In honor of Barack Obama's historic victory, this post features a treat that I know he likes, or at least pretended to like while on the campaign trail. When he was stumping for the primary early this year, he stopped at Mayorga Coffee in Silver Spring. I used to study and grade papers there sometimes, and happened to just miss him by a day. While placing my coffee order, I eyed the stack of plastic-wrapped coffee cake slices by the cash register and, probably, as is my way, asked, "The coffee cake: is it delicious?" The barista answered, "Well, Barack Obama had it yesterday." Sold.
The coffee cake at Mayorga wasn't actually that great, but the coffee cake in the recipe below is. I've adapted it from a Barefoot Contessa recipe, which may come as a surprise given Ina Garten's rather anti-proletarian approach to food. I've made many of her recipes, and liked them all, but I find the items in her ingredients lists are geared more toward the budget of, I don't know, a Food Network star. But you don't have to live in Easthampton or have unlimited access to fresh lobster tail to make this coffee cake (obviously, since coffee cake with lobster would be gross). I didn't even have to buy any new ingredients. And I overbaked it, as I tend to do, and it was still good. It's cake we can believe in.
Recipe: Barack Obama Coffee Cake
For the cake:
12 T (1.5 sticks) butter at room temperature
1.5 C sugar
3 eggs at room temperature
1.5 t vanilla
1.25 C sour cream
2.5 C cake flour
2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
For the streusel:
1/4 C brown sugar
1/2 C all-purpose flour
1.5 t ground cinnamon
1/4 t salt
3 T cold butter cut into small pieces
For the glaze:
1/2 C powdered sugar
2 T maple syrup
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 10-in. Bundt pan.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar with a mixer, add eggs one at a time, then add the vanilla and sour cream. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add this mixture to the batter until just combined.
For the streusel, pinch together all the streusel ingredients in a separate bowl to form a crumble.
Spoon half the batter into the pan. Sprinkle it with about 3/4 C of the streusel mixture. Spoon the rest of the batter on top, spread it out, and sprinkle the remaining streusel over it. Bake 50-60 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. Let it cool before removing from pan.
For the glaze, whisk together the powdered sugar and maple syrup until it's gooey. Drizzle it over the cooled coffee cake so it looks purty.
No cake flour? No problem! Combine 2 and a quarter cups of all-purpose flour with one quarter-cup plus one tablespoon of cornstarch. Allegedly, if you don't have cornstarch, you can just measure out a 2 and a quarter cups of the all-purpose flour and subtract two tablespoons.