Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Dulce de Leche Coffee Cake

I've been baking a lot this week. Testing recipes and frequently finding myself disappointed by the results.

It's been a little frustrating. Especially when Mr. Humble and I are at odds over the verdict for a particular baked treat. Like the well reviewed Epicurious pumpkin spice cake with my own mascarpone dulce de leche frosting. He loved it and insisted I should post it. I thought it tasted less like spice and more like salty-metallic baking soda.

He says he can't taste it but I think that's just because he has corrupted his taste buds with too much rooster sauce.

So we 're posting something we can agree upon today, a relatively simple coffee cake. It has passed the taste test, even though Mr. Humble professes a greater fondness for the plain version of this cake I make. He doesn't seem to understand that I made four cans of dulce de leche this week and they need to find a purpose before I start eating the stuff straight from the can from a spoon.

The dense and tender coffee cake is lovely baked in 6" rounds. However, I prefer baking it in a tube pan when serving it to guests. Slices of the coffee cake-ring will plate up beautifully for fall brunch or tea.

Dulce de Leche Coffee Cake
adapted from Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook
yields one 9" tube pan or two 6" rounds

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream

Streusel Topping
yields a very generous amount of streusel. Recipe can be halved for a thinner layer of topping or extra can be frozen and kept for up to a month.
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup packed light-brown or confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon coarse salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup dulce de leche

1 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons of dulce de leche

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch tube pan or two 6-inch rounds with a little butter or non-stick spray; set aside. I recommend using removable bottom tube/round pans as inverting a coffee cake out of a pan can be tricky (but not impossible. So if you're careful and okay with a few lost strusel crumbs, you can use standard pans and invert the cakes.).

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

Prepare the topping by combining the streusel ingredients (minus the dulce de leche) in a large bowl. Using your hands, press and rub the ingredients together and the butter is evenly distributed. Press handfuls of the mixture in your fist and then break the streusel chunks to form a variety of crumb sizes of crumbs; set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla on medium speed until light and creamy (2 to 3 minutes). Add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the sour cream and beginning and ending with the flour. Beat the batter until just combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Arrange a thin layer of streusel on top of the batter. Gently warm the dulce de leche until it is fluid and drizzle it over the top of the streusel. Top with the remaining streusel, making sure it is evenly distributed over the top of the batter.

Bake until the topping is golden brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean (save for a smear of dulce de leche) 45 to 50 minutes minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack and allow the cake cool 10 to 15 minutes. Remove cake from the pan and allow to cool completely before glazing.

To make the glaze, combine the powdered sugar and dulce de leche until a paste forms. Mix in the milk, a teaspoon at a time, until a thick glaze has formed.

Using a fork, drizzle the glaze over the cake. Let cake sit until glaze is set, about 5 minutes, before serving. Cake can be kept at room temperature, wrapped well in plastic, for up to 4 days.


  1. Just what I excuse to make another batch of dulce de leche!

  2. Do you use the slow cooker method for making dulce de leche? I'm thinking about giving it a go this weekend...

  3. that's it. I've seen 2 blogs today about dulce de leche. It's a sign...

  4. Our local museum, Museum of South Texas History, produced a cookbook, "Mesquite Country" several years ago. It included a recipe by Sergio Rodriguez of Don Strange Catering of San Antonio, that he called Apple Cake with Cajeta Frosting. Cajeta is the local version of Dulce de Leche. He makes a basic apple cake, but also makes the cajeta for the topping. Excellent recipe.

  5. WHOA. Looks awesome!!!

    Julie @ Willow Bird Baking

  6. Hmm, wonder if I could just bake a pan full of that Streusel Topping - because who am I fooling, that's the only reason to eat coffee cake anyway. ;)

    Really though, the whole thing looks amazing! YUM!

  7. I absolutely love your blog and often want to make the stuff you post. My only complaint is that you don't provide a printer-friendly version of the recipe. When I try to print it directly from the recipe page, the writing turns out super tiny. Maybe I'm doing something wrong. Any suggestions?

  8. Yum, yum! As always, this is amazing...

    For Isabella, if you want to keep a recipe, just copy it to a page in word or notepad and then save it...

  9. The sight of this cake right now makes me salivate.... Off to eat something now lol

  10. That is one beautiful coffee cake. Not to mention the dulce de leche in it probably kicks it up a notch from other coffee cakes.

  11. Wow. That's a gorgeous looking cake - just lovely. I'm going to check out that MS cookbook, I haven't seen that one!

  12. Looks like another winner! And I appreciate the copious amount of topping. Why else do we eat coffee cake? I will be trying it out this weekend.

  13. Aaaaand, now I know what I want for dinner...
    Thanks for this! It looks amazing and yummy (:


  14. O.M.G.

    I've put my baking on hold since I'm trying to lose weight, so I'm living vicariously through your blog!

  15. Wilde in the Kitchen,

    Yes it was made in the crock pot. It takes all day, but it allows me to start it and then forget about.

  16. Isabella,

    The print recipe feature isn't built into blogger and I'm not terribly tech savvy.

    It might be something I try to implement in the future though. I just need to spend some time figuring it out.

  17. oh my..

    this looks amazing! and ive been looking for a good coffee cake recipe.


  18. This sounds super tasty! Great photos too :)


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