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Any Way Coffee Cake

Chocolate Walnut Coffee Cake

Remember a few days ago when we were talking about husband hugs?

Here’s the deal with me and husband hugs: I’m more than willing to wait for them.  Sure, I can come with a serious case of the ‘wants’, but I’m usually able to talk myself into a bit of patience.

Your comments to my last post about hugs and husbands totally touched my heart.  They helped me realize why husband hugs are so great, because they come from a place of deep love and comfort.  That doesn’t just happen overnight.  That’s the serious stuff-  the stuff that comes with time, patience, understanding, commitment, love… you know, all the good stuff.  I say all of this to say:  I’m content.  Not to worry.  I’m more than willing to chillax on the husband hug front until it’s right and proper.

I’m flexible.  I’m sweet.  I’m happy:  just like this coffee cake.

Chocolate Walnut Coffee Cake

Chocolate Walnut Coffee Cake

Coffee Cake Any Way

Print this Recipe!

This recipe comes from one of my favorite soul food cookbooks, Sweets.  I like this cookbook because it lacks all pretension.  The cake comes together with yellow boxed cake mix.  Yea… cake mix.  It’s sweetly familiar.  This cake is also unflinchingly flexible.  I threw in walnuts and dark chocolate chips, although you might want to try any of these combinations in your cinnamon  swirl.

Dried Cranberries and White Chocolate Chips

Toasted Pecans and Sweetened Shredded Coconut

Walnuts and Pecans

Dried Apricots and Dried Cherries

and now… the recipe:

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

1 (18.5 ounce ) box yellow cake mix

1 (6 ounce) package vanilla Jell-O pudding

1 cup plain yogurt or sour cream

3/4 cup hot water

4 eggs

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon butter extract

1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)

Brown Sugar Icing

1/3 cup light packed brown sugar

1 1/2 Tablespoons flour

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup whole milk

splash of whiskey (optional)

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Grease and lightly flour a 9 by 13-inch pan. Set aside.

To make the cake, combine the brown sugar, cinnamon and walnuts (if using) in a mixing bowl. Mix well. Set the bowl aside. Measure out the chocolate chips (if using) and set aside. In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, pudding mix, sour cream and hot water. Mix well. Your mixture will be thick. Beat in the eggs, vegetable oil and extracts until very few lumps remain.

Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle all of the brown sugar mixture over the cake batter. Sprinkle with the chocolate chips, or whatever topping you’ve chosen. Carefully spread the remaining batter over the brown-sugar and chocolate chip mixture. With a butter knife, spread and swirl the cake batter and brown sugar mixture.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove the cake form the oven and cool slightly.

To make the icing, combine the sugar and the flour in a bowl. Set the bowl aside. Over medium heat, melt the butter in a medium-sized, heavy saucepan. Whisk the flour and sugar mixture into the melted butter until the mixture becomes moistened. The mixture will appear to separate from the butter. Decrease the heat to low and keep stirring, it will come together after about 2 minutes, becoming slightly stringy.

Stir in the milk. Raise the heat to medium and cook until the mixture becomes thick and smooth, stirring frequently. It will look like gravy. Remove from heat. Add the splash of whiskey and vanilla extract. Let cool to lukewarm and drizzle over warm coffee cake.

This cake stays moist for days. Enjoy!