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Friday, April 20, 2012

Better than Starbucks

Yesterday I flew to St. Louis to attend my parents' retirement reception from the small university where they work.  They didn't know I was coming.

I am not normally given to springing huge surprises on people--but in this case it seems to have been very effective, particularly since I walked into the party accompanied by a six foot tall purple and white griffin, presumably beet red.  Did I also mention that despite my theatrical background, I am not given to grand entrances?

Before I rushed off on the redeye Wednesday night, I finished the cake for this month's Cake Slice bakers.  Reader, I have a confession:  I didn't even eat a full slice of it.  Not because the cake was bad, but because I failed to cut a slice and tuck it into my bag, where it would have been most welcome at 3 a.m. somewhere over Canada.

Although I loathe Starbucks on general principles, I will admit to a weakness for their reduced-fat cinnamon coffee cake.  It's tender with a big cinnamon streusel stripe through the middle of it.  This cake one-ups that by adding cardamom and orange zest.  It smelled heavenly out of the oven, and my lucky husband tells me that his colleagues ate this cake in a hot second yesterday. 

Cinnamon Swirl Buttermilk Pound Cake
Adapted from The Cake Book by Tish Boyle

For the streusel:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
3 tbsp. salted butter, melted

For the cake:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cake flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. cardamom, preferably freshly ground
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tbsp. orange zest
1 cup buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Prepare a bundt pan by spraying it liberally with baking spray.

In a small bowl, combine the dry ingredients for the streusel with a fork.  Then add the melted butter--I found it worked easiest to mix it in with my fingers until it formed small clumps.

In a medium bowl, sift together the two flours, baking powder and soda, salt and cardamom. 

Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until it is creamy and paler in color.  Add the granulated sugar in three installments, continuously beating on medium speed until all the sugar is incorporated.  Then add the eggs one at a time, beating well between each one.  Scrape down the bowl and then add the vanilla and orange zest.  Finally, turn the mixer to low and then add the flour mixture in three installments, alternating with the buttermilk.  Beat until just incorporated.

Pour half the batter into the bundt pan, then cover with the cinnamon streusel--it doesn't matter if the streusel layer is precisely even.  Then pour the remaining batter in, smoothing the top.


Bake until a skewer poked into the cake comes out clean, about 65 minutes.  Turn the cake out onto a baker's rack and allow to cool, or in my case, snap a quick picture and then run out the door for the airport.

Makes 12-16 small slices.

48 comments:

  1. Your cake looks beautiful! I am glad it worked out perfect for you! Delicious, right!?

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  2. This is beautifully sliced - not fond of baked goods from any of the coffee chains but this looks enticing. What a wonderful thing you did for your parents! I am imagining my daughter doing that for me... if I had a regular job to retire from! But i would be all-smiles and heart.

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    1. It was really great to go to the reception--both their colleagues and former students raved about my parents.

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  3. This cake looks terrific! I don't typically buy baked goods when I'm out, but it looks like Starbucks inspired a great recipe.

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  4. What a lovely cake! Your bundt came out perfectly.

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  5. Hahah its ok, I have a total weakness for cinnamon swirl pound cake too :) Sorry you didn't get a slice though! Especially because your cake looks soooo delicious! Yum!!

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    1. My husband saved me a slice from the pillage at his office--he's doing his best to keep it from going stale while I'm away!

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  6. Your cake looks wonderful, and that streusel in the middle looks amazing! I ended up putting half in the middle of my cake, and half on the top.

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    1. Becca, I love the idea of spreading out the streusel! It would decorate the cake a bit and provide some crunch on top.

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  7. This looks beautiful, so drool-inducing! May I have a slice, please??

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  8. I loved this cake! And you are definitely a trooper for making it and not getting to enjoy the fruits of your labor!

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  9. That looks just fantastic and the perfect thing to have with a cup of tea or coffee.

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    1. I would love a slice with some earl gray!

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  10. I am loving the outcome as seen in the pics and just like your hubby's colleagues, I would have eaten a few slices on this cake. Very nice and looks very inviting.

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  11. luks perfectly done...never feels bore 2 eat...yummy.
    Maha

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  12. Oh, your husband is a lucky man. As good as this cake looks, I would have been tempted to take the whole thing with me on the plane :)

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  13. So glad to see that I can make this at home now!! I am in love with Sbux coffee cake too...but homemade is ALWAYS better!

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  14. Bundt cakes are some of my favorite cakes and this cinnamon one does look like one I would enjoy-yum! Too bad that you had to rush out and it got devoured in your absence. The cardamon in there would have been the thing that would have me eating more than one slice, it is a great spice to have in a baked good. Enjoy the weekend!

