Cinnamon Swirl Coffee Cake

This recipe dates back to 2011 when Jamie was working in Portland, Maine. One of the signature dishes at the bakery she working at was a Cinnamon Swirl Coffee Cake, and it was so popular that she was baking it 4-5 days per week. The second this baby comes out of your oven, you will see why it was such a fan favorite. It is a giant coffee cake that really makes a statement. It has a rich sour cream batter with an addicting cinnamon and pecan swirl. It feeds a crowd and is perfect for Easter brunch, a baby shower, or any large breakfast gathering. The key to this coffee cake recipe is to let the sour cream and baking soda sit for a long as possible before you make the batter. The sour cream turns foamy and makes the decadent batter light and fluffy while it bakes.

Cinnamon Crunch Coffee Cake

  • Servings: 8-12
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Our favorite sour cream coffee cake from Jamie’s baking days in Maine.

Ingredients for the Cake

  • 3.5 cups of flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • powdered sugar for garnish, optional

Ingredients for the Cinnamon Crunch

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 tbs cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix the sour cream and baking soda in a medium mixing bowl. Let stand until foamy.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  4. In a third mixing bowl, make the Cinnamon Nut Topping mixture by adding all of the ingredients for the cinnamon crunch to a bowl with the exception of the butter. Use a pastry cutter or your hands to mix the butter into the remaining ingredients. You want the texture to be similar to clumps of sand. Set aside.
  5. Use a stand mixer (we promise this is the last bowl) to cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, waiting until the first egg is completely absorbed before adding the next. Add the vanilla to the batter and mix to combine.
  6. Add the sour cream mixture and the and flour mixture into the mixing bowl with the butter and sugar by alternating 1/3 of sour cream mix, 1/3 of the flour mix. Just mix until lightly combined – DO NOT OVER MIX! Use a spatula to scrape the bottom of the bowl to make sure everything is completely combined.
  7. Spray a tube pan or bundt pan with cooking spray. If you are using a tube pan, add 2/3 of the batter to the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle 1 cup of the Cinnamon Nut Topping on top of the batter in an even layer. Top with the remaining batter and then the rest of the Cinnamon Nut Topping. If you are using a bundt pan, layer 1/2 of the batter into the bottom of the pan followed by all of the Cinnamon Nut Topping. Top with the rest of the batter and smooth it into an even layer.
  8. Bake the coffee cake for 60 – 70 minutes, rotating the cake 180 degrees in the oven after 35 minutes. Test the cake with a long skewer to make sure it is baked completely through before removing the cake from the oven. Cool the cake for at least one hour before removing it from the pan. Use a butter knife to scrape the sides of the pan and the center circle in the middle to gently remove the cake. Top with powdered sugar to serve.


Summer Berry Trifle

After celebrating quite a few birthdays in May & June, we have had to start getting creative about what to do with leftover birthday cake. We love our share of cake, but after a few days, we were getting a little tired of tasting the same ingredients. We experimented a bit with different leftover birthday cakes and repurposed them to create summer trifles. By adding homemade whipped cream and fresh berries we were able to continue to enjoy our sweet treats in a different way. No extra cake? No problem. You can pick up an angel food cake at the store and use it in the same way. 

Summer Berry Trifle 
Makes: 12 servings  
Prep Time: 10 minutes     Total Time: 40 minutes 

Ingredients: 

  • 1 leftover cake- about 8 cups cubed (or store bought angel food cake)
  • 3 cups of heavy whipping cream
  • 1 vanilla bean, scraped 
  • 3 tbs sugar 
  • 4 cups of mixed berries (we used strawberries, blackberries and blueberries)

Directions: 

  1. If you are using leftover cake, scrape the frosting off the cake and cut the cake into one inch cubes. This does not need to be perfect. If using store bought, cut the angel food cake into one inch cubes. Set aside.
  2. Using a hand mixer, mix the heavy whipping cream, vanilla bean, and sugar until the cream forms stiff peaks. About 5 minutes. 
  3. Assemble the trifle by layering the cake cubes, whipped cream and mixed berries. You want to make sure that the cake is thoroughly coated in the whipped cream so that it can soak up the moisture. Top with a layer of whipped cream and use any remaining berries for decoration.
  4. Keep the trifle refrigerated for at least 30 minutes before serving. This can be made overnight. Serve cold. 

