Coffee Cake v. Chaos

I keep happy memories of a long-ago week at the memorable Boulderado Hotel in Colorado stashed behind my mental “Best Coffee Cake” tab, thanks to a knobby, cinnamon-scented streusel version I ate every morning while there. For years I hoped to make that coffee cake at home in green, moist Kentucky, but could not find a recipe to file alongside Cowgirl Coffee Cake. Until now.


As I write, drills and saws provide the soundtrack and plumbers’ pipe joint compound forms the scent surround. I live in happy chaos. Terrific, smart, kind builders, plumbers, electricians, HVAC experts, drywallers, tilers, painters and all manner of design experts are shoring up and changing our 1908 house so it will serve us and others for at least another 100 years. We aren’t changing our old, functioning kitchen, but when the second floor bathroom looks like this….


…my mind turns toward making something sweet and comforting. With people all around who can eat gluten, I made The Midnight Baker’s Sour Cream Coffee Cake one morning. It’s everything I remember from the Boulderado, and all one could want: tall, crunchy, sweet, moist, comforting, exquisite with coffee.

When life is a bit calmer, I’ll try for a gluten-free version, adding one particular requirement: it must be tall and imposing, like this ancestor. So many gluten-free pastries are small, shrunken versions of their wheat-y progenitors. I’ll aim higher.

Rona Roberts2 Comments