Monday, July 4, 2011

ABC - Butterscotch Spiral Coffee Cake

Yeasted coffee cake. I no longer fear you. Bring it on! :o) Two years ago, or even a year ago, I would have been really intimidated by the prospect of making anything with yeast in it. They say "practice makes perfect", but after many tries and failures, I figured "they" must have excluded yeasted baked goods. Now I can honestly say, practice DOES make perfect. You just have to keep trying, keep making them, and learn from your mistakes. I can't believe I'm at a point now where I can touch the dough-in-the-making and know that it needs a bit more water, even though I used the required amount in the recipe. I used to keep adding flour to sticky doughs until it became the total opposite of "sticky", and guess what? The end result would be heavy and dense. You could seriously injure somebody with my baked [bread, rolls, you name it]. So if you recognize any or all of this, I say to you my friend, don't despair. If I can do it, you can too :o)

Let's get back to business here, after that little detour :o) The ABC bakers tackled the Butterscotch Spiral Coffee Cake this month. As I'm writing this, three ABC-ers (Monica, Raymond, and Chelly) as well as this month's guest blogger, Jenn of Knitty Baker, have already blogged about it and loved it. You guys rock! It's basically a giant cinnamon roll with lots of spices (and in my case, orange zest too), and a fabulous butterscotch glaze. What's not to love!

This was the perfect opportunity to use my bread machine. I literally put all the ingredients (cold!) in the bowl of my bread machine and put it on the "Dough Cycle" which takes 90 minutes. This setting kneads the dough and lets it go through its first rise, and I don't have to do anything. After that, I punched down the dough and put it in an oiled bowl, covered it with plastic wrap, and put it in the fridge (so I could go run some errands) for about 4 hours.

I took the dough out of the fridge. Now that it was cold, it was also easier to handle since I left the dough a bit on the sticky side. I like to roll out the dough on a floured pastry cloth. You can buy them at Bed Bath and Beyond for about $5 (I think) and it comes with a sleeve for your rolling pin. It's great because the cloth kind of absorbs the flour that you sprinkle on top, so the dough won't stick to it, and you don't have big clumps of flour on your dough. You could also buy a yard of muslin fabric at JoAnn which would be even cheaper. It's the same material.

Roughly 16"x12" rectangle

Brushed the dough with melted butter and cinnamon

Cut into six 2" strips (I used my pastry wheel for this - pizza cutter works too)

That's the first rolled up strip that goes into the pan with the butterscotch glaze in it

Not looking too pretty but hopefully it'll still work
The long (16") strips were hard to maneuver around the other coils so I cut them in half (8"). It was easier but I think that's why my coffee cake didn't look so pretty in the picture above.

After almost an hour, it had double in volume. Since I was using a dark coated pan, I reduced the oven temp by 25 degrees. It still took the same amount of time to bake, about 35 minutes. I took its temperature to be sure it was done (it registered at 201 degrees). You can still see the small hole I poked in the picture below (near the fourth ring, counting from the center).

Golden brown and delicious. Now it has to sit in the pan for 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes, I flipped over the pan onto the serving plate, waited 1 minute and then lifted the pan. Ta-dah! It looked and smelled great.

It released from the pan without any issues
I went to our garden, grabbed some sprigs of mint while the water was boiling. The plan was to serve the coffee cake with a glass of Moroccan mint tea. Finally it was time to cut into the cake. I couldn't wait to see the interior.

Look at that crumb!

Bon appetit!
The best part: you couldn't injure somebody with this yeast cake, even if you tried :o)

Final thoughts/tips:
  • Hubby loved this cake. "This one's pretty good", he said. He gave it a 9 out of 10. Whoo Hoo!
  • I loved it as well. We ate it slightly warm. The crumb was moist, light and fluffy. The flavor of the (increased) spices came through really well, as did the orange zest that I added. As for the butterscotch glaze, that was the real winner in my book. It had a great depth of flavor with lots of caramel undertones.
  • Here's my favorite way to eat this cake: peel off a layer, roll it up (like a croissant) starting with the butterscotch section. This way you get a bit of the glaze in every bite :o)
  • Did I make any changes to the recipe? Oh you betcha!
  • Dough changes: used an equal amount of bread flour for the AP flour (you get better gluten formation from the higher protein flour), quadrupled the amount of cinnamon (but left the other spices as-is), added orange zest of 2 small oranges, and 2 Tbsp of ground golden flax seeds for a bit of fiber (without any side effects to the dough). Since I was using the bread machine, which warms up quickly after it's turned on, all my ingredients were cold (that's per the bread machine's manufacturer). Sure made my life easier :o)
  • Butterscotch glaze: I used dark brown sugar and Lyle's Golden Syrup instead of corn syrup. As a precaution to keep the glaze "runny" after baking, I added 1 Tbsp of heavy cream to the glaze. But I didn't double the glaze, fearing it would make the cake too sweet. Next time I will make 1.5x the glaze.
  • Filling: no changes.
  • One minor point of criticism: the cinnamon-swirl kind of disappeared after baking and is not visible much, if you look at the picture of the cake slice. Will have to think about that one.
  • If this post has inspired you to bake up this wonderful coffee cake, you can. Do what I did, and buy a copy of Flo Braker's Baking for all Occasions. Or check out the recipe on Cookstr.
  • Last but not least, I would like to thank Jenn of the awesome blog, Knitty Baker, for being this month's guest blogger. Check out her post. Here mini cake came out great.


  1. Hanaa, your cake came out great and I'm happy to hear it was great in the taste department as well. Congrats on conquering yeasted bread :).

    And thank you for inviting me to be guest blogger. I had a lot of fun!

  2. Hi Hanaa! Your coffee cake looks beautiful and I love the step-by-step pictures. I was thinking I would skip this month and HCB this week but I may have to rethink that after seeing your pictures and hearing about how great this one was.

    It looks so yummy with all the drizzles dripping off the edges!

  3. Your cake looks so pretty, Hanaa! I love how you eat it...I will do that next time!

  4. That looks awesome... Sorry i didnt make this... With the holiday weekend i just gt really, really lazy.

  5. Wow! That looks amazing. Beautiful.

  6. That is one stunning cake! I am so glad you overcame the yeast demon and are now an enthusiastic yeast dough maker!

  7. Just one question. Where's the coffee?

  8. Thank you all so much for stopping by and your comments :o)

    @thehousehusband: the coffee is to be enjoyed *with* the cake (it's not *in* the cake) :o)


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