Baking Therapy

The semester’s over, I’m officially three years through college, and potentially big changes are happening in my life and my friends’ lives. I don’t always do well with change. So instead of dwelling on this in the days after exams, I made a coffee cake. I choose to call this a healthy coping mechanism. Please keep any opposing viewpoints to yourselves. Thanks.

This was one of those days where I could not think of an adequate reason to make a cake – Who would eat it? Where would I take it? How would it get finished in the three days before I moved out? These were not questions I could find answers for. So, I deliberately pushed them aside, went forth and baked.

Are you in need of some baking therapy? I’ve got you covered. Coffee cake. Trust me.

Step 1: butter and sugar. That should always be step 1.

Step 2: wooden spoon, big bowl – mix and smoosh and whip these together until it’s super creamy.

When I’m looking to be distracted, I like recipes with a little bit of a process. So my step 3 involved pulling out this ancient gadget and whipping egg whites.Yes, it took a while without an electric mixer (I totally envy anyone who can do this by hand with a whisk), but that just makes you feel more accomplished in the end.

That gets folded into your big mess of batter to lighten it up.

And then put it all together with a hearty dose of cinnamon, sugar, and chocolate on top.

We all know where the process ends…

Just kidding (kind of). Here’s your perfect ending:

Or, if you’re a little less civilized, it ends with cutting out the first piece and eating it right over the pan, standing in front of the stove. Yeah, that might’ve happened.

I didn’t particularly need a sugar fix or a dose of chocolate that day. I just felt like going through the process – using my wooden spoon, a few bowls, and some basic ingredients, and creating something.

So, this coffee cake – it’s super moist from the sour cream, and I love the melty chocolate layer in the middle. If I made this again, I think I would replace the top layer with a crumb topping.

Cinnamon-Chocolate Chip Sour Cream Cake

adapted from Smitten Kitchen

1 stick unsalted butter (4 ounces or 8 tablespoons) at room temperature
1 cup sugar

½ cup brown sugar

3 eggs, separated

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
16 ounces sour cream
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 ½ cups white whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

12 ounces chocolate chips
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars (1 ½ cups), then mix in the egg yolks and vanilla. Sift flours, baking soda and baking powder together into a separate bowl. Alternately add sour cream and then dry ingredients into butter mixture. Beat eggs whites until stiff, then fold into batter. Mix last 1/2 cup sugar and cinnamon together in a separate, small dish.

In a greased 9″x13″ pan, pour in half of the cake batter. Sprinkle the top with half of the cinnamon-sugar mixture and half of the chocolate chips. Pour remaining batter on top, sprinkling the top with the remaining cinnamon-sugar and chocolate chips.

Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean.


2 thoughts on “Baking Therapy

  1. Roses are red, violets are blue,
    Chocolate is brown, and so are you.
    Coffee cake oh coffee cake, how sweet you taste,
    210 lakelawn will forever smell like paste.
    Paste made of butter and brown sugar,
    Not glue, and not a booger.
    We will miss you apartment, but the baking must go on,
    Distant kitchens of Italy and Pinckney will create flaun.
    So go now, 2A, with your futon and your rooftop,
    We will miss you very much, You really need a mop.

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