If you are looking for a special breakfast or snack that isn’t weighed down with fat, consider this lovely Lighter Cream Cheese Pecan Coffee Cake.
Some people might think I don’t like cinnamon. I do. I love cinnamon rolls (another option I am considering for the special morning) and cinnamon candies, and I used to love cinnamon toothpaste which I can’t find anymore. I do not like cinnamon with chocolate or fruit (except peaches). Sorry, I just don’t like the flavor combination. If you add lemon or blueberries to a coffee cake I don’t want it to have cinnamon in it. But nuts, especially rich buttery pecans, oh my!
This recipe is a mix and match of several different ones I have including a Lemon Almond one I clipped from the newspaper and a Cinnamon Streusel one from the cookbook that came with a microwave oven 30 or so years ago. The Lemon Almond was loaded with extra fat and sugar, but I loved the idea of the cream cheese in it. Eventually, I ended up with the recipe below. And it is a winner if I do say so myself. The cream cheese adds a nice rich moisture to the cake and the spices and nuts make it superb.
One great tip from the newspaper recipe was to freeze the topping so it won’t melt into the cake. Since I used brown sugar instead of white I chose to pack the topping down before freezing so I could have some big pieces. Good choice. You can make the topping ahead of time to make sure it has time to chill completely.
The only drawback to coffee cake for breakfast is it takes 45 minutes to cook. Then it has to cool! We might get up at the crack of dawn around here, but I don’t want to wait an hour or more to eat. If I am going to make it for Christmas breakfast I will do it the night before, so we can just slice it up and enjoy while we are going through our stockings. I just have to be sure to get it done early enough so I am asleep or Santa might not stop here.
Coffee Cake with lots of spices and some extra flavor from the cream cheese so you won't miss the extra fat and sugar.
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup brown sugar (packed)
1/3 cup pecans (chopped)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter (softened)
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional)
1/4 cup pecans (finely ground in food processor)
1/4 cup butter (room temperature)
6oz reduced fat cream cheese (room temperature)
1/2 cup brown sugar (packed)
2 Large eggs
3/4 cups low fat milk
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon low fat milk
Spray a 9-inch round cake pan or a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
In a small bowl, mix flour, sugar, pecans and cinnamon with a whisk. Use a fork or your fingers to cut the softened butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Lightly pack into the bowl and put in the freezer while preparing the cake.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, ground pecans and spices. Set aside. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer set at medium speed, beat together the butter, cream cheese and brown sugar until light and creamy, about 2-3 minutes.
Beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Alternate adding a 1/4 cup of milk with half the flour (finish with the final 1/4 cup of milk) until batter is combined. It will be thick! Spread batter into prepared pan.
Crumble the streusel mixture on top of the cake, leaving some bigger pieces.
Bake for approximately 45 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool completely. Combine the powdered sugar and milk in a small bowl (add extra milk if needed to achieve desired consistency) then drizzle over the cake.