The Fog Lifter

The past few days, mornings have been shrouded in fog. In the calm, the cool, damp air drapes itself over the city. The stillness seems to beg for a deep breath, and slower movement.

Fall...and mornings like this call for homebaked goodness. The soothing scent of cinnamon is irresistible alongside a steaming hot cup of joe.

Today I cracked my well-worn copy of Cafe Beaujolais and the page fell open to this lovely Spiced Buttermilk Coffee Cake. Now I must confess, you say a baked good...and you've got my full attention. I'm hopelessly biased and just happened to have a little buttermilk in the fridge. It was fate, I tell you!

At first bite, all I could think was..."Where have you been all my life????"

The cake base is incredibly light and airy, and I love both the cinnamon and the hint of ginger. The edges caramelized beautifully...and nuts add a nice crunch. Think of this recipe when you have overnight guests. It comes together in no time, and the payoff is huge. Guests will be singing your praises all the way home!

Spicy Buttermilk Coffee Cake
From Cafe Beaujolais by Margaret Fox

2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup corn oil
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 egg, beaten
1 cup buttermilk

Step 1: Make the batter and topping mix
Mix together in a large bowl the flower, salt, 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon, ginger, and both sugars. Give the mix a stir (to evenly distribute.) Add the corn oil and stir again. Remove 3/4 cup of the mixture, and to it add walnuts or pecans and an additional 1 teapspoon cinnamon. Mix well & set aside.

Step 2: Complete the batter
To the remaining batter, add baking soda, baking powder, egg, and buttermilk. Mix to combine all ingredients (Note: small lumps in the batter are OK.)

Step 3: Bake
Pour batter into a well-greased 9 x 13 x 2-inch pan. Sprinkle the topping mixture evenly over the surface. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes.