Peach & Pecan Streusel Coffee cake is made with a yeast dough enriched with butter, milk and eggs. The tender cake is layered with a brown sugar pecan streusel and chunks of fresh peach. The brown sugar crumb topping and peach glaze are the crowning glory of this luscious breakfast (or dessert) treat.
Ok, let’s get right to it. It took just two tries to get this recipe right. But the first try was a truly spectacular failure. I’m really sorry that I didn’t get any photos. It was so bad it was funny.
I decided to make a coffee cake with some of the fresh peaches from our farm share. I wanted to make a yeast-risen coffee cake with a rich and bread-y cake component that would stand up to the juicy peaches.
The problem was getting those super juicy peaches into the cake without having them turn into mush, or turn the cake into mush.
The first step was to macerate the peaches so they would hold their shape while baking. Even better, macerating also removes excess moisture from the peaches so they don’t saturate the dough. But don’t waste that delicious juice, save it to make a glaze for the top of the cake.
Why was that first cake such a disaster? First of all, I made waaaay too much dough. I rolled the dough to a big rectangle, brushed it with egg wash, sprinkled on the streusel filling and then the peach chunks on top of the streusel. I rolled the dough into a log, then formed the log into a ring. I placed the dough into a buttered cake pan.
Since it was late, I put the cake in the fridge to rise overnight. By the morning it had completely filled the 9″ round spring form pan. I baked it anyway. It continued to rise in the oven and mushroomed way over the top of the pan. Did you ever see that episode of I Love Lucy where she opens the oven and the bread shoots across the room? It was kind of like that.
Because it was so big, by the time the middle was baked the outside was totally burnt. Again, reaaaaly sorry I didn’t get of photo. It was, literally, a hot mess.
I cut it open anyway to see what it looked like inside. The bread part actually had a very nice texture and flavor. But the streusel absorbed all the moisture from the peaches and the filling was just mushy and muddled with no distinct bits of peach or streusel.
Ok, round two. I kept the recipe for the dough exactly as it was, just divided everything in half so the cake would be a manageable size.
I wanted to have two distinct fillings, a ribbon of streusel and a layer of peach chunks. I remembered a technique I had created for my Apricot & Pistachio Buns and it worked perfectly for this coffee cake too.
By layering the fillings into the dough separately I got my two distinct fillings; a crunchy pecan streusel and a nice layer of peach chunks.
The hardest part about putting together this Peach & Pecan Streusel Coffee Cake is just getting it from the work surface into the pan. I’ll be honest, because of the slippery peaches it was a bit of a challenge to roll the log and form the ring. But once the cake was in the pan I pinched the ends together and hoped for the best. I truly expected the cake to fall apart in the oven.
But it didn’t! The dough was able to hold in the fillings, and anything that leaked out into the pan was fine.
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