Filled Meringue Coffee Cake-Daring Bakers Challenge

by cakeduchess on March 27, 2011 · 51 comments


I don’t think I’ve ever met a coffee cake that I didn’t like. A cake invented just to eat with a hot cup of coffee-brilliant idea! A cake filled with gorgeous fluffy meringue, chocolate chunks, and chopped nut-VERY brilliant!

I used to be afraid of yeast. Yeast and I were not BFF’s. We had nothing in common. We didn’t mesh well at all. Then I decided to give baking with yeast a try. I thought it was time and started to make my own pizzas. Then I started to make sweet breads. I was so happy that I decided to stop being afraid of yeast and have more of an open mind.

This cake is DELICIOUS! I was baking with my mother-in-law visiting here from Italy. She is an incredible baker. I was a little intimidated to do my thing. I was hoping she would go for a walk or take a dip in the pool. Nope…she wanted to learn how to make this recipe. She didn’t have any idea it was for my blog. She still has no clue what this blog is about and why I’m posting recipes to it.

So I made my dough the night before. I let it rise in the refrigerator because we had some things to do in the afternoon. The next day, I let the dough warm up a little on my kitchen counter before rolling it out. Well truthfully, Teresa rolled it out while I made the meringue. She said she only tried to make meringue a couple of times and didn’t have success. She was impressed with my perfectly fluffy meringue. Then we filled the dough with the meringue and yummy chocolate mixture. I was trying to figure out how deep and how many cuts to make.

Teresa kept saying, “Taglia! Taglia!” Cut, cut! I cut and really wasn’t sure if it was the right way. I think it turned out just perfect! My Jewish sister-in-law texted me after she tried the piece of cake I gave them that it tasted just like a babka. Teresa is in love with the coffee cake and wants me to translate the recipe because she will make it in Italy. I love it because it reminds me of a Hungarian dessert my great-aunt used to make.

I once again had a difficult time trying to photograph it. Not only did I have my in-laws hovering around me…my dad was also here! He was so excited when I pulled it out of the oven. He was helping me photograph the cake. He kept saying, “That’s enough! How many photos do you have to take?” He wanted to take a piece home and was done being my photo assistant.Winking smile

Next time I will bake my cake on 325 F. 350 F was just too high and it started to get too dark too quickly. Otherwise, a perfect and flawless recipe to follow. Thank you Jamie and Ria for sharing this incredible recipeSmile

Blog-checking lines: The March 2011 Daring Baker’s Challenge was hosted by Ria of Ria’s Collection and Jamie of Life’s a Feast. Ria and Jamie challenged The Daring Bakers to bake a yeasted Meringue Coffee Cake.


Here are the photos showing how I made it step by step. It was really not as difficult as it may seem. As long as you get the dough risen nicely, the rest is a piece of cake.Winking smile









Makes 2 round coffee cakes, each approximately 10 inches in diameter
The recipe can easily be halved to make one round coffee cake

For the yeast coffee cake dough:

4 cups (600 g / 1.5 lbs.) flour
¼ cup (55 g / 2 oz.) sugar
¾ teaspoon (5 g / ¼ oz.) salt
1 package (2 ¼ teaspoons / 7 g / less than an ounce) active dried yeast
¾ cup (180 ml / 6 fl. oz.) whole milk
¼ cup (60 ml / 2 fl. oz. water (doesn’t matter what temperature)
½ cup (135 g / 4.75 oz.) unsalted butter at room temperature
2 large eggs at room temperature

10 strands saffron for Ria’s version (Saffron might be hard to find and it’s expensive, so you can substitute with ½ – 1 teaspoon of ground cardamom or ground nutmeg. Or simply leave it plain like Jamie’s version)

For the meringue:

3 large egg whites at room temperature
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon vanilla
½ cup (110 g / 4 oz.) sugar

For the filling:

Jamie’s version:
1 cup (110 g / 4 oz.) chopped pecans or walnuts
2 Tablespoons (30 g / 1 oz.) granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup (170 g / 6 oz.) semisweet chocolate chips or coarsely chopped chocolate

Egg wash: 1 beaten egg
Cocoa powder (optional) and confectioner’s sugar (powdered/icing sugar) for dusting cakes


Prepare the dough:

In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 ½ cups (230 g) of the flour, the sugar, salt and yeast.

