Bake

Maida Heatter's Budapest Coffee Cake

December 11, 2015
9 Ratings
Photo by Bobbi Lin
Author Notes

Leave it to The Queen of Cake herself, Maida Heatter, to give us a giant bundt of a coffee cake that doesn't need to hide behind a crumb layer nor a multi-inch shellac of cream cheese.

The cake is dense enough that you can break the slices apart with your fingers (important for: faster eating, fewer utensils, snacking straight from the fridge), and it's tangy and smooth thanks to the 2 cups of sour cream.

Here, the streusel topping typically found on top of coffee cake migrates inwards, in tiger stripes of brown sugar, cinnamon, cocoa, raisins, and nuts that alleviate any batter boredom. It's less messy, it's less precarious, and it offers a reality show-style BIG REVEAL upon first slice.

From Maida Heatter's Book of Great Desserts (Andrews McMeel Publishing 1999). —Sarah Jampel

  • Prep time 20 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour
  • Makes one giant bundt
Ingredients
  • For the nut filling:
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa
  • 3 tablespoons raisins, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup toasted walnuts, finely chopped
  • For the cake batter and the icing:
  • 3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 ounces (1 1/2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract, vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 cups sour cream, at room temperature
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons hot milk, plus more as needed
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. For the nut filling:
  2. In a small bowl, mix together all of the ingredients. Set aside.
  1. For the cake batter and the icing:
  2. Preheat the oven to 350° F and butter a 10-inch Bundt pan.
  3. Into a large bowl, sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Using a paddle attachment of a stand mixer, cream the butter. Add 2 teaspoons of the vanilla and the sugar and beat on medium speed for a minute or two.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time, beating each until just incorporated. Scrape down sides of bowl, as necessary, to keep mixture smooth. Beat at high speed until mixture is light and creamy, about 1 minute.
  5. Turn mixer to low speed. Add dry ingredients in three additions and sour cream in two additions, beating only until smooth after each addition.
  6. Spread a thin layer of batter in bottom of prepared pan. Sometimes it’s easier to use a small spoon to drop some batter into pan, and then to smooth it together. Top with 1/3 of nut mixture. Repeat until you have 4 layers of batter into pan and smooth it together. Top layer will be batter.
  7. Bake 50 to 60 minutes, or until cake tester inserted in center of cake comes clean. Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes, then turn out and re-invert on a rack.
  8. Combine confectioners' sugar, hot milk, and remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla extract in a small bowl. Mix well, Mixture should have the consistency of a thick cream sauce. Place a sheet of wax paper underneath a cooling rack. Pour glaze over cake, letting it run down the sides, while still hot. When glaze is set, transfer cake to a serving plate.
  9. Serve cake warm or at room temperature.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Kathy Hodson
    Kathy Hodson
  • Debbie
    Debbie
  • Mary Jo Jordan-Lassiter
    Mary Jo Jordan-Lassiter
  • Oscar Cadeau
    Oscar Cadeau
  • Yette Vandendam
    Yette Vandendam

43 Reviews

Tamstress73 October 10, 2020
The best coffee cake I have ever made! So moist, tender crumb and fabulous flavour. Will definitely be making this again great for a brunch, dessert or hostess gift
 
Kathy H. August 6, 2020
If you like chocolate, nuts and a moist delicious breakfast cake - or, "anytime" cake, you will enjoy this recipe. I followed the directions explicitly with one minor exception, raisins are not my thing. Instead, I added dried, pitted and tart cherries, which go well with chocolate taste from the cocoa. The cake was baked in a 10" tube pan. I did slide a sheet pan on the rack below where the cake sat. It baked well, with no drips of batter over the edge. At 50 minutes, I began checking the cake. At 55 minutes, the cake was done. After reading the reviews from others, I let the cake sit in the pan cooling for 30 minutes. At ten minutes, I used a small offset icing spatula to slide around the pan. It's a perfect tool as it bends and is easy to slide between the cake and the sides. I use a thin and also flexible cake tester to go around the inside tube. The pan was greased well with butter. This cake split at the top in several areas, however, I really do feel letting the cake cool well helps it release from the pan easily. Even with the small cracks, it released in one piece. It's delicious and I highly recommend this cake to bake and eat at anytime. I did not add the icing. The icing would add a touch of class to the cake and obviously more of a sugar taste. Not adding it enhanced the chocolate and cinnamon flavor. You don't need it but if giving the cake away, it would add to the presentation. I found not identifying the icing ingredients separately was confusing. When I first read two cups powdered sugar, I thought wow, that's a bunch of sugar along with the white granulated sugar - and also three tablespoons of vanilla. Read, read all the directions prior to attacking this recipe. I would list icing separately at the end of the ingredients list so not to confuse a "not so experienced" baker. Will definitely make again and a nice change from blueberry sour cream coffee cake.
 
