This Healthy Coffee Cake uses whole wheat and spelt flours. There is a generous crumb topping on top, and a layer of cinnamon chocolate swirl in the middle. It’s delicious served served as is, but grilling it and adding a touch of salted butter gives it a savory edge.
When I first made this healthy coffee cake, I immediately knew it was a winner with its light buttery texture, perfect ratio of crumble to cake and right touch of cinnamon spice (I credit Tim at Lottie + Doof for sharing the great recipe that I started with). I loved the chocolate and cinnamon swirl in the middle, but also could not get enough of the beautiful crumbly top.
I proudly brought it in to share with my fellow co-workers, and when the morning queue and coffee regulars were all served, one of the other baristas snuck off to our kitchen, where I had left this healthy coffee cake. In the ten minutes she was away, she did the best thing that has ever happened to a coffee cake.
She sliced it as if it were banana bread, grilled it in a panini press and spread a thin layer of butter on top. After my initial shock of “what have you done to the soft buttery texture of the cake by smushing” I took a bite and WOW! The toasted sides and the salted butter changed the entire character of this healthy coffee cake.
The sweet coffee cake had taken on a savory edge. The saltiness of the butter added richness to the crumble, and the melted butter brought creaminess to each bite of the cake. Grilling this healthy coffee cake also brought all the aromas to life again. It was a whole new coffee cake eating experience.
After my coworker took her first bite, she gave me one of those quintessential British responses – polite, but you know something’s off: “It’s delicious, but sorry, I can’t seem to taste the coffee flavour much.” So I shared some good ol’ American food culture with her and explained that coffee cake doesn’t even contain coffee. And naturally, I apologized on behalf of the cake for having such a misleading name. I don’t get this quirk either.
Healthy Coffee Cake - Whole Wheat and Spelt Flours
For the crumble topping
- 3/4 cup spelt flour
- 3/4 cup lightly packed dark brown sugar
- 3/4 cup pecans
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter - cut into 1-inch (2cm) pieces
For the cinnamon chocolate swirl
- 1/2 cup unrefined sugar
- 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
For the cake
- 3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 sticks unsalted butter - at room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups coconut palm sugar
- 4 medium eggs
- 16 ounces sour cream
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Make the Topping
In a small food processor, pulse the spelt flour, dark brown sugar, pecans and butter together until you have a coarse crumble. Set aside in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it.
Make the cinnamon chocolate swirl
In a small bowl, mix the unrefined sugar, cocoa powder and cinnamon together. Set aside.
Make the cake
Preheat the oven to 350°F/176°C. Line an 8-inch x 12-inch pan (23-cm x 33-cm) with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, mix together the spelt flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium speed, cream together the butter and sugar for about 5 minutes, until fluffy. Add in the eggs and continue beating for about 1 minute, until they are incorporated. Add in the sour cream and vanilla and continue beating for another 1-2 minutes, until everything is well mixed.
Using a spatula, fold in the flour mixture until everything is just combined, being careful not to over mix.
Carefully pour 1/3 of the cake batter into the prepared pan. Spread it out evenly. Using a spoon, evenly distribute on 1/2 of the cinnamon chocolate mixture over the cake batter. Carefully pour half of the remaining cake batter on top of the cinnamon chocolate mixture, and spread it out evenly. Using a spoon, evenly distribute the remaining cinnamon chocolate mixture over the cake batter. Carefully pour on the remaining cake batter on top of the second cinnamon chocolate layer. Evenly sprinkle on the crumble topping over the top.
Bake for about about 1 hour, until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
To serve, slice the cake into about 4-inch x 1-inch slices (or larger if you prefer). Grill on high heat in a panini press for about 2-3 minutes, until the sides are toasted (or grill both sides on a skillet on medium-high heat). Serve with a slice of salted butter.
Recipe adapted from Lottie & Doof.
Rude Health provided me with the Sprouted Whole Wheat Flour and compensated me for the ingredients used in this post.