Over the holidays I often find myself in unfamiliar places trying to make familiar recipes. Josh and I had a night away in Park City at The Canyons’ flagship hotel, The Grand Summit, and had the bright idea of bringing ingredients to make a breakfast together at the condo. We decided to make my Berry Coffee Cake, a recipe I’ve made many times but never outside of my own kitchen. The coffee cake turned out delicious but the journey to make it was quite hilarious.
What I found out is that this recipe for Berry Coffee Cake is truely a recipe you can make anywhere, even without the gadgets you come to get used to in your home kitchen. Sometimes I don’t completely think through things before trying to execute. For instance, I hadn’t read through my recipe because it’s one I thought I knew by heart so I didn’t think of the fact that we might not have a mixer or food processor available (I know I’m spoiled at home!!). Luckily, you can easily whip this up without those conveniences, with just the strength of your arm, a good whisk and a stong fork.
The two steps in this recipe that you have to slightly modify are making the crumb topping, which you can easily do by microwaving the butter for about 15 seconds then using a fork to blend the sugar with the butter and walnuts. The other step I didn’t think about was blending the wet and dry ingredients for which I usually use my electric mixer. Instead I got out the hotel’s whisk, stood up a little straighter with some gained confidence and whisked my little heart out until the two were well combined.
And even though I didn’t have all of the gadgets I’m used to in my kitchen I must say that the Grand Summit Hotel exceeded our expectations with slopeside access to the Orange Bubble and The Farm restaurant, not to mention the Canyons Resort Spa and the fact that it’s AAA four-diamond rated too! It was a luxurious night away!! And our morning coffee cake turned out delicious, all in the comfort of a resort hotel room, overlooking the slopes and Wasatch mountains. It was a beautiful morning for a little adventure in a kitchen away from home!
Berry Coffee Cake Recipe with Walnut Streusel
for the walnut streusel:
- 5 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup (packed) light brown sugar
- 1/3 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
for the coffee cake cake:
- 1 pint (2 cups) mixed berries (preferably fresh, or frozen, not thawed)
- 2 cups plus 2 tsp all purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 2/3 cup sugar
- grated zest of 1/2 lemon or 1/4 orange
- 6 tablespoons butter, 3/4 stick, at room temperature
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup buttermilk or kefir (I use Green Valley Organics Plain Kefir)
- Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8 inch square pan and put it on a baking sheet.
for the walnut streusel:
- Put all the ingredients except the nuts in a food processor and pulse just until the mixture forms clumps and curds and holds together when pressed. Scrape the topping into a bowl, stir in the nuts, and press a piece of plastic against the surface. Refrigerate until needed. (Covered well, the crumb mix can be refrigerated for up to three days.)
for the coffee cake:
- Whisk together 2 cups of the flour, the baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
- Working in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer, beat the sugar with the butter at medium speed until light, about three minutes. Add the eggs, one by one, beating for about 1 minute after each addition, then beat in the vanilla extract and lemon zest. Don't be concerned if the batter looks curdled- it will soon smooth out. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture and the buttermilk alternately, the flour in three parts and the buttermilk in 2 (begin and end with they dry ingredients.) *You will have a thick, creamy batter. Using your fingertips, toss the blueberries and 2 tsp of the flour together in a small bowl just to coat the berries. With a rubber spatula, gently stir in the berries.
- Scrape the batter into the buttered pan and smooth the top gently with the spatula. Pull the crumb mix from the fridge and, with your fingertips, break it into pieces. There's no need to try to get even pieces- these are crumbs, they're supposed to be every shape and size. Scatter the crumbs over the batter, pressing them down ever so slightly.
- Bake for 55-65 minutes, or until the crumbs are golden and a thin knife inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Transfer the cake to a rack and cool just until it is warm or until it reaches room temperature. Serve with warm berry sauce (see note below).