Strawberry Buttermilk Cake with Brown Sugar Glaze

We have been seeing versions of this cake online now for weeks, and finally Tuck’s mom caved and had to make it on a Saturday morning. We based our recipe off of King Arthur Flour’s recipe for Farmhouse Buttermilk Cake and tweaked it to add fresh strawberries and a little lemon zest to give it a brighter taste. We added a brown sugar glaze to the cake which brought it to a whole new level of decadence. We aren’t sorry about it. This cake is the perfect addition to a weekend brunch menu; it’s perfectly sweet and seasonal for spring. 

Strawberry Buttermilk Cake with Brown Sugar Glaze 
Makes: 1- 8 inch round cake (6-8 servings)
Prep Time: 30 minutes Baking Time: 30 minutes Total Time: 1 hour

Ingredients for the Cake: 

  • 1/4 cup butter, room temperature 
  • 1 cup light brown sugar 
  • 1 egg, room temperature 
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • zest of 1 lemon 
  • 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature 
  • 1 tsp baking soda 
  • 1/2 tsp salt 
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour 
  • 12 large strawberries, stemmed and hulled (plus more for garnish if desired) 

Ingredients for the Glaze: 

  • 1/4 cup butter 
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar 
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk 
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda 
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • a tiny pinch of salt 

Directions: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8 inch cake pan with extra butter or a good layer of cooking spray; set aside. 
  2. Stem and hull the strawberries. Slice 6 of the strawberries vertically; these will go on the bottom of the cake pan. Chop the other 6 strawberries, which will be folded into the batter. 
  3. Beat the butter and brown sugar in a large bowl with a stand mixer or hand mixer. Add the egg, vanilla extract, and lemon zest and fully combine.
  4. Add the baking soda, salt, and 1 cup of the flour to the bowl. Mix until just combined, scraping the bowl with a spatula as necessary to get everything out from the bottom. 
  5. Add the buttermilk to the bowl and mix until just combined, again scraping the bowl as necessary. Add the remaining flour and chopped strawberries to the bowl.
  6. Arrange a layer of strawberries in the design of your choice on the bottom of the cake pan. If you have extra slices, fold those into the cake batter before pouring the batter in to the cake pan. Use a spatula to gently even out the batter before placing in the oven. 
  7. Bake the cake for 30 – 35 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean from the center of the pan. 
  8. While the cake is baking in the oven, make the glaze. 
  9. Combine the brown sugar and butter in a small pot on the stove over medium heat. Whisk the ingredients to combine and add the buttermilk. Add the baking soda- the mixture will start to bubble- continue whisking until the mix thickens up. This can take a good 5 minutes on the stove, but mix until the glaze is the texture you desire. Add the vanilla and salt and remove from the heat. Whisk again to combine and set aside.
  10. When the cake has finished baking, give it at least 15 minutes to rest before removing it from the pan. Serve with a generous pour of brown sugar glaze and additional strawberries, if desired. 

Funfetti Layer Cake

We celebrated our friend’s birthday last weekend, and it was at the request of the birthday girl that we celebrate with funfetti cake. For those who are unfamiliar, funfetti cake is a white cake base with sprinkles mixed in. It is traditionally layered with a vanilla buttercream. After reviewing some recipes on the internet, we found this recipe from Sugar Spun Run and modified it a bit to the recipe below. What we love about this recipe is the whipped egg whites- adding this extra step makes the cake light and fluffy. The egg whites make the cake something between a regular vanilla cake and an angel food cake. While we love a good vanilla flavor, we have added a bit of almond extract and vanilla beans to give the cake an extra pop.

Here’s the deal with cake decorating. It can be really overwhelming and stressful trying to make things perfect, and unless you decorate cakes often, you aren’t going to be perfect. We don’t make cakes very often, and you will notice this cake is not even close to perfect. Doing a “naked” design gives the cake a more rustic look and forgives a lot of mistakes that we all tend to make in the decorating process.

