The very first thing I do each morning (after hoping it’s not time to get up) is get the coffee brewing. This ritual has been happening for years, and of course for years before I was born. It’s a bit strange how we have taken this bean and turned it into one of the major crops of the world, something many of us long to drink each day.
Sometimes it’s more about the ritual itself than the drink. Grinding the beans and letting the fragrance escape into the air. The water bubbling. The warmth and comfort felt when wrapping hands around a favorite mug. A drinkable hug.
My love for coffee extends beyond the drink and often takes to desserts (though coffee is also excellent for meats like coffee-rubbed steak), especially when combined with chocolate. Peppermint mocha cupcakes, anyone?
Lately though, I’ve been thinking about how I could get more coffee into my breakfasts without just downing an entire pot before the eggs are ready. Enter this decadent and highly buzzed espresso streusel coffee cake.
My coffee cakes usually have fruit in them as in apple coffee cake, but truth be told my favorite coffee cake is the simple cinnamon streusel variety. What better way to punch up that classic recipe than with a hefty dose of espresso? I used instant espresso in the batter, filling, and streusel for a real caffeinated punch. You can of course reduce the amount of espresso, or omit the filling. There’s plenty of good things happening in the batter without it, thanks to cinnamon and cardamom.
You could use a finely ground espresso powder, available from a few specialty stores like via King Arthur Flour, or the more commonly available instant espresso coffee, which typically comes in a small jar like the Medaglia D’Oro brand. Or swap in regular ground coffee, though the flavor won’t be as strong.
This espresso streusel coffee cake is good for a crowd, so consider serving it up to your work mates or as an accompaniment to a brunch of eggs and bacon. Top with freshly whipped cream, if you like, and head into coffee-loving heaven.
For the Cake:
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
For the Filling:
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon cardamom
For the Topping:
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 9-inch springform pan and set aside.
- To make the cake, cream together butter and 3/4 cup sugar until light and fluffy, then beat in eggs one at a time. Beat in vanilla and yogurt.
- In another bowl, mix together 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour, 2 tablespoons instant espresso, baking powder, baking soda, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon cardamom, and salt. Mix into the wet ingredients until fully incorporated. The batter will be a bit thicker than standard cake batter.
- In a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar, 1 teaspoon instant espresso, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/8 teaspoon cardamom.
- In another bowl, mix together 1/2 cup all purpose flour, 1/2 cup sugar, and 1 tablespoon instant espresso. Mix in the melted butter with a fork until blended and clumps form. Use the tines of the fork to make the mixture quite clumpy.
- Spoon half the cake batter in the prepared pan. Spoon the brown sugar mixture over the top, then add the remaining cake batter. Scatter the crumble over the top of the cake.
- Bake for about 50 minutes, until cake is pulling away from the edges of the pan and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cuisinart Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls
Le Creuset Revolution Spatula