Best Ever Coffee Cake — Cinnamon Hazelnut Buttery Goodness!


About 30 years ago Jeree Clark served this coffee cake at a gathering of women from my church. My tattered, splattered recipe, written in a handwriting I recognize as my own from those early years, says it came from Jeree’s mother.

I’ve made it several times a year ever since, usually on request from someone who has had it before. It’s memorable. This morning I baked it up for the graduating majors in sociology. Since this is my first year of not teaching, I’ve followed this group of students for three years and am glad to join in honoring them as they graduate. Congratulations seniors!


Preheat over to 350 and grease a 9×13 pan.

Prepare crumb topping and filling (I don’t always use all of this–left-overs are great for cinnamon toast):IMG_6125
Mix together:
1 c. brown sugar
3 Tbsp. flour
2-3 Tbsp. cinnamon
1-1 1/2 c. chopped hazelnuts

Sift together and set aside:
3 c. flour (I used  freshly ground white soft whole wheat berries)
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt

Mix 1 c. plus 2 Tbsp. milk of choice with 2 tsp. vanilla and set aside.

In a mixing bowl cream 1 c. (2 cubes) of softened butter minus 2 Tbsp (set these aside for later) with 3/4 c. sugar (I recommend evaporated cane juice organic fair trade sugar)

Add 2 eggs to the butter/sugar and beat until fluffy

At low speed add some flour mix alternating with some milk/vanilla to the creamed mixture until all is blended.

Add another 3 Tbsp butter to the 2 Tbsp you set aside and melt.

Layer the coffee cake as follows:
1/2 batter spread evenly in pan
Sprinkle 1/2 crumb mix
Drizzle melted butter
Repeat with remaining batter and crumb mix. Use a spatula to spread the batter on the top layer. Expect the batter to be a bit thick and not super easy to spread. Some of the crumb mix will mix with the batter as you spread it, which is fine.

Bake for 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool 10-15 minutes before serving.
Best served warm.

If you want this richer yet, the original recipe used 1 c. of butter in the batter and another 3/4 c. to drizzle in the middle and on top. It also used more sugar. I find this adequately rich (and sweet) with the amount of butter and sugar used above. At times I’ve decreased the butter further, and just used 1 c. total, using about 3/4 c. in the batter and 1/4 c. to drizzle.

Warning: This does not particularly fit in the healthy section of my recipes! That said, I totally agree with my daughter, Sarah, author of the e-book, In the Raw: Small Indulgences from the Sweet Life. Sarah believes if we ate small bites of decadence instead of platters of it, we’d be just fine–in fact, perhaps better balanced because of it! Cut this coffee cake into 18 pieces and enjoy a reasonable sized piece without worrying overly much about the butter and sugar consumed!IMG_6129




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