Despite the name, a coffee cake typically contains no coffee. They are sweet cakes often served with coffee or tea and eaten for breakfast or brunch. Some are yeasted and some are not. Since I am still a yeast virgin, this is of the latter persuasion.
This coffee cake is perfect any time of year since it’s made with dried fruit and nuts. I used dried cherries and walnuts but feel free to experiment. Dried cranberries with pecans or maybe dried pineapple with macadamia nuts would be nice combinations too.
My favorite part of this coffee cake is the streusel topping. From the German for "something strewn together", this streusel is most definitely thrown together and very easily too I might add. Brown sugar and nuts bound by flour and butter form a cookie like topping for the coffee cake. And since I used a muffin pan to make miniature coffee cakes, each one has it's very own cookie top with lots of crispy edges.
Miniature Cherry Walnut Streusel Coffee Cakes
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
2 1/2 ounces (5 tbsp) unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup yogurt*
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups dried cherries
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 350F. Line with paper liners or butter and flour 24 (4-ounce capacity) wells of a muffin pan.
To make streusel topping
Mix flour, sugar, and walnuts in a bowl. Add the butter and, using a pastry blender or your fingers, cut or rub in the butter until coarse crumbs form. Place streusel in freezer while making the batter.
To make batter
Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk butter, sugar, eggs, yogurt, and vanilla until smooth. Add flour mixture and mix until just incorporated. Gently fold in cherries and walnuts.
Divide batter evenly among the 24 wells. Sprinkle each generously with the streusel topping.
Bake until tops are golden brown, about 20 minutes. Cool in pan for 5 minutes then transfer to cooling rack.
*I used Greek style honey yogurt but plain yogurt is fine too. Also, you can use sour cream instead of yogurt.