December 01, 2012

Whole Wheat Pumpkin and Sour Cream Coffee Cake

We lay aside letters never to read them again, and at last we destroy them out of discretion, and so disappears the most beautiful, the most immediate breath of life, irrecoverable for ourselves and for others. 
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Pumpkin and Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Do you know that feeling when you finish up the letter, stamp it and let the message flow? Let it soar. Let it fly while gently cutting the thin air. It's good, isn't it? To know that all the words encompassing the most profound and most sincere emotions within are orderly assembled. The dots are just where they are supposed to be filling up the space for any doubts or misunderstandings. 

I love letters. The real ones. Scribbled on a piece of paper, in somehow disorderly ranged lines, uneven spaces and always with too many exclamation marks. I love the smell of that paper slowly being encrusted with the aroma of your fingertips while you are carefully working on the right message. Sometimes it's just a friendly note, a passionless formality or a marble routine, but other times - it's you. It's you being laid out on a dazzlingly white blanket, so paper-thin and desperately fragile that it is trembling each time you start a word. Translate it into a meaning and finally make it end up on the furthest side of the sentence.

Paragraphs. Spaces. Reticence. Truth. Emotion. The moment. The letter. It's you. The letter is you.

That's why I love letters. Cause each time I send one, it seems that I'm sending myself too. The real me that is often more tangible on that lonely piece of paper than in this thick and crowded everyday life. More honest. More vulnerable. More undisguised. Simply more simple.

Pumpkin and Sour Cream Coffee Cake

And, actually, writing letter is like baking a cake. You mix everything you have, everything you feel like utilizing at the moment, and then try to develop something out of it. Something great, but at the same time simple and honest. Something that would represent you while you won't have to say a word.

Just like this coffee cake. It's very simple when it comes to flavor, but it definitely speaks for itself. The whole-wheat flour gives that lovely taste of earthiness while sour cream softens everything up a little bit while a adding a few creamy notes. However, my pumpkin filling got lost somewhere in a baking phase, since the plan was to have a clear lightly refreshing layer of spiced pumpkin puree in between the sponge, but  it actually turned out to be a good thing - the cake got moister amazingly encompassing all the beautiful  flavors in a single bite.

Though, if you don't like whole-grain flour, you can of course substitute it with regular all-purpose flour. Just  don't forget to take off 3 tablespoons sour cream, and everything else should go well. Also, feel free to use unsweetened applesauce instead of pumpkin puree - it should be really great too.

Pumpkin and Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Pumpkin and Sour Cream Coffee Cake

for the base:
1/2 cup (62 g) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (60 g) whole-wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup (50 g) light brown sugar
1/4 cup (55 g) butter, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 medium eggs
1/2 cup (115 g) sour cream, preferably 10% fat *

for the pumpkin filling:
1 cup (215 g) pumpkin puree
1 medium egg
3 Tbsp light brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

for the streusel:
1/4 cup (30 g) all-purpose flour
1/3 cup (30 g) rolled-oats
2 Tbsp light brown sugar
1/2 cup (115 g) butter, melted
2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C) temperature.
Line 9-inch baking dish with parchment paper.
To make the base, in a large bowl, mix together both flours, baking powder, baking soda.
In another bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Mix in vanilla, and beat in the egg.
Mix half of the dry ingredients into the wet, following half of the sour cream. Repeat the process with the remaining flour and sour cream. You should get smooth, heavy and slightly sticky batter.
To make the pumpkin filling, in a separate bowl whisk together the egg and sugar. Pour in the pumpkin puree and all the spices. Mix well.
Then move on to the streusel making. Mix together the flour, rolled oats, sugar, cinnamon and butter. Using your fingers form the crumbs.
To assemble the cake, pour half of the base batter into the prepared baking pan. Spread evenly. Pour over all the pumpkin filling, even it out, and then top it with the remaining batter and streusel.
Bake the cake for about 50-60 minutes, until inserted toothpick into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
Don't the aroma tempt you, and let the cake cool completely before cutting and serving.

* if you gave only 30% fat sour cream, take 1/2 cup minus 2 Tbsp and mix with some milk, so that it is liquid enough

Pumpkin and Sour Cream Coffee Cake


  1. Migle, thanks for your lovely additions to our collection. Cheers

  2. OMG this looks so good! We're going to make it tomorrow!