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.
I’ve always enjoyed Hallowe’en, but probably for different reasons than many people. You see, I grew up in the country without many neighbors, so my brothers and I never really trick-or-treated, and trick-or-treaters hardly ever came to our house. But we carved jack-o-lanterns, and since my parents didn’t like to waste anything, they didn’t like to throw away all that fresh pumpkin. We ate pumpkin pie and roasted pumpkin seeds. That was just the start of a whole season of good food that stretched all the way through Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.
Of course, you can do more with pumpkins than just make jack-o-lanterns – and pies. In my new novel THE PUMPKIN MUFFIN MURDER, the fifth book in my Fresh Baked Mystery series, retired teacher and reluctant amateur sleuth Phyllis Newsom makes some delicious pumpkin cheesecake muffins to enter in the Harvest Festival cooking contest. As always in these books, the question is not just whether Phyllis will win the contest . . . but when and how will murder rear its ugly head? The recipe as it appears in the book calls for canned pumpkin, but fresh pumpkin will work just as well. THE PUMPKIN MUFFIN MURDER will be released in just a couple days from Obsidian Books. Happy Hallowe’en, everyone!
Muffin: 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 2 cups white sugar 2 teaspoons baking powder 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice 1/2 teaspoon salt 2 eggs 1 1/3 cups canned pumpkin 1/3 cup vegetable oil 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and flour 18 muffin cups, or use paper liners. Fill any unfilled muffin cups in tin with water.
Filling: In a medium bowl, beat softened cream cheese until smooth. Add egg, brown sugar and vanilla. Beat until mixed, then set bowl in freezer to set while mixing other ingredients.
Topping: In a medium bowl, mix flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger and pecans. Add butter and cut it in with a fork until crumbly. Set aside.
Muffin batter: In a large bowl, blend together flour, sugar, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice and salt. Make a well in the center of flour mixture and add eggs, pumpkin, olive oil and vanilla. Beat together until well mixed.
Place pumpkin mixture in muffin cups about 1/2 full. Take the cream cheese mixture out of the freezer then add one tablespoon of the cream cheese mixture right in the middle of the batter in the muffin cups. Having the chilled cream cheese mixture will help you keep the cream cheese from touching the edges. Sprinkle on the streusel topping.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.
Makes 18 muffins
Note: If you have dogs, add a heaping tablespoon of the leftover canned pumpkin to their meal. All of my dogs like pumpkin and it’s a healthy treat.