Monday, December 21, 2009

Walnut Coffee Cake - Blue Monday

Trafalger Square

As you read this, we'll be on our way to Texas for the first leg of our Christmas adventures. We'll be in Austin through the 26th and then head to Connecticut to meet our newest heir and greet the New Year. While my correspondence may suffer, there will be a new recipe and a, hopefully, pithy observation each day I'm gone, so please don't be strangers. I'll do my best to respond to your comments, but should reality trump intent, know I'll be back and in fine fettle for the New Year.

The walnut coffee cake featured today is the very nicest surprise of my Christmas baking adventures. I stumbled on the recipe and clipped it to use as a filler, never expecting it to become a holiday superstar. It is a wonderful yeast bread that is decidedly simple to make. It requires patience rather than kneading. The dough is mixed and then put to bed for the night in the refrigerator. It is filled, rolled and baked the following day. While there are several steps required to make this, none of them are difficult and no special equipment is required. The loaves can be frozen, but if you choose to take that route don't frost them until they've been thawed and are ready to serve. The loaves are very sticky, so don't let them sit for more than 15 minutes in their pans. When you turn them out, cover your cooling rack with plastic wrap or parchment paper to keep them from sticking to the ribs of the rack. Once cool, they'll be fine and the paper can be removed from the bottom of the loaves. This cake comes very close to being my all-time favorite coffee cake. It would be in first place if it weren't for the fact I know that there is another one out there that is just waiting to be discovered. On a scale of one to five, this cake is easily a five. Please try it.

Over-Night Walnut Coffee Cake...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite, courtesy of


4 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
4-1/2 teaspoons (2 pkg.) active dry yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup warm water
2 eggs
1 cup cold milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons melted butter
3/4 cup butter
1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2 cups finely chopped walnuts
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1 tablespoon hot water


1) In large mixing bowl, combine flour, 1/4 cup sugar and salt. Cut in butter until it resembles corn meal.
2) In small bowl, combine yeast with 1 tablespoon sugar and warm water; stir to dissolve.
3) In another bowl, combine eggs, milk and vanilla; stir until well combined. Stir in yeast mixture, then add to flour mixture with a wooden spoon mixing until well combined and a rough dough forms. Cover bowl with plastic wrap; refrigerate overnight.
4) When ready to proceed, cream butter. Gradually beat in gradually beat in powdered sugar and vanilla. Spread 2 tablespoons of mixture in bottom and up sides of two 9 x 5 loaf pans. Reserve remainder for filling. Sprinkle 1/4 cup chopped nuts in bottom of each pan.
6) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
7) Divide dough in half. On lightly floured board, roll each half to a 10 x 18 inch rectangle. Spread each half with remaining filling, then sprinkle each with 1/2 cup chopped nuts. Cut each half cross wise into 3 equal strips, 6 x 10 inches long. Starting at long edge of each strip, roll up jelly-roll style to form 10-inch long rolls; twist slightly. Braid 3 rolls together; place in pans, tucking ends under.
8) Bake for 50 - 55 minutes. Remove from pans; frost when cool.
9) To make frosting, place powdered sugar, butter, corn syrup and water in a small bowl and combine until smooth. Add additional water as need to make a heavy but pourable icing. Yield: 2 loaves/cakes.

This post is being linked to:
Smiling Sally - Blue Monday

Wild Yeast - Yeast Spotting


nancy said...

what to do what to do? this one or the Budapest Coffee Cake for Coffee ladies on Tues? This looks really good.

claudie said...

I have a picture of my dad at Trafalgar Square during WW11. He had legs then. He lost both legs in a Sherman Tank. He is now in heaven with all the angels.
Happy Blue Monday & Merry Christmas Mary.
Love Claudie

Mary Bergfeld said...

Nancy, the cakes are different from each other in that one is more like a crisp sweet bread and the other is like a cake. I prefer yeast coffee cakes, so I'd go for the walnut coffee cake. Bob, my husband, loves the Budapest coffee cake which is much sweeter. Either of them would be wonderful for your guests.

My Little Space said...

I'm drooling! Oh my, looks so delish... can't wait to try it out! Thanks for sharing.

Deb in Hawaii said...

Beautiful coffee cake--have a wonderful trip and happy holidays!

Chubskulit Rose said...

Ahhh I am longing for a bit of that hehehe.

My Blue Monday, Merry Christmas!

EJ said...

That's a very tall Christmas tree.

Blue Monday with our new eye candy, happy holidays!

Unknown said...

O what a marvellous recipe. I am so sure this is a cake I would adore. I look forward to trying it. Thankyou so much for the recipe!

Chef E said...

Happy travels, and is that cake got a ticket as well? Ha, and please blow a kiss when you land in Texas, my beloved home, and to the west so my sis will catch it on the wind!

Kat said...

This looks wonderful! And welcome to Texas! I hope you enjoy your stay, and if it was any other time of year I'd invite you up to Georgetown for a visit. I know how busy you will be visiting, so just know that the next time you are in the area, drop me a line and I'll take you to lunch! Have a joyous Christmas. Kathy

gengen said...

