American coffee cakes, many of which do not actually contain coffee but are meant to be served with a cup of coffee, have always been my guilty pleasure. They have a rich buttery streusel topping and filling which is sandwiched between the raw cake mixture and gets baked in between. The cakes are always incredibly moist and decadent which is thanks to the addition of sour cream or crème fraîche, however I’m adding natural yoghurt which has the same effect.
Streusel is essentially a crumble mixture including butter, flour and sugar. American cakes are always too sweet, even for a person like me, so I’ve reduced the amount of sugar in the actual cake batter to compensate for the sweet streusel topping.
Because the streusel is such a key part to the coffee cake style, it needs a bit of love and care. Bulking the streusel up with other ingredients also means you make it go further. You might expect the addition of nuts, especially pecans in America, or spices but I’m adding cornflakes and digestive biscuit crumbs. It sounds odd but crunchy cornflakes crushed up into small pieces and the soft melting quality of the digestive biscuit crumbs creates a vibrant streusel.
My Cornflake Crumble Cake is great served with coffee for an afternoon tea with friends or as a dessert served with custard or cream.
125g self-raising flour
45g caster sugar
½ tsp mixed spice
60g cornflakes; avoid the sweetened brands
60g digestive biscuits or Graham cracker crumbs
150g caster sugar
200g self-raising flour
½ tsp baking powder
75g natural yoghurt
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a 20cm square baking tin with baking parchment to leave overhangs over 2 sides so you can lift out the cake.
For the streusel, rub the Stork into the flour, sugar and mixed spice until it resembles breadcrumbs. Do not overwork into a dough, however some larger chunks, no larger than the size of peas, are acceptable.Crush the cornflakes into the streusel by hand and add in the fine biscuit crumbs. Mix until they are incorporated and set aside.
Place all of the ingredients for the cake into a bowl except the yoghurt and beat until it is smooth and has a dropping consistency. Fold through the yoghurt until the cake batter is not streaky.
Pour half of the cake mixture into the cake tin. Sprinkle over a thin layer of the streusel and lightly push into the cake mix. Pour over the rest of the cake mix and top with the remaining streusel, but you do not need to push it in.
Bake for about 20 – 25 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool in the tin for about 10 minutes before lifting the cake out, cutting into 16 squares and serving on a cake stand.