Raspberry Swirl Coffeecake


I have been making “quick” coffeecakes for decades, starting with two basic recipes from the 1962 Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook. One was titled simply “Coffeecake” while the other was “Blueberry Buckle.” Over the years I have layered these with many kinds of fruit, have changed the toppings, have upped the nutrition with the use of whole grains and added ingredients like extra dry milk powder, various seeds and nuts, etc.

This week I added the latest variation by turning the base recipes’ streusel topping into a fruit swirl. From past experience I know that just mixing raspberries that have been frozen or cooked (as with the pulp in the recipe below) into a batter will result in the whole mixture being an unattractive grayish light purple. This swirling approach avoids that problem by concentrating the raspberry color in irregular bands. A few nuts and a drizzle of powdered sugar icing (really only a few tablespoons at most) replace the more typical streusel topping for a bread that will stand out at your next brunch or special family breakfast.

Raspberry Swirl Coffeecake

1/3 c softened butter–may also use half and half butter and canola oil
3/4 c sugar
1 egg
1/2 c milk
1 T lemon juice
2 c flour
2 1/2 t baking powder

Raspberry Swirl
1/4 c melted butter
1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 c flour
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t almond flavoring
1 c raspberry pulp (see NOTE)

1/2 c slivered or sliced almonds (optional)

1.  Beat together the butter, sugar, and egg until smooth. Add the lemon juice and milk and stir until well blended.
2.  Sift together the flour and baking powder and add gradually to  the butter mixture. Stir only until the batter is completely mixed.
3.  Spread the batter into a well oiled 7 X 11 inch pan.
4.  Prepare the Raspberry Swirl by mixing all but the raspberry pulp, beating until well-blended. Add the raspberries, stirring until well-blended.
5.  Drop spoonfuls of the raspberry mixture over the top of the batter. Using a table knife or fork, gently swirl the raspberries into the batter in an attractive pattern. Avoid swirling too much, as you want to keep the two mixtures distinctive.
6.  If desired, sprinkle the slivered almonds evenly over the top of the cake.

7.  Bake in a 350 degree pre-heated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
8.  If desired, drizzle a small amount of powdered sugar icing over the top when the cake has cooled.

This has been tested with the pulp remaining from making raspberry syrup. However, you can use frozen, thawed, raspberries. You will need to start with about 12 to 16 oz of frozen raspberries. Place in a colander or strainer and press lightly to remove most of the juices. This will keep the cake from being too soggy. The juices that are drained will be quite tart but are an excellent addition to smoothies, slushies, or gelatin dishes. For the latter, just substitute about 1/2 c raspberry juice for the same amount of cold water in raspberry or any other flavor of “red” Jello-type desserts. This heightens the fruit flavor and counteracts the excessive sweetness of many of these packaged gelatins.

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