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Monday, 19 April 2010

Jewish Coffee Cake

At the end of last Summer as my family and I were getting ready to leave Abu Dhabi, we had a small gathering of close friends to say goodbye. My friend Nancy who became like a mother to me while I was living in Abu Dhabi made a Jewish Coffee cake for desert. Now, when I heard coffee I was instantly skeptical... you see I don't drink coffee...can't stand the stuff! So I thought I would not like the cake at all! Boy was I wrong. Nancy's cake was quite possibly the best cake I have ever eaten and there was no coffee in sight!

I decided to make the cake for Thursday night desert as we had our very good friends John and Kathryn over for a BBQ. I scoured the internet for different versions of the recipe and there were plenty. I settled on the version that seemed similar to Nancy's - where the filling was full of cinnamon and sugar.

I also decided to research the history of the cake as the Jewish faith would have to be arguably the oldest religion in our history, however I think my Muslim friends would beg to differ! Jewish Coffee Cake is actually known as Ashkenazic coffee cake and dates back to the 17th Century in Eastern Europe. The original recipe did call for coffee but today's versions are completely caffeine free. In contemporary Jewish homes coffee cake is often served for breakfast on Shabbat and holidays, and at the breakfast table after Yom Kippur and Tisha B'Av.

This cake while baking makes your kitchen smell of warm cinnamon donuts and is best served warm with cream or ice cream. Also, it lasts at least 5 days in an air tight container.

On a side note, tomorrow my family and I are leaving Doha for a 2 week holiday in Bali where I don't think I'll be able to blog. Sadie and I are then off to Sydney for a month to see family and friends. While I'm in Bali I have organised for a couple of recipes to be posted. 

I hope you enjoy


  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9x9 inch pan. Combine the flour, baking soda and baking powder; set aside.

In a medium bowl, cream together the sugar, butter and eggs until smooth. Add the flour mixture and beat until smooth. Finally, stir in the sour cream and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine the nuts, confectioners' sugar and cinnamon.


Spread half of the batter into the 9x9 inch pan. Sprinkle a layer of the nut mixture, then spread the remaining batter and top with the rest of the nut mixture. Spread the melted butter over the top.

Bake for 1 hour in the preheated oven, until cake springs back to the touch.

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