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  15. Your a good daughter surprising you parents for their retirement party! :) This bundt cakes looks amazingly moist!! I would eat your version over Starbucks any day. :)

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  16. Great cake, great story. So cool you were able to surprise your parents. I too am not a big Starbucks fan, but gotta admit, everyone raves about their baked goods. Can't wait to try this cake!

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  17. I have weakness for baked goods whether they are home baked or Store bought.
    Your cake looks great with streusel in the middle:) too bad you can't have a full slice, but no worry, you can make another one.

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  18. Oh, this looks marvelous!!! I can see eating it for breakfast OR dessert...and even better if I could do both in one day. What a fun surprise for your parents~

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  19. This cake looks awesome, I can almost imagine the aroma as it comes out fresh from the oven, great recipe!

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  20. Yum! I love their coffee cake too. This bundt cake looks so good and Ii bet it tastes even better!

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  21. Move over Starbucks.....there's a new kid in town! I'm like you...though I admit to a latte once a week....I stand before the cake counter thinking...do I really want to afford a slice of something that I could make the entire cake for the same cost?! I LOVE cardamom! Love it and I also like the orange zest you added. So sorry you didn't get to enjoy your full slice...but hope you had a wonderful time with your parents! : )

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  22. Love cinnamon, and this looks amazing. Congrats to your parents!!

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  23. The bundt cake looks so great! And the cinnamon streusel filling sounds really exciting.

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  24. Your cake looks gorgeous. I love the thick swirl of cinnamon. You can't beat it :)

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  25. What an incredible cake! Would love that with a cup pf tea, please.

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  26. Ooh I love the addition of Cardamom and Orange Zest!!Brilliant flavors going-into these and they look so moist and delicious!!I'm going to try these very soon, since I'm hooked on to sweet desserts of late ;)

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  27. The hospital where I work has two starbucks and I've fallen victim to that darn cinnamon coffee cake more than once- looking forward to have a recipe to try at home!

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  28. I've the Starbucks' cinnamon pound cake and it was delicious! I can see that this one lives up to it easily! Love the cardamom and orange zest in the cake! What a great daughter showing up for the parents retirement parent. I'm sure it was the highlight of the evening for them. Hope you're having a great weekend.

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  29. I love these filled cakes. When you eat them is like opening a gift! You see the outside and you can't wait to enjoy what's inside! Delicious Cake!

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  30. What an indulgent breakfast treat! I'd love it if you shared your post at my new link party - Breakfast Ideas Mondays - http://www.yummyinspirations.net/2012/04/breakfast-ideas-mondays-1-new-link-up.html

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  31. This looks great! I like the gooey layer in the middle.

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  32. That is so sweet that you surprised your folks!! And shame you didn't get to enjoy this cake, it sounds delicious! I bet it was a million times better than starbucks.

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  33. i like that cake reipe and will try it out tommorrow. i doubt there will be 12 pieces more like 8 the way my family eats! it will be a delicious dessert with bbq!

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  34. I'm embarrassingly addicted to Starbucks...but what I (and my wallet!) love even more is copycat recipes that are better than the original.

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  35. Ohhh... this looks perfect. I love that Starbucks cake too. I used to eat t almost daily in grad school (Starbucks on premises - danger)!

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  36. Aw! I'm sure your parents' appreciated that you came! What a great cake this is! I love the cinnamon swirl mmm....I can't get enough of cinnamon swirl in any cake. A shame you didn't get to eat a piece!! But like your husband's coworker I probably would have gobbled it up too!

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  37. Love that crust on your cake! DH loves our April's bake!

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  38. That is such a sweet story! And such a wonderful-looking cake! I managed one time to pull a surprise b-day party on my husband, and from then on when a "round" event rolled around, he's always threatened to "indefinitely go on a business trip". LOL

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  39. Since I'm not much of a baker, Starbucks sell me some baked goods. I hate paying high price for it but I have no choice and I want something sweet with my coffee... I wish you are nearby then you will be my stop. =D It looks wonderful and must be really delicious.

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  40. Mmmm, I love a good cinnamon Streuselkuchen. Looks like a great twist, using a Bundt cake.

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  41. I tried this and took it to work for a early morning meeting. The orange and cardamom is so delicious. (I thought I had too much filling, so I sprinkled some on top of the cake. Good thing! Mine stuck to the pan so I had to "present" it upside down so the topping worked in my favor.) Thanks for a great recipe!

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  42. What a sweet story and an incredible cake. I love the swirly filling in the middle.

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  43. This looks SO much better than Starbucks!

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