Coffee cake is usually a single layer cake that is eaten with coffee or hot tea. It may have coffee as one of the ingredients but it is not required. The cake itself is often flavored with seeds, sweet spices or nuts and the texture is more like bread then a true cake that has layers and frosting.
Coffee cake actually began as a way for people to have some quality snack foods that were quick and easy to eat with the fingers during a coffee or tea break. Tea was a bit more complex in the old days, with a high tea something that was suitable for a meal, while afternoon tea was a small meal that would tide over the family until the late evening meal was completed.
Today we typically snack after school or work for the same purpose, but traditionally do not use the name teatime, although English people often use the name tea to describe the late evening meal.
The toppings for coffee cake can be either a streusel type topping or a light white glaze made from powdered sugar and water. Traditionally, these cakes are very similar to the types of cakes served with the tea, an English tradition. The main ingredients are very common and easily put together to make this quick coffee cake that is just right for a snack with a hot cup of coffee.
2 ¼ C. Flour
1 C. brown sugar
¾ C. white sugar
1 ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ Cup slivered or grated almond, walnut or pecans if desired
½ Cup butter
1 Cup buttermilk
1 egg, beaten
Grease 13x9x2 baking pan
In separate bowl, mix brown and white sugars, flour, and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, salt, allspice. Add butter and mix with a pastry blender until mixture resembles very coarse crumbs. Reserve ½ cup of this mixture. Add baking powder and baking soda to the remaining flour mixture, be sure to mix well.
Using a smaller bowl, combine the buttermilk and egg. Add this to the flour mixture stir to moisten then spread in greased pan. Spread batter evenly then add the reserved crumb mixture with other spices and nuts.
Bake at 350 degrees F. for 30 to 35 minutes. This is best when served warm and makes twelve servings.