Oh my goodness you make me hungry this early morning. I like your cake...Happy blue Monday.

SmilingSally said...

That foggy London sky is a dull blue indeed. I've been to that fascinating city twice, and how I loved it!

Your recipe sounds tempting, but I've no time this year, Mary. This is a good one for me to save to bake another day. Happy Blue Monday and Merry Christmas!

Sam Hoffer / My Carolina Kitchen said...

Isn't it funny how a recipe can surprise you and be a favorite when you had no idea it would be? Nice surprises sometimes.

Enjoy your Christmas trip and your visit with family. Be safe and have a merry Christmas.

Martha said...

As always, this looks really good!

Hootin Anni said...

Oh're gonna be in Texas. Too bad it's so far north of us. I'd make a special trip up there to meet you if I could.

Have yourself a blessed holiday Mary. And travel safely.

Schnitzel and the Trout said...

You have the most amazing recipes. Safe travels to your family. Need grandma pictures with that new heir!!! Merry Christmas and looking forward to a whole new year of your blogging.

Glo said...

Oh gosh this looks good! Love the picture of Trafalgar Square too!

George Gaston said...

Mary, safe travels and enjoy the time with your family. This coffee cake looks like it is out of this world and I love the creamy icing, too.

I'll have to put this on my "must-make" list in the New Year. Many thanks... and Happy Holidays!

Arlene Delloro said...

This is the kind of coffee cake that I prefer. I need to bring something to Christmas brunch. If it isn't savoury, this will be it. Have a wonderful trip.

storyteller said...

What a FESTIVE view on a grey day in Trafalger Square! As always, your mouth-watering treats would go deliciously with my morning coffee. Hope you enjoy your Christmas travel adventures connecting with family for the holidays ;-)
Hugs and blessings,

NKP said...

I love the flavour that overnight retarding gives. What a great coffee cake!

Cathy said...

This is indeed the season for coffee cakes. How exciting to meet your new grandson. There couldn't be a better Christmas present.

Holiday blessings to you all.

Claudia said...

I do love a good coffee cake - not store bought - they are too dry. Scrumptious. Happy trails to you - but your travels be worry-free.

xinex said...

Although I fell in love with Trafalgar Sq. when we saw it in London, I can;'t decide now if I like your Walnut cake better, LOL! Looks yummy! Hope you and your family have a Blessed Christmas, Mary!...Christine

Judy said...

Wow! That looks yummy!!

Kathryn said...

Looks and sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing it with us!

Maria said...

Beautiful cake for a Blue Monday:)

Marice said...

aww those really looks yummy :) thanks for sharing!

u may view mine here

Kim, USA said...

This looks like very yummy..with coffee and great friends around makes the day very delightful. Thanks for sharing!

Nativity scene

D said...

Mary, our family wishes you and yours a blessed Christmas! and thank you for all your wonderful recipes. Diana

Unknown said...


merry christmas and happy holidays.

hugs and kisses for the new heir

Karen said...

This really does look and sound good. I like that it's braided and especially like the sugar 'crust' on the outside of the loaf!

Inspired by eRecipeCards said...

You have fun and enjoy the holidays... Bet it's gonna be hard for you to turn over the cooking duties to someone else.

Won't be nothing for you to do but hold that new grandbaby... Oh well, try to make the best of it anyway


Unknown said...

WONDERFUL!!! coffee cake filled with walnuts. Have a Merry Christmas.

jeanne said...

Hello Mary, we will be in Fl for Christmas for a week. I will be taking a bit of a blogging break too.I wish you a safe journey.

This coffee cake looks delicious. Mary your recipes are an inspiration to us all.
The photo in Trafalgar Square is gorgeous.

May Peace be your gift at Christmas and your blessing all year through!

Christmas love, Jeanne

Debbie said... the coffee cake but especially your last post on linzer cookies. One of my very favorites! Both look delicious!

joyh82 said...

Wow your posts always make me hungry :) The coffee cake looks so fresh and yummy!Have a very Merry Christmas!

Kathleen said...

Merry Christmas, Mary!
When you are in CT, yell across the sound, and I will hear you on the other side on LI!
Safe travels!

Alessandra said...

So coffee cake means that it is a cake to be served with coffee...and not made with coffee :-) Mary, think of me wondering wow what an interesting combination walnut and coffee, I must see this...and then realizing what coffee cake means!

But it happened to me something similar... you see in Italian we call coffee cake (your sort of cake) plum cake! I put my recipe in a book and readers came back to me asking where the plums where!

Merry Xmas and Happy New Year


Stefanie said...

Looks so delicious!
I love this kind of overnight doughs! It makes live (especially on holidays) easier!

Joanne said...

This is so beautiful! I love a good coffee cake and especially like that this is an overnight version. Perfect for brunch! Have fun with your family and have a safe trip!

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