There are times when I find happiness and peace in dirty dishes. After all of the hours I spend in my kitchen cooking and baking, just knowing that a good meal was eaten and stories were told is pure joy to me. Sunday was one of those days. The kids were occupied and the house was (mostly) quiet. I was alone with my thoughts and the rainy day seemed to warrant a coffee cake. So uninterrupted, I was able to bake, clear my head, smile, and clean up before the scent of cinnamon and vanilla brought Zane in wondering what was for breakfast. It was a good start to the day.
Cinnamon swirl coffee cake
(adapted from Bon Appétit: Fast Easy Fresh Cookbook)
3/4 cup + 3 Tb sugar, divided
¼ cup chopped walnuts
1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 ½ tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ tsp espresso powder (optional)
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
6 Tb unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup whole milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Generously butter a 9 inch round cake pan. Dust the sides with flour. Mix ¼ cup sugar, walnuts, cinnamon, espresso powder and cocoa powder in a small bowl. Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.
Beat butter in an electric mixer until smooth. Gradually, beat in the remaining ½ + 3 Tb cup sugar. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Beat in the vanilla. Mix the dry ingredients in two additions alternating with two additions of the milk. Spoon 1/2 of the batter into the pan and spread evenly. Next, sprinkle the cinnamon mixture. Spoon in the remainder of the batter. Using a spatula, gently even out batter. Gently swirl a knife through the batter and cinnamon mixture.
Bake the cake about 25-30 minutes or until a knife comes out clean. Cool cake in pan on a rack.