Monday, September 22, 2008

Campton Place Coffee Cake


Campton Place Hotel is a boutique luxury hotel in San Francisco. My senior prom date was quite the foodie and he took me to the restaurant in the hotel for dinner before the prom. This was 20 years ago so I'm not sure if foodie was even a word back then. Looking back, my prom date was pretty sophisticated for an eighteen year old. Campton Place was on his list of must try restaurants. It was my first "fancy" restaurant experience but I hardly remember much about it. I remember being surprised that there were only 3 or 4 entrees on the menu to choose from (and I ended up having the lamb entree). I'm guessing teenagers in poufy prom dresses and tuxedoes dining among adults in power suits must've been quite a sight in that small elegant dining room, but the staff was gracious. They made sure that our limousine was out front waiting for us when we were done with dinner. I guess I would've expected service like that from a place like that if I was an adult, but as a teenager, service like that was a wonderful, magical thing.

What does my senior prom dinner have to do with coffee cake? Well, early in Sherry Yard's pastry career she spent four years as a pastry chef at Campton Place and this wonderful coffee cake was part of their breakfast menu. The sour cream makes the cake rich and keeps it moist. And the fruit layered among the cake has the perfect hint of spice and sweetness. The recipe called for fresh or frozen peaches but I decided to use cherries instead. The cherry season is so short that sadly most of the year is spent without any fresh cherries. Luckily frozen cherries are available year round in the supermarket. Of course frozen ones aren’t as good as fresh ones but, during the off season, they will do in a pinch.

BTW, my senior prom theme was "Always and Forever" (a song by Heatwave) and the prom colors were silver and periwinkle. I know, cheesy. Care to share your senior prom theme?


Campton Place Coffee Cake
(adapted from Sherry Yard's "Dessert By The Yard")
Makes 1 bundt cake

3 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
6 ounces (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened at room temp
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs, at room temp
2 cups sour cream

1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (either natural or Dutch-processed)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
10 to 12 ounces pitted cherries (fresh or frozen)

Preheat oven to 350F. Butter and flour or spray a 9- to 10- inch Bundt pan.

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside dry ingredients.

In the bowl of stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy about 5 minutes. Add eggs one at a time and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

On low speed, in 3 additions of each, mix in the dry ingredients and sour cream, alternating the dry and wet ingredients until ingredients are just blended. Be careful not to over mix batter.

Make the filling by mixing the sugars, cocoa powder and cinnamon in a medium bowl.

Scoop in 1 ½ cups cake batter into your prepared Bundt pan and spread evenly to cover the bottom. Sprinkle one-third of the filling and scatter one-third of the cherries over the filling. Scoop in 2 cups cake batter and spread evenly. Sprinkle one-third of the filling and scatter one-third of the cherries over the filling. Scoop in 2 cups of cake batter and spread evenly. Sprinkle the rest of the filling and cherries. Add the rest of the cake batter and spread evenly over the cherries.

Bake for 50-60 minutes at 350F until a cake test inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow cake to cool in pan for 30 minutes, then invert onto a cooling rack, remove pan and let cool completely before serving.


Peabody said...

I have eyed this cake. It's so nice to see when someone makes something you want to make. It looks great.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

This cake looks very tempting and beautiful! Fabulous!



VeggieGirl said...

Wow, your prom date DID have quite sophisticated taste - awesome!! Love the coffee cake :0)

Steph said...

Wow, that coffee cake looks great! I haven't had coffee cake in a long time after this one really bad experience where it was dry, and sweet yet tasteless. I actually thought that it was just the way coffee cakes were supposed to be, but after seeing so many wonderful coffeecakes blogged, I've definitely changed my mind.

Is the cocoa powder added for flavour or does it help with coating?

Anita said...

I live really near Campton Place and every time I walk by I read the menu! Too bad they don't serve this delicious coffee cake there anymore!

Mary said...

Steph - The cocoa powder is for flavor.

Sean said...


Our senior prom song was Stairway to Heaven -- but it was 1987! Think there were many stoners in my school?

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Theme . . . Senior Prom . . . I know I didn't go in a limo. My mom made me a beautiful dress that I wish I still had and could get into. But theme . . . no memory.

This coffee cake looks like one I would not forget! Excellent Mary.

Sandreane said...

Hello Mary, how are you?
I let a gift to you on the Tigela de Yakissoba.
Go to there to see, ok?
Hugs to you :)

Anonymous said...

My prom theme was "Nights in White Satin". That was 1975, friends. My date was a keeper, we've been blissfully married for quite some time.

Martha said...

The cake looks great and I've put it on my "must try" list. But most importantly, I love recipes with stories. Those are the best!


Jude said...

What a nice crust. Thank your for this recipe. Looks liek a keeper.

monica said...

So good and so beautiful!

Connie said...

Thanks Mary for a great recipe! I made this for my Father-in-law's Pinochle group which we host every Monday rave reviews!
I love the hint of cinnamon and chocolate! I didn't have sour cream, so substituted some Greek style low-fat Trader Joe's yogurt.
This may have made the batter thicker than yours, since I only had enough for 3 layers, not four.

Valerie said...

I made this tonight and it is outstanding. Thanks for the recipe!!!

Anonymous said...

was your prom date a he or a she?