A delicious tea time eggless coffee cake loaded with cinnamon and a walnut streusel – perfect for those rainy evenings!
Rains and coffee have long had a beautiful connection. Growing up in an apartment with a terrace, rains were extra special to me. While as a child, I would use any opportunity to run out and get drenched, in later years, I would sit for hours on our terrace patio, cup of steaming coffee in hand, smiling at the few stray sprinkles that hit my face with every gust of wind. It was a lush space, green from a variety of plants my dad grew with much care. The rains would make a sound when they hit the roof, and I loved a downpour as much as a light drizzle.
While we don’t live there anymore, my memories of a rainy day continue to make me nostalgic. I now sit in my balcony overlooking lush hillsides – just that the coffee is now often replaced by green or mint tea. Not that I don’t love my coffee anymore but I prefer restricting it to once a day and I need my morning cuppa. So I get my fix by putting the coffee in a cake! Best of both worlds. Over the years, I’ve made many variations of a coffee cake – keep in mind, that in many parts of the world, a coffee cake doesn’t necessarily have coffee in it. However, here I’m talking of an actual coffee flavored cake. After trying many different kinds, I now have a favorite recipe that I go back to again and again because it’s so quick to make, and is outrageously delicious.
It’s got loads of cinnamon which just makes this even more irresistible, and a streusel that is honestly, the best part about this cake! Even if it means adding one extra step to the recipe, it really is quite simple and totally worth it. You start by crushing some walnuts. You could just chop them really small or use a mortar and pestle to coarsely grind it. Don’t make it a fine powder though and leave some chunks in.
To make the streusel, mix all-purpose flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Add the crushed walnuts and softened butter. Mix it with your fingers till it resembles a coarse crumb. Keep it aside till you make the batter.
This batter uses buttermilk for a moist crumb. Buttermilk in baking, which you may have seen/read in some of my other recipes is basically milk that we curdle using vinegar. While I regularly make buttermilk using plain white vinegar. This time after I had started, I realized I was out of it, and didn’t want to run down to a store. So I just used some Apple Cider vinegar and it worked just fine too. You don’t really have to do anything except mix the two and keep the bowl aside. It takes about 5-10 minutes for the milk to split completely.
Meanwhile, we mix the dry ingredients which is all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, more cinnamon and a pinch of salt and set this aside.
BREW THE COFFEE
Now you could be fancy here and use an organic blend of the finest coffee procured from the beans that have passed through the digestive tract of a civet. Or you could be a plain jane like me, and just add instant coffee to hot water here. Point being, anything works. Just make sure the coffee is dissolved/brewed and adjust the quantity based on your preference. The quantity in this recipe brings out a strong coffee flavor but one that is not overpowering and has actually been passed by people of varied age groups.
In this time, the milk would have split. To that, we add oil, a splash of vanilla and the coffee. Mix vigourously for 1-2 minutes till everything blends. Don’t worry if your milk looks curdled. It will start to come together when the dry ingredients are mixed.
Next, we add the dry ingredients in big spoonfuls to the wet mix, and just fold everything together. Remember, there is no heavy mixing in this recipe and if you don’t want your cake to become dense, you should stop as soon as all the flour is mixed in.
Transfer this batter to your pan and top with the prepared streusel. I’ve used a 7*9 inch rectangle pan. You could use 8*8 or a 8 or 9 inch round pan too. Bake in a pre-heated oven.
MAKE THE GLAZE
While the cake is baking, prepare the glaze. While this is optional, I feel it adds a lovely refreshing flavor that complements the coffee and cinnamon beautifully. Do sieve your icing sugar because it forms lumps while stored. With the sugar in a bowl, add milk or cream. Since you need the glaze at a pouring consistency, adjust the amount of milk accordingly.
Pour the glaze over your cooled cake. Look at how beautifully it goes and settles in the ridges between the streusel. This cake is lovely as an accompaniment to your evening tea or coffee and also works well as a breakfast companion!
Try it today and leave a comment under this post if you like it! Or you can find me on Instagram.
For measurements and conversions, do refer the ready reckoner for a quick handy guide!
OTHER TEA CAKES YOU MAY ENJOY
Coffee and Cinnamon Cake
- 1+¼ cup All-Purpose Flour
- ¾` cup Caster Sugar
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- ½ tsp Baking Soda
- 1 tsp Cinnamon Powder
- A pinch of Salt
- ⅓ cup Oil
- ¾ cup Milk
- 1 tbsp Vinegar
- 2 tbsp Instant Coffee (brewed in 2 tbsp hot water)
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
WALNUT CINNAMON STREUSEL
- ⅓ cup All-Purpose Flour
- ¼ cup Brown Sugar
- 1 tsp Cinnamon Powder
- 3 tbsp Butter
- ½ cup Walnuts chopped/crushed
- ¼ cup Icing Sugar
- 1.5 tbsp Milk
FOR THE WALNUT STREUSEL
- Mix the flour, sugar, and cinnamon. Add the crushed walnuts. Lastly add the softened butter and mix to form a crumb like streusel. Keep aside.
FOR THE CAKE
- Pre-heat the oven the 180 degree C. Line a 7*9 or similar sized tray with parchment or grease well.
- Make the buttermilk – Add the vinegar to the milk, and leave it aside for 10 minutes allowing the milk to split and form buttermilk.
- Prepare the coffee concoction by heating 2 tbsp of water and adding to it, the instant coffee.
- In another bowl, add the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon powder, and salt and mix together. Keep aside.
- Once the milk has split, add to it the oil, vanilla, and the dissolved coffee. Mix well.
- Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture, whisking well to avoid any lumps. Stop mixing once no dry streaks of flour remain.
- Transfer the batter to your prepared pan and top with streusel.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes at 180 degree C. Insert a toothpick to check if it’s done.
- Let the cake cool slightly, meanwhile prepare the glaze.
FOR THE GLAZE
- Add the milk to the sugar and whisk ensuring there are no lumps.
- Add the glaze to the cooled cake with a spoon. The glaze hardens in a bit but you can serve the cake immediately too.