Cinnamon Pecan Streusel Coffee Cake

Cinnamon Pecan Streusel Coffee Cake

I like to think I have some self-control when it comes to desserts.

As in, I don’t typically pig out on what I bake. I’m more of a taste-as-I-go kind of gal, sampling my way through the making and baking process, and taking a bite (or, three) of the final goodie before sharing with whoever wants some. If I’m not baking, then I’m what’s called a dessert nibbler-yes, I did just make that up. I prefer to nibble on all available dessert options rather than commit to eating a single sweet. I’m just not ready to settle down with just one dessert. I like to give everyone their fair chance to win over my heart.

Notice I said typically.

I’m going to openly admit, all self-control went out the window with this Cinnamon Pecan Streusel Coffee Cake.

And, when I say all, I mean every single little ounce of self-control, completely gone.

Cinnamon Pecan Streusel Coffee Cake

For starters, I couldn’t stop eating the batter. Why? I have no idea. It tastes like fluffy vanilla-yellow-cake yumminess and I was all but, sticking my face in the bowl, to eat it. No joke. I even scolded myself to stop while baking. Who does that?

Crazy baking ladies, that’s who.

Did I tell you that I not only made Cinnamon Pecan Streusel Coffee Cake in a cake pan, but also Cinnamon Pecan Streusel Coffee Cake donuts baked in a mini donut pan?

Yup. No self-control.

Cinnamon Pecan Streusel Coffee Cake

You see, I really really really wanted to make coffee cake donuts. So, I did. But, I got a little too excited while filling each donut well, and ended up with muffin top mini donuts that didn’t really come out of the pan in one piece.  I blame the moistness of the cake. Seriously, it’s so ridiculously moist that it practically melts in your mouth. It’s an 11 out of 10 on the moistness scale. True Story.

So, I have a whole cake and a baker’s dozen of deliciously edible but, not super pretty Cinnamon Pecan Streusel Coffee Cake(s) in my kitchen.

Betcha wanna be my best friend now, huh?

Cinnamon Pecan Streusel Coffee Cake

Want to hear how much I’ve pigged out? I’ve eaten four donuts (and counting). One before they had even cooled. Two before the cake had even finished baking. And my last one just because the cake looked so good, that I felt the need to eat another. Did I mention that was all in a matter of 30 or so minutes? Yeah, don’t judge me. I can’t help it. Really, I tried too. I offered some up to my mom, who like me, ate four donuts, and then simultaneously said we wouldn’t be sharing these with anyone, and that I was never allowed to make this coffee cake again.

And then we ate a slice of cake, because, well, what else do mothers and daughters do when they are faced with deliciousness? 

Cinnamon Pecan Streusel Coffee Cake

The best part is, once the donuts are gone, I have a whole damn cake left. That tastes just as good, if not better, than the donuts. Insert delighted school girl squeal. And, a happy dance, which I just did around the kitchen. See, crazy baking lady in the house. Don’t worry, I know you love my craziness. Because without it, you wouldn’t get this Cinnamon Pecan Streusel Coffee Cake.

And without this cake, your mornings will be the worst.

And when I say the worst, I mean worse than the worst.

Doesn’t that sound bad? Cause it is. And, you don’t want that. So, do me a solid and make this. Or, better yet, come visit me so I can make you your own share coffee cake with you.

Cinnamon Pecan Streusel Coffee Cake

Cinnamon Pecan Streusel Coffee Cake
Yields: 1 9-inch cake

Ingredients:
Pecan Topping
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/2 coarsely chopped pecan pieces

Cinnamon Filling
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder

Coffee Cake
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sour cream

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease an 9-inch springform pan. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together all pecan topping ingredients–brown sugar, cinnamon, cocoa powder, salt, flour, pecans–except the butter, until combined. Cut in the butter using a pastry knife or your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse crumbles. Set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together all cinnamon filling ingredients. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla until mixture is smooth. Add remaining dry ingredients, mixing until just combined. Scrape the bowl as needed. Mix in sour cream until incorporated.
Pour half of the batter into the prepared springform pan. Sprinkle the top with the cinnamon filling, using a spatula to evenly spread. Top off with the remaining batter.
Sprinkle the pecan topping over the batter, pressing lightly for it to stick.
Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. If the top of the cake starts browning too much, cover the top with foil and place back in the oven to continue baking.
Let cake cool completely before serving.

 

Cinnamon Pecan Streusel Coffee Cake

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Caramel Pecan Croissants

Caramel Pecan Croissants

Let me tell you about the time I tried to make monkey bread.

I’ve always wanted to make monkey bread. Always. I mean, come on, ooey gooey pull-apart bread smothered and covered in cinnamon and caramel. Umm, yes please, sign me up for that. Am I right? Yeah, I totally am.

I should mention one itty bitty detail that may not be so obvious. In addition to never having made monkey bread, I’ve never actually eaten it. I know, the horror. It’s actually kind of embarrassing. Please don’t judge me too hard. It’s not like I’ve never had pull-apart bread, because I have…but, it was the savory kind, a cheddar bacon ranch loaf, and, I bought the bread at the market. So, no homemade dough. No caramel. No cinnamon. And really, no way to mess it up.

