Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Pecan-Streusel Coffee Cake

Danny celebrates his birthday on July 1st, which is Canada Day. He has always liked having his birthday on that particular National holiday as there is sure to be a party or an event happening, but I feel that as a result of all the festivities, his birthday tends to take a backseat. Usually there's some sort of brunch, then a mad dash downtown to stake a spot on the sidewalk for the parade. This is generally followed by an ice cream outing and an afternoon poolside with friends and family. If we can muster up any energy after that, we'll catch an open air concert in the evening and some fireworks in Montreal's Old Port. Not much time in there to bake a cake, you'll notice, so this year I was happy the birthday boy requested something simple.

A wonderful recipe from bon appétit, this Pecan-Streusel Coffee Cake was just the kind of simple recipe we needed to quickly put together after a long day. It was so easy, Noah did most of the work, relishing in the thought that he was creating his daddy's birthday cake. Fireworks were going off in the distance as we ate the cake warm from the oven and the candles melted into it, but it was so good, no one minded; definitely worth missing fireworks for.

With a cake like this, the person of honour is bound to feel special, as I know Danny did, no matter how many other things are going on. Greek-style yogurt keeps it very moist, and a decadent vein of brown sugar-pecan streusel running through the center makes it hard to eat just one piece.

Pecan-Streusel Coffee Cake
Bon Appetit magazine
Serves 9



2/3 cup (packed) dark brown sugar

2/3 cup all purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted, cooled slightly

1/2 cup pecans, toasted, coarsely chopped


2 cups all purpose flour

1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/3 cups (packed) golden brown sugar

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 large eggs

1 cup whole-milk or reduced-fat (2%) plain Greek-style yogurt*

*A thick yogurt; sold at some supermarkets and at specialty foods stores and Greek markets. If unavailable, spoon regular yogurt into a cheesecloth-lined strainer set over a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight to drain.


Combine brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon in medium bowl. Add melted butter; toss with fork to blend. Using fingertips, rub mixture together until small clumps form. Mix in pecans. Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.


Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F.
Butter 9x9x2-inch metal baking pan.

Combine flour, baking soda, nutmeg, and salt in medium bowl; whisk to blend. Using electric mixer, beat brown sugar, butter, and vanilla in large bowl until well blended, about 2 minutes. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl occasionally. Add half of flour mixture; beat just until blended. Add yogurt; beat just until blended. Beat in remaining flour mixture just until blended.

Spoon half of batter into prepared baking pan; spread evenly. Sprinkle half of streusel evenly over batter. Spoon remaining batter in dollops over streusel, then spread evenly over with offset spatula. Sprinkle remaining streusel evenly over top.

Bake cake until streusel topping is brown and tester inserted into centre of cake comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Cool cake in pan on rack 30 minutes.
Cut into squares and serve slightly warm or at room temperature


Maria said...

Streusel topping makes everything better. Great photos and cake!

Patricia Scarpin said...

That is my favorite kind of cake - can't resist anything streusel, Aimée. And you have the cutest little helper!

Lorie said...

I have a question about the yogurt: what brand do you use? I have labneh in my fridge, but I think this is a little too think. The Fage Greek-style yogurt isn't available in Montreal, and I hear it's the one to live up to. Any suggestions?

raj said...

The cake looks delicious! Lol, i LOVE the photos! very cute :)

kickpleat said...

I love coffee cakes soooo much! This looks amazing. Mmmmm.

Aimée said...

Hi Maria- You are right about that!

Hi Patricia- Thanks, he loves cooking and baking--hope things stay that way!

Hi Lorie- I use Liberté as I find it's nice and thick. Haven't tried Fage.

Hi raj- Thanks so much! Thanks for stopping by UtHC.

Hi kickpleat- It's one of the better ones, and not overly buttery like Martha's

La Cuisine d'Helene said...

What a beautiful cake you make. I have to give it a try.

Talita said...

Wow! This sounds amazing! The dough looks so yummy!

Myriam said...

That looks like a great recipe. I am a huge pecan fan, thanks for the post!

Abby said...

Happy Birthday, Danny! (A little late.)

I love the Maple Leaf sticker on Noah's little face.

And I also love coffeecake - in any form.

Bergamot said...

Looks really yummy. The pics are lovely. You are lucky to have such an enthusiastic helper :-) Looks very cute with the flag on his cheek

aufeinwort said...

hi aimée, do you think it would be good with walnuts as well.we don`t get pecans here so much or they`re very expensive.thanks for your help, best,anja

Peter M said...

Any dessert with "streusel" in it wins me over. A evening brew of coffee after dinner and a slab of this is what's called for.

Lo said...

That layer of "goodness" right there in the center is totally calling my name.

Now, if only I had a sweet young gal like that to help me in the kitchen!

CookiePie said...

Absolutely LOVE coffee cake, and that pecan streusel sounds heavenly. Delish!

Marta said...

Oh I'm bookmarking this! It looks fantastic! I guess it is an unconventional birthday cake, but all that matters is that it's delicious and the celebrated boy loved it! The birthday traditions sound great, it helps that it's around a time of lots of celebration in the city :)

Unknown said...

I LOVE anything even remotely streusel-y! This looks amazing! And thats a huge KA you have there. What size is it?

Nutmeg Nanny said...

I love all recipes include some sort of streusel in the title:) Yummy!!!

Shari said...

I love coffee cakes, and this one sounds wonderful! Streusel topping makes everything taste delicious!

Aimée said...

Hi anja- It would be great with walnuts!! Give them a try.

Hi Avanika- It's actually standard size, but it does look big next to my little helper.

Ingrid_3Bs said...

Aw, awesome photo of your sweet boy making his Daddy's cake. I'm sure it wouldn't have mattered at all how good or bad the cake was when it's made with LOVE!

Gera@SweetsFoodsBlog said...

One of my fav cake with all the ingredients to be pure bliss!...looks nice and moist :)



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