The Best Coffee Cake Ever!
I know, saying The Best Coffee Cake Ever! is subjective…until you try this coffeecake. So much topping over a dough lightened from folding in egg whites. The perfect companion to your morning cup of coffee.
I’ve shared with you the journey I’ve taken as we give my daughter Emily’s condo kitchen a mini makeover featuring a fabulous new faucet from Delta Faucet. First we chose the one best suited for her taste and then last month we shared a Pinterest board with some of our design ideas.
This month it’s all about the reveal; the evidence of before, during and after; the most exciting part!
That made me think about how I have a tendency to do before and after efforts with old blog posts too.
I’ll revisit something I’ve made in the past and while I still love the recipe, some of those older efforts at photography just do not cut it so I make sure to take a new set of photos for the blog.
In some cases, like today, I’ll share the entire post knowing that something I posted a couple of years ago was pretty much invisible to the public at large and deserved to be shared.
Today my companion food for the kitchen reveal is this fabulous coffee cake. What about it makes it so fabulous? Everything!!
For our kitchen project, we started with a basic galley kitchen with counters on both sides of the space. I had hoped our efforts would gain Emily some organization and some additional storage space and thus open up her counters more for workspace.
I do believe we’ve done just that; I can’t deny I love it too.
I’m currently doing most of the cooking for my blog in Emily’s kitchen (fingers crossed I will be in my own new home in November!) so I can attest to how much nicer this is; just a couple of open areas for work have made a huge difference.
What did we do?
Here are the ‘Before’ photos we took of the space. I asked Emily to just have it be cleaned up but normal and you can see that normal leaves little counter top space for doing any work.
Lack of cabinet space saw her putting lots on the counter and in some cases storing seldom used items on the top of her counters which was, well…counter un-productive!
An overly large dish drainer (I do love one too but her’s was verging on Amazon woman proportions) took up more space that I thought could be made more user friendly with some changes.
Her sink was actually in good enough shape but the hard water in her condo left it always marred with hard water spots. Our plan was to replace the sink with a composite material to hide the spots better (and give her a better layout; none of her big pans fit in those half sink sections).
Additionally we wanted to devise a method for spice storage that we could put on the wall above the sink making them more convenient and as a huge bonus open up a lot of cabinet space for storage.
We did hire someone to install the new sink and faucet. I’m handy but I have an aversion to scooting under the sink; call it a bit of claustrophobia…plus we figured someone knowledgeable could do this in two hours and it would probably take Emily and I two days!
The Cassidy with Touch20 technology does have a bit more to consider for installation but it’s pretty straightforward and we were both excited when it was done and it worked!
Touch it. Water goes on. Touch it again, Water goes off.
And so on; always turning on to the water temperature setting you have the handle position set for. I kiddingly call it the ‘chicken cutting faucet’ because you never again have to touch something with hands that HAVE to be washed before you touch anything with them. Nice, huh?
We bought a Sandstone sink and Emily LOVES it…that larger section on the left is so much handier for anyone with large cookie sheets or pans.
The faucet? When was the last time you played with a faucet anyhow? They only thing I had to get used to was it turning on when I would be wiping the surface around the base…they say touch and they aren’t kidding!
It is remarkable how one thing can spur on a mini design effort that had maximum impact. After moving her ‘gour-met’ wall hanging higher on the wall, we installed two gray metal sheets from IKEA that are attached to the walls with mollies.
Some back covers of Cooks Illustrated and both magnets and magnetic jars for spices from The Container Store finished off Em’s new spice rack.
She put a clear label on each jar and wrote the name of the spice with indelible maker on the side; most are evident of what they are but if ever not sure, she has a reference.
New storage containers for flour and sugars are now nestled with her KitchenAid mixer and Cuisinart food processor in an area to the left of the sink now labeled as her ‘Baking Station.’
On the right of the sink, the huge dish rack is gone, replaced with one both smaller and more attractive yet still functional, opening room for a small lamp that not only serves to illuminate the space but with a low wattage bulb works as a nice night light.
On the other side of the room, more storage has meant less need to use counter space for food storage of items like vinegars and oils and Emily now has room for a cutting board on one side of the stove for prep work and room on the other side that allowed us to keep her toaster oven out and some condiments and utensils.
Our final project that we’ll do in the next couple of months? Em wants a piece of wood painted with chalk paint like this to be framed and put on the door to her laundry room; it will be a great use of space for notes, shopping list, menus and more.
Saved the BEST for Last!
Without a doubt this area is the star of the show. I love it. Emily loves it. She has a new sink, new AMAZING faucet, new spice storage, new flour and sugar canisters and a new dish drainer.
But even better? She has more storage in her cabinets and more work space on her counters; you simply can not put a price tag on that!!
What’s With This Best Coffee Cake Business Then?
This was the first thing I baked in the ‘new’ kitchen; the difference in work space was wonderful and the cake lived up to expectations.
I was first introduced to it years ago when I was having coffee and thinking about what to make for a neighbor with a new baby.
I saw a tweet from The Pioneer Woman (aka Ree Drummond) that said, and I quote, “The Best Coffee Cake Ever. I say that with confidence, boldness, and crumbs all over my chin” – so of course I was intrigued…I mean everyone thinks they make the BEST ever…I typically think of my dishes as more like the Best Ever at This Moment!
I headed over to check out the post and could see why this could be the best ever. I mean…like a bit of dough with your topping?
Who hasn’t wished the piece of coffee cake they’re eating had just a bit more of that wonderful stuff crumbled on top; that magical mix of butter, brown sugar and nuts (OK, maybe a little bit of flour; but who gives flour much credit anyhow?)
I also couldn’t help but notice that egg yolks were omitted and only beaten egg whites were used…so this seemed unique enough to not compete with my Bon Appetit, church cookbook, Junior League and Nordtrom’s collection to in fact be different…but better?
We’ll see. Ree might be THE Pioneer Woman but I’m from Missouri…so Show Me!
I did a couple of things differently but nothing that would dramatically change the end result. I decided to beat the egg whites first and just transfer them to another bowl so that I could use just one mixing bowl.
Now that’s how I roll…but then I also don’t have the fancy schmancy KitchenAid electric whisk Ree used for hers.
Other than that, well, every time I’ve made it I’ve had to use a variety of nuts; this past week it was equal amounts of pecans, walnuts and almonds and I think I liked that combination better than any others I’ve tried.
Was it the BEST? Not to offend my Grandma Bathe or Stacy Hatch and her blueberry coffee cake I love, but this was hard to beat. Seriously. But how could it not be? You know that topping you always wished you had more of?
Well, this topping actually sinks under the dough lightened by egg whites and becomes the middle and then it sort of caramelizes on the bottom and you can see by the picture it is clearly a third (or more!) of this cake!
The dough is light and airy and the top gets sort of crusty and well, it was sorta perfect…great job Ree; we absolutely agree!
I planned to give this to a neighbor so was left with a conundrum of what to do. I wanted one perfect slice for a photo but let’s be honest…I mean how could I judge without having a piece for myself and experience that nirvana of crumbs all over MY chin?
So, my neighbor was delivered 3/4 of a coffee cake (this makes a HUGE coffee cake) nestled oh so decoratively in a pretty kitchen cloth as if my making it look beautifully presented REQUIRED it be set free from the pan!
So glad I saved some for me and Em…we needed to celebrate a bit after this effort!
PIN IT! ‘The Best Coffee Cake EVER!
The BEST Coffee Cake Ever
For the Cake:
- ¾ butter softened
- 2 cups sugar
- 3 cups flour sifted
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1-1/4 cup milk
- 3 whole egg whites beaten til stiff
For the Topping::
- ¾ butter softened
- ¾ cups flour
- 1-1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 Tablespoons cinnamon
- 1-1/2 cup chopped nuts I used a half cup each of pecan, walnuts and almonds
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt
- Beat egg whites and set aside
- In same mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar
- Add flour mixture and milk alternately until combined; don’t overbeat
- Fold in beaten egg whites with a rubber spatula until just incorporated
- Spread in a well-greased 9 x 13 (larger would be fine but I don’t recommend you go with anything smaller) baking pan
- In a separate bowl, combine topping ingredients with a pastry cutter until crumbly. Sprinkle all over the top
- Bake for 40 to 45 minutes til a toothpick inserted comes out clean and nicely brown on top. Mine seemed done but not brown, so I turned on convection heat for a few minutes
- Best if served warm; so for that middle of the night snack…your microwave will be your best friend!
Is the amount of butter in cake and topping 3/4#, 3/4 cup or 3/4 stick?
Oops…how did that slip by me? Its 1 1/2 sticks or 3/4 cup. I’ll fix that asap in the morning…thanks!
Oh good lord, that cake looks amazing and I love the new kitchen!
Thanks Maureen…it was pretty amazing to see how much we really could do in such a small space; sure makes my time spent there easier too!
Wow, a kitchen make-over AND yummy coffee cake? Lots of happiness. Both look lovely and I can imagine you’re having fun cooking away in this space. Thanks for sharing all your photos and this delicious recipe.
Hmmm…. where is the coffee in this coffee cake? Maybe you only drink hot water in the morning forgeting the coffee too. XD
Hehe…we call it coffee cake because it is typically a dish we would serve in the morning with coffee for breakfast. No coffee included in cake itself!
What a wonderful job you both did with Emily’s kitchen. It must be her most favourite room in her place now. I love her kitchen sink. We have hard water too and I’m forever wiping the marks left by it away! If I ever get a new sink, the one Emily has is the one for me. You will get so used to just tapping her faucet that whenever you go to someone else’s kitchen you will automatically tap! Wait until you have your own Delta Touch 2O Faucet in your new place!! My mom made a wonderful coffee cake but I believe this one of yours is just a tad bit better! Congratulations on a great and very eye-catching makeover.
We both love it! I had to actually order an upgrade for my kitchen to a Delta faucet to get the correct holes drilled. Dumb if you ask me but it’s true. Then I’ll have to take out the plain chrome one and put in mine. You might see a giveaway one day with that pup! 🙂
Hi, I live in Australia and our measurements/packaging appear rather different. What weight is a stick of butter ?? Thanks
I should have changed those dimensions a long time ago Dianne…thanks for pointing it out. In the US butter is packaged as 4 wrapped sticks to a pound so one stick is 1/4 pound, 1/2 cup or 8 Tbsp of butter. I’ve revised the ingredients list to show that measure as 3/4 cup…will that help?