In a saucepan, combine the milk, water and butter and heat over medium heat until warm and the butter is just melted. Ria’s version: add the 10 saffron threads to the warmed liquid and allow to steep off of the heat for 10 minutes. This will give the mixture a distinct aroma and flavor and a yellowish-orange hue.

With an electric mixer on low speed, gradually add the warm liquid to the flour/yeast mixture, beating until well blended. Increase mixer speed to medium and beat 2 minutes. Add the eggs and 1 cup (150 g) flour and beat for 2 more minutes.

Using a wooden spoon, stir in enough of the remaining flour to make a dough that holds together. Turn out onto a floured surface (use any of the 1 ½ cups of flour remaining) and knead the dough for 8 to 10 minutes until the dough is soft, smooth, sexy and elastic, keeping the work surface floured and adding extra flour as needed.

Place the dough in a lightly greased (I use vegetable oil) bowl, turning to coat all sides. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel and let rise until double in bulk, 45 – 60 minutes. The rising time will depend on the type of yeast you use.

Prepare your filling:In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon and sugar for the filling if using. You can add the chopped nuts to this if you like, but I find it easier to sprinkle on both the nuts and the chocolate separately.

Once the dough has doubled, make the meringue:
In a clean mixing bowl – ideally a plastic or metal bowl so the egg whites adhere to the side (they slip on glass) and you don’t end up with liquid remaining in the bottom – beat the egg whites with the salt, first on low speed for 30 seconds, then increase to high and continue beating until foamy and opaque. Add the vanilla then start adding the ½ cup sugar, a tablespoon at a time as you beat, until very stiff, glossy peaks form.

Assemble the Coffee Cakes:

Line 2 baking/cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Punch down the dough and divide in half. On a lightly floured surface, working one piece of the dough at a time (keep the other half of the dough wrapped in plastic), roll out the dough into a 20 x 10-inch (about 51 x 25 ½ cm) rectangle. Spread half of the meringue evenly over the rectangle up to about 1/2-inch (3/4 cm) from the edges. Sprinkle half of your filling of choice evenly over the meringue (ex: half of the cinnamon-sugar followed by half the chopped nuts and half of the chocolate chips/chopped chocolate).

Now, roll up the dough jellyroll style, from the long side. Pinch the seam closed to seal. Very carefully transfer the filled log to one of the lined cookie sheets, seam side down. Bring the ends of the log around and seal the ends together, forming a ring, tucking one end into the other and pinching to seal.

Using kitchen scissors or a sharp knife (although scissors are easier), make cuts along the outside edge at 1-inch (2 ½ cm) intervals. Make them as shallow or as deep as desired but don’t be afraid to cut deep into the ring.

Repeat with the remaining dough, meringue and fillings.

Cover the 2 coffee cakes with plastic wrap and allow them to rise again for 45 to 60 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).

Brush the tops of the coffee cakes with the egg wash. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes until risen and golden brown. The dough should sound hollow when tapped.

Remove from the oven and slide the parchment paper off the cookie sheets onto the table. Very gently loosen the coffee cakes from the paper with a large spatula and carefully slide the cakes off onto cooling racks. Allow to cool.

Just before serving, dust the tops of the coffee cakes with confectioner’s sugar as well as cocoa powder if using chocolate in the filling. These are best eaten fresh, the same day or the next day.

Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did!!

Thank you for stopping by today and hope your weekend was wonderful!

If you haven’t voted for me yet, pop over here to Babble and look for Cake Duchess in the alphabetical order section and please click that you “like” meWinking smile. THANK YOU for your votes!

{ 51 comments… read them below or add one }

Pretend Chef March 27, 2011 at 1:53 pm

I get cooking anxiety and if I had to cook for my in-laws and was trying to blog about it I think I would probably opt for dinner out, haha! I think it’s great of you to be able to share your kitchen space as well. I would probably start hyperventilating. This coffee cake sounds incredible. It makes me wish I lived closer to my mama for hers. Yummy!


foodwanderings March 27, 2011 at 2:07 pm

OMGoodness this daring bakers challenge makes me drool all over. 2nd cup of coffee and nothing to go with it. I wish I had a slice of this. Love yeast doughs!!


Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite March 27, 2011 at 2:09 pm

Yours turned out beautifully, I guess that’s why they call you the Cake Duchess. I wish mine had worked out, I had to do an intervention and it turned into something quite different! I think it’s amazing you got this done and photographed so well with all those people lurking around!


shelley c. March 27, 2011 at 2:19 pm

That looks fantastic! I am always extra nervous cooking with an audience, so extra kudos for doing this with your mother in law watching! And yes, it is reminiscent of babka – another totally tasty treat! Really great job on the challenge.


