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Permalink Chapter: Two  

Coffee Cake

Where did the tradition of noshing on something sweet with the morning cup o' joe originate? No one really knows, but many food historians believe it all started in Europe during the 17th century. Why? Mostly because coffee itself didn't reach Europe until the 1670s or so, hence, there wasn't any need for coffee cake!

That doesn't mean that sweet yeast treats weren't popular. They were, especially in places like Germany. When coffee came to Europe, sweet breads seemed to go perfectly with the beverages. Therefore, sweet yeast dough turned into all kinds of breakfast treats, like danish, stollen, and a variety of other goodies. These first breakfast pastries were more like bread than cake. Not so long after, however, cakes like we think of them today, filled with fruit and nuts and topped with icing or streusel, became more popular. Now, there are so many types of breakfast cakes, the hardest thing is choosing which one to whip up for breakfast or brunch!

Some Coffee Cake Tips

Add variety to your streusel topping! Try adding some coconut or oatmeal to the mixture. This will add texture and flavor to your crumble topping after it is baked. Don't invert your coffee cake in order to cool! Chances are you'll lose a lot of that streusel topping you created. Try baking your coffee cake in a springform pan; it will be easier to pop out of the pan and serve. Once you have a favorite coffee cake recipe, try adding or changing ingredients (like fillings, nuts, or fruit) to make it a "custom" cake for your tastes. Adding some yogurt to the batter instead of milk will create a moist cake that rises well as it bakes.


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