Saturday, August 20, 2011

Cake Slice Bakers - August 2011: Hungarian Coffee Cake

These little balls of deliciousness are the last installment of The Cake Slice’s choice of book: Cake Keeper Cakes by Laura Chattman. What are these balls called? Why, they are called Hungarian Coffee Cake. Yes, these little balls of cake are formed into one big cake, sort of like monkey bread, only in, well, cake form.

I only made half a batch, which I sort of regret. The cake is so light and airy in texture that it’s like cotton balls, but maybe a little heavier. I’m not good at describing things, oh well. The batter, how can I describe the batter? It sort of reminds me of bread dough, but not as elastic. It was very easy for me to tear the dough apart and roll it into a ball. Now, for the best part; the dough balls are then rolled around in cinnamon sugar. Cinnamon sugar is probably the best kind of coating, except for maybe the brown sugar topping that goes over top of the dough balls right before cooking.

The cake balls pretty much stay in their spherical form when they bake, and it gives way to tearing so easily. It is seriously like pulling cotton candy. The taste is really nice as well; it sort of reminds me of the cinnamon pudding cake we made in November. You get a little bit of a sweet cinnamon combo from the cinnamon sugar mixture, and then there is the gooey brown sugar coating that encases the cake sphere. This cake is seriously addicting to eat, because it’s not like a regular cake where you slice it, put it on a plate, and eat it. No, you can sit in front of this cake (not wise to do, my friend) and just pull apart the cake, chunk, by chunk. Before you know it, you will have eaten half the cake! That’s not a bad thing, though, right?

Including this cake, I have made eight of the eleven cakes The Cake Slice Bakers have made this year. I don’t think all of the recipes are fail proof, because if you recall, there was a bit of a failage on my part for a few of the cakes, like here. Even though not all the recipes come out great, there are a ton of great ideas in it and with a bit of tweaking, I’m sure everyone can find a recipe that they will adore. This cake, the orange almond cake, and the pumpkin chocolate chip pound cake were my favorites. I still have a lot of other recipes flagged, so hopefully I will be able to bake more from this book.

Hungarian Coffee Cake
adapted from Cake Keeper Cakes

6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
¾ cup brown sugar
½ cup sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
8 tbsp unsalted butter, slightly frozen
3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
¾ tsp baking soda
¾ tsp salt
1 cup milk, plus extra if necessary
¼ cup walnuts (optional)
¼ cup raisins (optional)

  1. Whisk together the melted butter and the brown sugar until smooth. Set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 12 cup bundt pan.
  3. Combine the sugar and the cinnamon in a bowl and whisk together. Set the bowl aside. Cube the butter and place in the freezer while you get the rest of your ingredients together.
  4. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt Fit the mixer with the paddle attachment and set the speed to slow or medium-slow. Gradually add in the chilled butter. Mix until the flour is coarse looking. You may need to help the mixer out and gently rub the bigger chunks of butter into the flour, then keep mixing. Slowly add in the milk and mix on a medium speed until the dough has become like a big dough ball. You may need a little more milk, depending on how dry the batter looks.
  5. Stop the mixer and start forming the dough into balls. The cake looks more interesting if you shape the dough into different sizes, but you can make them symmetrical if you want. Retrieve the bowl filled with cinnamon sugar and drop a couple of dough balls at a time. Swirl the bowl around and make sure to cough every part of the dough in the cinnamon sugar mixture. By the way, you will probably, most likely, have extra cinnamon sugar. Drop the cinnamon coated dough balls into the bundt pan randomly, it makes it look more fun that way.
  6. If you are using the walnuts and raisings, now would be the perfect time to sprinkle them on top of the dough balls. If you are not, skip that step and go straight to the brown sugar mixture. Pour the mixture over top of the dough balls, making sure to coat the top layer liberally.
  7. Bake for about 35-40 minutes. You might want to start checking it at around the 30 minute mark though. Once the cake has cooked, take it out of the oven and place the pan on a cooling rack for about 10 minutes. Invert the cake onto a serving platter and serve immediately. This cake tastes ok at room temperature, but it is definitely at it’s best when it’s warm.


  1. Glad you liked this one, too. My all time favorite is the almond-orange one. Bet the next book will be fun to bake from as well. Your cake looks lucious and I can see why it was eaten so easily a chunk at a time :)

  2. I liked this cake too, though not all the recipes from this book were winners. I really liked the cranberry cake though- so good! I still want to try a couple other recipes such as the Nutella pound cake and the lemon lavender pound cake. yum!

    I hope the next book has some awesome cakes in it!

    I sat in fron of this cake and ate it chuck by chunk. so good yet so bad!

  3. Your cake looks wonderful, I tried to make mine gluten free but it didn't really work. I'll have to try it again as yours looks so good!

  4. Ur right and got the words to the point Becca , the dough is bread like :-)
    And i was going to halve the recipe too but am soo glad i didnt!
    Ur cake looks absolutely delish and am off to eat a soft ,moist , almost cottony ball right away :-))
    Happy to meet ya thru Cake slice and thrilled to baking this recipe together !

  5. What an interesting cake. I would love to try it!

  6. Monica- I know, the Nutella Cake and that Levender Cake look so good! I'm just wondering where I'm going to find lavender :/

    Katie- I think it is deffinately worth a shot! I think your just going to have to experiment with different flours, and since yours looked a little liked packed sand, maybe try adding an egg for moisture? (I don't know anything about gluten-free baking)

  7. Your cake looks great, maybe it's a good thing I didn't make this one if the balls are addictive!!

  8. Becca - your cake looks wonderful. I think I made my balls too large, yours are the perfect size.

  9. I reckon you are fine to eat the whole cake chunk by chunk - after all - you only made half the cake! It was a good cake.

  10. Definately one of my favorites as well! Wishing I had some of your cake with my coffee this morning, looks soooo good!


  11. I had no idea you had a new web address/name! I've been missing out on your posts :(


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