As much as I enjoy baking recipes from various cookbooks and web sites my true passion as of late is working on original recipes. I don’t do it as much as I like because I am still learning the ins and outs of the basic building blocks of baking. The other day for instance, after trying this recipe out, I spent over an hour reading about leavening, baking powder and baking soda. But the more I bake, the more I feel tempted to experiment with my own ideas in the kitchen.
I love a good coffee cake and I love a fair amount of cinnamon. It is perhaps my favorite spice, though Nutmeg does give it a run for it’s money. Yesterday, we were snowed in yet again in these parts and I thought I would do a little experimenting with a package of Hershey’s Cinnamon Chips. I am reading The Devil In the White City which has prompted me to do a bit of reading up on the Columbian Exposition and was quite surprised to learn that had there never been a World’s Fair in 1893 that Milton Hershey might never have become engrossed in chocolate making. What a shame that would have been.
I did a bit of recipe studying before I got started. I looked into sour cream coffee cakes and cakes that call for butter and more that called for oil. I wrote them out and compared them, the fats, the leavening agents, the amount of flour and sugar called for. I came up with a recipe to try out that included the things that I thought would make for a scrumptious coffee cake. Namely sour cream, buttermilk and cinnamon. A whole package of Hershey’s Cinnamon Chips to be more precise.
The cake itself had a wonderful flavor, especially not long after it came out of the oven when the chips were still warm. However, the cake was dense to me, in fact too dense for me. I made the cake in a Bundt pan but I’m not really sure what possessed me to do that and in the future I’m pretty sure I wouldn't. I like the way the slices look coming from a Bundt cake but I think that perhaps a 13x9 pan would have cooked this particular cake more evenly and faster making this cake possibly lighter and less dense.
I did make the batter for this cake in my KitchenAid and I thought I was careful not to over mix but perhaps in the future I will mix it by hand to ensure the batter doesn’t get over mixed. I just replaced my baking soda and baking powder so I don’t think they had anything to do with the denseness of this cake, perhaps I should have added more baking powder or some baking soda to the recipe. Overall, the flavor was good, but I think I will keep tweaking the recipe until it delivers a closer resemblance to the lighter coffee cakes I prefer.
Cinnamon Chip Coffee Cake
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup applesauce
1 cup light sour cream
2 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 10 oz. package of Hershey’s Cinnamon Chips
1 cup chopped pecans
- Preheat oven to 350*. Spray cake pan or Bundt pan with cooking spray.
- Cream butter and sugar and add eggs and vanilla. Stir in applesauce.
- Combine flour, baking powder and salt. Add to cream mixture alternating with the sour cream. Stir in chips and nuts.
- Pour into prepared pan and bake 40-50 minutes depending on the pan used. Check for doneness with the toothpick test. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pan. Cool completely on wire rack. Sprinkle with powdered sugar or powdered sugar glaze.