as always, when i head out to the demonstration garden, i go with a cake in hand to share with my fellow volunteers. a simple vanilla cake with a ribbon of cinnamon sugar, nuts and chocolate chips is a pretty typical choice.
to make it look pretty, first choose an interesting pan. i have many tube pans in my collection and some are plain while others like the one i used, have patterns.
cinnamon swirl coffeecake
1 (12 cup) cake serving 12 to 16
8 ounces unsalted butter, softened
2 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 cups all purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 cups buttermilk
1/3 cup cinnamon sugar (or 1/3 cup sugar mixed with 2 teaspoons cinnamon)
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup pecans or walnuts
preheat the oven to 350. grease and flour the cake pan and set aside. place the butter, sugar, salt and vanilla into the bowl of a food processor. pulse to combine. add the eggs, one at a time and pulse to combine. scrape the mixture into a large mixing bowl. place the flour and the baking powder into a sifter or a mesh strainer and sift it over the batter in the bowl. fold the batter a few times, add the buttermilk and mix until no streaks remain. carefully spoon 1/3 of the batter into the prepared pan. sprinkle half of the cinnamon sugar over the batter and then top it off with half of the chocolate chips and nuts. carefully top this with half of the remaining batter and carefully spread it into an even layer. sprinkle the remaining cinnamon sugar, chocolate chips and nuts over the batter and then top it off with the remaining cake batter. spread the top of the batter so that it is even and touches the sides and middle core of the pan. bake until a pick inserted comes out clean, about 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes. allow the cake to cool in the pan for 15 minutes and then invert it onto a rack to cool completely. when the cake is cool, sift a little powdered sugar over the top. cut with a serrated knife. leftovers, if there are any, will freeze nicely. just wrap slices well and freeze for a month or two. to defrost, let the slices sit out at room temperature with the plastic still on them.