You will love this coffee cake. Lemon, cinnamon and almonds: Outrageous match! This coffee cake is a wonderful brunch choice, as it has the look and texture of a yeasted pastry, thanks to the yogurt. A delicious wannabe quick babka. Fun cinnamon swirl in the center of the cut slice.
Don’t hesitate to go dairy-free, as this coffee cake has enough great flavors going for it.
I make my coffee cake with spelt flour, just as I make all my desserts, making it a low-gluten and no-less delicious treat. If you are using whole wheat flour, be sure it is whole wheat pastry flour, as it is ground much finer than regular whole wheat flour, yielding a much lighter and much more presentable finished product.
If you would rather not have nuts, simply skip them. In this case, double the amount of flour, butter and cinnamon in the filling.
Filling and topping
- 1 cup whole unblanched almonds (pecans or walnuts are great too)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1∕3 cup flour: all-purpose, whole wheat pastry, or spelt (white or whole grain)
- 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter (dairy-free: natural margarine spread: health food stores), cut small
- 2 tablespoons cinnamon
- 3/4 cup butter (dairy-free: natural margarine spread: health food stores), at room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 eggs
- 2 1/2 cups flour: all-purpose, whole wheat pastry, or spelt
- 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/3 teaspoon salt
- 11/2 cups plain yogurt (dairy-free: plain soy or coconut yogurt, health food stores)
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Make the filling/topping: In a food processor, coarsely grind the almonds. And the remaining filling/topping ingredients and pulse briefly, until the mixture looks like coarse meal. Reserve.
Grease and lightly flour a 10-inch spring form pan or a tube pan. Cream the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until light and fluffy. Combine the flour, lemon zest, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a bowl, and add alternately with the yogurt to the batter, pulsing each time 2 to 3 times, only until just combined.
Pour half the batter into the pan. Sprinkle evenly with half the filling. Pour the remaining batter gently and evenly, then sprinkle with the remaining topping, using it all up. Bake about 45 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Invert and cool on a rack.