Since I moved my elderly, cognitively challenged, sugar seeking mother into my house I started looking for ways to sneak some extra nutrition into her diet. She is picky about anything that looks unfamiliar (which is more and more food these days) but will eat almost anything in the form of a sweet. So I came up with this coffee cake. It came out vegan because I had no eggs or butter, but with its bit of crunch from the pecans, the added nuttiness of the wheat germ, and the citrus edge it is very tasty as well as wholesome. I also had only one orange and so extended the citrus juice with water, but you could use the juice and zest from a second orange if you have one The lemon juice helps activate the leavening so don't leave it out. Among other reasons for making the streusel first, it is harder to zest a juiced orange. —Starmade
1 eight inch round coffee cake
zest from 1/2 orange
sprinkle of cardamom (optional; can use cinnamon or preferred sweet spices)
Brown sugar (apologies to those who tried the first published version that omitted sugar)
whole wheat flour
ground cardamom (optional)
zest from other half of orange
Juice of one orange and one lemon (should be about 2/3 cup, make up difference with water)
seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean or 1 tsp vanilla
maple syrup (can substitute golden syrup)
brown sugar (first draft omitted this)
or more pecan halves for decoration
In This Recipe
Preheat oven to 350 and butter an eight inch round pan.
Then make streusel: you can put everything in a blender and pulse till it becomes a crumbly mix, or chop nuts and mix other ingredients with fingers. At the end grate zest from half the orange into it with a microplane. Put streusel on top of fridge or somewhere your mother cannot reach it.
Mix dry cake ingredients (through cardamom). Grate zest from the other half the orange into the dry ingredients and stir that in as well.
Now juice the orange and lemon ideally into a glass measuring cup, adding a little water if it falls below the measure. Mix in sugar, syrup, olive oil and vanilla. Taste; sweet should balance acid. If too acid add another splash syrup.
Pour liquid into dry ingredients and mix till combined; scrape into an eight inch round cake pan.
Sprinkle streusel on top; set whole pecans in a circle around the edge. Bake in preheated over for 25-35 minutes. Ideally cool on rack for half hour at a minimum before eating.