I decided enough was enough. It was time. I needed to cross off baking and devouring eating monkey bread from the bucket list.

Caramel Pecan Croissants

I had an idea for a pecan pie monkey bread. So, I went with it. I started playing with ingredients and came up with a solid recipe.

Or, so I thought.

There’s one more minor detail I forgot to mention. You see, Matt, my brother, is a huge pecan pie fan. Why does that matter, you ask? Because, this pecan pie monkey bread was intended to be his birthday cake. He was turning 25, and I wanted to make him something less traditional. I’ve done cheesecakes, regular cakes, cookie cakes, but this year I wanted something fun. Something a little different, but still something we could put a candle in.

Caramel Pecan Croissants

Alright, back to the kitchen. I made the dough the night before, I had the pecans chopped up, the caramel filling ready to go, and the bundt pan eagerly waiting. The bread went into the oven and I not so patiently waited for it to bake and brown on top. It was a long 45 minutes for me. Finallllllyyyy, it was done. All I had to do was let it cool.

The moment of truth came. I went to invert the monkey bread onto the cake plate and it came out super easily. I lifted the bundt pan up and half of the dough balls started rolling off the cake plate in a caramel pecan slide. Only half of my monkey bread had stuck together. The other half looked like cinnamon caramel donut holes sitting in a sticky pool on the counter. Ughh. The crushing disappointment.

Caramel Pecan Croissants

Yeah, I’m not going to lie, I cried a little bit. I don’t know what went wrong. Did I add too much caramel? Was the homemade caramel too runny? Did I not let it bake enough? Did I not let it cool enough? Was the yeast bad? Did I just mess up my brother’s birthday? As you can see, it wasn’t a great day for me in the kitchen. But, I had to shake it off (yes, that is a T-Swift reference). It was Matt’s birthday, there had to be needed to be some dessert.

And, that’s exactly what I did. I found a can of the Pillsbury crescent rolls in the fridge and came up with the idea of making Caramel Pecan Croissants. I quickly made the caramel, chopped some more pecans, stuffed the rolls, and popped in the oven. In less than an hour, I had a dessert. And you know what, it was actually a pretty darn good tasting dessert too. These croissants are soft, flaky, buttery, and oozing with a caramel pecan filling that is equal amounts sweet and crunchy. The tops are drizzled with caramel, because who doesn’t want extra caramel, and sprinkled lightly with pecan crumbs. Sure, it wasn’t the exact dessert I had envisioned, but it definitely fulfilled the ooey gooey, doughy, caramely, pecan-y dreams I had for Matt’s birthday treat.

Oh, and don’t worry, I’m not giving up on this whole monkey bread thing. It’ll happen soon. And when it does, you’ll be the first to know.

Caramel Pecan Croissants

 

Caramel Pecan Croissants
Yields: 8 croissants

Ingredients:
1 (8 oz.) can Pillsbury refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup dark brown sugar
3 Tablespoons heavy cream
1/2-1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup chopped pecans, plus extra for topping
1 large egg, beaten

Directions:
To make the caramel, melt the butter in a small saucepan. Once melted add the brown sugar and heavy cream. Stir constantly, over medium heat, until the sugar has dissolved and no lumps remain. Allow the mixture to bubble for 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla to taste.
In a small bowl combine about 1/2 of the caramel with the chopped pecans, add more caramel as needed–you’ll want it to be thick, but spreadable. Set aside.
Heat oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Separate crescent roll dough into 8 triangles. Spoon about a teaspoon of caramel pecan filling on the wide end of the crescent triangle–use your judgment on how much you think the triangle can hold–and spread filling upwards. I wanted a lot of filling in my croissants so I spread the filling almost to the top of the dough triangle.
Roll up the croissants, starting from the wide end and ending at the opposite point. Place onto baking sheet and curve slightly into the croissant shape.Try to pinch the ends of the croissant together to keep as much of the filling inside as possible. Brush each croissant lightly with beaten egg–this will give them that nice golden brown color.
Bake for 9-11 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from cookie sheet and let cool for about 5 minutes. Heat the remaining caramel for 30 seconds or until of drizzling consistency in the microwave. Drizzle over croissants and lightly sprinkle with pecan crumbs, if desired.

*Caramel sauce slightly adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction

 

Caramel Pecan Croissants

Pumpkin Pecan Sticky Buns

Pumpkin Pecan Sticky BunsHello Friends.

I know I’ve gone a little pumpkin crazy on you. I’m sorrrry. I couldn’t help it. Honest.

I swear I’ll stop now. After I share this recipe. Pinky Promise.

I had to leave you with one last kick butt pumpkin recipe. It’s my duty. Or, I made it my duty. Either way. Feel free to thank me. Perhaps even a round of applause? I know, I’m asking for too much.

But, seriously, prepare yourself.

Take a deep breath.

Get ready to grab a fork. And, a napkin. A bigggg napkin.

