Coffee-Streusel Bundt Cake

I already told you about the Frozen Mochaccino and the Smoky Black Bean Soup, both of which took fair amounts of coffee as an ingredient. The one other recipe I made from this series was a Coffee-Streusel Bundt Cake. I loved the idea of a coffee-flavored coffee cake. I made this a few weeks ago, but just haven’t had a chance to write about it until now. I’ll try to recall the specifics for you.

I didn’t have espresso powder, unfortunately, but I instead substituted instant (decaf) coffee for it instead. I honestly don’t have the best quality instant coffee on hand at the moment – I picked it up to try to make a mocha hot cocoa mix, but chose decaf so I’d be able to drink it at night. I used 50% more instant coffee where espresso powder was called for. So, I used 3 tablespoons instant coffee in the streusel. I used yogurt instead of sour cream, and I did have white whole wheat flour that the recipe called for. White whole wheat flour definitely tastes different from regular all-purpose, but it’s not incredibly heavy like what you think of when you think of whole wheat bread. White whole wheat has a lighter yet healthy taste – perfect for a coffee cake you’d eat for breakfast.

The cake was easy to make. I made the streusel first and set it aside. I mixed together the dry ingredients, and combined the yogurt and vanilla in another bowl. I combined the butter, oil, and sugar with the hand mixer, then tossed in the eggs and egg white. I added the dry ingredients and yogurt in stages, alternating between each addition, starting and ending with the dry ingredients, and mixing on low only until the batter was just mixed together.

I poured half of the batter into a greased Bundt pan, then layered on the streusel, spreading it out to the edges. (I wouldn’t spread it out that far again – the streusel caramelized a little too much in contact with the pan, and smelled a little burnt as I baked the cake.) I topped the streusel with the rest of the batter, smoothing it out to the edges of the pan. I baked it at 350F for 50 minutes. I think it was done at the minimum time, but I can’t say that for sure.

I turned out the cake the next morning since it was late and I was taking it to work. I was unimpressed with the glaze, but I expected it to not turn out particularly well. The glaze was 1/2 cup powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon espresso powder mixed with 2 tablespoons water. I forget how much instant coffee I added; it may have been a half teaspoon, or it may have been a full teaspoon. Either way, I think it was too much. I’ll talk about how it tasted below. The real issue for me was that 2 tablespoons of liquid was way too much to add to 1/2 cup powdered sugar. At most, you should only use 1/2 – 1 tablespoon of liquid for that much powdered sugar. The glaze was incredibly runny, and just drizzled right off the cake. I nearly doubled the powdered sugar, and still wasn’t happy with it. I topped it with hazelnuts – very pretty.

Coffee-Streusel Bundt Cake

The cake was good. It was tender and moist from the yogurt, and the white whole wheat flour worked well in it. I’d never baked with hazelnuts before – they hazelnuts added interest to the coffee swirl through the cake, and were a pretty garnish.

The cake calls for 2 eggs and 2 egg whites, but I think that’s just to cut out whatever’s in the yolk – I think you could probably just use 3 whole eggs instead and not lose any texture. I wish I had had espresso powdered to use instead of instant coffee. The instant coffee worked okay in the streusel. Actually, I’m my own worst critic, so I take it back – I think it might have been a little bitter in the streusel, too.  Just use straight substitutions of instant coffee for instant espresso. It did make the glaze a little bitter – definitely save a little brewed coffee for the glaze, or only use a fraction of what it calls for.  Don’t take the streusel to the edges of the pan, since it scorches a little. I didn’t like the glaze for many reasons – instant coffee, the taste of powdered sugar (which always tastes off to me), and the runny consistency of it. Only use 1/4 to 1/2 of the liquid needed for the glaze if you want it to not be messy.

Everyone liked this cake, and it was good. Your experience would be better than mine if you use instant espresso powder (or some real coffee) and adapt the glaze. Give this a try if you want to give some coffee lovers a real treat.

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