Happy When Not Hungry March 27, 2011 at 2:19 pm

Yours looks beautiful!!!! I definitely agree with your sister-in-law that it tastes like a babka too. It was so delicious! Nice work!


A Thought For Food March 27, 2011 at 2:41 pm

That’s some tasty looking meringue… which is something I’m still trying to perfect. But you did a fantastic job!


Priya March 27, 2011 at 2:53 pm

Ur coffee cake looks extremely irresistible..Fabulous work.


Maranda March 27, 2011 at 2:55 pm

Your cake looks amazing!!! I loved it too. I won’t be posting mine until tomorrow though. I think the meringue definitely gave this coffee cake more character. Great job on this challenge!!


Joy, The Herbed Kitchen March 27, 2011 at 3:05 pm

This cake is incredible! You’ve combined my two favourite things, meringue and coffee cake. Lucky you to have your mother-in-law there to help and your dad and all his help eating, I mean as the photo assistant!


Christina March 27, 2011 at 3:14 pm

What a beautiful coffee cake!


Amy March 27, 2011 at 3:15 pm

This cake sounds amazing! Everything from the meringue to the chocolate chips…delicious! Even better with that cup of coffee :)!


Sandra March 27, 2011 at 3:25 pm

Really stunning! Love all the flavors together and it does look tempting!


Urvashee@Dessarts March 27, 2011 at 3:28 pm

Your coffee cake looks great. I had the same problem of an impatient crew waiting to eat while I snapped photos! Rightly so. This recipe was delicious.


Rochelle March 27, 2011 at 3:31 pm

Glad to hear you were so happy about the challenge! It came out beautiful too :D


RJ Flamingo March 27, 2011 at 3:36 pm

That’s one gorgeous coffee cake, Lora! And I really admire your composure, being able to put this together, photograph, and blog about it, with an audience!


Kim - Liv Life March 27, 2011 at 3:37 pm

Yes indeed, beautiful meringue!!! You cake came out looking lovely, I’ve never had anything meringue filled, but I’m intrigued. I’ll bet it was an enjoyable time with everyone around, I know what you mean about everyone watching and giving advice, but it’s always fun!


mywanderingspoon March 27, 2011 at 4:18 pm

This is a dream come true delight….amazing and picture perfect for magazine cover:)


sara @ CaffeIna March 27, 2011 at 4:33 pm

I made the same version and loved it. The dough in particular was so much fun to make. You did an outstanding job here, Lora!


Beloved Green March 27, 2011 at 5:55 pm

I just made a coffee cake yesterday. Yours looks amazing. The filling looks heavenly.


Roxan March 27, 2011 at 6:02 pm

BEautiful beautiful job Lora! Also, you’re so much better at writing directions than I am. I should learn lessons from you!


Sue March 27, 2011 at 6:42 pm

What a beautiful and yummy bread, Lora! I have slacked off with DB lately:(, but I MUST make this TODAY! Your wreath look fantastic!


Lizzy March 27, 2011 at 7:32 pm

I am cracking up at your relatives hovering while you’re trying to take seemed to manage quite well. I loved this challenge, too, and hope to try the chocolate version soon :)


Sandra March 27, 2011 at 8:24 pm

Looks like you and yeast dough have made amends. Beautiful Coffee Cake!


Amy Bakes Everything March 27, 2011 at 8:30 pm

Yours is beautiful! I made the same one, and I LOVED the meringue – it was like a surprise cream filling! great job!


Please Do Not Feed The Animals. March 27, 2011 at 10:25 pm

Oooh your house sounds busy – I like a busy house full of family. Lovely cake too.


Raina March 27, 2011 at 11:59 pm

Wow! Very interesting recipe. I have never seen meringue in a coffee cake. It sounds fantastic:)


Ken│hungry rabbit March 28, 2011 at 1:15 am

You are too fabulous for words. A Coffee Cake with meringue, chocolate and nuts. I need to make yeast my BFF, pronto!


Audax March 28, 2011 at 1:15 am

WOW even if you were a little intimated having somebody else in the kitchen it worked out so stunningly and the photos are great. Superb result and I can’t believe you and yeast weren’t BFF LOL LOL.

Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.


