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Cherry and Coconut Coffee Cake

As I am writing this there is only one piece left of this delectable coffee cake. We had company over this morning and the six of us practically devoured it all. It took all the persuasion in the world to save this little piece for a photo opportunity. "Good" would be a small word to describe it…it brought silence to a table of people mighty hungry after a boating excursion.
I usually have a brioche ready for sunday brunches, either toasted with butter or turned into French toast, but I kept seeing coffee cakes popping on a couple of blogs and my stash of fresh cherries was demanding some attention, other than clafoutis or muffins.

I fell in love with coffee cakes a few months after moving to the US. What’s not to love in a cake filled with spices or fruit and topped with shortbread crumbs? What’s no to love in a cake so versatile that you can adapt it to the seasons ans have any time of the day? Made with coffee or served during coffee breaks, it seems to have taken a life of its own regarding ingredients much like creme brulee has its variations.

I figured that there was only a few authorities capable of giving me the "perfect" recipes, and I turned to our trusted Dorie Greenspan for ideas. I adapted her original recipes to fit the ingredients I wanted to use and since I am still on my coconut and cherry kick, well, here they are again!

Cherry and Coconut Coffee Cake, adapted from Dorie Greenspan

Serves 8

For the crumb topping:
5 Tb unsalted butter, room temp
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup almond, chopped
1/2 tsp. ground ginger

Put all the ingredients, minus the nuts in a food processor and pulse until it forms coarse crumbs. Put into a bowl, sit in the nuts , cover and refrigerate while you prepare the cake.

For the cake:
2 cups, fresh pitted cherries (can use frozen, not thawed)
2 cups plus 2 tsp. all purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
2/3 cup sugar
grated zest of one lemon
6 Tb. butter, room temp
2 eggs
1 tsp. coconut extract
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup grated unsweet coconut

Toss the cherries with 2 tsp. flour and set aside.
Combine the remaining flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and grated coconut together.
With a mixer, cream the butter and sugar together with the lemon zest. Add the eggs, one at a time and add the coconut extract. Scrape the bottom of the bowl to make sure it is all combined. Reduce the speed of the mixer and add the the flour mixture and coconut milk alternately, starting and ending with the dry ingredients.
Gently stir in the cherries.
Pour the mixture in a 8×8 inch square baking dish lined with foil and coated with cooking spray. Spread the top with the crumb topping.
Bake at 350F for 50-60 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the middle comes back clean.

I have to say that this is one cake I am looking forward to make on a weekly basis and adapt it to whatever I have in the fridge or pantry.
I hope it will make a nice addition to Rosa's Sunday Brunch Event .

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Anonymous June 10, 2007 um 4:52 pm

I love this… it looks delicious! What a great way to start your day.

Rosa's Yummy Yums June 10, 2007 um 5:02 pm

Thanks for participating to my "blog event! I will speak about it all after the 30th of June…

Your coffee cake looks delicious! Very scrummy…

Anonymous June 10, 2007 um 6:14 pm

I’ve never had a coffee cake. Must try. Yours look utterly tasty what with the cherry and all that. I have the same problem when I make a dessert it almost have no time for a close up because of the vultures waiting to devour it.

Amanda at Little Foodies June 10, 2007 um 6:37 pm

A cup of really good coffee and a slice of cake takes some beating. I think I’d have loved this one. Amanda

Valentina June 10, 2007 um 7:39 pm

Oh, these ingredients sound fabulous. I have come to know coffee cakes once I moved to the uk.Addictive little things.

Meeta K. Wolff June 10, 2007 um 8:41 pm

Love love this! The flavors are incredible. I do not quite think I have tried cherries and coconut yet.

Fabienne June 10, 2007 um 9:02 pm

J’adore, ce cake semble trop bon !

Dolores June 10, 2007 um 10:33 pm

Yum! Cherries are abundant at my local farmer’s markets, so I’ve been looking for applications for them. Thanks for sharing this one.

Anh June 10, 2007 um 11:08 pm

Another great cake… I am waiting for the cherry season to make this!

Peabody June 10, 2007 um 11:34 pm

Coffee cake is one of the world’s greatest inventions…what a wonderful job you did with this one.

Cynthia June 11, 2007 um 12:40 am

Hi Helen, thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving such kind comments and an introduction of yourself that screamed – Go visit her blog right now! 🙂 and am I glad to have discovered your blog.

