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Easy Whole Wheat Walnut Coffee Cake

by on August 29, 2008 · 14 comments

It’s Friday, so to end the week on an efficient note (and begin a weekend of wild inefficiency), here’s a recipe that can double as breakfast or dessert. The original Pillsbury recipe yields two round cakes, but I halved it and made it as written below, sans icing. I actually love icing, but I just plain forgot to make it and then discovered this cake didn’t really need it.

Here’s a link to the double version.

Coffee Cake

Easy Whole Wheat Walnut Coffee Cake

1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped (micro-toast for 2 minutes)
2 1/2 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 cup lightly spooned and swept whole wheat flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons softened butter
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons lightly beaten egg (approximately)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla

6 tablespoons powdered sugar mixed with 1 tablespoon water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a shiny round 8 inch cake pan with flour added cooking spray.

Stir together walnuts, brown sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.

Mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together in a mixing bowl. Stir very thoroughly.

Add the soft (not melted!) butter to flour mixture and mash with a spoon, coating as much flour as possible. Using fingers or a pastry cutter, cut mixture until it is coarse and mealy like soft bread crumbs (I used fingers).

Mix together the milk, egg and vanilla. Add to flour mixture and stir (do not beat) until well mixed. It should look a bit like cream of wheat – not that smooth.

Spread about 2/3 batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle half of nut mixture over batter. Spread remaining batter over nuts, then top with remaining nut mixture.

Bake on center rack for 25-30 minutes or until done.

Cool a bit, then drizzle with icing. To make the icing, mix together the 6 tablespoons powdered sugar and about 1 tablespoon of water – just enough to get a smooth consistency. Spoon the icing over the coffee cake or, if the coffee cake is cool, put the icing in a zipper bag, snip a tiny hole off the end of the zipper bag and squeeze it out decoratively.

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Published on August 29, 2008

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

VeggieGirl August 29, 2008 at 9:17 am

Those magic cookie bars sound fun; and that coffee cake!! Yum!!

Happy Friday, Anna!! :-)

Hannah August 29, 2008 at 10:03 am

Looks good! I love coffee cake. And whole wheat? Even better! I wonder if you could sub honey for the sugar in the inside………..

Cookie August 29, 2008 at 10:59 am

I wanted to tell you that I got the idea of using Raspberries in cookies from you but I took a different approach. I used Brownie Mix to make really chocolatey cookies and then mixed the raspberries in before scooping them onto the baking sheet. They were SO good and my coworkers can’t get enough of them! :)

Katrina August 29, 2008 at 12:49 pm

Yum! You know I love whole grains!

sharon August 29, 2008 at 3:27 pm

Healthy coffee cake? Ahh, just what I need! :)

HeartofGlass August 29, 2008 at 5:23 pm

Only 3 tablespoons of butter in the whole thing, and whole wheat flour–this is right up my alley, healthy and yummy and filling! And nutty ;)

Leslie August 30, 2008 at 1:58 am

this sounds GREAT, but i am a beginner at all of this, and i have a dumb question–what does it mean when you say the flour needs to be “spooned and swept?”

Anna August 30, 2008 at 6:22 am

Hi Leslie,

That just means that when you measure your flour, you need to fluff it up (which you should always do) then spoon it into the measuring cup without shaking it or packing it down. Spooning flour into the cup, as opposed to scooping the flour into the cup, gives you slightly less flour because the flour doesn’t pack down.

katherine January 3, 2010 at 12:40 pm

Nice and easy coffee cake! And it’s really good. I used white whole wheat flour and omitted the icing. I didn’t think it needed it either.

nona December 3, 2010 at 1:42 pm

I love this cake and make it just about every week. I love whole wheat cakes but haven’t found too many good ones on the internet. Please, please post more whole wheat cake recipes. Thanks!

Anna December 3, 2010 at 1:45 pm

Hi Nona,

I certainly will! I’ve found some great whole wheat recipes and I should share them.

Kathie September 9, 2012 at 4:13 pm


Sara May 5, 2013 at 8:25 am

Where is the coffee is this recipe?

Anna May 5, 2013 at 8:38 am

Hi Sara,
There is no coffee in the cake. It’s called coffee cake because one would typically have a piece with coffee (like Madeira cake — no Madeira, but you might have a slice with a glass of it).

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