Funfetti Layer Cake

Makes: 1, 8 inch, 3 layer cake

Ingredients for the Cake:

  • 3 tbs flour (for the cake pans)
  • 9 Tbsp butter softened
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tbs vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 4 cups+ 2 Tbsp all purpose flour
  • 4 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 9 egg whites, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sprinkles + 2 tbs sprinkles*

Ingredients for the Frosting:

  • 1 lb unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 6 Tbsp heavy cream
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • sprinkles for decoration, optional

Directions for the Cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare three, 8 inch, cake pans for baking. First spray the pan with cooking spray, then add 1 tbs of flour to the pan. Gently shake the flour around the pan until it is completely coated with flour. Bang away any excess flour and discard. Repeat for each of the cake pans and set aside.
  2. Use a stand mixer to whip the butter for a few minutes, or until it is light and fluffy. Add the sugar and whip until it is fluffy.
  3. Add the oil in a steady stream while you run the mixer, making sure that the oil is completely absorbed as you continue to add it. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as necessary to make sure that everything is well combined.
  4. Add the salt and baking powder to the bowl. Alternate adding the 1 cup of the flour and a portion of the milk to the bowl, mixing between each addition, until all of the wet and dry ingredients are absorbed. Be careful not to over mix in this process- use the mixer to mix the flour or the milk until they are just absorbed before alternating to the next ingredient. Again, scrape the bowl as necessary to make sure all of the ingredients at the bottom of the bowl are being absorbed into the batter. Set aside.
  5. Get out your hand mixer and a separate metal bowl for the egg whites. Beat the egg whites on medium-high speed for a few minutes, or until stiff peaks form.
  6. Use a spatula and take about 1/4 of the egg whites and gently start to fold them into the batter. Add the remaining egg whites and fold with a spatula until just combined. Add the sprinkles to the batter and divide as evenly as you can amongst the three cake pans.
  7. Bake the cakes for 35-40 minutes (for us this was 37 minutes exactly). You will know the cakes are ready when you can insert a toothpick into the center of the cake and it comes out clean or with just a few crumbs on it. When the cakes have finished baking, remove them from the oven and onto a cooling rack. When the cakes are cool enough to touch the pans with your bare hands, remove them from the baking pans and onto parchment paper. You can make this easier by running a paring knife around the rims of each of the cakes to help loosen them from the pan.
  8. Allow the cakes to cool completely before frosting them.

Directions for the Frosting:

  1. In your stand mixer, beat the butter and salt on medium-high speed until creamy. Add the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time (this will prevent powdered sugar from being all over your kitchen) to the bowl. Mix until combined before adding the next cup. Repeat until all of the sugar has been added.
  2. With the mixer on medium-high speed, add the heavy cream 1 tbs at time, until all of the heavy cream has been added. Divide the batter between two bowls.
  3. Use a paring knife to scrape the vanilla beans out of the pod. Add the vanilla bean paste and 1 tbs vanilla extract to half of the batter. Use your hand mixer to make sure everything is well blended together. This will be the frosting for the outside of the cake.
  4. In the second bowl, add 1 tbs almond extract and 1 tbs vanilla extract to the bowl. Use the hand mixer to combine. This will be the frosting for the inside of the cake.
  5. When the cakes have completely cooled, use a long serrated knife to even out the tops of each of the cake. Here is a link for a great tutorial on how to do this successfully. If you have extra time to spare, refrigerating the cakes at this point is a great way to make your icing process easier, but it isn’t necessary. Place one of the evened cake layers on a serving platter. Use a piping bag and a large round piping tip (an 880 for example) to pipe a full, even layer of the almond frosting onto the cake layer. We prefer to do this cake as a “naked cake” so the thick frosting in the center is a must! Use a small, offset spatula to even out the frosting on the first cake layer before adding the second cake. Repeat the piping and evening out of the frosting on top of the second layer before adding the third and final layer to the top of the cake.
  6. Use an offset spatula, and the second (vanilla bean) bowl of frosting, to decorate the outside of the cake. Again, we have chosen to do a naked cake, where only half of the frosting is necessary. Carefully use the spatula to fill in the gaps between layers and to create a thin, crumb coat of frosting on the outside of the cake. For an easy tutorial, click the link here.
  7. After you have finished decorating the cake with frosting, use sprinkles and decorate the outside for your desired look.