I love how children shed light on things by questioning what we adults sometimes don't think to question.
Like why is a hamburger called a "hamburger" instead of a "beefburger"?
Or why is a "step parent" called a "step" parent?
Or is he a 2nd cousin, or a cousin-in-law, or a cousin twice-removed, and why?
Or why is coffee cake called "coffee cake" if it's not coffee-flavored?
I made this yummy coffee cake recently, that my friend, Haley introduced me to at church.
When I made it I asked the kids if they wanted to try it, and Lainey said, “No, thanks, I don’t like coffee.”
I said, “Oh no, there’s no coffee in it, it’s almond raspberry cream cheese! You love all of those things!”
To which she replied, “Then why is it called coffee cake?”
I said, “Well, you eat it with coffee.”
"But I don't drink coffee."
"True, but you don't have to drink coffee with it, you just could."
“Why?”, she asked.
“Because it’s like breakfast cake, kinda, I guess, or afternoon cake with coffee…you know, I am not sure. It’s kinda confusing, huh?”
So I did what any good mom would do. I googled: “Origin of Coffee Cake”.
And here’s what I discovered:
According to Wikipedia: (bold my addition)
Coffee cake is a common cake or sweetbread available in many countries. The term “coffee cake” can refer to any of the following:
A class of cakes intended to be eaten alongside coffee (for example, as part of a breakfast meal) or that may be eaten during a “coffee break” or offered to guests as a gesture of hospitality on or around a coffee table. Under this definition, a coffee cake does not necessarily contain coffee. They are typically single layer cakes that may be square or rectangular like a Stollen or loaf shaped rectangular cakes, or they may be ring shaped. Coffee cakes may be flavored with cinnamon or other spices, seeds, nuts and fruits. These cakes sometimes have a crumbly or crumb topping called streusel and/or light glaze drizzle.
Since I love coffee, and would choose to drink it morning, mid day and evening. I could, by this definition, eat this cake 3 times a day! Fabulous!
And since this definition doesn’t narrow down things very much, my suggestion is that we come up with a definition of what’s NOT a coffee cake.
A coffee cake is a cake that is NOT covered with thick frosting, served at a wedding or with candles on top for a birthday. Pretty much, that’s what’s I surmise is not a coffee cake. Most everything else could potentialy qualify.
This coffee cake is one of the yummiest I have ever had. The day Haley brought it to church, I tasted a sliver, and proceeded to walk around the crowd, asking people if they knew who made this cake!? I found out it was Haley and in the next few minutes, people started asking me about the cake – if I knew who made it! By the end of the morning, 3 or 4 of us had requested the recipe. She said she got it from a Cookbook from her daughter's school. My mom has a theory that church cookbooks/school/neighborhood cookbooks, etc. where people submit their favorite and best recipes, you find winning dishes. Individuals have taken their best, tried and true recipes, and put their name beside it and put them in the cookbook. This qualifies.
It’s like an almond crumble cake– meets a raspberry cream cheese danish.
2 1/4 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter, cold and diced into pieces
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup sour cream
1 tsp almond extract
8 oz softened cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup raspberry preserves (I prefer a little more than this)
1/2 cup sliced almonds
Preheat 350. Grease and flour 10" spring form pan.
Combine flour and ¾ cup sugar; cut in butter to make coarse crumb. Reserve 1 cup crumb mixture. To remaining crumbs add baking powder, baking soda, salt, sour cream, almond extract and egg. Blend well. Spread over bottom and 2 inches up sides of pan.
Combine cream cheese, 1/4 cup sugar and 1 egg. Blend well. Pour into batter prepared pan. Carefully spoon preserves over batter. Combine reserved crumbs and almonds and sprinkle over preserves. Bake 45-55 minutes; or until cream cheese is set and crust is golden.
So if you have a need for a sweet treat for breakfast with coffee, or for "coffee break" (if your workplace has those), or to serve at your coffee table, I highly recommend this one.
(Oh, and this almond shortbread, and almond poundcake, or this gorilla bread, or plum cake, or apple cake, or lemon berry poundcake , and my go-to-sour cream poundcake. I think these all might qualify for coffee cake! )