“Piece of Cake” Coffee Cake

Now that we’ve discovered Knox’s soy allergy, I’ve really had to change the way I’ve been cooking. I used to cook all the time. We’re talking full meals, Southern-style, with a meat, starch, vegetable and bread. Every. Single. Day. I also used to bake occasionally (from scratch), but after having a second child, my grand culinary aspirations flew out the window. Because I learned that taking a shower was more important to me than cooking a huge dinner or baking a pretty cake. I’m pretty sure no one wants to eat a cake made by a smelly person, anyway.

However. Now that I’ve had to start checking nutritional labels on everything that comes into our house to weed out the dreaded soy, I have to say that I am APPALLED at the crap that is in our food. I mean, it’s really bad.  If there are more than 10 ingredients that you can’t pronounce listed on the box, chances are, it’s probably not all that good for you to be ingesting. Most of the “convenience” items that Knox can eat are way more expensive than the regular brands, and while I don’t mind buying a few boxes of Annie’s Organic Cheddar Bunnies for him to snack on, the real issue lies with breakfast foods. Knox really likes sweet food for breakfast. I used to whip up a boxed coffee cake mix or buy a grocery store bakery pound cake for him to eat most days, either that or he would eat an organic nutrigrain bar and yogurt. But now he can’t. Because all of that stuff is loaded with something that makes him incoherent and itchy… SOY. You’d be shocked at how many of our staple food items have soy in them- it’s not just for tofu anymore!

So, I decided that it was time to get back to my roots and start cooking from scratch once again, not only so that Knox can actually eat what we eat, but so that we get back to a more natural way of eating minus all of the preservatives and chemicals and what-have-you.  All that being said, I don’t have two hours to spare to make some meal you’d find in a high-end restaurant. This is real life. I work, I have two children, and I’d like to be able to sit down and relax with my husband for an hour in the evening instead of standing at my Kitchenaid mixer (even though it’s red and really pretty).

This delicious coffee cake recipe was one of the first things I ever learned to bake. I was probably 10 or so the first time I made it by myself, so yeah, I promise you can do it. It takes about ten minutes to prepare and 20ish to bake. Last time I checked, that is the same amount of time it took me to make a boxed coffee cake, too. And, oh by the way, this one tastes WAY better.

Here is how you make my “Piece of Cake Coffee Cake” (full recipe at the bottom):

Ingredients

For the Cake:
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
3/4 c sugar
1/3 c melted butter (cooled)
1/2 c milk
1 tsp vanilla

For the streusel topping:
1/2 c packed brown sugar
2 tbl butter, softened
2 tbl flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 c chopped nuts (optional)

Directions:

1)Preheat your oven to 375 degrees, and grease an 8×8 (or 9×9) pan and set that aside.

2) Add all of the ingredients for your streusel topping in a small bowl (except the nuts). Mix together with a fork until the mixture resembles crumbs. You’ll need to smoosh (technical cooking term) your butter into your dry ingredients with the tines of your fork to break it up. Stop when it looks like this:

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Loosely mix in your nuts if you want that in your topping. I didn’t use any in mine. Set your topping aside.

3) Sift together your flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. By this time, your side is probably kind of cluttered, but that’s okay because we’re about to use everything.

4) In a large mixing bowl, beat your egg until frothy. Beat in your sugar, melted butter, then your milk and vanilla. Stir until everything is combined.

5) Stir your flour mixture into your wet ingredients. It will look kind of like this:

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6) Then, you’re going to pour half of your batter into your greased pan.

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7) Sprinkle half of your streusel mixture over the batter.

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8) Top that with your remaining batter. It doesn’t have to be perfect- it’s okay if you can’t totally cover your first layer of topping.

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9) Top the whole thing off with the rest of your streusel topping.

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10) Bake at 375 for between 20 and 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out cleanly. I know. It looks really good, right?

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That’s it! I like to make this on Sunday evenings and have it to eat on for a few days for breakfast. If you stick a piece in the microwave for ten seconds, it tastes just like it does straight out of the oven. Goes great with your morning coffee (or milk, in the case of my toddler).

