Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Coconutty Coffee Cake

I figured it was about time to blog about a recipe again. I cook all the time, but mostly, I don't use recipes. Cooking free-style is convenient except if I want to duplicate something we liked or if I want to tell someone else how I made something. I'm told that my great-grandmother was the same way. In trying to rid my husband of his donuts-for-breakfast fixation, I have been trying many different coffee cake and muffin recipes. It's difficult to find many that are totally devoid of fruits and nuts. This started out as a muffin recipe, but has been adapted to a 9x13 inch pan because I'm too lazy to mess with muffin papers. We've all enjoyed this recipe, even the picky toddler. While technically not a dessert, it's got a lot of sugar and certainly isn't health food. But it does have a goodly amount of good fat and whole grains and some eggs, so it is tremendously better that a boughten dough nut.

Coconutty Coffee Cake
2/3 cup virgin coconut oil (preferably in it's liquid state)
1 cup sugar- I use about half sucanat and half evaporated cane juice
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups fresh ground wheat flour (I usually sub 1/4 cup of the flour with coconut flour)
1 TBSP aluminum free baking powder
1 tsp unrefined sea salt
1/2 to 1 TBSP ginger powder
1 cup whole milk, preferably organic
1 tsp vanilla extract

4 TBSP room temperature butter, preferably organic
1/2 cup sucanat or brown sugar
2- 2 1/2 tsp cinnamon
pecans and shredded coconut are optional

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Blend flour(s), baking powder, salt, and ginger in a medium sized bowl. Cream the coconut oil, sugar, and eggs. Add flour and milk to oil mixture a little at a time. Add vanilla. This will be a thick batter. Spoon out into a greased 9x13" pan. In a small cup mix the additional sucanat or brown sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle this over batter. Cut butter into small pieces and dot batter liberally. Add more or less butter to suit your tastes. Add shredded coconut and/or pecans. Or not, if cooking for my husband.

Bake for 30-35 minutes and try to let it cool enough before you eat it that you don't burn your tongue!

Now, a word about some of the ingredients.
I love Tropical Traditions virgin coconut oil. It's very tasty and is truly a health-promoting food. There are quite a few good unrefined (virgin) coconut oils out there, but I really do like Tropical Traditions best. To get a free copy of the book, Virgin Coconut Oil, How it has changed people's lives, and how it can change yours with your first order from Tropical Traditions, tell them I referred you. My referral code is 5967402. The book has a lot of information on uses of coconut oil as well as some of the facts about saturated fats that health magazines never mention. They have a lot of great coconut products. I especially like the oils- refined and unrefined and the coconut cream concentrate. I'm just starting to experiment with coconut flour. It smells divine!
Besides the products, the other thing I really like about Tropical Traditions is the specials they have. Every now and again they have free shipping for any sized order and free products with a small purchase. Sometimes the virgin coconut oil goes on sale buy one get one free.They will send new customers the free book I mentioned by using my referral code and I'll get free items when the new customers order. It's really a win-win situation. Their customer service is also great. I received a package that the carrier damaged. They pack stuff well and was in no way Tropical Traditions' fault. I contacted them to let them know and they gave me a substantial coupon for my next purchase! I didn't ask for that, they just took care of me for my trouble! Anyway, I am not being paid by Tropical Traditions for this, I just am not often this impressed with a company, so I thought I'd tell y'all.

I get my eggs from my friendly, neighborhood egg lady. They are ridiculously cheap ($1.50/ dozen) and have delicious, orange yolks. Miss Lucille loves "her girls" and really takes good care of them. No salmonella scare for us.

I use and love Prairie Gold wheat. You can buy it from Wheat Montana, but for my area, it's much cheaper from the local Mennonite bulk foods store. I also love my Nutrimill grain mill.

I make my own vanilla extract. It's much better tasting than store-bought, if I do say so myself. I'll tell you all about that another time. Any real vanilla extract is an improvement over the imitation vanilla that is in most foods.

I only use aluminum-free baking powder. There are probably aluminum-free varieties at the grocery store, but I get mine cheaply from the aforementioned Mennonite food store.

Mountain Rose Herbs is another company I want to tell you about. They have good quality coconut oil, too. And depending on where in the country you live, they may be a good deal cheaper than Tropical Traditions, depending on shipping. But what I like best about Mountain Rose Herbs, is the inexpensive, super-high quality spices! I'm not a fan of cinnamon, as a rule, but MRH has THE BEST organic ground cinnamon I have ever tasted! Their garlic powder is superb. The powdered cacao nibs is a really delicious substitute for good ol' Hershey's cocoa powder. My only complaint is that they are on the west coast and shipping can be brutal. I wonder if they'd like to move their base of operations to Louisville? Probably not. But they are a good place to know just the same.

Well, I'm going to go have another piece of that yummy coffee cake. I'll have mine with coconut and pecans. I may just have to make coffee to go with it. . .

If any of you try this recipe, please let me know what you think.



  1. I am sure the coffee cake is wonderful. Any backing done with fresh groud flour is miles ahead..

    James Dahlberg

  2. Right you are, James! I'll never go back to store bought flour again!


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