Coffee Crumb Cake

It happened, I matched! I’m going to be an anesthesiologist — well, after a year of being a medicine intern. It was ridiculously scary opening the envelope even though it makes no sense: how slowly or quickly I open it isn’t going to change the outcome, the outcome was already decided. But still, I opened it slowly. I went down with a group of my good friends to the “family/friends” waiting area, had my parents on facetime, and my sister-in-law and Tyler there and I opened the envelope to find out that I matched at my first choice residency programs — I’m going to Mass General Hospital for an internal medicine internship, and then on to Stanford for anesthesia training! Woo! And almost immediately we got congratulatory e-mails from our programs…followed up by e-mails filled with paperwork. Oh well — I’m planning on being excited for quite some time!

In celebration, I decided to make a coffee crumb cake! My mom used to love these cakes, so they are pretty nostalgic for me. The light and airy cake, mixed with the dense, crumbly topping has always been a favorite of mine. I decided to do a twist on classic by adding a touch more molasses than usual to the topping, and adding rose water to the cake to take from coffee crumb cake to…molasses crumb and rose-scented coffee cake. Easy to make, delicious to eat.

Molasses Crumb and Rose-Scented Coffee Cake
Modified from The Sophisticated Gourmet through David Lebovitz

Crumb
0.5 cup melted butter
1.5 cups flour
0.5 cups white granulated sugar
1 heaping tbsp molasses
pinch of salt
1.5 tsp vanilla extract

Cake
0.5 cup butter at room temperature
0.5 cup white granulated sugar
2 cups flour
0.75 cup yogurt, preferably whole milk
0.5 tsp salt
0.5 tsp baking powder
0.25 tsp baking soda
1 large egg
1 egg yolk
2 tsp rose water

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and prepare a 9×9 inch square pan. Make the crumb first by mixing together the dry ingredients including the molasses and then adding in the butter. Get in their with your hands and mix it together. It’s going to resemble a big brown blob, but it will crumble up. Let it stand while you make the cake.
In a stand-mixer fixed with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar for 2 minutes until fluffy. Make sure you scrape down the sides every once in awhile. Add in the egg and egg yolk and mix.

In a separate bowl mix all the dry ingredients together, and in another bowl, combine the yogurt and the rose water together (you can easily sub vanilla for rose water if you don’t like that scent or don’t have rose water on hand).

Turn your mixer to a low setting and add in 1/2 of the dry ingredients, followed by all of the wet ingredients. Mix until just combined, and then add in the remainder of the dry ingredients, mix until barely combined and turn off stand mix. From here you want to mix by hand so you don’t overwork the dough — if you do, it’ will become dense and flat, rather than airy and light. When it’s just mixed, put it in your prepared pan and spread evenly until it reaches the edges.

Then crumble up the crumb topping on top — it’s a generous amount, but that’s what you want in a crumb cake. Make sure you get it around evenly, and press it down so it fuses with the cake, gently.

Put it in the oven for 40 minutes, pull it out and noms!


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