I'm putting on the coffee and baking up a favorite...
Shirley Hunt Jackson, Red Hat Queen
Courtesy of a beautiful mom and grandmom, who wrote to me two years ago and shared this recipe.
Thank you to Red Hatter...
Shirley Hunt Jackson
Cherry Streusel Coffee Cake
Courtesy of Shirley Jackson
Note from Shirley:"I made this coffee cake for the first time at Pam's home in Houston for a group of Red Hat friends. This coffee cake tastes just like a yeast bread that has taken you a long time to make. Sure does make your kitchen smell cozy."
Note from Cleo:"Shirley is absolutely right about the yeast and the coziness of this coffee cake. Over the years, I've seen many cake recipes with a cake mix as starter. I've seen many 'pie-filling-over-cake-mix' recipes, too. But I've never seen yeast used as an ingredient (have any of you?). The use of yeast in this recipe gives the streusel a sweet bread-like flavor and texture, but without kneading or rising time. It's also fantastic chilled, so it makes a great summer cake, too. Thanks again to Shirley!"
To download this recipe in a PDF file that you can print, save, or share, click here.
For dough base: 1 package yellow cake mix 1 cup all-purpose flour, unsifted 1 packet (1/4 ounce) dry yeast 2/3 cup very warm tap water 2 eggs For topping: 5 Tablespoons butter (salted is fine)1 can (1 pound 5 ounce) cherry pie filling 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
Step 1 - Make dough base: First preheat your oven to 375° Fahrenheit and coat a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan with cooking spray (or grease and flour it to prevent sticking). Then, in a large mixing bowl, measure out 1-1/2 cups of the dry cake mix. (You are reserving the remaining mix for the topping.) Add the flour and dry yeast. Now add the 2/3rds cup of very warm tap water. Allow the yeast to come alive and bubble for a minute. Finally, add the 2 eggs. Beat everything for 2 minutes at medium speed, scraping bowl often. Dough will be thick. Using a rubber spatula or back of a spoon, spread it across the bottom of your coated baking pan.
Step 2 - Make streusel topping: Melt butter in a saucepan and pour it over the remaining cake mix. Mix the butter in well with the dry mix. It should be lumpy and crumbly. (See photo.)
Step 3 - Assemble coffee cake: Spoon the cherry pie filling evenly across the top of the dough in the baking pan. Sprinkle sugar on top of the filling. Finally, using your fingers, crumble the streusel topping over it all. (There is quite a bit of topping in this recipe. I decided to hold back some of mine so the bright redness of the cherries would really show through.)
Step 4 - Bake and glaze: Bake the coffee cake for 30 minutes in your preheated oven (375° F). Cool the coffee cake on a rack (to allow air to circulate under the hot pan bottom). When the top is fairly cool, drizzle with glaze. See my Quick Glaze recipe below. After cake is served, refrigerate leftovers to keep fresh. This cake is also delicious chilled!
CLEO'S FAVORITE QUICK GLAZE:
Cleo's note:Shirley's cherry streusel coffee cake glaze used corn syrup, water, and powdered sugar. With her indulgence, I am giving you my favorite butter glaze instead, which is what I use when I make this cake. Here is the simple recipe...
2 Tablespoons butter (salted is fine)
2 Tablespoons whole milk (cream or half-and-half)
1 cup confectioner's (powdered or icing) sugar, sifted
Over medium heat, warm butter and milk in a saucepan. Do not let this mixture brown, burn, or boil or you will have a scalded taste in your glaze. As soon as butter has melted, stir in the sifted confectioner's sugar, a little at a time, until it is completely melted. You must work with the glaze quickly, while it is still warm. Using a rubber spatula or spoon, drizzle the warm glaze over the coffee cake. If the glaze hardens up on you, place the saucepan over the heat again and whisk until liquefied and smooth once more.