It’s been a week since we took down our Christmas tree and put away our decorations, but I can’t help but miss the piney scent of the Douglas Fir in our living room and the warm twinkle of our old-time bulb lights winding up the staircase. I hate to admit it, but I’m having trouble getting into 2012. I’m at a new juncture in my life—I moved back home, got married, and am on the brink of staring my own personal chef business—but I can’t seem to get moving in any particular direction.
It’s driving me crazy.
I’m a woman on a mission. A man with a plan. A bull on the warpath. But not today. For some reason, I’m stuck in a rut. That’s not to say I’m worried. These things pass. And in a few days I know I’ll have a master plan cooked up, goals written down, and a path to trot on. But until then, I’m busy quietly reflecting on the future, and doing my damndest not to eat this entire Cinnamon-Pecan Coffee Cake in one sitting.
The first time I made this sour cream coffee cake, I made it for a family friend who had recently lost her mother. As it baked, the smell of spicy-sweet cinnamon perfumed the house, and I found myself drooling while I worked upstairs in my office. After it cooled I drizzled on the cinnamon-spiked vanilla glaze, and it took an insane amount of self-control not to hoard the cake for myself and eat it all right then and there.
So, since I didn’t get to taste it the first time, I made it again for Doug and I. This amazing coffee cake tastes just as good as it smells: out of this world. Sour cream added to the cake batter means it’s incredibly moist; the pecan-cinnamon-and-brown sugar swirl layered into the cake melts into the batter, giving it a satisfying texture and mouthfeel; and the cinnamon glaze drizzled on top adds that sugary sweetness that makes coffee cake such a guilty pleasure.
This coffee cake comes from the Kiss My Bundt cookbook, which I also used to make my Red Velvet Bundt Cake—one of my all-time favorites. I can now officially say that this book is definitely worth the $10 investment. If you love baking big bundts, this book is for you. Click the link above to purchase it on Amazon. Happy eating!
Cinnamon-Pecan Coffee Cake
This recipe comes from Kiss My Bundt: Recipes From the Award-Winning Bakery, by Chrysta Wilson. You can serve it plain or with the cinnamon sugar glaze included below. Click here to download a printable copy of this recipe.
For the Cake:
2 tsp. vanilla extract
¼ c. whole milk
1¾ c. sour cream
3 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
¾ tsp. fine salt
¾ c. (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter
1 c. granulated white sugar
½ c. packed brown sugar
3 eggs, room temperature
For the Swirl:
¾ c. pecans, finely chopped
1½ c. packed brown sugar
3 Tbs. cinnamon
For the Glaze:
1 tsp. cinnamon
¾ tsp. vanilla extract
1½ c. powdered sugar, sifted
2-3 Tbs. milk
- Preheat the oven to 350˚F. In a small bowl, stir together the vanilla, milk, and sour cream. Set aside.
- In a small bowl mix the swirl ingredients. Set aside.
- Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Set aside.
- Using an electric mixer, beat the butter on medium-low while slowly adding the sugars. Continue to beat until mixture if fluffy, about 3 minutes.
- Crack eggs into a separate bowl and add to the batter one at a time, beating well after each addition. Then, beat on medium speed for an additional 2 minutes.
- Beginning and ending with the flour, add 1/3 of the flour into the wet mixture followed by ½ of the milk and sour cream mixture, alternating until all ingredients have been mixed, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally.
- Pour 1/3 of the batter into a big ol’ bundt pan that has been coated with baker’s cooking spray that contains flour (or greased and floured).
- Sprinkle ½ of the swirl on top of the batter. Add an additional 1/3 of the batter and repeat adding swirl. Top with remaining batter.
- Bake in the center of the oven until an inserted toothpick or cake test comes out clean, about 55 minutes. (The swirl becomes wet during the baking, so be sure to stick your tester into the batter, not the swirl.)
- Invert the cake on a cooling rack or serving plate. If cake resists, cool in pan for 15 minutes before inverting. (If cake still resists, cool an additional 15 minutes in the pan. Cool completely before glazing, at least 1 hour.
- For the glaze: In a small mixing bowl combine vanilla, cinnamon, and powdered sugar. Using a whisk, add milk 1 tbsp. at a time until powdered sugar is completely dissolved and mixture is just thin enough to pour over cooled cake.