Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Freewheeling Coffeecake

It was a beautiful Spring day here in the Pacific Northwest and I couldn't resist making one of my most favorite recipes.  I call it  Freewheeling Coffeecake, but actually it's a cross between a coffeecake and a cobbler.  Furthermore, the freewheeling refers to changing the fruit with the season or your preference. Today I did strawberry/rhubarb, but I've made this recipe with just strawberries, apples, peaches, blueberry/nectarine and pear/cranberry.  However, choosing your favorite fruit or combination of fruits to make this coffeecake your own is half the fun.

The origin of coffeecakes dates back to biblical times when honey cakes were served to guests.  The French, centuries later, produced a gateau that was more refined for their meals.  By the early 19th century, America was enjoying coffeecakes with the familiar streusel toppings and when the bundt mold came along, it became one of the most popular forms for morning cakes.

So, this recipe qualifies for a coffeecake--a batter, a filling, and a crumb topping.  Serving it in the morning, afternoon with tea, or as a dessert after dinner, I'm sure it will be a favorite of your too.

Freewheeling Coffeecake
Fruit Filling:
4 cups of fruit, (peeled, if needed) and sliced
1 cup water
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch

3 cups King Arthur all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 T baking powder
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cardamon
1/4 tsp. ground mace
1 cup butter
2 eggs slightly beaten
1 cup milk
2 tsp. Vanilla extract

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

Preheat oven 350F-degrees.  Spray a 9" x 13" baking pan with a nonstick baking spray.

In a 3 quart saucepan, combine fruit and water.  Heat on medium until it comes to a boil.  Lower heat and simmer, covered for 5 minutes or until fruit is tender.  Add lemon juice.  Mix the sugar and cornstarch together and add to the fruit.  Stir constantly until the mixture thickens and is bubbly.  Set aside to cool while you mix up the batter.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and spices.  Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter until the mixture resembles "sand".  Combine the eggs, milk, and vanilla and add to the dry ingredients, mixing well until blended.  Spread half of the batter into the baking dish.
Pour the fruit over the batter.
Spoon the remaining batter in small mounds over the filling, spreading it out slightly to cover.
 Finally, spread the streusel over the cake.  

Bake in the preheated over 45 to 50 minutes or until a wooden skewer test done.  Cool and cut into squares.

This recipe is a perfect way to enjoy seasonal fruit.  I might suggest a scoop of vanilla ice cream, but's just as good without.  Enjoy!



  1. That looks incredible. Doggonet, I just used the last of my strawberries and rhubarb. It will give me something to look forward to. I am very sorry about Kelly. She sounds like an incredible woman.

  2. The GREAT thing about this coffeecake...if you miss the fruit in one season, just wait for the next to come in. It's a fantastic recipe, if I do say so myself, and so comforting. XOXO