In my family, nothing says the holidays are coming more than when I begin my Christmas baking. The one recipe that MUST be baked in abundance is my “babka”, a.k.a. cinnamon streusel cake.
It is not a true babka since the traditional cake has yeast in it. But my family has always called it babka and that invokes a warm and homey feeling when they do.
This cake is easy to make and freezes well. I have used this exact recipe for well over 25 years. It is unusual for me not to have tweaked or changed anything, but it is too good to experiment with and I’m sure my family would revolt.
It uses simple ingredients that most people would have in their kitchen. I usually buy the walnuts in bulk and keep them in the freezer to stay fresh. I will either whirl them in the food processor or put the walnuts in a storage bag and bang them with a meat mallet………depending on my mood. Ha.
I have five “babkas” in my freezer right now and will probably make at least five more to give to family and friends. It will taste just as fresh and delicious as just baked from the oven! I hope you try it and let me know how you like it.Print
This cinnamon streusel cake is perfectly delicious as is, enjoyed with a cup of coffee or tea. Or, according to my husband, is phenomenal with a scoop of vanilla ice cream
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
8 oz/1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 350°.
Grease a 9 x 5 loaf pan with a baking spray or light coating of shortening.
In a mixer, cream the butter and 1 cup of sugar in large bowl until smooth. Beat in the eggs, sour cream and vanilla.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder and baking soda in medium bowl. Pour this into the butter mixture and blend just until combined.
In a small bowl stir the sugar, cinnamon and walnuts. Pour half the batter in the loaf pan and sprinkle half the cinnamon mixture over it. Pour remaining batter and then the cinnamon mixture. Lightly press the cinnamon sugar nut mixture on top of the batter.
Bake the cake for approximately 1 hour or until wooden toothpick tested in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Using a metal spatula or butter knife, gently loosen around the edge of the pan. I place a piece of parchment or wax paper under the rack and then flip the pan to cool completly.
**I wish I could give credit to whoever wrote this recipe. I have been baking it long before the internet and food blogs. Back in the day we just ripped out recipes from magazines and shoved them in a drawer; most likely never to be seen again. But not this one!