I give you the wonderful, the sticky, the gooey ooey, delicious Pumpkin Pecan Sticky Bun. Or, in other words, the perfect way to start your Thanksgiving (that is, if you aren’t pumpkin-ed out).
Pumpkin Pecan Sticky BunsHellllllo Thanksgiving Breakfast. Why shouldn’t you start and end the day with scrumptious food? Who decided Thanksgiving should only be about dinner and dessert? A crazy person who never tried these buns, that’s who.

These Pumpkin Pecan Sticky Buns are like cinnamon rolls on crack with a whole bunch more flavor and a lot more sticky. The buns are made from a pumpkin dough that bakes up into a chewy, spice filled, soft bun that pairs perfectly with the brown sugar filling, giving it that perfect pumpkiny taste we all loveeee. The top side of the bun is covered in a gooey caramel syrup, that gives the bun a more sugary flavor, as well as crunchy pecans that bring together this spice & sugar filled breakfast treat.

Want to know my favorite part about Thanksgiving? It’s the moment right before dinner, when my entire family sits down at the table (usually a few tables put together) and starts passing around all the yummy dishes. It’s not my favorite because we spent the whole day cooking and the feast is finally done. Or, because I’m moments away from entering a joyous food coma either. It’s my favorite because it’s the first time all day that my family (including relatives I don’t see on a daily basis) is together, in the same spot, enjoying themselves, smiling from ear to ear. That’s why I like it. And that’s why I wanted to make it happen for breakfast too.

Pumpkin Pecan Sticky BunsWhat can I say? I love me some family time. And, I’m beyond thankful for the wonderful people in my life. And, the fact that they let me plump them up with baked goods. You know what else I’m thankful for? Good health, supportive friends, smiling faces, dessert, and you.

Yes, you. You, reading this post, thank you. Thank you for making my baking blog dreams a reality. Thank you for supporting me in my endeavors in the kitchen. And thank you for using my recipes to make your family and friend’s stomach’s happy.

So, Happy {Early} Thanksgiving. Hope you have an amazing day that starts with your breakfast :)

Pumpkin Pecan Sticky Buns
Yields: About 12 buns

Ingredients:
Pumpkin Dough
½ cup milk (I’m using 2%, but whole milk would work too!)
½ cup (one stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 packet (2 ¼ teaspoons) active dry yeast
¼ cup golden (or light) brown sugar
¼ cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon cloves
4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling out dough
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 egg
Oil for coating the bowl

Filling
¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
¾ cup brown sugar
¼ cup sugar

Caramel Syrup
1 cup pecans, roughly chopped
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cubed
1/2 cup (1 stick) light corn syrup

Directions:
Making the Pumpkin Dough
Warm milk and butter together in the microwave or over the stove. Set aside to cool slightly (the mixture should be warm, but not scalding hot). Depending on the type of yeast you are using, you can use a thermometer to measure the exact temperature needed for that yeast.
Sprinkle yeast on the surface of the milk and butter mixture and let rest for about 2 minutes before gently stirring together. Let sit for another 5 minutes.
In bowl of a stand mixer, combine 3 cups of flour, sugars, salt, and spices. Whisk until well-combined.
Add the yeast-milk-butter mixture to the flour mixture. Mix on low until combined.
Add egg and pumpkin puree. Stir until incorporated.
Switch to the dough hook for mixing, and add the remaining cup of flour. Combine until the dough separates from the sides of the bowl.
Coat the inside of a large bowl with oil and scrape the dough mixture into it. Cover with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel. Set aside for about 1 ½ to 2 hours (or until double in size) in a warm, draft free place.

Making the Caramel Syrup
Grease the 12 tin cups of a muffin pan. Set aside.
Combine butter, brown sugar, and corn syrup in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir frequently until sugar has dissolved completely.
Remove from heat and spoon 1 ½ tablespoons into the tin cups of the greased muffin pan.
Evenly sprinkle the chopped pecans on top of the syrup. Set aside.

Making the Filling & the Buns
In a small bowl, combine sugars and pumpkin pie spice.
On a floured surface, roll the dough into a 16×19-inch rectangle (or as close as you can get to a rectangle). Flour your rolling pin as necessary.
Brush melted butter all over the rolled dough and then sprinkle evenly with the sugar mixture.
Starting with the long side, tightly (and gently) roll up the dough into a spiral—it’s okay if some of the filling falls out.
Using a sharp serrated knife, gently move the knife back and forth, applying no pressure, until the dough spiral is cut into 12 buns—I cut off the ‘butts’ (the not so rolled up ends) of the dough spiral, and then baked them in a separate tin…no need to waste pumpkin goodness.
Place each roll in the muffin pan on top of the syrup. Cover the pan with greased plastic wrap and let rise for about another 45 to 60 minutes (until double in size).
*If you want to prepare these in advance, place the plastic wrap covered muffin pan in the fridge over night. In the morning, let the buns sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before baking them.

Baking the Pumpkin Pecan Sticky Buns
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake buns for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then invert rolls onto a cooling rack. Make sure you have a piece of wax paper under the cooling rack to catch any dripping caramel.
Serve warm and ENJOY :)

 

Pumpkin Pecan Sticky Buns