ABC: Butterscotch Spiral Coffee Cake

I been so absent with the Avid Baker’s Challenge post, its a wonder that I have not be kicked out by our gracious host Hanaa.

But this weekend was long, it was raining outside, I had caught up with all of DVR viewing and I wanted a yeast cake and ABC choice was a Butterscotch Spiral Coffee Cake.

Butterscotch people!

As in gooey, caramel-y, sticky and sweet.  Pair it with a yeast cake filled with layers of butter and cinnamon, and the cake had me at “hello”.

I’m starting to not be afraid of yeast and I thinking that I need to thank Flo Braker and the ABC group for this, most of the recipes that involves yeast have come from her book - Baking for all Occasions and with this cake I could tell that my comfort level dealing with dough has gone thru the roof.  Before = I would break out in a complete panic on the though of dealing with yeast and poofing dough.  Now = BRING IT ON!

This cake is not difficult to make at all.  It’s just a couple of little steps and you get awesome results, that you don’t have to wait much to try, since even Flo instructions tells you “best eaten the same day it is made and warm”.

Oh yes.

Hanna had send over a quick pre-post about this recipe and she did mention that a couple of baker out there noted that the butterscotch was not enough, so I doubled it.  I also double the spices in the cake dough.  And since I like a crunch and added some hazelnuts that I had in my pantry screaming to be used.  While the recipe seems long, it’s not difficult, so don’t panic!  Just take one step at a time and before you know it you will be unmolding this beauty.

from Flo Braker - Baking for all Occasions 

Dough Ingredients 

  • 2 ½ to 2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 ¼ teaspoon (1 envelope) instant yeast
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom (If you don’t have any, increase your nutmeg and cinnamon)
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ⅓ cup whole milk (1 per cent milk worked as well)
  • 2 oz. (½ stick) unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 

Butterscotch Glaze 

  • ½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 oz. (½ stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoon dark corn syrup (light corn syrup worked too) 

Cinnamon-Butter Filling 

  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted 

To Make the Dough: Mix 2 cups of the flour, the sugar, yeast, salt, cardamom, nutmeg, and cinnamon in the bowl of a stand mixer; set aside. In a small, heavy saucepan, combine the milk and butter and melt over low heat. Add the water and put the saucepan for about 1 minute.

Pour the milk mixture over the flour-yeast mixture and mix well with a rubber spatula until all of the dry ingredients are moistened. Attach the bowl to the mixer. You will be using the paddle attachment. With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs, on at a time, beat after each addition until incorporated. Add the vanilla in the final moments of mixing. Stop the mixer, add ½ cup more flour and resume mixing on low speed until smooth, 30-45 more seconds. Add 2 tablespoons additional flour and resume mixing on medium speed until the dough is smooth, still soft, and slightly sticky, about 45 seconds.

Sprinkle the work surface with 1 tablespoon of flour and center the dough on the flour. Knead the dough gently until it is smooth and no longer sticky. It is likely that you will need to add an extra 1-2 tablespoons flour to prevent stickiness. Place the dough in a large bowl, cover the bowl securely with plastic wrap, and let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in size, which should take about 45-60 minutes. The dough is ready when a finger gently pressed into it leaves an indentation. Meanwhile prepare the baking pan, the glaze and the filling.

To Make the Butterscotch Glaze: Lightly coat a 9 by 2-inch round cake pan with nonstick spray, or butter the pan. Combine the sugar, butter, and corn syrup in a small, heavy saucepan and set over low heat until the butter is completely melted. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and tilt the pan to cover the bottom evenly, set aside. Don’t worry if the glaze thickens slightly, it will liquefy again in the oven.

To Make the Cinnamon-Butter Filling: In a small bowl or cup, stir the cinnamon into the butter; set aside.

Before Baking: Centre a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

To Assemble the Coffee Cake: Gently deflate the dough. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough into a 16 by 12-inch rectangle. Using a pastry brush, spread the butter-cinnamon mixture evenly over the dough. Cut the dough lengthwise into six 2-inch-wide strips. Try to keep the strips consistent in size otherwise the height of the cake will not be even. A pizza cutter works just great. Loosely (so the dough has some give as it expands in the oven) roll up 1 strip and place it, cut edge up, in the center of the prepared pan on top of the glaze. One at a time, coil the remaining dough strips around the center one, starting each strip at the end of the previous seam. The butter-cinnamon side of the dough strips should be facing inside. You will see the large spiral begin to form. (Don’t worry if there is space left in the pan, it will fill up as the dough bakes.) Loosely cover the pan with plastic wrap and let the cake rise in a warm place until it is almost doubled in size, about 30 minutes.

Bake the coffee cake until the top is deep golden brown, about 35 minutes. Check after 20 minutes to make sure the cake is not browning too fast. While I kept a close eye on my oven and temperature, the cake did brown too fast. If it is, cover the top loosely with aluminum foil for the last 10-15 minutes of baking to prevent overbrowning. Remove foil if you used it, and let cool for 10 minutes.

Tilt the pan and tap the sides on a counter to release the cake sides, using a small rubber spatula if you need to loosen it some more, or a butter knife. Place a serving plate on top, leave the pan on the cake for 1 minute, so the glaze transfers to the cake, and then gently lift off the pan. Using a rubber spatula, scrape out any butterscotch syrup remaining in the pan and spread it over the warm surface of the cake.

Serve the cake warm or at room temperature, cut into wedges gently with a serrated knife. It’s best served the day it is made.


Tom: He had three pieces, so I think it’s a winner in his side.

The little man: like his father he had 2 pieces and declared that the butterscotch was the best part.

As for me, I’m a bit on the fence.  I’m glad that I double the butterscotch glazed, because I could see how others that have made the recipe would say it would not be enough.  The other thing is that I found the cinnamon/butter filling between the layers got lost somehow; it just needs more of something.  I did find a suggestion of spreading a layer of apple butter over the cinnamon butter and then baking as directed. This might be another good solution.

Which means that this will be a do-over sometime in the future.  In the meantime we can lick our sticky fingers and finish this one up.

You can also check out the results from the other ABC bakers here