Take a look at the cream cheese coffee cake above and you’ll notice that it isn’t perfect.
Here’s a closer look so you can see what I’m talking about…
I sprayed my pan well, waited for the cake to cool, and used an offset spatula to loosen the edges. Even though I did everything right, the cake still stuck in a few places and it created some bare spots.
When I took this cake out of the pan and saw where it stuck, my immediate thought was that I couldn’t put it on my blog because it wasn’t perfect. Knowing I was running short on time (and not wanting to bake another cake), I considered just editing the photos and using some tricks to make the bare spots disappear.
Then I remembered the lecture I give the students in my baking classes…
I always talk about how I hate perfect baked goods.
Well, that’s not exactly true so let me explain…
I love and appreciate the museum-worthy pastries sold at bakeries and high-end pastry shops. I think there is a time and place for everything and if you’re serving something at a special event or selling it for a profit, then yes, it should be perfect (or close to it). I’ve made my share of intricate, beautifully plated desserts with many components and days of labor involved and I have the utmost respect for the pastry chefs that have to meet these standards on a daily basis.
But if you’re baking at home, then there’s no need to aim for perfection. Yes, we should absolutely try to use the finest ingredients available and the best techniques we know, but we don’t need our baked goods to look flawless.
I appreciate the flaws because they add character. If you see a perfect pie crust, chances are it was made by a machine in a factory and not by hand. Sure, you can go buy a pre-shaped pie crust at the grocery store and it will be perfectly crimped. But, I can guarantee you I would rather eat the pie that was made by hand but doesn’t look perfect.
I’m here to tell you that it is ok if the edge of your pie crust slumps down and it’s ok if your layer cake is taller on one side than on the other after you frost it.
I love when I see imperfect baked goods because it means they were baked at home and not mass produced. To me, the flaws show that someone put effort and care into their baking and I’d much rather eat that than something made by a machine or purchased at the grocery store
The secret is that this coffee cake tastes exactly the same whether or not some of the sides stuck to the pan. And once you cut it, no one knows the difference.
So please, don’t let the fear of errors and the quest for perfection get in the way of baking at home. And if all goes wrong, a heavy dusting of powdered sugar can hide the even the worst flaws.
This is my favorite coffee cake. It’s great for breakfast, as a snack, as dessert, and it’s served as my dinner on many occasions. Cream cheese coffee cake is a great hostess gift or Christmas present and it is perfect for a holiday brunch or breakfast.
Tips and Tricks
Spray the pan with cooking spray really well. Even if you do, some of the cake might stick. It’s ok.
You don’t need to wash the mixer bowl after mixing the batter. Just scoop the batter into a clean bowl and then use the mixer bowl to make the cream cheese swirl.
You can even omit the cream cheese swirl and simply make the cake with the batter and pecan topping. I love the cream cheese swirl but I originally had this coffee cake without it and it is still wonderful.
This is the bundt pan that I use and recommend.
Cream Cheese Coffee Cake Recipe
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