11 June 2012

So you all probably know by now that I'm not a baker by nature, but I have been trying to increase my experience in that realm.  I have made several different kinds of muffins, and usually stick to those when it is my turn to make treats for our fellowship time at church.  But this time I just wasn't feeling the muffins.  Got bored with them, I guess.  I wanted to try my hand at coffee cake.  I had never made a coffee cake before, so I wasn't sure what to even look for when I was searching recipes.  One of my searches brought up an orange coffee cake recipe.  It was kind of weird though; it called for a yellow cake mix and instant pudding mix.  Not really what I had in mind.  So I looked for and found a recipe for a more traditional coffee cake recipe that included orange, on a blog called Macheesmo.  The only problem was that it made a 9x9 cake and I wanted to make a 9x13.  It's quite difficult to find a coffee cake recipe for a 9x13 pan.  Most of them are bundt pans.  I read somewhere that a 9x9 contains 8 cups and a 9x13 contains 15 cups, so I just doubled it.  I think my cake turned out a bit taller than the original, but that's okay.  I changed a couple tiny things about the recipe; here's my version.

Orange Spice Coffee Cake

2 cups flour
4 tsp baking powder
⅔ cup sugar
¼ tsp salt
2 tbsp orange zest (about 2 oranges’ worth)
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
⅔ cup canola oil
2 eggs
1 cup milk
½ cup orange juice
1 tsp orange extract

2 cups brown sugar 
½ cup butter
½ cup flour
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp orange zest
1 cup pecan chips

Preheat oven to 375°.  Coat a 9x13” baking dish with nonstick baking spray.

For the batter: In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, orange zest, and pumpkin pie spice.  Add oil, eggs, milk, juice, and extract. Stir until just combined.

For the topping/filling: In another bowl, combine the brown sugar, cold butter, flour, pumpkin pie spice, and orange zest.  Use a pastry blender to cut up the butter.  Combine until you have pea-sized crumbs.  Stir in the pecan chips. 

Pour about half of the batter into the prepared baking dish.  Sprinkle with about half of the topping/filling.  Drop the rest of the batter on top of the filling by spoonfuls.  Try to distribute it as evenly as you can.  Sprinkle with remaining topping.

Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out cleanly from the center.

Let it cool for at least 5 minutes.  Serve warm.

If you want to make this ahead of time, let cool completely, cover, then refrigerate.  The next day, take it out of the fridge and place in a 170° oven for about an hour.

I have to say that this is everything a coffee cake should be.  Tender, fluffy cake with sweet and crunchy streusel topping.  The orange flavor is really nice too.  It's not an in-your-face kind of orange flavor.  It's very subtle but noticeable.  The orange and the pumpkin pie spices go really well together.  And I love how there is a layer of the topping that creates a filling inside the cake.  Because, let's be honest, the topping is the best part of the coffee cake, so why not have more of it?

For church, I made one of these cakes, and a pan of Blackberry Apricot Crumble Bars.  I wanted something nut and cinnamon free because we have some members with allergies.  But I wish I had made another one of these coffee cakes anyway.  It went really fast!  In fact, not everyone was able to try it. :(  I guess that means I will have to make it again the next time I bring treats!

Chaya from Bizzy Bakes chose to make this recipe when she was assigned my blog for the Secret Recipe Club in July 2012.  Click on the button below to check out her post!

Secret Recipe Club

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  1. Lesa, you can never have too much of a good coffeecake, smart move to double the recipe! I love that you've got pumpkin pie spice in this, I can almost smell it baking (maybe I'm just dreaming of making it myself in the near future?)

  2. Anna @Crunchy Creamy SweetJune 11, 2012 at 3:31 PM

    This looks scrumptious, Lesa! PS: Love your pic with your girls! So cute!

  3. What a great coffee cake - lovely, lovely flavors - a real treat
    Mary x

  4. Yeah, smelling it bake was torture, knowing that we wouldn't be eating it until the next day!

  5. Thanks Anna! I felt guilty for not having a pic of me on the blog, since I always like it when other bloggers include pics of themselves. That was the three of us on Mother's Day.

  6. This is really beautiful Lesa! I love citrus in coffee cake and often add a bit of zest to my own. I am going to try your recipe - I'm sure my husband and I will have it eaten in one seating, LOL!