37: Cardamom-Crumb Coffee Cake

I like breakfast or brunch on the weekends. I have lunch every weekday, but I can’t make sit-down breakfasts during the week. There’s simply no time to cook, and no time to eat and enjoy, baked goods or pancakes or waffles during the week. This morning I sorted through my recipes again to find something different to make. After the disappointment with the blueberry pancakes last week, and the fiasco with the German Apple Pancake a few weeks before, I wanted something that seemed a little more fool-proof.

Cardamom is one of my (underused) favorite spices, and so I’ve wanted to make Cardamom-Crumb Coffee Cake for a while. First you make a crumb topping for the batter. They say to do it in a food processor – I opted to use my Magic Bullet instead. This was a mistake, and I would have realized it if I hadn’t been in a hurry to get the cake in the oven. The food processor, with a broader base, would have had enough room to spin the butter and the other ingredients together, while the Magic Bullet, with its small base, just clumped everything together. I really wish I had used my pastry cutter instead, particularly since I had to dump everything in a bowl to combine more oats and walnuts into the crumb. That’s when I actually got everything mixed together, in any case.

The batter – I mixed the dry ingredients together first. Instead of mixing the wet ingredients together in another bowl (I hate using 3 large-ish bowls for a single recipe!), I dumped the brown sugar and wet ingredients in the center, mixed them together roughly, and stirred them into the flour mixture. I’m sure there’s a reason for mixing together the wet ingredients first, but my method worked fine in this recipe, since the wet ingredients didn’t need to be aerated or anything like that.

I didn’t have buttermilk, so I soured milk with lemon juice (as per recipe instructions). I added a little extra cardamom because I know mine is a little old. I got too much batter in the bottom of the pan, since I had a little too little batter to spread over the center layer of crumb.

Cardamom-Crumb Coffee Cake

This was gorgeous when it came out of the oven. For some reason, I had to bake it 45 minutes to get the toothpick to come out clean, rather than the 35-40 they suggest. I may have to pay more attention to baking times with this pan, because I can’t think of any other reason why it should have taken longer.

Cardamom-crumb coffee cake seemed incredibly tall

This cake is pretty hearty. I’ve got two pieces on my plate above, and usually I’ll eat that and want seconds, but with this I was full after a piece and a half. It’s nice to have a 300-calorie serving of coffee cake actually feel filling. It is tasty but a little wheat-y. I’m not sure what kind of whole-wheat flour I have, but I will look for the white whole wheat or whole wheat pastry flour when I buy more. I couldn’t distinctly taste the cardamom, and I’m not sure if it’s because it blends into the wheat or if my cardamom simply tastes weak because it’s old. [February 21: I could taste the cardamom better when I had the leftovers for breakfast this morning.]

I would like to try this again with freshly ground or freshly purchased cardamom. I might also try a combination of whole-wheat and white flours if I wanted it to have a less healthy-hearty taste. I do think this recipe would be a good base for other healthy coffee cakes, preferably with fruit.

2 thoughts on “37: Cardamom-Crumb Coffee Cake”

  1. It’s pretty! We might be making it this weekend (it looks yummy, perfect for weekend brunch), and if I make it to the store before then, I’ll try to find some cardamom to grind.

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