Without a doubt, coffee cake is a hugely popular dessert and it is no secret that the crunchy streusel topping is a big part of the appeal. So we figured we’d go one better with a popcorn topped coffee cake to add to the crunch.
Contrary to their name, coffee cakes do not actually contain any coffee. They’re just said to be a great match with a cup of it. You can find recipes for all sorts of varieties but the most common American version is a sour cream cake that’s leavened with either baking powder or baking soda. The predominant flavor is cinnamon, both in the batter and in the streusel topping.
Streusel is the German word for sprinkle and Germany is likely the origin of this dessert. The crumbly butter, flour and sugar topping is sprinkled on the cake before baking. Some recipes also call for extra cinnamon sugar to be sprinkled on top after the cake has baked. In some versions, you’ll also find a layer of it baked into the middle. German immigrants brought their recipes for kaffekuchen to America, probably in the mid 1800’s, and it became popular.
These days you can find coffee cake on many restaurant and bakery menus in addition to it being a home baked favorite. The soft, moist cake, aroma of cinnamon and sugary crunch on top is definitely one of our personal favorites. But, you know we love a bigger crunch and popcorn fits the bill. We top our cake with a generous amount of popped corn and then pour on a simple glaze for a flavor punch. Make extra popcorn and serve it on the side because we can practically guarantee it will be devoured.
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Using a hand or stand mixer, cream together the granulated sugar and room temperature butter until the sugar has dissolved. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Beat in the sour cream and vanilla extract and be sure to scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, baking soda, ground cinnamon and salt. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet batter.
Spray an 8" or 9" round cake pan, spring-form or tube style pan with baking spray that includes flour. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
To make the topping, combine the all-purpose flour, light brown sugar, ground cinnamon, salt and melted butter. Crumble on top of the batter and bake for approximately 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool before removing from the pan.
To make the glaze, whisk together the powdered sugar, milk and salt. Top the cooled cake with popcorn and drizzle with the glaze. To store leftovers, remove the popcorn and wrap in plastic for up to 5 days.
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