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Chai-spiced Coffee Cake

Here in Michigan we’re experiencing a heat wave.  It was 30 degrees today!  There were enough minutes of sunlight that I may have made a small dent in my massive vitamin D deficit.

(Someone should figure out a way for hospital lighting to give you vitamin D.  Help the staff!  Help the patients!  Vitamin D for everybody!) 

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Anyways, I know that lots of people are NOT experiencing a snow-less heat wave.  DON’T WORRY I MADE YOU CAKE.  I know what you need is snow shovels and plows that don’t get stuck while they’re plowing and the ability to go to places you need to get to but…coffee cake will maybe help.  It’s full of warm and super comforting spices, and can easily be eaten for all 3 meals in a day.

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See?  I did help.  Now you don’t have to worry about buying food.  That is, of course, once you buy all the things you need to make the cake.

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I know I’m late to the party, but this is my first time baking with coconut oil and it was delicioussss.  I didn’t really use it for any health reasons.  I mostly used it for coconut reasons.  It adds something really subtle to the cake that pairs well with the spices.  You can defs use butter instead though, it’s 1:1 for this cake.

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Now.  Time for coffee cake and crumb topping!

Chai-spiced Coffee Cake

Makes one 11×7 inch cake, serves ~12

The things you need:
4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup + 2 TBS coconut oil
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground black pepper (better if it’s not freshly ground)
1 1/4 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp coriander
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 large egg
3/4 cup well-shaken buttermilk (could also use plain yogurt)
2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
2/3 cup walnuts, chopped
12 TBS (= 1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

The things to do:
1. For the cake – Butter and flour an 11×7-inch baking dish and set aside.  Preheat oven to 325F with a rack in the middle position.
2. Combine 2 cups flour, granulated sugar, and salt in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer.  Add 2 tsp cinnamon, black pepper, 3/4 tsp cardamom, coriander, and 1/8 tsp nutmeg.  Mix on low speed until combined.
3. Add the coconut oil and mix, starting on low speed and increasing to medium, until combined.  Mixture will look crumbly.  Mix in the baking powder.  Add the buttermilk, egg, and vanilla extract and mix on medium speed until batter is smooth and fluffy – about 2 minutes.  Batter will be thick.  Pour batter into the prepared pan and use a rubber spatula to smooth the top.
4. For the crumb topping – In a medium bowl, combine 2 cups flour, brown sugar, walnuts, 2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp cardamom, and 1/8 tsp nutmeg.  Stir together with a fork.  Pour the melted butter over and stir until it forms large crumbs.  Distribute the crumb topping evenly over the batter in the pan.
5. Bake 45-50 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.  Let the cake cool on a wire rack.  Cake will keep – wrapped tightly with plastic wrap or in an airtight container – for 3 days.

Recipe adapted from Baking Illustrated and Martha Stewart

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Thanks for reading, happy baking!  Stay warm!

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