Coffee Coffee Cake with Nutella Streusel
When First Time’s a Charm
I’m so happy to finally share with you this recipe for the softest coffee cake. It took me three times to do it and ironically, third time wasn’t a charm. Charm was the first one.
When I first created this coffee cake recipe it was perfect and everyone around here loved it. I wanted to finally put coffee in a coffee cake so that everything makes sense in the world, and I wanted some traditional coffee cake flavors but with Nutella. That’s why this is not just filled with Nutella, it’s a Nutella streusel, even with pecans, cinnamon and flour to make it sturdier. The smell on my home that day was so warm and spicy. It was a delicious sensation even in a hot summer afternoon.
When it was time to take the pictures though, the light was not on my side that morning. I took some pictures and they were not the best. I thought on playing it hard during editing but, for better or worse, I knew it would tank on Instagram with all the control over the engagement they’re having lately. I’m not necessarily proud of this decision I have to admit. But on the other hand, it’s pretty frustrating to create a recipe that you know works beautifully and that people couldn’t learn about it because the picture didn’t perform well on social media. It’s the conundrum we food bloggers are having right now.
Anyhow, this coffee cake is so simple and made with pantry ingredients that I decided to make it again later. Ambition yet again took the best of me when, because I wanted a tall Bundt and not the petite one I got before, I duplicated the recipe and decreased the leaveners in an amount not enough to prevent the cake from spilling out of the pan. I swear that to this day, every time I turn that oven on it smells like cinnamon and coffee, even if I thoroughly cleaned it right away (thoroughly it’s maybe too generous, but you know it was good enough). The sad thing was that it was even moister than the first one.
Moving along, here comes the third one, which is this beauty I’m showing here. I decided to go with a traditional square 8 x 8 cake pan and that worked very well. But again, my experimental spirit decided to alter one of the steps, resulting in a change of flavor from the previous versions. On the first two, I added the coffee granules once the batter was mixed, yielding a beige crumb with speckles of coffee and a subtle coffee flavor. In the third round, I mixed the coffee with the dry ingredients so when I mixed the wet ones the coffee dissolved, yielding a darker crumb and a more robust coffee cake. Both versions are delicious but I preferred the first one, maybe because that was the recipe that got away. So you can choose how to mix the coffee depending on how much you love that coffee flavor.
And about the pictures, these are definitely much better than the first ones. Don't know what their story will be on Instagram because that’s a surprise these days. I’m trying to find a happy medium between taking time to create beautiful food photos and actually experimenting in the kitchen and developing recipes for you guys, which is and always will be my first love and joy. If I’m doing a recipe three times I want it to be because I’m perfecting the recipe, not for the pictures. I miss taking ingredients and procedure shots as well, mainly because I prepare things the night before so I have time to create the pictures the next morning. And I miss writing posts like this one, where my mind is fresh and I can tell you about my experience with the recipe and some happenings around it. But today I started writing early on the afternoon, when my mind was lightly caffeinated and the sun still brightened my room. A few hours have passed since and now the only thing illuminating me is my screen light, because I’m so inspired I’ve been writing non-stop. I want those days back.
1. For this recipe you may use a traditional Bundt pan as well as I did on my forst attempt.
2. As mentioned above, add the coffee granules at the end for coffee speckles on the batter and a subtler coffee flavor or mix it with the dry ingredients so they dissolve with the wet ingredients for a darker crumb and stronger coffee flavor. I’m writing the recipe following the first option.
3. When assembling the cake be careful to swirl too much the Nutella streusel. The idea is for it to stay in the middle as much as possible.
Coffee Coffee Cake with Nutella Streusel
Nutella – ¾ cup
Cinnamon – 1 Tsp
Brown Sugar (optional) – ½ TBSP
Coffee Granules – ½ Tsp
Unbleached all-purpose flour – 3 TBSP
Pecans, roughly chopped or whole – ½ cup
Unbleached all-purpose flour – 2 ⅓ cup
Baking soda- ½ Tsp
Fine sea salt – 1 Tsp
“Grass-feed” butter – 2 sticks
Eggs, at room temperature – 3
Coconut milk – 6 oz.
Instant coffee granules – 2 TBSP
Greek vanilla yogurt – 4 oz.
For an 8 x 8 or Bundt cake pan
Total time - 1 hour and 15 minutes Active time - 20 minutes
Equipment - Stand mixer or hand-held mixer, bowls
To make the coffee cake: Preheat oven to 350°. Grease with butter or with plenty of baking spray an 8 x 8 cake pan or Bundt pan.
In a medium bowl mix all the ingredients for the Nutella streusel. Set aside.
In another medium to large bowl whisk flour, baking soda and salt.
Put the butter either in the bowl of a stand up mixer or in a large glass or stainless steel bowl. Beat the butter in medium speed with the beater attachment or a hand-held mixer with the beaters on for about 3 minutes, until the butter is pale and fluffy. Gradually add the sugar and beat for about 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time and waiting for one to start incorporating before adding the next one.
Decrease speed to low. Add about ⅓ of the flour mixture and wait until it’s almost incorporated to add half of the milk. Repeat this process with the remaining flour and milk. Stop beating when you end up mixing the last portion of the flour. Using a rubber large spatula or wooden spoon mix in by hand the yogurt and then the coffee granules until well combined.
Pour half of the batter on your pan. Spoon through the top of the batter the Nutella and barely swirl it through, making sure you don't mix too much the Nutella into the batter. Pour on the remaining batter on top.
Place pan on the oven and wait 5 minutes. Decrease oven temperature to 325° and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean of batter when you pierce the cake. Wait a few minutes before flipping into a plate and placing it over a cooling rack. Let it cool down before cutting.
I made a simple glaze by mixing sifted powdered sugar with a bit of coconut milk but you just can sprinkle some powdered sugar on top. If you want to make a glaze for this cake check my post on “How to Make a Simple Glaze”.