Here’s the whole recipe written out, minus the pictures, so you can copy, paste and print it out for your recipe cards:

PIECE OF CAKE COFFEE CAKE

For the Cake:
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
3/4 c sugar
1/3 c melted butter
1/2 c milk
1 tsp vanilla

For the streusel topping:
1/2 c packed brown sugar
2 tbl butter, softened
2 tbl flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 c chopped nuts (optional)

Directions:
1)Preheat your oven to 375 degrees, and grease an 8×8 (or 9×9) pan and set that aside.
2) Add all of the ingredients for your streusel topping in a small bowl (except the nuts). Mix together with a fork until the mixture resembles crumbs. Set aside.
3) Sift your flour, baking powder and salt together. Set aside.
4) In a large mixing bowl, whisk your egg until frothy. Stir in your sugar, melted butter, then milk & vanilla.
5) Stir your flour mixture into your wet mixture until everything is combined. There may be a few lumps.
6) Pour half of your batter into your greased pan. Top with half of your streusel topping. Pour remaining batter on top, then top with remaining streusel mix.
7) Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick comes out cleanly.

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10 thoughts on ““Piece of Cake” Coffee Cake

  1. Erica

    Looks so good! Maybe I should look into the soy allergy thing….Antonio is constantly scratching himself and his pediatrician kept saying it was eczema. The creams help the rashes …..but he still wont stop scratching !

    and yes the crap in our food is nuts! Im little by little trying to eat more organic and gluten free because Sofia needs gluten free stuff!

    Reply
    1. Jessica Post author

      Erica, did you know food allergies can cause eczema? Knox has it, too, on his arms. I’m curious to see if it goes away after his diet has been soy-free for a while.

      Reply
  2. Kim

    If you make waffles or pancakes on weekend mornings, make a double batch, then freeze them. You have homemade Eggos! Just pull them out and out them in the toaster I the morning. Or do oatmeal in the crockpot over night. Make a batch of homemade bread, slice the loaves once cool, then freeze. You can take a slice out in the orins for toast. I like to boil a dozen eggs and keep them in the fridge. They will last for a week, they are fast and nutritious, and they are good for breakfast or lunch. And you can make your own cheese crackers and graham crackers. Just look on Pinterest. Doing it yourself does take a little effort but have your husband help you! It only take me about 20 minutes to whip up bread, then it rises for an hour and then bakes for about 45 minutes, so you could be spending the with Trevor while you are waiting for it to rise and bake.

    Reply
    1. Jessica Post author

      Kim, I do that with waffles and pancakes! It definitely beats the pants off of an Eggo! I have seen the homemade cheez-its on PInterest, but I will look for the graham crackers, too!

      Reply
  3. Erica

    Really? I didnt know that……..Im starting to wonder if he has a milk allergy or something too cuz the kid drinks like 20 bottles a day! I’m gonna try cutting out some things too i think could be causing it. Antonio has eczema all over his little legs and arms and especially behind his knees. He has even scratched so bad it bleeds ….I just keep slathering on the cream and putting him in pants …i let him wear shorts if its super hot but hes usually in pants to keep him from scratching to much :(

    Reply
    1. Jessica Post author

      Yep, it’s really crazy what all a food allergy can do. Knox has it on his thighs, too, and he’ll scratch until he’s raw, also. Antonio may have an allergy, you should have him tested! We’re going to allergy test Knox after we see the Developmental Pediatrician so we can get her opinion.

      Reply
  4. Elizabeth

    I am so happy to hear that you are removing all soy from your diets. I wish it were just because you wanted to and not because you have to. I try to have my family eat as much homemade, fresh, organic food as possible. Our food system is awful. Us as consumers need to make better choices. I have no idea how you find the time to cook. I stay home and I have a hard time cooking all of our meals! You should be very proud of the awesome Momma that you are!

    Reply
  5. Gabriella

    Great recipe and site here! This cake was delicious! Only complaint is that it barely makes enough to cover the bottom of an 8×8 pan, so I recommend doubling the recipe. Thank you for sharing this!

    Reply

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