Sunday, January 13, 2013

Cherry Sour Cream Coffee Cake

My firstborn turned 8 yesterday and we had a very nice and quiet family birthday celebration.  It was -26C!  Brrrr.... not as cold as the day he was born: it was -38C!  It was the first week back to school after the holidays.  We resumed our normal hectic schedule filled with field trips and extracurricular activities for our three children.  

By the end of the week, I just did not have the energy to throw a birthday party filled with cupcakes and a bunch of active 8 year olds.  Instead, I decided to throw his "official" party with friends at a later date, preferably 1 month after Christmas!  In the meantime, I baked a lovely warm, comforting Cherry Sour Cream Coffee cake for a very cold winter's day. Instead of frosting, I thought a buttery, sweet, crunchy streusel topping would be just as good.  

OK, it was not a classic child's birthday cake.  Surprisingly, the children ate more of pieces of this cake than any of my other ones with frosting!  Another bonus, it was easy to make with simple ingredients.

Once cut, the children went crazy over the cherry filling.  The wonderful thing with this recipe is that you can use your favourite flavour pie filling instead.  Canned or homemade.  For simplicity, I used canned.  With cherry pie filling, I put 1 tsp almond extract in the cake for a "cherry almond" flavour combination.  For apple pie filling, the cake would be wonderful with vanilla extract and cinnamon in the batter and/or in the streusel topping.  I would also like to try bumbleberry and blueberry pie fillings too.  

Cherry Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Coffee Cake:
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened (I used soft non-hydrogenated canola oil margarine)
1 cup sour cream (I used 7% light sour cream)
3 eggs
1 tsp almond or vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 (21 oz) can cherry pie filling, or your favourite flavour of canned or homemade pie filling

Streusel Topping:
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup butter
1/4 chopped pecans (I omitted, possible nut allergy)
1 tsp cinnamon (I forgot!)

Heat oven to 325°F. Combine 1 cup sugar and 3/4 cup softened butter in large bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; continue beating until well mixed. In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together.  Reduce speed to low. Alternate adding sour cream and dry ingredients. Beat until well mixed.

Spread half of batter into greased and floured 13x9-inch baking pan. Spoon cherry pie filling over batter. Spoon remaining batter over pie filling; spread carefully. 

Stir together 1/4 cup flour, 1/4 cup brown sugar, pecans and cinnamon in medium bowl. Cut in 1/4 cup butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle crumb mixture over batter. Bake for 45-50 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean and topping is dark golden brown.

Even better with a whipped cream topping!  The birthday boy enjoyed THREE pieces!

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