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Our Roasters Share Their Secret Coffee Cake Recipes

Bring the café to your kitchen.

by Team Trade | April 07, 2020

While we aren't able to make it to our favorite coffee shops, that doesn't mean we can't bring the shop to us with home-brewed coffee and fresh baked goods. On National Coffee Cake Day, we're especially inspired by the scent and flavors of our roasters' bakeries, so we asked a few to share their most delicious recipes.

Our trio of coffee cakes from Floyd, Virginia's Red Rooster Coffee, Boulder, Colorado's Boxcar Coffee Roasters, and LA's Groundwork Coffee Co. will bring you right back to your local shop with rich sour cream, spicy cinnamon, and a few special surprises!

Red Rooster Coffee Cake

Red Rooster's Mac's Cowboy Coffee Cake

"Co-owner Rose McCutchan and her four sisters all work at Red Rooster. Growing up, their father, Mac, was often in charge of feeding the girls breakfast and this coffee cake was one of their favorites. Lovingly dubbed 'Mac's Cowboy Coffee Cake,' the 'cowboy' is because Mac is originally from Texas and as he told his daughters when they were young, 'Everything is called cowboy when it comes from Texas.' The café serves it just like Mac used to make, with the addition of a simple drizzle of citrus glaze made with lemon or lime juice and powdered sugar."

Coffee Cake Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 all purpose flour
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cups shortening
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs, beaten

Citrus Drizzle Ingredients:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 to 3 tsp lemon juice

*Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Instructions:

  1. Mix flour, sugar, salt, and shortening until crumbly
  2. Add baking powder, baking soda, and spices. Mix well
  3. Set aside 1/4 cup of dry mixture for the topping
  4. Add milk and eggs and mix well again
  5. Pour coffee cake mix into a well oiled 12 x 8 pan and sprinkle 1/4 cup dry mixture on top
  6. Bake for 20 minutes, rotate, and bake for another 20 minutes
  7. Whisk together powdered sugar and lemon juice to desired thickness
  8. Once the coffee cake has cooled, drizzle over the top and enjoy

Boxcar Coffee Cake

Boxcar's Raspberry Jam & Brown Buttered Hazelnut Coffee Cake

"Our coffee cake is one of our most popular pastries for reasons that are probably obvious, as it's right there in the name. It really is the perfect pairing with coffee! When our Head Pastry Chef Millicent Petters was working on this recipe, she wanted to take that perfect pairing concept to the next level. So an important part of designing this recipe was to be able to adjust the fruit flavor of the cake easily to match one the coffees on the menu at our café, which is where the idea for the jam came from (rather than using fresh fruit). This particular version with raspberry pairs perfectly with our Tanzania Lyalu which has distinct wild raspberry fruit notes. You can definitely experiment with the fruit component in this recipe to suit your taste or the coffee you have on hand. We've had spiced pear which was perfect with a washed Peruvian, or grape that went really with our coffees from Colombia."  

Crumble Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
  • 10 1/2 tbsp butter, browned

Filling Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup raspberry jam

Cake Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 yolk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 9 tbsp butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt

*Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Crumble Instructions:

  1. Melt 10 1/2 tablespoons of butter in a small saucepan on medium/low heat, whisking every so often, until the butter starts to bubble. It will then start to brown resulting in a nutty aroma and color. Remove from heat and set aside while you measure the rest of the crumble ingredients.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together all other crumble ingredients
  3. Pour browned butter in and mix with spatula and then with hands, to pack together. Then crumble should feel like clumps of wet sand.

*Caution: butter might be hot to the touch.

Cake Instructions:

  1. Whisk sour cream, eggs, yolks, and vanilla extract in a bowl
  2. In an electric mixer, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt with a paddle attachment
  3. Add softened butter and a third of sour cream mixture
  4. Mix on medium speed until dry mixture is moistened; increasing speed to medium/high for about 30 seconds
  5. In 2 additions, add remaining sour cream mixture, scraping down the sides and mixing for about 20 seconds between each addition
  6. Grease an 8 or 9-inch round cake pan and line the bottom with a round of parchment paper
  7. Scoop about half of the batter into your pan and spread with an offset spatula to distribute
  8. Add the raspberry jam on top of the first layer of batter leaving a 1 to 2 inch border (with no jam) around the edge
  9. Add remaining batter spread with offset to cover filling
  10. Top with crumble, breaking it apart a bit with your fingers
  11. Bake cake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean of batter (there might be some jam that shows on the toothpick) about 45 to 50 minutes
  12. Cool completely (if you can bare it) before slicing. Top with a dusting of powdered sugar and enjoy with a nice cup of Boxcar coffee

Groundwork Coffee Cake

Groundwork's Coffee Cake

"Our recipe comes from Chef John Lobb, our head of retail and culinary operations. John has been a chef for over 10 years and with Groundwork for five. Our food program is interesting in that we prepare everything each morning in our massive Venice commissary and then deliver to each store. Everything is fresh, handmade, and crafted with high quality and, when available, local ingredients. The coffee cake is definitely a top seller and pairs fantastically with a latte."

Ingredients:

  • 0.4 lbs butter
  • 0.8 cups white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1.5 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 0.8 cups sour cream

*Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Instructions:

  1. Sift together the flour, baking soda, and baking powder and reserve
  2. Cream the butter and sugar until light with the paddle attachment
  3. Gradually add the tempered eggs and vanilla
  4. Scrape down the bowl
  5. Add half of the dry ingredients and mix to incorporate
  6. Add the sour cream and mix to incorporate
  7. Add the remaining dry ingredients and blend to inporate
  8. Spray your loaf pans
  9. Scrape all batter into a loaf pan
  10. Bake for 90 minutes