it.  I've also given it as a gift and it was well received.  I added it to my list because it's a regional coffee that is probably unfamiliar to you.

You might notice that I generally select dark roasted coffees and that is because the dark roasts tend to have less of a caffeine kick.  Most of the coffees listed can be found on  I gave the links to the individual websites because that's where you will get the best description of the coffee and choices.

Incidentally the beautiful mugs in these pictures are made by Wild Child Clayworks on Etsy. I have several of their pieces including a pie plate that I love.  They do beautiful work.

Until next time be well, love well and this winter enjoy your time indoors, perhaps with a slice of coffee cake, a great cup of coffee and your feet up!


Anonymous said...

Can't wait to try the coffee cake, Claudia. I am missing one crucial ingredient (walnuts) or it would be our breakfast tomorrow. Chloe

Claudia Bugh said...

Oh I hope you enjoy it Chloe! It's Steve's favorite :)

Hege said...

Oh my! That cake looks SO good.

Claudia Bugh said...

Thank you Hege! Your baking always looks so good to me too :)))

Anonymous said...

Just want to say I made your cinnamon coffee cake for a little neighborly brunch I had today and it was a great hit, Claudia. Lacking a deep cake pan I tried a Bundt pan which really provided a company flair. Thanks again so much for this recipe. Even the print out is lovely. Chloe

andi said...

How many times have I told you that I enjoy it so much when you share recipes. Coffee cake is my very favorite "cake". I am constantly on the lookout for recipes to make the perfect one.
I am a homebody like you. :)

Claudia Bugh said...

Haha Andi I'm glad to hear I'm not the only homebody :)))

Claudia Bugh said...

Thank you so much for sharing that with me Chloe! You made my day :)

Julie said...

That coffee cake looks delicious! Thanks for sharing the recipe; I want to try it.