Breaking the Fast: Raspberry Almond Coffee Cake

A slice of this cake is just the right way to start off your day!

A slice of this cake is just the right way to start off your day!

It’s very hard for me to believe that it’s now October. Summer came and went. Fall swept in before we knew it, and now my birthday has come and gone and the leaves are turning and falling.

I’ve always thought that life was like—and indeed I’ve experienced it as—a series of waves. There are the crests, when you are flying so high and all of your neurons are firing…you’re so excited to get up each day and see what life brings. And then there are the troughs, when you’re riding so low you can’t see the horizon anymore.

These crests and troughs can take many forms, and there’s much that can be learned from both of these life phases. Without the one, you can’t fully appreciate the other. It’s important to remember this. It’s what will get you through the tough times.

From the moment that the lightning exploded on the morning of June 26th until now, our lives have been a roller coaster of emotions, health issues, disruptions, delays, frustration and expense. A trough cycle. But at the same time, we were so incredibly blessed that no life was lost, no item couldn’t be replaced. The house and our day to day lives and health could be restored. And, much was learned. Hopefully it’s information I won’t have to utilize again in the future! As far as the house is concerned, we still have carpet to be installed this week, furniture and books to move back into place, our repaired and restored paintings to hang, cleaned rugs to put down and HVAC cleaning at the end of the month. But at long last, we see that light at the end of the tunnel approaching, and if feels good. Very good indeed.

So I think the best way to break this little fast from posting is to start with the dawn of a new day. A happy little cake that’s just the ticket for a morning breakfast treat, a brunch addition, or to have with your tea in the afternoon. This Raspberry Almond Coffee Cake with Streusel Topping is rich with flavor and texture. The fresh raspberries make a tart, colorful and lively foil for the underlying almond flavored cake and the sweet crunch of the streusel topping. A little hint of lemon zest brightens the flavors and adds some zing, binding the whole together into one delicious bite!

We’ve enjoyed this as a pick me up this week for breakfast, and even for dessert. It will sit for a day at room temperature, and refrigerates well for up to 3 more days. I think you will like it a lot, too.

Thank you all for staying with me during this summer of rather erratic posting and seemingly endless references to our calamity in June. I hope your Fall season has started off well, and may you all be on the “crest” of life right now.

Cheers to happy days, good health and good eating ahead!

Raspberry Almond Coffee Cake with Streusel Topping
Makes 24 slices

Topping:
1/2 cup rolled oats, pulsed in a food processor until they are roughly ground
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
3 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For the cake:
2 scant cups granulated cane sugar
12 Tablespoons (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup buttermilk
4 eggs
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon table salt
12 ounces fresh raspberries, washed and very gently patted dry

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, and butter an 8 1/2 x 13 inch cake pan.

In a small bowl, combine the pulsed oats, brown sugar cinnamon. Cut the 3 tablespoons of cold butter into the dry mixture, then combine with your hands until it makes a crumbly texture. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the granulated sugar and softened butter, beating it with a hand or stand mixer on medium low speed until it is smooth and creamy. Add the buttermilk, eggs, lemon zest and almond extract and beat on low speed until well blended and smooth, then add the flour and salt and mix on low until just blended and all the dry ingredients are well moistened and the mixture is just smooth. Don’t over mix. Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan and smooth it with a knife or spatula to even it out. Sprinkle the fresh raspberries evenly across the top, then sprinkle the streusel mixture evenly over that.

Bake in the 350 degree F. oven for 28-30 minutes until the cake is done, slightly golden on top, and a wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Place the cake on a wire rack to cool for an hour, then cut into 24 slices.

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46 thoughts on “Breaking the Fast: Raspberry Almond Coffee Cake

  1. Betsy. I had no idea what you have been through!!! I am glad though things are at least starting to look up.

    Your recipes and my following this blog are going to make me want an iPad. So I can leave it out and cook. Those pastries sounds great. Thanks for the post!

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  2. You know, I’ve been thinking about you and your blog and wondering, “Where IS she?” I’m so, so, so sorry to hear about all that you’ve been through !! You’re so right – life is full of ups & downs. And the bad times do make us appreciate the good. Although I’ve had “talks” in my head with God where I’ve said, “I think I could’ve done without this particular lesson…”. Well – you’ve certainly chosen a lovely recipe for your return. Glad you have you back. We’ve missed you !!

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  3. It’s so good to see you back, Betsy! And a happy little cake is the very least you deserve! You’ve expressed the oceanic journey life is very well. And yes, to remember the trough when on the crest and vis versa, that’s a trick, and one worth practicing. Blessings to you friend for the remainder of this period of resettling your lives!!! Above all, take care, be well!

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    • Hi Spree! Thank you so much for your kind words. It’s great to be back. And I know that you’ve had a very challenging year as well. May I return the blessings to you as well, for happier times and good health!

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  4. So sorry to hear about all the hardship Betsy. On the other hand I am glad the light at the end of the tunnel seems nearer with every day. Just hang in there and remember. :”This too shall pass”
    You chose a mouth watering coffee cake to end your fast! I love how the raspberries add beautiful color to it.
    Happy Belated birthday Betsy. I hope this year will be much better than the previous one

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    • I have said just that to myself so many times here, lately. Thank you Sawsan for those wise words and for the birthday wishes and greetings. 🙂 I’m glad you like my little cake. Those raspberries were on sale and just crying out to be utilized in a pastry of some sort.

