Morning on the Lake

April 14th, 2010

There is so much to love about spring in the mountains. The early morning sun kisses our deck at about 9:00 AM and warms the geraniums in their window boxes so that they reach out eagerly for nurishment and light. Later in the summer they may droop and fade, but in the spring they bring smiles to the faces of all who view them. Someone in a passing boat yelled to me that my deck looked pretty. I yelled back that I was happy to be here and happy with the wonderful weather that allowed my to plant flowers in my window boxes so early. The spring awakening is such a universal renewal of hope and promise that you can’t help but feel energetic and enthused about the future.

We had family visiting. The night before I suggested sausage and pancakes for breakfast, but cousin Chuck said they were not big breakfast eaters. I awoke early on the next morning and decided a simple coffeecake and fruit would be just the thing for breakfast. I flipped through my recipe notebook and found a Cook’s Illustrated recipe for a quick cinnamon streusel coffeecake that sounded good and I had all of the ingredients. It took me no time to assemble it and we were very pleased with the results. The only thing I changed was to make half of the cake recipe in an 8×11 inch casserole and all of the streusel topping. I cooked it for just 30 minutes and the cake was just right.


To make the coffeecake even faster to prepare in the morning, prepare the streusel and measure out the dry ingredients for the cake the night before.
Serves 8
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon ground cnnamon
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 cup pecans, almonds, or walnuts, chopped coarse
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1 3/4 cups buttermilk or whole plain yogurt
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1. For the streusel: Mix sugars, cinnamon, and melted butter together in medium bowl until mixture resembles wet sand; stir in nuts and set aside.
2. For the cake: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Generously coat 13×9 inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
3. Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt together in large bowl. Whisk buttermilk, sugars, eggs, and melted butter in separate bowl until smooth. Using rubber spatula, gently fold egg mixture into flour mixture and stir until batter looks smooth and well combined.
4. Using rubber spatula, scrape batter into prepared pan and smooth top. Sprinkle streusel evely over batter. Bake until streusel is golden and toothpick inserted into center comes out with just a few crumbs attached, 40 to 45 minutes. Cool cake on wire rack for 15 minutes before slicing and serving.

13 responses to “Morning on the Lake”

  1. This is perfect for breakfast overlooking the early morning mist on the lake with a cup of coffee in one hand and a good book in the other.

  2. Your deck looks wonderful! I need to get out and start putting flowers in my pots. Geraniums are some of my favorite flowers.

    The coffee cake looks yummy….

  3. Sophie says:

    Oooh Penny!

    What a fabulous looking cake this is!

    The coffee cake looks so tasty! Yummm,…!

  4. Anncoo says:

    Mmm…nice coffee cake, really good for breakfast!

  5. This sounds wonderful for overnight guests who like a little something sweet with their coffee or tea in the morning. Great tip to start ahead the night before!

    Your deck is lovely! I love geraniums. You have some very friendly boaters!


  6. Lyla says:

    I’m here in Arizona cooking for my son and daughter–feels good to be a mom again. They’ll be eating your delicious-looking coffee cake this Saturday when we all convene for coffee and laughs. Again, my sincere gratitude for spreading these great recipes to your friends near and far. (PS, we all loved the Oatmeal Raisin Pecan Cookies. The best!)

  7. Kass says:

    You are my kind of cook. Cut down on the cake. Double the topping. This sounds great. Your lakeside cottage sounds and looks delightful.

  8. Jan says:

    I bet your guests didn’t skip breakfast that morning. 🙂

  9. Mary says:

    This looks and sounds delicious, Penny. I hope you had a good visit with you friends. Have a great day…Mary

  10. Katy ~ says:

    Penny, this is a keeper! I like the idea of premeasuring the ingredients the night before (I do that with some of my muffin recipes). Thanks for sharing this. I can’t wait to try it.

  11. 陳石薇 says:


  12. Well now you’re just teasing me… with the coffee cake and the deck. I want both! Thanks for the post. I’ll let you know when I make this.

  13. Robin Sue says:

    Penny your deck is so pretty. It looks so cozy and inviting. I could sit there all day and read a book or day dream. I think the coffee cake was a great choice for breakfast, it is one of my favorites!

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