The beauty of this coffee cake lies in that it can be made up the night before and baked in the morning, or frozen, thawed and then baked, or baked and then frozen and rewarmed in a microwave after it thaws. The cake is made with three strands of dough that have been filled with an exquisite almond filling and then braided. The coup de grace is a coarse sugar and almond topping. This recipe easily can be doubled.
Check out these other Eastern European Almond Recipes.
Here is a larger photo of Almond Coffee Cake and here is a photo of sliced almond coffee cake.
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Dough must rise twice: 2 hours
Total Time: 3 hours, 20 minutes
Yield: 16 servings Almond Coffee Cake
- Coffee Cake:
- 1/3 cup butter-flavor shortening
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup scalded milk
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons instant or rapid-rise or bread machine yeast
- 2 slightly beaten large eggs
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 8 ounces almond paste (not almond filling and not marzipan)
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 ounces softened butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup chopped almonds
- 2/3 cup currants or other dried fruit like dates or raisins
- 1 large egg beaten with 1 teaspoon water
- Coarse sugar
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- In a large heatproof bowl or stand mixer fitted with the hook attachment, place shortening, salt, scalded milk and 1/4 cup sugar. Mix together and let cool to 120 degrees (instant, rapid-rise and bread machine yeasts can tolerate higher temperatures) so as not to kill the yeast.
- Add the yeast (when using instant, rapid-rise or bread machine yeast, it doesn't have to be dissolved in water before using) and eggs and mix well. Add the 4 cups flour and knead on low speed until the dough is smooth and no longer sticky, adding more flour or warm water, if necessary.
- Place dough in a greased bowl, turning once to coat both sides and cover with greased plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm place until doubled.
- While dough is rising, make the almond filling. In a medium bowl or stand mixer, beat together the almond paste, 1 cup sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add the 2 tablespoons flour and 1 egg and mix well. Blend in the nuts and fruits, and set aside.
- When dough has doubled, punch down, knead a few times and divide into six equal pieces. Work with one piece of dough at a time, loosely covering the other pieces with plastic wrap or a towel. On a lightly floured board, roll each piece into a 10x12-inch rectangle and spread with one-sixth of the filling. Roll up as for a jelly roll and set aside. Do the same with two more pieces of dough. Then braid these three rolls and place into a greased 8 1/2-inch loaf pan, tucking under the ends. Do the same with the remaining three pieces of dough and place them in another greased 8 1/2-inch loaf pan. Cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled.
- Heat oven to 350 degrees. When cakes have risen, brush tops lightly with egg wash, then sprinkle with coarse sugar and 1/4 cup slivered almonds down the center of each cake. Place loaf pans on a baking sheet to catch any drips and place in oven. Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until toothpick has just a few crumbs clinging to it. Don't overbake. The center of the coffee cake will be soft.
- Remove cakes from oven and cool 10 minutes on a wire rack. Tip cakes out of pans, and set upright on the wire rack to cool completely. While this is best served warm, it will be easier to slice if allowed to cool completely and then reheated in the microwave. If reheating frozen almond coffee cakes, allow to thaw completely before warming in the microwave.