Spring break is over and you’re back to the daily grind. Your normal routine has once again taken over your life. Although you knew something so wonderful could not last forever, and you’d inevitably be thrown back into the necessary, you still can’t believe how fast your break flew by. It was too good to last. Why is it that when you’re at such places as work or school, time moves so slowly? Yet when encountered in fun situations, as in weekends and breaks, time moves so fast it gets away from us? You ponder this as reality sinks in. Gone are the days of waking up late and not following a schedule. Of not having to get up at a certain time to do something you didn’t want to do. Of being forced to be a grown up and make decisions you’re not ready to make. You take with you the moments of happiness when you had your full day ahead with nothing to do but to relax and finally enjoy yourself. A week we like to call spring break to make school bearable for the next month or so. Outings to the beach, picnics at the park, road trips with friends, gatherings with family, and random trips to the movies are now just distant memories from the past.
On the morning of the first day back to reality, you muster up all your strength and force yourself out of bed. Only the prospect of a full day awaits you now and you begin to tell yourself that you can get through anything. You must. So you lazily and half-heartedly pull yourself together and look at the calendar hanging on the back of your bedroom door. Searching for the next break, holiday, or vacation. You’ll settle for anything at this point. You scour the weeks, that make up the month of April, yearning for some sort of relief. With no luck in sight, you settle for the coming weekend and tell yourself that two days are better than none. You shower, get dressed, and prepare yourself mentally. See? This isn’t so bad. Suddenly you realize you’ve taken too much time getting ready and complaining that you’re running late. One last look, you turn off the light, and rush downstairs.
You ponder. Leave and begin the day on the wrong foot with an empty stomach? Or risk the chance of being a couple minutes late so that you can fill your tummy? “I’ll focus better and be more alert if I eat something,” you convince yourself. Searching through the pantry, cupboards and fridge you think of all the prospects. Cereal sounds good, with ice cold milk. But no, not today. You’d have to grab a bowl from way over there and dirty a spoon. Too many steps for your brain to process at the moment. You have more important things to focus on. Granola bar, now that’s fast and convenient. Nah, you don’t feel like being healthy today. “I’ll start my healthy choices tomorrow. Tomorrow for sure.” And just when you’re about to give up all hope and forget all about breakfast, the corner of your eye catches something. A crystal cake stand, that you’ve never noticed before. Or at least not recently. You walk slowly toward it marveling at the treasure inside. You lift the heavy glass lid and are instantly hit with the aroma of cinnamon and spice, and what you discern as everything nice. Why, someone has left this wonderfully smelling streusel coffee cake for you to devour. For you to enjoy. Now isn’t that nice? Help yourself. Don’t mind if you do. You cut a giant slice and rush out the door. Now you’re ready for school. Now you’re more than prepared to make it through the day. By the look of the cake, and the smile on your face, it looks like you’re more than prepared to make it through the week; cake in hand
First thing we have to do is create the streusel filling and topping.
In a food processor, throw in the pecans.
Pulse a few times just to break them down slightly.
Next up are the oats.
Drop them into the bowl along with the pecans, and give it a pulse to mix.
Dump the chopped oats and pecans into a mixing bowl so you can stir in the remaining ingredients for the streusel.
Add the rest of the dry ingredients.
Brown Sugar Flour
What makes streusels and crumbs so perfect and tasty?
That’s right, butter.
Butter makes everything better.
Using a fork or pastry blender cut in the butter into the dry ingredients.
If the fork or pastry blender isn’t working for you, just switch to your hands.
They’re the best tools for anything in the kitchen.
Blend the butter and the dry ingredients until the streusel mixture resembles course crumbs the size of peas.
You know what? I don’t think there is enough cinnamon.
As you all know I love cinnamon, and I can’t get enough of it so I’m going to add a lot more.
You feel free to add as much as you’d like.
Give it a mix.
And look, guess who’s back!!
Piggy Wiggy is back.
Okay, so once the cinnamon is mixed and the streusel is done set it to the side and begin the cake batter.
Start the batter by dropping in the softened butter into a large mixing bowl.