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  5. Hi Betsy. I’m glad your life is on the upswing. This summer has been a “trough” for me as well, but I think your words hit home and hopefully I can appreciate the good times so much more as a result. Your coffee cake looks splendid and I would eat that up in a heartbeat on any given morning or for dessert! YUM! Good luck with the final bits and pieces of putting the house back together and I certainly do hope you are feeling well.

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    • Hi Geni and thanks for your good wishes. I’m sorry to hear that you were in the trough too this summer. I do hope you’re on the upswing now! 🙂 I am well, thank you, with only some pesky allergies exacerbated by the house dust and soot. It was my husband who has been quite ill, but is on the mend…so it’s all good now! And cake, of course, makes it all so much the better! 😉

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  6. I am so glad that things are looking up for you, it must be such a relief and exciting at the same time to have things come together, just in time for the holidays. I have thought of you often, Betsy, popping by in case I missed something (even though I follow you). I’m glad you had the urge to bake something so pretty and I’m sure tasty. It certainly does look beautiful.
    We are now well into fall and the open toes are sadly being put away for another season, soon the snow will fall.

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    • HI Eva and thanks for keeping tabs on me…most appreciated. I have been trying to get around to see everyone as often as possible but have had my hands pretty full. It is exciting to see this finally coming together…we’ll have some nice fires in the new fireplace this winter, that’s for sure! Can’t believe you are facing snow so soon. We just had our temps swing from 88 yesterday to highs in the 60’s tomorrow. That’s the South for you. The cake was quite delicious. We mowed through it, which perhaps wasn’t so good of a thing to do, but it made us feel better! 😉

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      • Hi Betsy, we haven’t had snow yet, but it’s close. This weekend is Canadian thanksgiving and we’ve been golfing with shorts and Ts and bundled up by the fire with snow flying outside all in the same weekend! It’s never boring that’s for sure!

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  7. I have thought of you and was wondering how the repairs were going. So glad to learn that things are coming along nicely and the light at the end of the tunnel is approaching.
    Happy belated birthday.

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    • Thank you for the birthday wishes, Norma. It was a nice birthday in spite of all the ruckus around here. And yes, it is very cool to see this coming to an end soon, just in time to still enjoy my favorite season! I hope you are well.

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  8. With everything which has happened to you my friend, I am glad to hear it is finally looking up for you! You deserve to break your fast with delicious treats like this everyday!
    It looks as beautiful as it would taste 😀

    Cheers
    CCU

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  9. My posting has been erratic too and I don’t have your excuse! I’m so glad your lives are settling back down and that this is indeed the dawn of a new day. This looks like a very yummy celebratory cake for this new chapter in your lives xx

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    • Hi Charlie Louie! My goodness, you are so good about posting in my book. I’ve had as hard of a time catching up with everyone during this spell as I have had posting. Thank you for always popping by with a great comment and good wishes! 🙂 This really was kind of a celebration cake of sorts. 😉

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  10. You have had one heckuva an ordeal, Betsy, and I’m glad the end is in sight. I foresee quite a New Year’s celebration, as you bid farewell to 2013 and give a hearty welcome to 2014! 🙂
    You sure did pick a great recipe to mark your return. A coffee cake just isn’t right if almonds aren’t included. Using them here, with raspberries, is just about perfect. And I do love a good streusel topping. This cake hits all the right notes, for me.
    I hope whatever work lies before you, Betsy, is completed on time and with a minimum of hassle. Hang in there! 🙂

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    • Hi John, and thank you for all of your good wishes. Yes, it’s been an ordeal…that’s a good way to put it! 😉 Hopefully one that will be over very soon and we can move on to happier and healthier days. I agree that raspberries and almond go together very well and they balance each other so nicely. It was perhaps TOO good of a cake, as we polished it off in short order. (That’s why I don’t make cakes too often around here, LOL!) I hope that you have a great week, John, and thanks again for your kind comments and support! 🙂

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  11. Well, I had no idea you also have had your hands full these days! I’m so sorry to hear what had happened to your home. Our homes, especially to women, is where we nest, where we love and share with family and friends. When it’s all topsy turvy, it disrupts our lives on all aspects. But, we also grow through these trials and I’m glad you’re on your way back!

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    • Thanks, Linda, and you are so right…having one’s nest so totally disrupted is very unnerving and un-grounding, if that’s a word. I am happy to be putting it all back together, but it’s a slow process. I hope you are all nice and settled in your new home. 🙂

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  12. Betsy sending a virtual hug your way! I am sorry to hear life has had so many unexpected challenges. However this lovely Raspberry Almond Coffee Cake with Streusel Topping is a great way to look into a more positive future. Stay positive! Take care, BAM

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    • Hi Bam, and thank you for your hug and support…I feel it! 🙂 It’s all coming along and we’ve begun the moving everything back into place process this week. Busy time, but it feels good to finally have some sense of normalcy in our lives.

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