This easy-to-make strawberry coffee cake has a pistachio crumb topping and is not too sweet, making it perfect for afternoon coffee or tea.
If you’ve ever been to my apartment, you know that I am not a tidy person. My partner AJ, however, happens to be extremely tidy. After living together for 15+ years, we’ve definitely come to an uneasy truce about it, with him basically ignoring my desk. He often says that he basically pretends there is an invisible blanket over my desk that covers my clutter and gives him peace of mind. But lately it’s been so out of control (even for me) that the first chance I had, I went to Ikea and bought some bookcases. Because it’s not that my desk is cluttered, it’s the towering stack of cookbooks that I have accumulated that threaten to fall over and crush my computer (and me). It was time. (Jump directly to the recipe for Strawberry Coffee Cake with Pistachio Crumb Toppin.)
Once I got my two bookcase and assembled them late at night (sorry downstairs neighbors when I accidentally dropped that box on the hardwood floor) I started filling up the shelves. And then it hit me. I have a ton of cookbooks but I rarely use them. I adore all my cookbooks but it’s as if I am just collecting them to collect them. They rare get used. And sure I could blame the fact that they were stacked 20 tall on my desk and it was difficult to access any of them without some sort of insanely dangerous juggling act. But it’s really because I’m a little bit lazy, resorting to just googling or using Pinterest to find a recipe.
But with my cookbooks sitting on my shiny new bookshelves, they are suddenly staring at me and taunting me with their pretty spines. And so I reached for one that I have been eyeing ever since I got it, Sweet Morning, 125 Sweet and Savory Breakfast and Brunch Recipes. A quick flip through and I found a recipe that sounded delightful, a rhubarb coffee cake. Except rhubarb isn’t quite out yet. A few tweaks here and there to the recipe and all of sudden I have a Strawberry Coffee Cake with Pistachio Crumb Topping. I can’t wait to dive deeper into my cookbook collection now that I can actually access them without fear of crushing my computer.
Strawberry Coffee Cake with Pistachio Crumb Topping
By Irvin Lin
This coffee cake uses fresh strawberries layered on top with a crumb topping adorned with pistachios. I got the idea from my own cookbook, Marbled, Swirled, and Layered, which has a recipe for strawberry rhubarb pie with pistachio topping. This is the perfect recipe for those strawberries that aren’t in season or not quite ripe yet. Sprinkle the strawberries on top of the cake with a small amount of crumb topping over them, allows the strawberries to cook and concentrates their flavor slightly. Of course, the coffee cake isn’t too sweet which makes this the perfect sort of afternoon treat with coffee or tea.
Recipe radically adapted from Sweet Mornings by Patty Pinner.
2 cups (280 g) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teapsoon kosher salt
1/2 cup (115 g or 1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup (165 g) dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
3/4 cup (195 g) sour cream (full fat, not low fat)
1 pound strawberries, hulled and sliced in half
3/4 cup (150 g) white granulated sugar
1/2 cup (70 g) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 kosher salt
1/2 cup (70 g) shelled pistachios, chopped
1/2 cup (115 or 1 stick) unsalted butter, refrigerator cold
1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Lightly spray a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with cooking oil.
2. Place the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl and stir with a balloon whisk until evenly distributed.
3. Place the butter, olive oil, dark brown sugar and vanilla in the bowl of stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Cream the ingredients together until they are fluffy and cling the side of the bowl, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, waiting until the first egg is incorporated before adding the second one.
4. Add half the dry ingredients, mixing until incorporated. Add the sour cream and repeat, then the remaining dry ingredients and mix. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula to make sure all ingredients are well incorporated.
5. Scrape the batter into the baking pan and spread evenly to the edges. Sprinkle the strawberries evenly over the top of the batter. Make the topping by placing the sugar, flour, cinnamon, cardamom, salt and pistachios into the bowl that the dry ingredients were in. Cut the butter into 1/2-inch pieces then add to the bowl. Using your fingers, smash the butter into smaller and smaller pieces, tossing them with the dry ingredients until the butter is the size of peppercorns. Sprinkle the topping over the strawberries.
6. Place the baking pan in the oven and bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 30 minutes before slicing and serving.
Makes 1 coffee cake, serves 12.