Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Midnight Coffee Cake

Okay picture this.

It's 11:30 p.m. and your long distance boyfriend (or girlfriend!) has gone to bed, leaving you to your own devices. You're trying to sleep. Really trying. You're in bed. The lights are off. A faint buzz of the fan usually hums you to sleep. It starts with one little toss. One little turn. Then you start thinking "why am I not sleeping yet?" So then your mind starts to wander. If you're a sports fan, maybe to the World Cup. A politics junkie...maybe the economy. But, let me tell you where your mind goes if you're a foodie.

Cakes, pies, breads, dishes you've been dying to try. Old favorites. Flavors and textures. Ideas for new twists. This happened to me last night, and out of nowhere, coffee cake popped into my head. I had to make it, and after being encouraged by a handful of other foodies who told me impulse baking was totally normal, I went for it because I knew it was a battle that my cravings would win. Touche, taste buds.
I sauntered downstairs in my oversized tee shirt and undies (sorry, it's true) and without contacts, I stumbled through the dark hallway into the kitchen, trying not to be loud (failing). Within an hour, the whole house smelled like breakfast. Yum. If you get a late night craving, make sure it smells delicious.My sour cream coffee cake certainly did. (adapted and altered from Cooking Light)

What ya need:
3/4 cup of any type of oats you had, divided (I used apples and cinnamon oatmeal)
Cooking spray
4.5 ounces AP flour --that's about a cup (weigh this if you can!)
1 ounce whole wheat flour --that's about 1/4 cup (for healthy goodness, of course)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar (divided)
1/3 cup butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
8 oz of light sour cream (or maybe greek yogurt?)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp chilled butter, cut into small pieces

What ya do:
2. Spread oats in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 6 minutes or until oats are barely fragrant and light brown.
3. Coat a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray; set aside.
4. Reserve 1/4 cup oats; set aside. Place remaining oats in a food processor; process 4 seconds or until finely ground. Weigh or lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine processed oats, flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; stir with a whisk.
5. Place granulated sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, and 1/3 cup butter in a large bowl. Beat with a mixer at medium speed for 3 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture alternately with sour cream, beginning and ending with flour mixture. (Batter will be slightly lumpy because of oats.) Spoon batter into prepared pan; spread evenly.
6. Combine remaining 1/4 cup oats, remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar, and cinnamon in a bowl. Cut in 1 tablespoon butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until well blended. Sprinkle top of batter evenly with nut mixture. Bake at 350° for 38 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, top is golden, and cake begins to pull away from sides of pan. Cool cake in pan for 10 minutes; remove from pan.

38 minutes into the process, I'm getting a little sleepy. The warm aroma from the oven keeps me going. Breakfast will be splendid...coffee is much better with coffeecake, as you may know. This really hit the spot, and is moist, delicious, and keeps well. 

So tell me, what have you made in the middle of the night to satisfy your cravings?

***PS: I forgot to tell you...This rich sweet cake has protein and fiber from the whole wheat flour and oatmeal and only 260 calories a slice (if you cut it into 10 pieces that is)! So indulge!


Lauren said...

All I want to say is that you are my hero. Honestly, you said you were craving coffee cake, there was a moment of twitter-buzz about such a dessert, and then I wake up to learn you actually baked the freakin' thing! Ahhhh... excellent!

- Lauren, Lauren's Little Kitchen

~Lisa~ said...

So true. I day dream a lot these days about what to make and often fall asleep thinking about food! Thanks for sharing your awesome recipe!

Monet said...

Lovely! I can't tell you how many times I've been about ready to go to bed, only to be inspired by a cooking magazine or show and soon my kitchen is covered in flour. This cake looks like a great midnight baking adventure.

Rick said...

Yum! I always bake at night. No time during the day.

The Cilantropist said...

Oh my gosh, I was reading your post and thinking, "I have a kindred soul!" I do this EXACT same thing! Everything from the foodie obsessing while trying to sleep, and the long distance BF, ahh.... life is crazy sometimes but some of my best creations have been made at night. :) This looks delicious, and heres hoping you get some sleep soon!

Amy said...

Impulse baking creations are the best ;)! This looks scrumptious!

Anonymous said...

And I quote "If you get a late night craving, make sure it smells delicious". LOL yeah espically if you wake up the entire sleeping house with your KitcheAid. This post is too funny and the cake looks wonderful. Good for you!

Drick said...

looks really good and sounds great, not that I could wait around for it - I'd probably go to sleep while it was in the oven...

Le said...

WOW this looks great! Coffee cakes are lovely arent they? Except they prob wont help you fall asleep even more after! haha.

I know what you mean though when your mind wanders into food cravings late at night. The other night I couldn't sleep because I kept thinking about donuts. It was terrible! LOL

Joy said...

I do bad things late at night. I'm not allowed to start cooking after 11pm :D. That looks great.

brian @ howtobaker said...

'Tis a dangerous thing when one gets the midnight urge to bake. My wife finally had to cut me off after 10:00 otherwise I don't sleep until about 3:00 in the morning.

Shirley said...

Unfortunately, I eat all kinds of things at night since I work night hours. Coffee cake sounds perfect for midnight!

Unknown said...

This does look delicious. Thank you for sharing it. Fortunately, I'm one of those people who can't even think about eating late at night without getting a queasy stomach so there are no late night smells or noises out of my kitchen.

Anonymous said...

Yum! I'm super impressed at the results of the midnight baking :)

Magic of Spice said...

Great sounding coffee cake...Well at least your midnight urges have creative outcomes...my usually entail a bag of Oreo's:)