A Tropical Coffee Cake

We all love coffee cakes and they come in many, many different, never-ending varieties too. This comes as no surprise considering the coffee cake, like so many other fabulous recipes, has its roots from many different countries from around the world.

Coffee was introduced to Europe in the 1600’s, and has been a favorite ever since. Because enjoying a cup of coffee with family and friends became so popular, so too did the idea of enjoying something slightly sweet along with that deliciously warm beverage. It is believed that that the first actual “coffee cake” originated in Germany, although Denmark claims that eating a sweet cake while drinking coffee came from them first. Who really knows?

Coffee cake is a cake that was invented for the sole purpose of enjoying it with a cup or two of coffee, NOT because of it containing any actual coffee, although some recipes might. Coffee cake is a moist, tender cake that is usually topped with some kind of streusel topping and served alongside coffee or tea at breakfast. It is usually a single layered cake that is topped with streusel. Streusel is German for “sprinkle” or “strew” and refers to the popular crumbly topping of butter, flour, sugar, spices, and sometimes oats or nuts, that is sprinkled over coffee cake batter before it is baked. A close cousin to the coffee cake is the crumb cake, though it is a yeast cake.

I have been baking a lot again these days, now that I have found a home for all my baked goods without having me eat them all. I have been mixing a lot of my baked goods with some store-bought goodies for the Church coffee cart. Every week, I offer a variety of different items. I never really know what I am going to provide until the time comes to put it all together. So far, everything offered has been a huge hit. This time, I made a coffee cake with a tropical twist, by adding some chopped strawberries and pineapple to the mix.

Once again, I was rushed and pressed for time, so I forgot to take pictures before I served it, but there was a little bit left, which was just enough for a quick pic. As you can see, the cake was yet another big hit. It was gone in an instant. It was very moist and full of flavor.

Fruits of all kinds are very popular in coffee cakes, with apples and blueberries being some of the most popular. But you can use any kind of fruit you like. The basic recipe is the same, all that changes is the fruit inside.

Tropical Coffee Cake with Strawberries and Pineapple

The Streusel

3/4 cup flour

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

4 TBSP cold butter, cubed

Mix everything together until it resembles course sand or crumbles. You can use a pastry cutter or your hands. I prefer using my hands.

The Cake

2 1/4 cups flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/s tsp salt

1 1/2 cups sugar

3/4 cup soft butter

3 large eggs

1 cup milk

1 tsp vanilla

about 3 cups of fruit of your choice – I used strawberries and pineapple this time

Preheat oven to 350* F or 180* C.

Spray a 9×13 baking pan with cooking spray and dust the pan with some flour.

Mix all the dry ingredients together and set aside.

Mix the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, then add the eggs, one at a time, and mix in between each addition. Then add the vanilla and milk and mix again. Add the dry ingredients, adding about 1/2 of the mixture at a time. Mix in between each addition and scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Gently fold the fruit into the mixture. Then evenly spread the batter into the prepared baking pan. Add the streusel mixture evenly over the top of the batter.

Place the pan into the oven and bake for 50-60 minutes or until the streusel is golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the cake. Allow the cake to cool completely before cutting and serving. Then as the name implies, enjoy the cake alongside a steaming cuppa, or cup of Joe, or java.

Stay safe and stay well Everyone. ‘Til next time.


Author: ajeanneinthekitchen

I have worked in the restaurant and catering industry for over 35 years. I attended 2 culinary schools in Southern California, and have a degree in culinary arts from the Southern California School of Culinary Arts, as well as a few other degrees in other areas. I love to cook and I love to feed people.

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