Now that the semester’s progressing, each week is getting busier and my to-do lists are longer than ever. I’ve realized that I am the most productive in the morning and I’ve subconsciously established a daily routine of waking up early, getting breakfast followed by a cup of coffee, and going to the library until it’s time for my first class.
One of the things I look forward to the most during days filled with classes, homework, appointments, and clubs is having one or two (sometimes more…) cups of coffee. I don’t really drink coffee just to stay awake (I could actually drink coffee right before bed and still fall asleep afterwards) but it just motivates me whenever I’m super stressed.
At the beginning of last week, especially on Tuesday, it was freezing outside and I tried to avoid being outdoors as much as possible because I was just starting to recover from a cold and refused to get sick yet again. After I came back from my sociology class, I went back to my dorm and decided to stay in and bake something.
I still had a lot of baking ingredients left including plenty of bittersweet chocolate chips (which I had previously used in my chocolate chip snickerdoodle cookie recipe). I also had some brown sugar and walnuts which would be perfect for a streusel topping. So, I made up my mind to bake a coffee cake. I thought it would be a great treat to share w/my friends!
For those not familiar with coffee cake, the name can be quite misleading. I remember the first time I heard of it, I expected it to be coffee-flavored. A classic coffee cake however is just a sweet, fluffy cake with a crumbly streusel topping that’s usually meant to be eaten along with a cup of coffee (and that’s where it gets its name). If you would like a coffee-flavored cake, tiramisu is always an amazing option! I would actually love to make it later this year, probably during summer break!
However, coffee cake is a great choice for a freezing cold day. This coffee cake recipe contains warm spices which blend really well with the rich dark chocolate and sugary topping of the cake. What makes this cake special is that it’s not just a vanilla cake but it’s marbleized with chocolate as well and the streusel on top is enhanced with an extra crunch from the chopped walnuts and chocolate chips.
~ Chocolate Marble Coffee Cake ~
1 1/4 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
4 oz chocolate
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp granulated white sugar
1/2 cup walnuts
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and butter and line a square pan with parchment paper so that nothing sticks.
2. Combine the flour, salt, cloves, cinnamon, and baking powder in a mixing bowl.
3. Melt the chocolate and let it cool to room temperature.
4. In a separate larger mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar and mix in the egg, vanilla extract, and milk.
5. Add and fold in the flour mixture.
6. Separate the cake batter in half and add the melted chocolate to one half of the batter.
7. Drop alternating spoonfuls of the vanilla and chocolate cake batter in the square pan and use the back of a spoon/a butter knife, or a toothpick to swirl the two batters around until it creates a marbleized effect.
8. Mix together the brown sugar and white sugar and sprinkle the mixture all over the top of the cake.
9. Scatter the walnuts and chocolate chips evenly over the sugar topping.
10. Bake the coffee cake in the oven for 35 minutes and let cool completely before cutting into squares (or other desired shape).
The day after I made this recipe, one of my friends from my hall and I met in the kitchen of our dorm building for breakfast. She made 2 cups of good-quality strong black coffee while I provided two slices of the coffee cake and it was definitely an encouraging way to begin the long day ahead of us! 🙂