Kathy H. August 6, 2020
If you like chocolate, nuts and a moist delicious breakfast cake - or, "anytime" cake, you will enjoy this recipe. I followed the directions explicitly with one minor exception, raisins are not my thing. Instead, I added dried, pitted and tart cherries, which go well with chocolate taste from the cocoa. The cake was baked in a 10" tube pan. I did slide a sheet pan on the rack below where the cake sat. It baked well, with no drips of batter over the edge. At 50 minutes, I began checking the cake. At 55 minutes, the cake was done. After reading the reviews from others, I let the cake sit in the pan cooling for 30 minutes. At ten minutes, I used a small offset icing spatula to slide around the pan. It's a perfect tool as it bends and is easy to slide between the cake and the sides. I use a thin and also flexible cake tester to go around the inside tube. The pan was greased well with butter. This cake split at the top in several areas, however, I really do feel letting the cake cool well helps it release from the pan easily. Even with the small cracks, it released in one piece. It's delicious and I highly recommend this cake to bake and eat at anytime. I did not add the icing. The icing would add a touch of class to the cake and obviously more of a sugar taste. Not adding it enhanced the chocolate and cinnamon flavor. You don't need it but if giving the cake away, it would add to the presentation. I found not identifying the icing ingredients separately was confusing. When I first read two cups powdered sugar, I thought wow, that's a bunch of sugar along with the white granulated sugar - and also three tablespoons of vanilla. Read, read all the directions prior to attacking this recipe. I would list icing separately at the end of the ingredients list so not to confuse a "not so experienced" baker. Will definitely make again and a nice change from blueberry sour cream coffee cake.
 
Debbie June 2, 2020
This cake is fantastic and what a stunner! I followed Maida's directions and my cake came out better than I could have expected with four layers of cake batter and 3 layers of streusel very recognizable. It tasted great slightly warm and fantastic the next day. This would be fabulous for a brunch table. I am having so much fun baking through Maida Heatter's books. Her directions are clear and concise and I have been thrilled with the results.
 
PeterBeynon February 28, 2020
This cake is delicious--not too sweet.
One problem I ran into, however, was that the cake was too fragile when I unmolded it after only five minutes. Wait longer, so the cake holds it's shape and doesn't crack.
 
sara December 11, 2019
This was DELICIOUS! and raved over by our guest. We served it with New Orleans chicory coffee for a slightly different twist. I too had "leftover" nut filling but I used it all and there was plenty of cake around it. Perfection!
 
Jodi November 24, 2019
This was a total flop for me. The recipe was suggested on the Food52 page selling the Nordicware Heritage Bundt pan, and so I decided to take the suggestion and try it (with that pan!). Well turns out that pan isn’t compatible with this recipe for 2 reasons: 1) it’s only holds 10
Cups (while this recipe needs a 12 cup pan) so it overflowed, and 2) The shape of the Nordicware heritage pan is not suitable for this slightly delicate layered cake. The whole thing split in pieces when I carefully turned it out of the pan despite my waiting for it to cool slightly (didn’t stick, just didn’t hold together properly in the odd shaped pan.
Total pan fail.
 
Mary J. October 23, 2018
Can this be made in a 9x13 pan leaving an inch and a half for the rise? Extra batter could be used for muffins. I would start checking for doness at 35 minute. What do you
guys think? Ty
 
Oscar C. January 31, 2018
I have a lot of filling leftover here. Does anybody have any alternate uses?
 
Yette V. January 29, 2018
This was a fail for me. It was not dense as described. Rather it was light and fluffy like cake and did not come cleanly out of my bundt pan. I double checked all my ingredients and it was all fine. Though maybe I used the wrong flour, but no. Anyone else
Have this trouble?
 
zingyginger June 14, 2019
https://blog.kingarthurflour.com/2017/01/22/prevent-bundt-cakes-sticking/
 
sara December 11, 2019
I buttered the bundt pan heavily with butter, ran a knife around the edge and center post and it came out perfectly clean.
 
Tracy January 21, 2018
The lovely cake is in the oven now....sure to spill over as I only found my 10 cup bundt pan....I'm sure it will still be delicious and appreciated by all!
 
Krystyna G. January 20, 2018
Looks delish. Hubby allergic to nuts. Best substitute?
 
Lori April 13, 2017
I recently purchased my first bundt pan and have been looking for the perfect recipe. This sounds delicious but I have family members who are cholesterol conscious. How much of a difference would it make if I either used low-fat sour cream or low-fat greek yogurt?
 
KarenO January 2, 2017
Likely this was my fault because I subbed chocolate chips for the raisins, but I found this cake way too sweet. I don't like the idea of using raisins for this so I don't think I'll make it again.
 
Elizabeth S. April 15, 2017
We used dates instead, it is great
 
Kate December 7, 2016
Is this ok to make the day before?
 
Jessie G. October 12, 2016
Made for Yom Kippur break-fast and it was a hit. Easy to make. Moist. Delicious. I will absolutely make this cake again. Note: I put some of the glaze on while the cake was hot, and then added more when the cake cooled a bit, which I recommend - so there is a white glaze over the cake.
 
Nancy September 29, 2016
This is one of Maida's recipes that I've had dog eared since the book came out way back when. I made it last night and it was everything I could hope for. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
 
Jenny August 20, 2016
Do you think this would work in a regular loaf pan?
 
David F. May 7, 2016
It recommends serving warm. Have folks made this the day before and reheated? Time/temp/storage?
 
Jeannie March 25, 2016
I made this last week and it was wonderfully delicious and moist, and I loved the filling, but I'm wondering what makes it "Budapest"?
 
patty L. March 10, 2017
all hungarians want to name it after them! I know, I am a Magyar!