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Enjoy coffee and cake on National Coffee Cake Day

German coffee cake is just one of hundreds of cakes that goes well with coffee
Marylou Morano

It’s easy to see how the coffee cake got its name; it is a cake intended to be enjoyed with a cup of coffee.

Cakes have been around since ancient times, although early cakes were made with yeast and not baking powder, so they were more like bread and less like cake as we know it today. Coffee, which was first cultivated and traded on the Arabian Peninsula, made its way to Europe in the 17th Century, according to the National Coffee Association. By then, the bread-like cake of earlier times had changed into a lighter, sweeter concoction that often included nuts and fruits, and the pairing of coffee and cake became a popular way to enjoy both.

Today coffee cake is usually thought of as a yellow cake with a streusel or crumb topping, but many cultures and nationalities bake and savor their own versions of coffee cake. For example, German coffee cake (as well as many other types of coffee cake) usually has a swirl of cinnamon, sugar, and nuts throughout the cake instead of on top. French coffee cake is sometimes baked in a loaf pan, while Mexican coffee cake is drizzled with melted butter. Many coffee cakes include a spoonful of coffee – either dry or liquid – as one of the ingredients.

One of the great things about coffee cake is that there is no “right” time to enjoy it. Coffee cake is versatile enough to eat for breakfast and sweet enough to stand in as a dessert. It makes a great in-between meals snack as well.

Today is National Coffee Cake Day. It’s time to pull out the mixing bowls, measuring cups, and baking pans and get baking. All has many tempting coffee cake recipes from which to choose. So does “Easy Coffee Cake Recipes: 20 Delicious Recipes with Cream, Blueberries, Chocolate, [and] Streusel” by Jeen van der Meer, which is available in print and in ebook format.

Brew a pot of coffee while the cake is cooling. Then, when both the coffee and cake are ready, enjoy these two favorites that have given so much pleasure to so many over the centuries.

Happy Coffee Cake Day!

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