Growing up, when I wasn’t in ballet class, Saturday and Sunday mornings were always family breakfast routines. My dad would go to the German bakery a few blocks down and buy a crumb cake or Berliners (jelly donuts) for us. Sometimes Dad would even drive to the densely German neighborhood of Glendale (where he grew up) for their crumb cake, or even for amazing bagels and bialys. When I was in ballet class and rehearsals I would often run next door to the specialty food market and get one of their delicious coffee cake muffins. Yum!
Ever since I left home, I have been on the lookout for an authentic German crumb cake, and I have tried many recipes. Sadly many of the old traditional German bakeries are gone. Now that I am a more experienced baker I realize that most recipes have it all wrong by using a cake base. I will speak more to that in a later post. This recipe, however, is something altogether different. A delicate vanilla (cake) base with a swirl of cinnamon and brown sugar streusel in the middle and a base of even more streusel hearkens back to those very rare Hostess coffee cake treats.
Perfectly served with tea, or even as a part of your breakfast/brunch buffet, this Barefoot Contessa recipe is a classic. I have made it countless times and it always hits the spot with rave reviews every time. While it is not the crumb cake of my youth, it is in a class of its own as you consider most other coffee cake recipes. The addition of maple syrup glaze is trapped perfectly in the crevices of my Nordicware Rose Bundt pan, though if you use a regular tube pan you will serve this streusel side up and the glaze will sit elegantly atop.
Find the recipe here, and let me know how you and your guests enjoy it. Unless by guests I mean you, alone, with a fork, in which case no judgement!