Monday, February 4, 2008
Breakfast Cafe Cinnamon Crumb Cake
I had every intention of making a cheesecake or biscotti this afternoon, but I ended up being too tired to work that hard. However, I couldn't find it within myself to skip a night either -- I considered it, thought seriously about taking a night off... but then I decided to flip through the new Passion for Baking book to see if anything quick jumped out at me. Wouldn't you know it... two recipes jumped out at me, but Chris loves crumb cake, so crumb cake won. Besides, this was the easier recipe anyway.
This is basically a quick and dirty crumb cake. It's made even easier by the fact that you mix the butter with the flour, sugars and cinnamon and set 3/4 of a cup of that aside to form the crumb mix -- then you add walnuts to the crumbs, throw all the rest of the ingredients in with the majority of the flour mixture, mix it all up and you're ready to throw it in the pan. Simple. Of course it would have helped if I had read the directions a little more carefully since I added the walnuts to the flour mix so my cake has walnuts both in the cake itself and the crumb layer, but whatever.
Interestingly enough, this cake actually formed two rings (I baked mine in a 9 inch springform pan) the inner ring is still soft, moist, and light-colored. The outer ring is darker and much chewier. They both taste great -- sweet with a light cinnamon flavor, but the textures are distinctly different. I wonder if it will still be that way tomorrow after it finishes cooling...?
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsps ground cinnamon -- divided
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
Preheat oven to 350. Generously spray a 9 or 10 inch springform pan or a 13 x 9 inch pan with nonstick cooking spray (if you use the springform it will bake a bit longer since it will be thicker.) Place pan on baking sheet.
In a mixer bowl, blend butter, flour, both sugars, salt, 1 tsp cinnamon and nutmeg. Remove 3/4 cup of this mixture and add chopped nuts and remaining cinnamon to it. Set aside. (this will be the crumb topping.)
To remaining batter, add baking powder, baking soda, egg, vanilla, and buttermilk. Using a hand whisk, blend well.
Spoon batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle on reserved crumb topping. Bake until cake tests done and springs back when gently pressed with fingertips, about 40 to 45 minutes. Serve warm or at room temp.