Add the granulated sugar.
Turn on the mixer on medium and cream together until the butter and sugar is light and fluffy, about 8-10 minutes.
While the butter and sugar are creaming together, combine the dry ingredients.
In a medium bowl, add the flour.
To the flour add the rest of the ingredients.
Baking Powder Baking Soda
Salt Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Allspice
Dry Ingredients Mix
Set the dry ingredients aside, and direct your attention back to the creaming butter and sugar.
Add the eggs one at a time. Mixing well after each addition.
Give it a good mix and add the vanilla extract.
Next, add the dry ingredients alternating with the buttermilk.
Make sure to start and end with the dry ingredients.
Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, frequently, to allow for even mixing.
Now that the batter is done, get the baking pan ready.
I’m using a bundt cake pan, but you can definitely use a 9×13 rectangle, or a tube pan, or even make them into cupcakes.
I think the bundt pan looks and works perfectly here, so that’s what I’m using.
Butter and flour you vessel of choice.
If you are using a fluted bundt pan, make sure to reach every crevasse, nook and cranny. If you miss any, the cake can stick to it and make it harder to invert later on.
Start by pouring in half of the batter.
Next, sprinkle half of the streusel mixture on top.
Enjoy the yummy rainfall making sure to fully cover the first layer of batter.
Repeat the last two steps.
Pour the rest of the batter on top.
Lastly, sprinkle the remaining streusel mixture.
Make sure you throw in every last bit, don’t waste any!
Bake the cake in a 350° oven for about 45 minutes-1 hour.
Rotate the pan halfway through baking, to ensure even cooking.
You’ll know the cake is done if you insert a toothpick in the center and it comes out clean. When the cake is done remove from the oven and allow to cool on a rack.
Before even thinking about inverting the cake from the pan, make sure it has cooled for at least 10 minutes
If you try to remove the cake too soon, it will break apart and split down the middle.
Not a pretty sight.
Once the cake is cooled, and it is ready to be inverted, run a knife along the sides to loosen it up.
Place a serving tray, platter, or plate over the pan and quickly flip them both over.
Give the pan a light tap and the cake should come right off.
Now that the cinnamon streusel coffee cake is finally done, serve yourself a piece. What are you waiting for?
You have to enjoy it, after all you took all that time to make it. Go ahead, cut a piece.
Once you devour your first piece, I give you permission to cut yourself another slice.
Why not? Might as well.
This cake is nothing but pure deliciousness. Take my advice and cut yourself a piece and then go hide the rest. Or put it away from you line of vision.
If you just leave it on the counter, you’ll want to eat a slice every time you pass by it. Believe me, I speak from experience. Which isn’t a bad thing I guess. Wait, why am I complaining? Eat it all!! Cake is good.
Go on and make it right this instant. While you’re at it share some with me.
Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake
Yield: Enough for 1 bundt cake.
Don’t have a bundt pan? Make it in a 9×13 rectangle pan, tube pan, two 9-inch circles, or 24 cupcakes.
For the Streusel Filling and Topping:
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 cup pecans, chopped
- 1/2 cup of oatmeal
- 4 teaspoons cinnamon
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 teaspoons cinnamon
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
Pre-heat oven to 350°.
Butter and flour a 10-inch tube pan or Bundt Pan. Set aside.
To make the streusel filling and topping: in a small bowl combine the butter, flour, brown sugar, nuts, oats, and cinnamon. Using a pastry blender, a fork, or your hands, mix until crumbly. Set streusel aside while you make the batter.
To make batter: in a bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat together the butter and granulated sugar on medium-low speed until creamy, 8-10 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, stirring well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Add the dry ingredients in 3 batches alternatively with the buttermilk just until the batter is blended and almost smooth. Starting and ending with the dry ingredients.
Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan and and smooth the surface with a rubber spatula. Sprinkle, evenly, half of the streusel filling. Cover with the remaining batter and sprinkle with the remaining streusel.
Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 45 minutes – 1 hour, depending on your oven. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool on the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out of the pan and let cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month. Enjoy!