I am immediately suspicious of anything billed as the “best.” As in, this is the BEST COFFEE CAKE I’VE EVER TASTED. (It was.) Which is why I encourage you to taste for yourself and arrive at your own hyperbole. This recipe comes from Macrina Bakery in Seattle and even for a distracted baker such as myself, the results were epic.
Brown Sugar Almond Coffee Cake
Adapted from Leslie Mackie’s Macrina Bakery and Café Cookbook
Foodinista’s note: use a deep baking dish. The recipe called for a 9-inch square pan, but the coffee cake overflowed creating a royal mess in my oven and panic in the neighborhood as minacious burning aromas filled the Easter air. One bite of the cake, and all was forgiven.
4 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
10 ounces (2 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 ¾ cups light brown sugar
½ cup whole milk
2 teaspoons pure almond extract
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups fresh raspberries
1 cup whole almonds, coarsely chopped
Powdered sugar (Foodinista note: I didn’t use)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Oil a 9-inch-square baking pan
Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Toss with your hands and set aside.
Combine butter and sugar in bowl of KitchenAid mixer. Using paddle attachment, mix on medium speed for 5 to 8 minutes to cream the butter. The mixture should be smooth and pale in color.
In a medium bowl, combine eggs, milk, and almond and vanilla extracts and mix with whisk. Add small amount of egg mixture to bowl of creamed butter and mix on medium speed until fully incorporated. Continue adding small amounts until all of egg mixture is mixed into butter. Scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula and mix for another 30 seconds.
Remove bowl from mixer. Alternately add small amounts of flour mixture and buttermilk to bowl, mixing with wooden spoon just until all ingredients are incorporated. [Foodinista note: set aside ¼ cup of flour mixture and toss with raspberries to prevent from sinking to bottom.] Fold in flour/raspberries, taking care not to smash fruit. Pour batter into prepared baking pan and spread evenly. Sprinkle chopped almonds over top.
Bake on center rack of oven for about 1 hour, or until golden brown. Test center of cake with skewer. It will come out clean when cake is finished. Let cool for 30-40 minutes on a wire rack, then dust with powdered sugar and cut into pieces. This coffee cake will be fragile until completely cooled, so remove warm pieces carefully, using a pie server to left pieces out of the pan.