This coffee cake from Mollie Katzen is super light and fluffy with a tasty hazelnut crunch on top. Although it's still definitely a "treat" for breakfast, it's definitely lighter than many sorts of coffee cake as it's made with low-fat buttermilk (or skim milk mixed with lemon juice) and the topping contains no butter. Sadly, it's entirely addictive so any "light" factor is counteracted by the extra piece you're bound to eat. :-D In any case, this coffee cake is easy to whip up in the morning and an excellent addition to any breakfast spread. We enjoyed it for a special New Year's morning breakfast - yes, last New Year, I'm very behind on posting this one! - with mom, dad, and and grandma. Yum!
Hazelnut Crunch Coffee Cake (adapted from Mollie Katzen's Sunlight Cafe)
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1-1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 T packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (or 325 degrees for a glass pan). Lightly spray an 8-inch pan with nonstick spray.
2. In a large bowl, beat the butter on high speed until fluffy. Add the sugar and continue to beat for another few minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each, and then beat in the vanilla.
3. In a second bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.
4. Add the dry ingredients alternating with the buttermilk (flour-milk-flour-milk-flour), mixing just to blend after each addition.
5. Scrape batter into pan, spreading evenly.
6. Mix together the sugar, cinnamon, and nuts and sprinkle over the coffee cake.
7. Bake 20-25 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. Cool a few minutes before serving.