Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Cherry Streusel Coffee Cake

I've been missing all June and I don't really have any excuse except to say that I just needed some 'time-out'. I can't even blame the summer heat anymore, 'cause the monsoon rains have arrived. And they haven't just arrived, they have thundered in and shown their might. The northern Indian state of Uttarakhand has borne the worst with unprecedented landslides and flooding. A thought and prayer for all the flood victims and a salute to our armed forces for their relentless recue efforts!!

As for the rest of India, we've also been getting more than our fair share of rains this month. And whether it is a lashing downpour or a persistent drizzle, on days like these it makes sense to stay at home and snuggle up with a good book by the window. And what's perfect to go with a good book, by the window, on a rainy day?? Why, a hot cup of coffee and some cake, of course!!

And that prompted me to make this coffee cake. A coffee cake is a regular butter cake that has a distinctive streusel topping. And no, it doesn't have coffee in it but rather implies that this is a cake that should be served along with a cup of coffee!! How's that for some baking trivia for your day?!

Its stone fruit season and there aren't too many recipes that work with fresh cherries apart from clafoutis and pie. That's when I decided to add a layer of fresh cherries, right beneath the streusel. The streusel is a combination of walnuts, cinnamon and chocolate chips. Although since I didn't have chocolate chips, I went with chocolate chunks. And while the chunks tasted great, they didn't really help with the visual appeal of the streusel layer!

So, this is not a good looking cake but don't judge the book by its cover. The fresh, juicy cherries, the toasted walnuts, the chocolate and the cinnamon, all complement and heighten the flavour profile of this moist, buttery cake and give you something new with every bite. This cake is open to adaptation - get imaginative with the streusel layer, leave out the cherries if you can't find any or try another fruit, plums maybe?! The cake engages your palate just as the page-turner that you read alongside, engages your imagination.

As for me, I'll get back to the book that has me completely engrossed. I'm currently reading, Khaled Hosseini's "And The Mountains Echoed". What's been occupying your book shelf lately?? Tell me!

Cherry Streusel Coffee Cake

Adapted from Joy of Baking recipe given here

Makes one 6-inch round cake or one 8x3x2-inch loaf cake

For the streusel layer
  • 1/4 cup walnuts 
  • 1/8 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon all purpose flour

For the cake
  • (1/2 + 1/3) cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 90 mls yoghurt
  • 1 cup pitted and chopped cherries
  • Pre-heat the oven at 180 deg C. Grease and line the baking tin.
  • Toast the walnuts lightly and chop them roughly. Let it cool. Then combine all the ingredients for the streusel in a bowl and keep aside.
  • In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and keep aside.
  • In another bowl, beat the butter until softened and creamy, for about a minute.
  • Add the sugar and beat for 3-4 minutes until light and fluffy.
  • Add the egg and beat until the egg is properly combined. Beat in the vanilla extract.
  • Add the flour mixture (3 additions) and yoghurt (2 additions) alternately to the mixture, starting and ending with the flour. Mix only until combined.
  • Spoon half the batter into the tin. Scatter half the cherries and half the streusel over the batter. Then top it with the remaining batter and cherries and streusel.
  • Bake for 40-50 minutes until the cakes leaves the sides of the tin and a skewer comes out clean from the middle of the cake.
  • Remove from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes before removing from the tin. Best served warm.


  1. Im totally making this.. I have a batch of frozen cherries -- frozen because the batch was so huge I didnt know what to do with more than half of the cherries after I had used up some!

    I just finished reading The F Word by Mita Kapur. A food memoir, light and very foodie-like. So much so that I dont think a non-foodie will enjoy it.

    I've now started reading Essays in Love by Alain de Botton.. Intense but so gorgeously thought provoking!

    Its good to have you back :)

    1. Ooo.. essays in love comes highly recommended by a friend. I have been wanting to read it forever... I need to track down that book NOW!

      I hear you about a foodie book that only a foodie will enjoy.. I felt the same about the book 'eat my globe' by simon majumdar.. got a bit too much!! Although I do want to read one of Anthony Bourdain's books!!

  2. Oh my god, this looks gorgeous, I will definitely try this. Well, will aim for this weekend. Will let you know how that goes.

    Did have a question, what can I substitute the egg with? APple sauce? or increase yogurt.

    For my book shelf, I am engrossed in Pillars of Earth by Ken Folett, its a lovely read and sets me back in time!

    1. hey hey Garima!! Good to see you here!! :) Honestly, I know of a lot of egg substitutions.. like the ones you mentioned.. but I am not confident of the substitutions.. I don't yet have a fool proof one!! If you want to make a cake... an eggless one.. can I suggest this one instead... .. a lot of people have tried and have been happy with it!! Its a really easy one.. its the same one that taskar made for your birthday!!

      And talking about 'Pillars of Earth'.. my sister just left me that book to read!! :)

  3. Great pictures and recipe!! thanks for sharing! Lately I've been reading in French, just because I really have to get better at it!!

    1. Thanks Mireis! In!! Sometimes I wish I had been more serious in learning a foreign language.. it opens up a whole new area of literature.. reading in the original language beats the translation anyday!!

  4. This is a totally good looking cake! And even though I don't drink coffee I can have it any time of the day and night. :)

    1. haha.. thanks sweetie!! I guess then I'll just send some over to you!!

  5. As much as happiness and joy Indian Monsoon brings, it also brings in tears, almost always. It's so hot out here and so dry :( I miss Indian Monsoon, trust me! And that cake looks lovely!

    1. I was so cranky and crabby all through the summer.. I cant tell you the sense of relief that came with the first rains! Despite all the messiness, I love the monsoons!! they make me happy!!

  6. Baker In Disguise has done the impossible . . . . it has even taken me to the oven! This is the second recipe I tried form the blog and its turned out yum, the pictures are nowhere close of course, and the inside of my cake was much darker. Though I felt it had risen much (to be fair it was weighed down by two heavy layers of streusel) it felt very soft and spongey to eat so in retrospect maybe there wasnt that much dough to begin with. This cake has it all, its crunchy, sweet, fruity, soft and generally delish. My hubby couldnt stop chomping away, had to finally prise the loaf off him! Gonna try all the other tea cake type recipes now, those are my favourite!

    1. 'Scryptic'!! Thank you so much for a fantastic comment.. am glad you enjoyed the cake.. don't worry about the colour.. slight variation will happen as ingredients in different countries will vary results!! as long you and your hubby enjoyed it.. that's all that matters!! Now I look forward to your verdict on the other recipes!! :))


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