cinnamon swirl coffee cake

Kaitie and Dan are home for the weekend. Two blissful days chocked full of family, cooking and for me sheer joy. A big part of yesterday centered around preparing a special dinner to celebrate their renewed relationship and Dan being hired by Air Canada. It was a magical night in the Hooton household!

Like every true Maritime family, we spent most of yesterday in the kitchen. No matter how inviting I try to make the living room, the kitchen is where my family want to hang out. I putter away at the stove while Mom reads my newest cookbooks, the guys wander in and out checking on my progress and Kate and Sara catch me up on ‘life’.

When the girls were little, I used to delight in their innocent conversations. I often thought ‘out of the mouths of babes’. As I listened to them yesterday, I was overwhelmed at their insight and the quality of their conversation. Not that I expected to hear them gossiping. I’m sure the juicy stuff gets discussed when they are alone. Instead, we talked about the value of self nurturing and the challenges it presents. It was fascinating for me to hear their perspectives. Fascinating and immensely comforting to hear how present the girls are in their own lives. They question everything. They are not satisfied to succumb to nature or nurture. They challenge themselves to be more than their natural inclinations and to resist imitating parental role models. Family similarities and familiar routines do sneak in but they are only allowed to stay if it enhances their lives. Anything negative gets kicked to the curb.

It’s funny even though my daughters are twenty-six years old I still found myself thinking ‘out of the mouths of babes’. I guess they’ll always be my little girls, my very wise little girls…

Dan loves coffee cake. This is for him.

CINNAMON SWIRL COFFEE CAKE

SWIRL TOPPING

2/3 CUPS GRANULATED SUGAR
3/4 CUPS ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR
1 TABLESPOON GROUND CINNAMON
1/4 CUP BUTTER, MELTED

WHISK TOGETHER THE SUGAR, FLOUR, AND CINNAMON.
ADD THE MELTED BUTTER, STIR TILL WELL COMBINED.
SET THE TOPPING ASIDE.

FILLING

1 CUP BROWN SUGAR
2 TABLESPOONS GROUND CINNAMON

MIX TOGETHER.
SET ASIDE.

CAKE

3/4 CUP BUTTER, SOFTENED
1 1/2 CUPS GRANULATED SUGAR
1/4 CUP BROWN SUGAR
2 TEASPOONS VANILLA EXTRACT
3 LARGE EGGS
3/4 CUP PLAIN GREEK YOGURT – IT’S THICKER
1 1/4 CUPS MILK
3 3/4 CUPS ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR
1 TABLESPOON BAKING POWDER
1 TEASPOON SALT

DIRECTIONS

PREHEAT THE OVEN TO 350°F.
LIGHTLY GREASE A 9″ X 13″ PAN
IN A MEDIUM BOWL STIR FLOUR, BAKING POWDER AND SALT TOGETHER – SET ASIDE.
IN A LARGE BOWL, BEAT TOGETHER THE BUTTER AND SUGARS
ADD THE EGGS ONE AT A TIME, BEATING WELL AFTER EACH ADDITION.
ADD VANILLA – BEAT WELL
IN A SEPARATE BOWL, WHISK TOGETHER THE YOGURT AND MILK TILL WELL COMBINED – DON’T WHISK OUT ALL THE LUMPS.
ADD THE FLOUR MIXTURE TO THE BUTTER MIXTURE ALTERNATELY WITH THE MILK/YOGURT MIXTURE, MIX GENTLY TO WELL COMBINED.
SPREAD HALF THE BATTER INTO THE PREPARED PAN, SPREADING ALL THE WAY TO THE EDGES.
SPRINKLE THE FILLING EVENLY OVER THE BATTER.
DROP THE REMAINING BATTER ON TOP OF FILLING USING 2 TABLESPOONS THEN GENTLY SPREAD IT OVER THE FILLING.
SWIRL THE FILLING THROUGH THE BATTER USING A BUTTER KNIFE.
SPRINKLE THE TOPPING OVER THE BATTER.
BAKE FOR ABOUT 55 TO 60 MINUTES OR UNTIL A TOOTHPICK OR CAKE TESTER INSERTED INTO THE CENTER OF THE CAKE COMES OUT CLEAN,
REMOVE THE CAKE FROM THE OVEN AND COOL FOR 20 MINUTES BEFORE SERVING.
SERVE CAKE RIGHT FROM THE PAN.

Thanks for reading.