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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Reflections on Fall…and an Award!

I’ve said it before: Fall is my favorite season of the year. It’s a busy time, with holidays each month and the preparation of the home and garden for winter, but such a lovely time for those reasons and so many more. I can’t let this season go by without a moment to reflect on a few of the things that I love about it, so I’ve compiled some thoughts and a little list to share with you.

But before I continue my fall-ish thoughts, one thing I’d like to share is that I’ve just been honored with my first blog award…sweet! Many gracious thanks to Eva from Kitchen Inspirations, who kindly nominated me for the Liebster Blog award. She’s a fellow in the graphic design field, a food lover, cook, and brave croissant maker(!!!) from Canada, whose blog I recently discovered and have really enjoyed following. Do take the time to check her out!  And please scroll down to see more details about this award…as well as find out who my own nominees are, as I pass along the baton!

The Liebster Blog Award is given to recognize your favorite up-and-coming bloggers who have fewer than 200 subscribers, and that you feel deserve more. It’s a cool way to meet more folks and learn some new things…and generally expand your horizons, in my opinion. Continue reading