I think the timing is perfect. As I said in my post, I need to get back to my baking and your blog is such an inspiration for that. Actually, I think I am going to be trailing all the daring bakers blogs to see what you guys are up to and to be inspired. Thank you for making contact, this is perfect timing.

The cherry and coffe cake makes me want to just reach out and grab it, especially since it is the last piece 🙂

A couple of questions.

Can I use fresh coconut milk and fresh coconut pulp/flesh to make this cake?

Can I omit the coconut extract if I do not have any or can’t find it?

And I can use frozen strawberries, yes?

You can email me if you like: [email protected]

Thank you.

I’ve added you to my blogroll and feeds so that I never miss another of your posts.

Anonymous June 11, 2007 um 2:25 am

Oh wow! I LOVE how you put ginger in the topping, that would add such a nice layer of flavor.

I’m really enjoying your blog, the pictures are gorgeous and the sweets are to die for!

Anonymous June 11, 2007 um 3:19 am

Looks marvellous! I’m yet to try making a coffee cake, but anything with a streusel/crumb topping and fruit would win my heart 🙂

Nora B. June 11, 2007 um 3:24 am

Helen, I take my hat off to you. I wouldn’t have had the self-control to save a last piece for a photo. That really looks delicious – I love crumb toppings.

Cheryl June 11, 2007 um 2:09 pm

I love coffee cake. The crumbs on the top are my favorite. I would slice them off and eat them last. I’m so strange.

I’m glad that last piece has been devoured as I was about to lick the screen.

evinrude June 11, 2007 um 2:10 pm

Oh no! If only you made this earlier! I had some cherries that I wanted to bake with but didn’t know what to make. I ended up making a cherry upside-down cake. This looks beautiful. And delicious.

Anonymous June 11, 2007 um 5:16 pm

I love the cherries in the coffee cake. I can see why this one didn’t last long in your house. Delicious looking!

Anonymous June 11, 2007 um 8:52 pm




I’m all over this, baby. Cherries AND coconut … together … two of my favourite things.

It’s gorgeouse!

Anonymous June 11, 2007 um 11:14 pm

oh les gourmandes, mais à la vue de ce trésor, comment peut-on être raisonnable ?

MyKitchenInHalfCups June 12, 2007 um 12:22 am

Like totally all the right stuff! Really looks incredibly good! How about I bring the coffee . . . and I can do the dishes. . .

Truffle June 12, 2007 um 1:05 am

I think I might have devoured the whole thing on my own! It sounds scrumptious!

Those macaroons look absolutely delightful too. I think I’ll have to make them for afternoon tea very soon!

Anonymous June 12, 2007 um 2:04 am

What a great idea to make the coffeecake with coconut and cherries — felicitations! It looks wonderful.

Anonymous June 12, 2007 um 12:53 pm

I think Dorie’s recipes are just fantastic.. what a gorgeous cake!

Jerry June 12, 2007 um 1:11 pm

I’m coming over for brunch. Yummy. I love them both, coffee cake and cherries. Add to my longer list of things. :(.

Anonymous June 12, 2007 um 2:02 pm

Hi Helen,

Did you save me the last piece of that yummy looking cake!? I bet you ate it, didn’t you? I wouldn’t be able to resist either!

Deborah June 12, 2007 um 3:04 pm

This looks beautiful!! I’ve seen a few cherries on the tree, it should only be a matter of days until there are enough to pick to make this beautiful cake!!

Kelly-Jane June 12, 2007 um 4:58 pm

Oh I want a piece of that it looks lovely! I’ve never made a coffee cake, I think it’s about time 🙂

Abby June 12, 2007 um 10:01 pm

YUM. I’ve been eating on a bag of cherries all week! What a great way to use them. Coffeecake is a fabulous "dessert" – I didn’t know it was a U.S. one, but that makes sense since we’re more coffee drinkers than tea drinkers – or have been traditionally, anyway!

Anonymous June 13, 2007 um 8:02 am

This looks like the perfect way to start my morning. Cherry and coconut is a combo I have to try.

Dolores August 21, 2007 um 10:32 pm

I just pulled this out of the oven. I thought the scents wafting my direction while it was baking was distracting… it’s absolutely overwhelming now. I’m not sure it’s going to get cool before it gets sliced…

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