This cake was not bad, but definitely is NOT the “best” coffee cake ever. The filling did not sink through the cake, but stayed on top and the sugar burned slightly on the edges. I will probably never make this cake again, but if I do, I will reduce the amount of brown sugar and flour in the topping. The cake, itself, was nice and light with a fine texture, but the topping was a dud.
Hmm, I wonder what happened Laura? I’ve made this coffee cake several times with the same results so I hate hearing it didn’t work for you. The topping co-mingling with the rest of the cake is one reason it is so good!
I love this recipe and have made it many times with pecans.
I live at 7,500 high feet and the toppings don’t sink either.
But I don’t care, still love it loads.
I love it too and am always glad to hear that one of my readers enjoyed it too…thanks!
I Love the new space and how it turned out. And you have me intrigued about the coffee cake. I don’t usually like them ( hiding)
Thank you…and Emily thanks you…I can attest to how much nicer it is. I think I’m cooking there more than her!
I’m so happy with how everything turned out. Being able to have my spices out in the open makes them easier to use (instead of digging through a cupboard) and cleared out some space in the cupboard so I could move things off of the counter. Really a win/win! And the sink and faucet upgrade are fabulous! No more leaky / spotty faucet. This is such a beautiful alternative and I’m loving it. Everything is so much more functional, it really makes me want to use it even more
So happy for you that it did turn out so well and some goals were accomplished…now I’m off to go over and make a cocktail!
I love the poster that says Gourmet. Where can I get one ( order it) from? Can you tell me the website? Thank you
I just asked Emily and she’s had it for a few years and think she got it from Homegoods which are goods from other stores inventory leftovers I think. Wish I could help more but it’s been several years.
Oh now that cake looks delicious! And Emily’s kitchen is just gorgeous!
Thanks Lizzie…we love both of them! 🙂
Such a happy post! The kitchen looks great and what a fun project to do together! and the coffee cake-Total yum!
Thanks Abbe…hoping Emily agrees! Let me get settled, I will make that coffee cake and invite you down. You’ll have to pack for an overnight. 🙂
I love a good piece of coffee cake! I find myself making it often when moms come over with their little ones to play– those get togethers are as much for the moms’ sanity as for the social time for the kids. Coffee and treats are always welcome so I will keep this recipe ready for next time. Thanks, Barb!
If I hadn’t left most of it at Emily’s I would have called you…it is absolutely perfect for a moms get together. They will love it!
Mmmm coffee cake! Yes, please! 🙂
Love the new spice “rack”! Great idea. The whole kitchen looks wonderful. And great coffee cake. I know what you mean about the need to redo old photos – it’s amazing how easy it is to take lousy photos, isn’t it? Food photography is hard. Anyway, fun post. And I do like that faucet!
I love it so much I may copy it! I know I’m putting a chalkboard on my pantry door for sure! The faucet is amazing; they were too kind too…sent me one as well for my new home…maybe I should have learned how to install it huh? Oops!
Now you’ve got me wanting a mini makeover for my kitchen! I do have a new faucet, but the countertops…well, let’s just say they could use some organization. And I love the Cook’s Illustrated covers. I’ve many times thought I should frame those and hang them. Your idea is better and I could swap them out occasionally for new ones.
Fantastic coffeecake as well, Barb. I’ve seldom seen one so loaded with nuts and streusel – always the best part. It looks to die for.
I had a whole stack that just happened to me at Emily’s; she’s now found an assortment for every season. I always wanted to use them for something and this is perfect.
I love a great coffee cake… I need to make one soon now after looking at yours! And I want a kitchen makeover – even though I have a new kitchen. Maybe I’ll settle for that great magnetic board with the spices jars? Love! And I definitely need a great new faucet like this… ours stinks!
We had an idea of what we wanted to do but no idea how and our trip to IKEA was so fruitful because those metal pieces were perfect! You should see the kitchen I’m using now…archaic is the word. Which is why I usually go to her place; especially since I’ve helped update it a bit; so much nicer!
Love Emily’s kitchen, it looks just perfect as does that delicious coffee cake. Best of luck to your daughter in her new condo!!
She might actually have a new condo; got word after this job that her entire company is moving to Nashville. Unless she finds a job here she won’t be in this kitchen. I told her she should take the faucet with her. 🙂
Coffee Cake an the new kichen!!! Oh yes 🙂 Can’t wait to see your new kitchen too!
Me either, me either, me either. It seems like a dream; the idea of being in my own home again. Please hurry and get it done…pretty please? 🙂
Emily’s kitchen just looks great! Love the spice board. Looks like both of you can cook up some masterpieces now. There is nothing better than a great coffee cake. What a perfect thing to make in this beautiful updated kitchen.
It is sort of amazing how much changed with the start of one storage solution. I think she should have one of these coffee cakes ready every time I go to use it. 🙂