I’ve been wanting to make The Pioneer Woman’s coffee cake for quite some time. The title “Best Coffee Cake. Ever.” caught my attention. The description “complete miracle” made me bookmark it. An early Saturday morning and an abundance of butter and brown sugar led me to finally make it. And now I too implore you: please, please, puhlease make this.
A couple warnings: First, this yields a very large cake! If you are going to make the full recipe, be sure you have plenty of hungry mouths to feed. If you don’t, cut the recipe in half. Second, after about 15 minutes of baking, the smell of the coffee cake will begin to permeate every corner of your home. You will seriously consider removing the pan from the oven right then and declaring this the day you created hot cake pudding. Try to resist this urge.
There really isn’t a way to describe how good this cake is. It’s like buttery, sugary, cinnamony angel food. It’s 100% amazing. As I was cleaning up the kitchen and letting the cake cool, I decided to sneak a tiny bite on my way to the sink. The taste literally stopped me mid-stride. For the next 30 seconds, I stood in the middle of the kitchen with my eyes closed, until the deliciousness began to dissipate. A mysterious crater of missing cake then began to form at the spot from where that first bite was taken. It was quite bizarre.
Ree’s Coffee Cake
(from The Pioneer Woman)
- ¾ of a cup of butter (1 ½ sticks), softened
- 2 cups scant* sugar
- 3 cups of flour, sifted
- 4 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 ¼ cups of whole milk
- 3 egg whites
- ¾ of a cup of butter (1 ½ sticks), chilled
- ¾ of a cup of flour
- 1 ½ cups of brown sugar
- 2 tbsp cinnamon
- 1 ½ cups of pecans, chopped**
* For those who don’t know, scant means slightly less than. (I had to look it up!)
** I omitted the pecans (I like to feed treats to a friend with a nut allergy). I’m sure it would be excellent with pecans, but it was still delicious without.
Preheat your oven to 350°. Grease a 9 x 13 pan. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Beat egg whites to stiff peaks and set aside.
Cream together butter and sugar. Alternately add milk and flour mixture until just combined (don’t over-beat). Fold in egg whites and then spread mixture in your pan. (This cake will puff up a bit during baking, so make sure your pan is large enough to accommodate that.)
Combine the topping ingredients with a pastry cutter or pulse in a food processor until crumbly, then evenly distribute over the batter.
Bake for 40–45 minutes, or until just set.