Three days after Philomena was born last year, my sister and I went to Costco for snacks. In the bakery we stumbled upon an almond cherry coffee cake. My sister and I share a similar sweet tooth, and we quickly agreed we needed to add it to our cart.
With help from other members of my family, we grazed on that cake for a couple days. I immediately wanted more. Sadly, it wasn’t at Costco the next time I went. I told myself I wait until next summer to purchase again and try to replicate it. I was in the new-mom fog, and not in a place mentally for that project at the time. I dreamt of that cake off and on over the year. However, when this summer rolled around, the coffee cake never made an appearance. Clearly it was time to take matters into my own hands.
I took a basic coffee cake recipe from the old Betty Crocker cookbook I baked out of as child, and heavily modified it to my wants and needs. Like the Costco version, the almond flavor is not subtle. It makes me terribly happy and a bit nostalgic. The cake is less sweet because I tend to prefer things lighter in sugar. I also chose to use chopped almonds instead of sliced almonds. Here’s my hot take: sliced almonds are overrated. Sure, they’re pretty, but they provide a brittle snap when I want crunch. (There are some exceptions. Sliced almonds are exceptionally perfect on the almond pretzels at the bakery near my sister’s house in Velburg, Germany.) We’re well into cherry season in the PNW, and fresh Bing cherries add beauty, a bit of moisture, and sweetness to this cake. I also incorporated some graham flour for a bit of depth.
For the cake:
- 1 cup AP flour
- 1 cup graham flour
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 tsp almond extract (*If you do not love almond extract like I do, consider cutting in half. The cake is even delicious without.)
- 1 heaping cup of pitted cherries, cut in half
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/4 cup old fashioned oats
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup almonds, toasted and chopped
- 4 T Butter
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Grease pan of choice with butter. (I have used both a bundt pan, and a 8 in springform pan.)
- Add flour, graham flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar to a large bowl and lightly whisk to combine.
- Add egg, buttermilk, and almond extract, and whisk briefly.
- Add butter, and mix with a spatula to thoroughly combine.
- Fold in cherries gently.
- Pour about half of the batter into the prepared cake pan, carefully spreading out the cherries.
- Top with approximately 1/3 of the streusel.
- Add the remaining cake batter, again spreading out the cherries.
- Top with the remaining streusel.
- (Optional: Sprinkle with your favorite finishing salt. I used Jacobsen Stumptown Hair Bender coffee salt.)
- Bake for 35-40 minutes.
- Allow to cool, if you can stand it.