Monday, October 31, 2011

October Baketogether: Spiced Coffee Cake + Cocoa Streusel + Chocolate

Spiced Coffee Cake + Cocoa Streusel + Chocolate
Streusel has been a stumbling block.

There’s the messy factor of all those crumbs showering about, landing on your chin or clothing. (But don’t mistake me for a neat freak.)

And while I love cinnamon, sugar, flour and butter, I don’t enjoy them so much on top of a cake. (Or an apple pie, come to think of it.)

So, yes, the streusel appeal (like Broadway musicals) has been lost on me, which I realize sounds a bit un-American.

I was rehashing all this to my husband and before I could finish he said, “I like coffee cake. I like streusel.” He also enjoys musicals.

Abby Dodge’s Classic Sour Cream Coffee Cake for the October Baketogether challenge was too appealing to ignore — a richly spiced cake moist with tangy sour cream. I most definitely like cake. As for the streusel ribbon and topping, I thought I could work with it.

Here’s what I did:
• I substituted about 2 T. cocoa powder for cinnamon in the streusel. (Is it no longer streusel without cinnamon?) Warm spices take so nicely to chocolate — chocolate chips, glazes and frostings with spice cake, pumpkin bread, pumpkin cookies. Love it.

• I added chopped dark chocolate to melt into the streusel mixture.

• For the cake batter, I used 2 t. of mixed pumpkin pie spices instead of the cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves called for in the recipe. This move was purely one of convenience on my part, but I liked the result.

• I used less streusel on top of the cake, not wanting to overdo it. Next time, I will use it all, but probably swirl through the batter a bit more.

Stumbling block removed to streusel success. Thanks, Abby, for organizing #Baketogether and offering a new recipe for my files.

Spiced Coffee Cake with Cocoa Streusel and Chocolate
adapted from Abby Dodge

Chocolate Streusel
2/3 cup (4 5/8 ounces) firmly packed dark brown sugar
3/4 cup ( 3 3/8ounces) all purpose flour
2 good tablespoons cocoa
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

2 cups (9 ounces) all purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spices
1/2 teaspoon table salt
8 tablespoons (4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups (8 3/4 ounces) firmly packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup sour  cream, at room temperature
3 to 4 oz. dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces

To make the streusel:
In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, flour and cocoa. Drizzle over the melted butter. Using a fork (or use your fingers), mix the ingredients until they are well blended and form small crumbs. Place in the refrigerator while cake is prepared.

To make the cake:
Position an oven rack in the center of the oven. Heat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease and flour the sides and bottom of a 9 x 2-inch square baking pan.

Combine the flour, baking soda, salt and spices in a medium bowo. Whisk until well blended. Cream butter, sugar and vanilla in a large bowl with an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat at medium speed until well blended, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape the bowl and beaters as needed. Add about half of the flour mixture and mix on low speed just until blended. Add the sour cream and mix just until blended. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the remaining flour mixture.

Scrape half of the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Evenly scatter half of the streusel mixture over the batter. Sprinkle half of the chocolate pieces over the streusel. Spoon the remaining batter evenly over the streusel and spread evenly. Scatter the remaining streusel and chocolate pieces evenly over the top.

Bake until the top is browned and a pick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, 43  to 45 minutes. Cool the pan on a wire rack until warm or room temperature.


  1. So you already know I like the addition of chocolate in this cake. Adding it to the streusel was a great idea! Your cake looks yummy!

  2. Thanks, Deb. I knew you'd approve of the chocolate!


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