Conversation Coffee Cake
Recipe type: breakfast or coffee break
Cuisine: comfort food, in a sweet roll form
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8-12
This is the treat that you want to offer to your family when you need to have a bit of comfort. Also the gift to a new neighbor, or a family that could use some encouragement. It's delicious and fortifying and is fun to eat with others, with a jug of milk and a pot of coffee to share.
  • 2 Tb dry yeast
  • ½ cup warm water
  • 1.5 cups scalded milk
  • 3 tsp salt
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 6 Tb unsalted butter, melted
  • 5.5 to 6 cups unbleached flour
  • 2-3 Tb additional soft butter for pan preparation
  • 1 cup butter, melted, for dipping purposes
  • Cinnamon-sugar topping:
  • 1.5 cup sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup toasted and finely chopped pecans (optional)
  • and Creamy glaze:
  • 1 cup powdered sugar + ½ tsp vanilla + 4 Tb heavy cream (give or take) + 2 TB softened butter
  1. Stir yeast into the ½ cup warm water, and let stand until bubbly, 10-15 minutes.
  2. Combine 1.5 cups scalded milk, 3 tsp salt, 4 Tb sugar, and 6 Tb melted butter and let cool.
  3. Stir yeast mixture into milk mixture.
  4. Add the 5.5 to 6 cups flour until a nice dough is formed and can be handled.
  5. Knead for 2 or 3 minutes or until dough is elastic and smooth. Put into a large greased bowl.
  6. Cover with a clean dishtowel and let rise until doubled in size, approximately 2-3 hours.
  7. Rub soft butter onto jelly roll pan or round pizza pan. (I like to line mine with parchment paper, which I also coat with a thin layer of soft butter.)
  8. Mix cinnamon, sugars, and (optional) chopped pecans in a medium-sized bowl.
  9. Melt butter in pie plate.
  10. Pull off a handful of dough and roll into a long rope, and dip into butter first, then cinnamon-sugar-nuts mixture.
  11. Start in the middle of your pan and make a spiral with the rope of dough.
  12. Keep rolling, dipping and adding to your spiral until the pan is full, pinching the joints well. This big recipe will likely fill one jellyroll pan, with enough leftover for another small pie plate, possibly, depending on the size of your ropes. Or you can split it into several pans. It makes a nice gift, baked on a pie plate.
  13. Let rise, underneath a clean cloth, for 30-40 minutes or until approximately doubled in size.
  14. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  15. Bake for 20 minutes or until barely golden. Don't over bake!
  16. While your coffee cake is baking, mix up glaze: Mix vanilla and softened butter into the cream and then beat together until creamy, adding more cream if necessary to have a pourable, drizzling consistency.
  17. Let cake cool on a wire rack, and glaze when cool. Or just dribble it on while it's warm (that's what I do!) and just dig in! Enjoy!!
  18. Have some milk on hand, some coffee brewing, and you may want to invite some friends over.
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