Pecan-Sour Cream Coffee Cake with Tropical Orange Glaze

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Pecan-Sour Cream Coffee Cake with Tropical Orange Glaze

Most coffeecakes are not much more than fluffy yellow cake lurking beneath a crumb topping, or leaden pound cake with a few measly nuts strewn throughout. This is much more interesting—moist and rich with an intensely nutty flavor and an array of flavored glaze options.


SERVES 12 TO 16

What makes this a best recipe: most coffecakes are not much more than fluffy yellow cake lurking beneath a buttery crumb topping,or leaden pound cake with a few measly nuts strewn throughout. We have created the ulitmate coffeecake - moist and rich with an intensely nutty flavor and an array of flavored glaze options. Instead of using plain old sugar to sweeten the cake, we added complexity in the form of maple syrup. The syrup was the perfect complement to the pecans, which pull double duty as an ingredient in both the cake (finely ground and added with the flour) and the swirl of sweet streusel (paired with a little brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon). To further intensify the flavor of the cake and the streusel, we toasted the nuts (a step omittted in most other coffeecake recipes). And for the perfect finishing touch, we created orange, maple, coffee, and cinnamon glazes.

Ingredients

STREUSEL

1/2 cup pecans, toasted, cooled, and ground fine
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

CAKE

16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into 1/2-inch pieces, plus more for the pan
6 large eggs
1 3/4 cups sour cream
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
3 cups (15 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup pecans, toasted, cooled, and ground fine
1 1/4 cups (8 3/4 ounces) granulated sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt

GLAZE

1 cup (4 ounces) confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 teaspoon grated orange zest

1. For the Streusel: Combine the pecans, brown sugar, flour and cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside.


2. For the Cake: Adjust an oven rack to the lowest position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 1 2-cup nonstick bundt pan. Whisk the eggs, sour cream, maple syrup, and vanilla together in a medium bowl.


3. With an electric mixer, mix the flour, pecans, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt on low speed in a large bowl until combined. Add the butter and half of the egg mixture and beat on low speed, taking care not to splatter the ingredients, until the mixture starts to come together, about 15 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the remaining egg mixture, and beat on medium speed until the batter is light and fluffy, about 2 minutes (scrape down the sides of the bowl again after 1 minute).


4. Pour 5 cups of the batter into the prepared bundt pan, using a rubber spatula to smooth out the surface. Sprinkle the streusel evenly over the batter and then cover with the remaining batter, spreading it evenly.


5. Bake until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out with a few crumbs attached, about 60 minutes. Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes, then invert onto the rack to cool completely before glazing, about 1 hour.


6. For the glaze: Whisk the confectioners’ sugar, orange juice, and zest together in a medium bowl. Using a fork or whisk, drizzle the glaze over the top and sides of the cake. Serve. Where things can go wrong: because some nuts are added directly to the cake batter, you must grind them very finely, but do not overprocess them either, or they will form a paste and clump together. Use a food processor to grind the toasted and cooled nuts until they are sandy. What you can do ahead of time: The cake can be cooled completely (unglazed), wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, and stored at room temperature for up to 3 days, or frozen for up to 1 month. Thaw the cake, still wrapped, at room temperature, then remove the plastic wrap and glaze.