Classic Coffeecakes Delicious treats for cold-weather dining

THE BALTIMORE EVENING SUN

COFFEECAKES ARE A warm and welcoming way to greet the cold days of winter. Making your own coffeecakes from scratch is fun and much cheaper than buying ready-made treats from the grocery store.

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Filling/Topping:

1/2 cup sugar

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Cake:

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

2 cups sour cream

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter a ten-inch tube pan, preferably one with a removable bottom.

To make the filling/topping, stir the sugar and cinnamon together in small mixing bowl, and then stir in the nuts. Reserve.

To make the batter, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Add the butter, sour cream, eggs, and vanilla and beat for two minutes.

Spoon half of the batter into the prepared pan, then sprinkle half the filling/topping mixture over it. Carefully spoon the remaining batter into the pan and top with the remaining filling/topping.

Bake the cake for about 50 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack and cool for 30 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan and serve warm, or cool completely before serving.

Variations: Add one cup blueberries or coarsely chopped cranberries to the batter. Sprinkle one-half cup chocolate chips over each layer of batter.

-- "Special Occasions" by John Hadamuscin; Crown Publishers Inc. -- 1988.

Crunch Cocoa-Cinnamon Coffee Cake

1 egg

1 egg yolk

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

3/4 cup sour cream

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

Topping:

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

3 tablespoons butter

3/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

In a large bowl, beat together egg, yolk and sugar until well blended; beat in sour cream, oil and vanilla. Stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; stir into egg mixture.

Topping: in bowl, stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, and cinnamon. With pastry blender or two knives cut in butter until crumbly; stir in nuts.

Spread half of the batter in ungreased eight-inch microwaveablsquare baking dish; sprinkle with half of the topping. Repeat with remaining batter and topping. Shield corners of dish with foil triangles; place on inverted saucer in microwave. Microwave at medium (50 percent) power for six minutes, rotating dish once; remove foil. Microwave at high for two to four minutes or until tester inserted in center comes out clean, rotating dish once. Let stand on flat surface for ten minutes before serving warm.

The foil will keep the edges of the cake from overcooking.

These cooking times are approximate, results may vary depending on the individual microwave ovens.,

"The Random House Microwave Cookbook" by Margaret Fraser; Madison Press -- 1988, $19.95

Cinnamon Raisin Coffeecake

8 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1 cup plain yogurt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup raisins

Topping:

1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

1/3 cup packed light brown sugar

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

9-inch square baking pan

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease the pan. Melt butter in a medium-size saucepan over low heat or in a bowl in a microwave oven. Let cool slightly.

Put the flour, baking soda and salt into a large bowl. Stir to mix well.

Add the sugar and eggs to the butter, whisking to blend well. Whisk in the yogurt and vanilla; stir in the raisins.

Mix the topping ingredients in a small bowl.

To make the cake batter, add the butter mixture to the flour mixture and stir just until well mixed. Spread about half the batter in the prepared pan and sprinkle with about half the topping. Cover with the remaining batter and topping.

Hold a table knife upright in the pan. Swirl through the batter two or three times to create a marbled effect.

Bake until a wooden pick inserted in the center of the cake comes out almost clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Place the pan on a wire rack to cool for 20 minutes. Loosen the edges of the cake with a knife. Invert the cake onto the rack, then hold a serving plate or another rack upside down on top of the cake and turn everything over together. Serve warm. Or cool completely, wrap airtight, and let stand overnight at room temperature before serving or freezing.

' Makes nine servings.

-- "Tea Breads and Coffeecakes" by Elizabeth Alston; Harper Collins Publishers -- 1991

Apple Muffin Cake

About 2 tablespoons packaged unseasoned bread crumbs

rumb Topping:

1/4 cup sugar

3 tablespoons all purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons butter

Cake:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/4 cups sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted and cooled

1 cup sour cream

2 large eggs

1 cup finely diced, cored and peeled apple

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a two-quart charlotte mold or souffle dish, or a nine-inch tube pan and sprinkle with the bread crumbs, tapping out the excess.

Prepare the crumb topping. In a small bowl, combine the sugar, flour, and cinnamon. With a pastry blender or two knives, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs; set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, allspice and cloves. in a small bowl, stir the butter, sour cream and eggs until they are well combined.

Stir the butter mixture into the flour mixture just until the batter is smooth and satiny. Stir in the apples. Spread the batter into the prepared mold. Sprinkle with the crumb topping.

HTC Bake the cake one hour, or until the crumbs are lightly browned and a cake tester comes out clean. (If you are using a tube pan, start testing for doneness after 45 minutes).

Cool the cake in the mold on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Run a metal spatula or knife between cake and the side of the mold to loosen the cake, then gently invert it onto a work surface and remove the pan. Turn it over onto the wire rack and cool completely. Transfer the cake to a serving plate.

"Country Living Country Mornings" by the editors of the Country Living Magazine; The Hearst Corp. -- 1989, $23.95

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