Old fashioned coffee cake is perfect for morning breakfast with a bold coffee like French or Italian roast. Sometimes the best modern recipes are the ones which old. This is a classic with either a pecan or walnut topping. I love mixing up flavors which are unexpected and new but for this cake I am not changing a thing.
Being an immigrant to this country only memories I brought from India is related to food. Whether is it eating street foods or something I used to eat as a kid like a cake with tutti frutti from a plastic wrapped box. So we don’t get to carry say a toy which probably had so much sentimental value. It’s literally all gone like my rubik’s cube, I don’t know where it is. It is small things like that which makes you think that food or rather our taste buds are the only memories we carry as a first generation immigrant, every other thing is just lost in the amalgamation of moving to the place I now call home.
A simple cake just like this Orange Blossom Honey Cornmeal Cake is life’s simple pleasure. Enjoying a cup or few cups of coffee or tea with a piece of cake, chatting or maybe if you are like me, reading a book. The combination of coffee, cake, book and music is what I would call a perfect lazy afternoon. Well may be I am as old-fashioned as this coffee cake but it is something I love to do often. This is only reason I love happening coffee houses, chaotic and quaint feels like a second home to me.
Cakes are not my biggest forte but I am learning as I go. Sour cream are denser compared to cake made with milk but has a tender crumb. You can interchange walnut for pecans. I am using 8 x 8 square pan but can be made in 8 inch round pan too. I am using cake flour but all purpose will work just fine. A fun fact whenever there is baking soda in a cake recipe make sure there is an acidic ingredient present too, it could be anything from lemon, sour cream, buttermilk, vinegar, coffee or tea. Baking soda needs acid to activate.
Makes 9 pieces (see note for doubling the recipe)
- 50 grams/ 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 30 grams/ 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 65 grams/ 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- Pinch kosher salt
- 43 grams/ 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold cut into 1/4 inch pieces
- 160 grams/ 1 1/3 cup cake flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 57 grams/ 1/4 cup/ 1/2 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
- 100 grams/ 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 lemon zest, optional
- 180 grams/ 3/4 cup sour cream
Make streusel topping
- In a small bowl toss sugar, all purpose, pecans, cinnamon, salt and mix well. Add butter and rub with your fingers. The mixture will be pea sized.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 8×8 inch square pan with nonstick baking spray or grease and line with parchment, set aside
- Sift cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, set aside.
- In a bowl cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy using a handheld mixer or in stand mixer, about 2 minutes.
- Add 1 egg at a time and mix until just combined. Followed by vanilla and lemon zest. Add half sour cream and mix until just combined. Follow with flour mixture. Repeat and do not over mix.
- Scrape the mix into prepared pan. Evenly top with streusel mix. Bake until the top is golden brown and toothpick comes out clean, about 20 to 25 minutes.
- Remove from oven and place over wire rack to cool. Serve warm or cool. Store in airtight container for 3 days.
Note: Use double recipe in a 9×13 pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes.