Friday, August 27, 2010

Blackberry Streusel Coffee Cake

Okay, I think I got the most votes for the #1 photo, so here we go! I thought I was supposed to bring a dish for our church coffee table last week, when really it was this week. I took the coffee cake anyway. Upon arrival, it was suggested that I freeze it and save it for this week, but, um, yeah it didn't last. It was too good and was quickly consumed.

I modified a basic coffee cake recipe from The Joy of Cooking for this dish, and it turned out beautifully. My mom had brought home lots of huge, gorgeous blackberries from bushes my grandfather grew, and I was curious how they would turn out when baked. Would they be too watery? Too mushy? Would they taste more like raspberries or blueberries? All of my questions were answered in a coffee cake that turned out moist, tangy, nutty, and not too sweet. I even healthified it by using yogurt and applesauce instead of sour cream! Please find below my adaptation of The Joy of Cooking's Quick Sour Cream Coffee Cake, p. 630.

Blackberry Streusel Coffee Cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9"x13" baking pan.

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Combine dry ingredients and whisk together thoroughly.

1 cup plain yogurt
1 cup applesauce
4 large eggs

Beat well in a large bowl. Add the dry ingredients and beat just until smooth. There should still be lumps in your batter; overbeating will toughen the cake. Spread in the greased pan. Dot batter with approximately 1-2 cups of frozen blackberries (or any other berry you wish to substitute). My blackberries were huge, so I allowed at least a half-inch of space around each berry. Sprinkle with streusel, recipe below.


2/3 cup sugar
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons butter

Blend ingredients until crumbly (hands work best!) and add 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/2 to 1 cup chopped nuts if desired (I used a mixture of walnuts and pecans). Sprinkle streusel over berries.

Bake for 40-45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out relatively clean.

Be aware that I doubled the original recipe, which was to fit a 9" square pan, so this produces a high, thick cake. Feel free to experiment with pans of different shapes and sizes. The flavors in this recipe came together beautifully. The blackberries were tangy, but not as sour as raspberries, which complimented the rich streusel. The berries and streusel sank into the batter, producing a cake marbled with flavor. My substitution of yogurt and applesauce for the sour cream worked very well and yielded an incredibly moist, hearty cake. Overall, a great success!

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