RECIPE — Jammy Coffee Cake
by Natasha Pickowicz
A classic coffee cake has two essential components: a fluffy cake and a decadent crumb topping. This recipe by Canyon friend (and James Beard Award nominated pastry chef) Natasha Pickowicz builds on the classic with the addition of a sticky ribbon of raspberries racing through the center.
In the oven, the macerated berries thicken, and the sweet-and-salty oat topping collapses into the fruit, forming a buttery, crisp crust.
Enjoy this delicious treat with a cup of your favorite Canyon!
Makes one 10-inch (25 cm) loaf coffee cake
Serves 6 to 8
35 minutes active time / 1 hour inactive time
Photograph by Graydon Herriott
Tip—It can be tricky to test a cake for doneness when the top layer is a sticky, wet jam. Try sliding the knife in at a sharp sideways angle, count to three, and then remove the knife. If it’s dry, the cake is done.
1. Preheat the oven and prep the pan. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Mist a 10-inch (25 cm) loaf pan with cooking spray and drape a sheet of parchment inside, like a saddle, so that it comes up the long sides of the pan.
2. Macerate the berries. In a small bowl, combine the raspberries and 1 tablespoon of the granulated sugar. Use your fingers to crush the raspberries, pressing in the sugar and releasing the fruit’s juices.
3. Cream the butter and sugars. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle (or in a large bowl using a handheld mixer), cream together the butter, the remaining granulated sugar, and the brown sugar on medium speed until fluffy and lightened in color and inching up the sides of the bowl, 4 to 5 minutes.
4. Add the egg, vanilla, and sour cream. Add the egg and paddle for 2 minutes. Add the vanilla and sour cream and paddle until smooth, another minute (the mixture may look curdled, but this is fine).
5. Add the dry ingredients. In a small bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, spelt flour, cinnamon, and kosher salt. Sift the cocoa powder and baking soda through a tea strainer into the bowl and whisk well to combine. Turn the mixer off and gently tip in the dry ingredients all at once. Using the lowest speed on the mixer, mix until the ingredients are halfway combined, about 10 seconds. Turn the mixer off, remove the bowl from the stand, and finish folding by hand, with a spatula.
6. Add the toppings. Spread the cake batter in the prepared pan. Spoon the macerated raspberries over the surface of the cake. Scatter the sweet-and-salty oat crumbs on top.
7. Bake the cake. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake until a small knife inserted in the center (see tip) comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool before slicing. Cut into thick slices and sprinkle with flaky sea salt.
Sweet-and-Salty Oat Crumbs
You can keep a pint container of raw oat crumbs stored in the refrigerator; a spoonful pressed into a cookie or a scoop of muffin batter before baking is an easy, tasty upgrade.
Makes 1½ cups (205 g)
5 minutes active time
20 minutes inactive time
Tip—One cut-up apple magically rehydrates rock-hard sugar. Bury the apple chunks in the sugar, cover tightly, and wait. It will be plush and damp the next day.
In a small bowl, combine the light brown sugar, oats, flour, baking soda, and salt. Pinch in the butter until it has disappeared into the crumbs and the mixture feels slightly damp. Refrigerate for 20 minutes to chill. The crumbs, held in an airtight container, can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 weeks.
NATASHA PICKOWICZ is a New York City–based chef and writer. She is a three-time James Beard Foundation Award finalist.
Currently, Pickowicz runs the pastry pop-up called Never Ending Taste, which has been held some of the best resaurants around including NYC’s Superiority Burger, Brooklyn’s the Four Horsemen, and Los Angeles’s Kismet, and the legendary Chino Farm in Rancho Santa Fe, California.
Check out Natasha's new cookbook, MORE THAN CAKE, for more delicious recipes.
Excerpted from More Than Cake by Natasha Pickowicz (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2023. First and second photographs by Graydon Herriott.