Lying in bed predawn with only the glow of my smart phone to give color to the gloom. Did I suffer from insomnia before the internet? How ever did I fill those hours? What story remains unwritten because I just checked Facebook? What classic remains unread because of Words with Friends? Enough! Out of bed with an hour to spare before the regular Monday morning madness begins. Shall we bake a cake? A coffee cake. Something pumpkin? No! No pumpkin. Pumpkin has been Nora Jonesed– I used to love her but baby it’s all over now (well, until Thanksgiving when I will eat pumpkin pie in an ironic way and love every darn bite).
Can I bake a cake in less than an hour? Heck yeah. I made it with time to spare.
Spicy, salty, buttery, sweet- the pretzels give a bit of crunch, the cardamom and ginger a bit of punch. And since it’s coffee cake bring on the coffee. Hello Monday we meet again.
- 1 1/2 cups AP flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/3 cup white sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter
- ½ cup milk
- ¼ cup yogurt
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ¾-1 tsp ground cardamom
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ cup crushed pretzels
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Grease and flour a nine inch square pan or a nine inch round Bundt pan.
In a large mixing bowl combine flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Cut in 1/3 cup butter with a pastry blender to the size of small peas.
In a separate small bowl whisk together the milk, yogurt, egg, and vanilla. Add the liquids to the flour mixture all at once. Stir until just blended and little or no dry flour bits remain.
In a small bowl use your fingers to mix together remaining butter, brown sugar, crushed pretzels and spices- blending until all the ingredients are combined into a course crumb. For a 9 inch square pour the batter into the prepared pan and then sprinkle the crumb topping on top of batter. For the Bundt pan put the topping in the pan first and then spread the batter over the top.
Bake in the preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. If using a Bundt pan allow to cool for about five minutes before inverting. If some of the topping sticks to the pan just scoop it out and reapply to the top of the cake- no one else is up yet so no one has to know.