créme frâiche coffee cake

January 4th, 2010

Whew! It’s good to be back! I have to say I didn’t intend to take a blog vacation, but life got a little nutty for a bit. Fingers crossed, things have gotten less stressful which means more time for fun! Like cooking up a storm.
During the months before Remedy Quarterly was actually the real deal, I was lucky enough to interview Tim Mazurek from Lottie + Doof. Along with thoughtful answers to my questions, Tim shared a favorite recipe for coffee cake, one that instantly made my mouth water. I thought the last day of vacation seemed like the perfect time to make one last comfort-driven recipe before heading back to the real world. I happily whipped up a créme frâiche coffee cake that rocked my world.

This coffee cake is layered with goodness, goodness that takes a little preparation, but it’s all worth it. First I made the crumb topping, which is a mixture of pecans, brown sugar, flour, butter and salt. Next comes the cinnamon swirl, simply brown sugar, sugar and you guessed it, cinnamon. Both the topping and the swirl are nice and sweet, but when paired with the rich, slightly lemony batter, they’re a match made in heaven. After sneaking a few licks of batter, I could hardly wait for the cake to bake. It didn’t take long for the kitchen to fill with the warm, comforting scent of cinnamon.

I made some coffee, cut a few slices of the cake and got down to business. This cake is so beautifully light while still being luxuriously rich. The crumble topping provides a great hint of crunch in each bite, the batter is silky and laced with lemon, and of course the cinnamon layer sneaks in there to add a little pizazz. It’s basically amazing. Indulgently amazing.

Créme Frâiche Coffee Cake
by Tim Mazurek for Remedy Quarterly Issue 1
(I cut this recipe in half, which takes a little math but is definitely possible.)

Crumb Topping
¾ cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup packed dark brown sugar
½ tsp kosher salt
1 cup pecans, toasted and finely chopped
6 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into 1 inch pieces

Put the flour, sugar, salt and pecans in a bowl and stir to combine.

Add the butter and pinch with fingers or use pastry cutter until combined and mixture looks like coarse sand.

Cinnamon Swirl:
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup dark brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon


Mix ingredients in small bowl.

3¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp kosher salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp fresh lemon zest
16 oz crème fraîche
2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350° F.
Butter a 9×13-inch baking pan.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter until smooth. Scrape down bowl and add sugar. Beat until the mixture is light and fluffy.
Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping bowl as needed.
Add the zest, crème fraîche and vanilla and beat just until incorporated.
Add the dry ingredients in three additions, scraping down the bowl before each addition and beating only until each addition is just incorporated. Be careful not to overmix!
Pour one half of the cake batter into the prepared pan. Use an offset spatula to spread batter evenly in pan. Sprinkle the cinnamon swirl mixture over batter, covering the entire surface of the batter. Spoon remaining batter over the swirl mixture and spread it evenly. Sprinkle the crumb topping evenly over the top of the batter.
Bake in the center of the oven for one hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
Let the cake cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes.

Comments: 24 Total

  1. life according to celia

    January 4, 2010 at 11:29 am

    YOU’RE BACK!!!
    (remedy quarterly is awesomesauce, by the way…)

  2. Pingback: Creme Fraiche Coffee Cake from Remedy Quarterly | ReadyMade Magazine

    January 4, 2010 at 12:04 pm
  3. DailyChef

    January 4, 2010 at 5:07 pm

    Welcome back! And you’re back with a bang – my mouth was watering the whole way through this recipe. I’m a huge sucker for coffee cake, and I’ll have to try the creme fraiche version next time I get a chance.

  4. Megan Gordon

    January 4, 2010 at 6:33 pm

    Looks awesome, and congrats on Remedy!

  5. tara

    January 4, 2010 at 8:32 pm

    In the four days of 2010, I have made two cakes. On the fifth day, I am adding the ingredients for this one to the grocery list. I can rarely resist a good coffee cake, and this one looks exceptional. Creme fraiche, yum.

  6. Dana

    January 4, 2010 at 9:14 pm

    Welcome back! So nice to see you back here and what a recipe to start 2010 with! Wow!

  7. Kelly

    January 4, 2010 at 10:18 pm

    thank you all for the kind, welcoming words! i’m so happy to be back… and happy to have such a delicious coffee cake to enjoy.

  8. Antonietta

    January 4, 2010 at 11:39 pm

    What a great recipe. It makes me want to break my New Year’s diet right away!

  9. jen

    January 5, 2010 at 12:20 am

    shoot, you had me at “créme frâiche”.

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    January 5, 2010 at 5:29 am
  11. samantha hahn

    January 5, 2010 at 7:42 am

    yum!I wish I had this right now!

  12. Anne

    January 5, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    Holy cow. My breakfast was not that special and this is making my mouth water.

  13. Sylvie

    January 5, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    That looks deliciously moist. Happy New Year!

  14. Lisa (dinner party)

    January 6, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    Looks fantastic. I can’t wait to make this for a brunch. And can’t wait to read Remedy!

  15. lo

    January 7, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    Happy New Year! So glad you’re back.
    This coffee cake looks like the bomb — it’s gotta be good if it’s got creme fraiche in it. And I’m totally lusting after all those crispy little bits on top.

  16. my spatula

    January 8, 2010 at 11:47 am

    i have a weak spot for coffee cake, getting weaker by the minute with this gorgeous rendition. licking the batter and knowing what comes later will be even better is such a treat!

  17. Sprouted Kitchen / Sara

    January 8, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    ohhh i am over sweet, but that rich center looks so incredibly intriguing.

  18. heidi

    January 10, 2010 at 4:33 pm

    love love love this – made it for a brunch this weekend – I had no idea I loved coffee cake so much I had a really hard time leaving the uneatten part at our friends who were hosting…. will have to make again!

  19. Katie

    February 8, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    Made this cake the other day, the only problem is that I want to it all at once. Thanks!

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