Sunday, 27 January 2013

Pull Apart Coffee Cake

Um...where's my piece of cake?

 I received a complaint this week and it went something like this.

Dear Wife

Would it kill you to use sugar and butter in your baking recipes once in a while. I mean come on, it's a cookie for goodness sake, what part of sweet treat don't you understand?


Admittedly, he was some what more subtle in his message, but although the mouth was trying to wrap the complaint in a compliment, the eyes were saying the above. Truth be told, my baking mojo has been a bit off lately with cookies and cakes coming out tasting more like something produced by your local kindergartner during sand play. So although I will never make following a recipe whose only goal is to see me forever wearing elasticated pants while navigating the streets in my motorized arm chair, a permanent thing, I did go ahead and bake this cake to it's full sugar and butter potential. A reset of sorts. This cake is basically a giant doughnut, no, lot's of mini doughnuts stuck together. Heck who cares, it tastes like doughnuts, but without the deep fat frying. It is wonderful. As we sat around the table, ummmming with pleasure, Tim (fully embracing his opportunity to be smug) turned to me and said, 'You see, everything's better with sugar and butter'. Damn it, I hate it when he's right.

 Pull Apart Coffee Cake adapted from

1 envelope active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (100° to 110°F)
1 cup milk
1/4 cup butter OR margarine
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 to 2 cups all-purpose flour ( I needed less than a cup, so add slowly)

Sugar Blend:
1 cup sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts (super finely chopped!)

1/2 cup butter OR margarine, melted
Dissolve yeast in warm water in a small bowl. Let rest 5 minutes. 
Heat milk and butter until warm (100° to 110°F). Combine yeast, milk mixture, whole wheat flour, sugar and salt in a large mixer bowl. Beat on medium speed with electric mixer for 2 minutes. Gradually add enough all-purpose flour until soft dough forms.
 Knead on a lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic (about 4 to 6 minutes). Place in a greased bowl, turning once to coat. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place about 1-1/2 hours, until doubled.
Generously grease a fluted tube pan. Punch dough down and divide in half. Form 24 small balls of dough from each half.

 Mix together sugar, cinnamon and walnuts. Dip balls in melted butter and roll in sugar and nut mixture; place in pan. Combine leftover butter and sugar mixture and pour over dough.
Cover and let rise for 45 minutes or until doubled. Bake in preheated 375°F oven for 35 to 40 minutes. Immediately invert pan onto plate and allow to rest 1 minute before removing pan. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.

I know, a ridiculous amount of sugar and butter, but being a good wife means throwing the husband a bone every now and then, this time it just happened to taste like doughnuts. 

Due to technical difficulties (we ate it all!) I am unable to show you a picture of our cake. Here however is the cake in all it's sugary glory courtesy of 

Amazingly, two of those nuggets of joy are only 170 calories and 6g of fat. Not great, but as sugary treats go, not terrible either.

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