A delicious coffee cake serves as the ideal excuse to eat cake for breakfast. And while they’re typically baked by topping a fluffy cake with cinnamon-sugar streusel, there are other ways to pull it off. This vintage recipe from 1968 completely turns classic coffee cake on its head!
How to Make Pecan Pizza Coffee Cake
This coffee cake may become your new go-to treat! It’s made up of a simple dough paired with an ooey-gooey pecan topping with notes of maple syrup and brown sugar. It’s wonderfully balanced, serving as the ideal breakfast treat, and it’s simple to pull off at home.
1/2 cup bran cereal, coarsely crushed
1/4 cup sugar
1 package active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1-1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Tools You’ll Need
Step 1: Activate the yeast
In a mixing bowl, add the crushed bran cereal, sugar and yeast. Stir the warm water into the mixture and let it sit for 5 minutes to allow the yeast to activate.
Step 2: Make the dough
Transfer the bowl with the yeast mixture to a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add in the egg, 1/2 cup flour, the oil and salt. Beat the mixture on low until it begins to come together. Turn the speed up to high and beat for three minutes. Stir in the remaining flour, and then knead the dough with your hand for one minute. You may need additional flour while kneading, as the dough is quite sticky.
Step 3: Allow the dough to rise
Once the dough has come together, place it in a greased bowl. Cover the bowl with a towel and set it aside to rise in a warm space, allowing it to double in size.
Step 4: Make the topping
In a small saucepan, add the pecans, brown sugar, maple syrup, butter and cinnamon. Stir to combine all of the ingredients and cook on low heat while the sugar dissolves. Do not allow the mixture to boil. Set aside until the dough is ready.
Step 5: Shape and top the dough
Preheat the oven to 400˚F.
Once the dough has risen, punch it down. With floured hands, form the dough into a round on a 12-inch pizza pan and crimp the edges to form a barrier. (You can also form it into two 9-inch round cake pans.) Spread the pecan topping on top of the dough, leaving one inch of space all the way around.
Step 6: Time to bake!
Place the pizza stone in the oven. It’s important to put a baking sheet underneath to catch drippings, as the pecan topping will spread while baking. Bake for 18-20 minutes until the crust is light golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow the pecan coffee cake to cool before serving.
Here’s What I Thought
Truth be told, I was skeptical of this recipe right off the bat. It certainly didn’t seem like adding bran cereal to a yeast-based dough would produce delicious results. But I was proven wrong!
The coffee cake’s bottom layer has a chewy, fluffy texture with simple flavor. You can taste just a touch of bran flavor, and it’s not terribly sweet. It’s similar to a wheat pizza dough, but once you add the pecan topping, it serves as the ideal base.
The topping is incredibly flavorful, with great taste from the pecans and pops of cinnamon in each bite. It’s not too sweet, which makes this treat entirely too easy to eat! The ooey-gooey pecan topping is remarkably similar to that of a sticky bun, but you have less dough to mess with.
My only qualm was the amount of spreading that occurred with the topping while baking. Definitely don’t skip placing a baking sheet underneath, or you’ll have a mess in the oven.
Overall, it’s a very balanced bake offering a delicious bite. It’s the perfect treat to share around the table on Sunday morning, of course, paired with a cup of coffee.
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