What makes this a crunchy-top coffee cake, you ask? A topping made with brown sugar, butter and flour bakes to a crunchy finish and seals in a moist coffee cake that you’ll be proud to serve to guests over coffee or tea.
While it’s nice to have sweet things around when company stops by, don’t feel like you have to share it. Treat yourself to this coffee cake and savor each bite while you sip your first cup of the day. Or if you’re the generous type, gift a few slices to a neighbor or friend. (I did and my neighbors loved it.)
There’s nothing out of the ordinary in this list of ingredients. Not shown in the picture is an electric mixer used to beat the egg whites. I used a hand-held one. It’s nothing fancy or expensive but an electric mixer is a handy tool to have around.
Making the Coffee Cake
Making this coffee cake is not a difficult process, but it does have a few more steps than an average quick-break recipe. Even with a couple of extra steps, making the dough takes a little over 20 minutes. You’ll make the dough and put it in a baking dish, and then make the topping that you sprinkle on top of the dough. If you’ve never separated eggs, this site explains how to do it. Now to the steps.
The topping is super-easy. Just mix flour, baking powder, brown sugar, and butter with a fork and sprinkle it on top of the cake dough.
Spice it up with Cinnamon
If someone told me that I had to pare down my spice rack to two things (besides salt and pepper), I would pick cinnamon for sweet things and cumin for savory things. Really, I can’t imagine life without cinnamon. So of course, I made a version of this coffee cake with cinnamon in the dough and the crunchy topping. And, yeah I loved it. If you’re a fan of cinnamon, add a teaspoon to the dough and an eighth of a teaspoon to the topping. You won’t regret it. Another recipe with cinnamon is our oatmeal date nut bread.
Crunchy-top Coffee Cake
- 1 mixer
Coffee Cake Dough Ingredients
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs separated
- Optional 1 tsp cinnamon
- ¼ cup shortening
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ cup milk
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 6 tablespoons flour
- Optional 1/8 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ½ tsp baking powder
- Spray baking spray with flour (Baker’s Joy is a good choice) into an 8 X 8 inch baking dish.
- Put the topping ingredients in a small mixing bowl so the butter will soften while you make the coffee cake dough.
- Separate the eggs. (Go to learn how to do this step.)
- Put the yolks in a large mixing bowl and the egg whites in a small mixing bowl.
- Add the shortening and the sugar to the egg yolks in the large mixing bowl.
- Mix these ingredients thoroughly. (A hand mixer is handy but not necessary for this step.)
- Stir in the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon (if you chose that option), and the milk.
- Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat the egg whites in the small mixing bowl until they are stiff. This takes about a minute. The egg whites should form little peaks when you lift the beaters.
- Using a wooden or silicone spoon, fold the egg whites into the mixture in the large mixing bowl.
- When the dough is thoroughly blended, transfer it to the greased baking dish.
- Using a fork, blend the topping ingredients until they are mixed.
- Sprinkle the topping mix on top of the dough.
- Bake in a 350-degree oven for 45 minutes.
- Pre-heat the oven about half-way through the steps above.
- When you take the cake out of the oven, insert a toothpick in the middle. If it comes out clean, the cake is done.