Jenni March 28, 2011 at 1:16 am

Wonderful job on your coffee cakes! They look magnificent! I know what you mean, my family is always hovering around when I pull things out of the oven, its hard to get a good photograph in before someone rips the thing out from under your lens! :) Great job!


scrambledhenfruit March 28, 2011 at 2:24 am

Give me a slice of this with a hot cup of coffee and I’ll be a happy girl. :)


Monet March 28, 2011 at 4:35 am

I am so glad you aren’t afraid of yeast anymore :-) This coffee cake looks like a piece of heaven. Thank you for sharing with me. After such a long and trying week, it has been good to come home to something sweet. How are you doing? Send me an email and let me know. Much love.


s March 28, 2011 at 9:44 am

beautiful coffee cake…you are not a cake duchess for nothing!


Jamie March 28, 2011 at 12:29 pm

This cake is fabulous, isn’t it? And thrilled the family and La Suocera loved it! I am so glad it worked out for you! I also think that this is the perfect recipe for bakers who are afraid of yeast, it is so easy! xo


Lindsay @Eat, Knit, Grow March 28, 2011 at 12:51 pm

Yum! Looks amazing! I want to try this!


The Mom Chef March 28, 2011 at 1:19 pm

I’ve never seen anything like this. It’s gorgeous. You’re so fortunate to have a mother-in-law that is willing to admit that she might be able to learn something from you! I love mine but she already knows everything about everything ::sigh::.


Wilde in the Kitchen March 28, 2011 at 3:57 pm

Your coffee cake came out so pretty! I was a HUGE fan of this challenge too, I had a hard time not eating the entire thing!


Susan Lindquist March 28, 2011 at 4:18 pm

OMG! Lora! Your coffee ring looks beautiful! I made this also, but different fillings and was so happy with the outcome! This was my first ever Daring Bakers’ challenge … what fun! It’s so neat to see what other bakers do with the ‘same’ recipe! I’m so glad you were able to impress your MIL … that must have been a huge compliment for her to be so happy and impressed with your meringue and yeast ring! Kudos!


Georgia | The Comfort of Cooking March 28, 2011 at 4:23 pm

Wow, what a lovely coffee cake Lora! I can sympathize with “The Mom Chef” about her mother in law – I love her, but she is also unwilling to learn anything from me. Such a lovely bonding experience you were able to have with yours. Thanks for sharing this inspiring recipe and your beautiful photos. :)


saffronandhoney March 28, 2011 at 6:58 pm

I’ve been seeing this cake around the Daring Bakers’ blogs and yours looks FANTASTIC – it just gives of a feeling of comfort and gooey goodness:).


The Betz Family March 28, 2011 at 7:45 pm

I too can’t resist coffee cake! Yours looks great. Nice job on the challenge!


Cookin' Canuck March 28, 2011 at 8:04 pm

Oh my, that looks so good, Lora. It sounds as though you received high praise from your mother-in-law, which convinces me even further that I need to make this. I love that your dad was hovering over your shoulder as you were photographing the cake.


briarrose March 28, 2011 at 8:27 pm

Beautiful coffee cake. The meringue is such an unusual touch. I love the chocolate mixed in.


Lael Hazan @educatedpalate March 28, 2011 at 8:34 pm

Voi Mangiare adesso!


Magic of Spice March 28, 2011 at 11:40 pm

Wow, that is a gorgeous coffee cake :) I am sure delicious as well…


Susi's Kochen und Backen March 29, 2011 at 1:30 am

Beautiful cake and that meringue filling is making my mouth water just thinking about it. It sounds and looks incredible. Considering all of your “helpers” I think this turned out fantastic :o)


A little bit of everything March 29, 2011 at 2:26 am

i’ve seen so many coffee cakes today i don’t know what filling I should use next.
You did a wonderful job with this one, looks great


Bridgett ~ La Bella Cook March 29, 2011 at 5:11 am

Oh goodness, this sounds heavenly!


Kristen March 29, 2011 at 1:14 pm

Yeast can be a might foe. When I finally conquered my fear of it, a whole new world opened up to me. You did a fantastic job with your DB challenge this month.


Shawn March 29, 2011 at 1:23 pm

I have to try this…Not today but soon. Hopefully, I’ll have guests if not, I’ll eat it all!


Kimberly March 31, 2011 at 1:53 am

That is beautiful! And looks so delicious!!!


Lea May 9, 2011 at 7:50 am

Great job on that challenge. I wasn’t content with mine at all


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