It’s no secret; I am a big fan of baking cakes and desserts. It’s my first choice of activity when I have a few spare hours. In that pursuit, therefore, I have collected a number of websites in my ‘favourites’ list, which I visit regularly, to read their stories and collect their recipes. This week I found a recipe for Maple Huckleberry Coffee Cake. The ingredients required for this cake tend to be somewhat exclusive to Northern America, but this was not a great impediment. With a bit of tweaking, it can also be produced with delicious results in Australia, and it is the tweaked version you will find below.


How better to amuse oneself on a quiet Saturday, than to throw together a new cake recipe, and enjoy it warm at dinner?
Maple Huckleberry Coffee Cake Recipe
Adapted for Aussie cooks from
1 cup plain wholemeal flour
3 tablespoons rolled oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
scant 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
1/4 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup maple syrup, room temperature
1 large egg, room temperature
zest of one lemon
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup buttermilk or plain yoghurt
1 1/3 cups fresh mulberries (or blueberries), well picked over
1/2 cup plain wholemeal flour
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut 1/4-inch cubes
1/3 cup brown sugar (or raw sugar)
1/4 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
1/2 cup chopped pecans (or walnuts)
Special equipment: a 6-cup capacity loaf pan
Preheat the oven to 180C degrees, rack in the middle. Grease a 1-pound loaf pan, and line with baking paper. Alternately, you could just butter and flour the pan, but I’ve found that lining the pan with paper makes removing the cake from the pan after baking no problem.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt, thyme, and rosemary. Set aside. In a separate large bowl beat the butter with an electric mixer or by hand – until light and fluffy. Drizzle in the maple syrup and beat until well incorporated, scrape down the sides of the bowl a couple times along the way. Beat in the egg, lemon zest, and vanilla extract, scraping the sides again. Add half of the flour, stir just a bit, now add a splash of the buttermilk, stir again, but not too much. Add the rest of the flour and stir a bit, and now the rest of the buttermilk. Stir until everything barely comes together and then very gently fold in one cup of the berries. Scrape the batter evenly into the prepared pan and set aside.
To make the streusel topping, place the flour, butter, brown sugar, thyme and pecans in a food processor and pulse 20-30 times or until the topping is a bit beyond sandy/crumbly. It should be moist-looking – on its way to being slightly doughy. Crumble 2/3 of it over the cake batter, sprinkle the remaining 1/3 cup berries on top of that, and then add the last of the crumble. Barely pat in place with your fingertips.
Place the coffee cake in the oven and bake for 45-50 minutes or until the top is golden and a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Let the cake cool for five minutes and then remove it from the pan to cool on a rack (this way the cake won’t steam in the pan as it’s cooling.
Serves 12 – 16 modest slices

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