I can't even begin to describe how stressful work has been lately. The kind where you go to bed with a knot in your stomach and wake up with the same. In order to try and keep myself distracted and also to be more present with the kids after school, I've decided to bake more. Baking has always kind of intimidated me. I can throw together cookies and crumbles, but when it comes to cakes and (gasp) breads I'm stumped. It all feels so mysterious to me...I dread failure in the kitchen, and it kind of feels like the odds are against me when it comes to baking. Nothing like a new challenge to keep your mind off the daily stressors though...and since The Girl loves to be in the kitchen, we are undertaking this new challenge together. We started with the Sour Cream Coffee Cake recipe from The SoNo Baking Company Cookbook. We tweaked it a little as we didn't have the right pan or mixer, but nothing too drastic. It turned out SO good y'all...it was so moist and yummilicious. Success!
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cup pecans, finely chopped
2 cups sour cream
2 teaspoons baking soda
3 1/2 cups cake flour, sifted
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons coarse salt
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
1. To make the topping: In a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar, cinnamon and finely chopped pecans with a fork until combined; set aside.
2. Set the oven rack in the middle position. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray a 10-inch tube pan (preferably with removable bottom) with nonstick cooking spray, or generously brush with softened butter; dust with flour and shake out the excess.
3. To make the cake: In a small bowl, stir together the sour cream and baking soda; set aside. Whisk together the cake flour and baking powder in another bowl; set aside.
4. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, sugar, and salt on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl halfway through. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Beat in the vanilla.
5. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients in three batches, alternating with the sour cream mixture and beating well after each addition.
6. Scrape half of the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle half of the topping mixture, avoiding the edges of the pan so that the sides are smooth and the filling is hidden. Use a knife to gently swirl the topping mixture into the batter. Add the remaining batter and smooth the top. Sprinkle with the rest of the topping mixture.
7. Place the pan on a baking sheet and bake, rotating the sheet about two-thirds of the way through the baking time, until the top of the cake springs back when touched and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes.
8. Transfer the tube pan to a wire rack and let the cake cool completely in the pan. Using a spatula, loosen the sides of the cake from the pan, then lift the cake up and off the center tube. Serve at room temperature.