Make-Ahead Icebox Coffee Cake
The key to producing a batter that can sit overnight in the refrigerator and still bake up tall and light the next day is in the mixing method.
Why This Recipe Works
We found several make-ahead coffee cake recipes that call for the cake batter, topped with streusel, to be refrigerated overnight. Unfortunately, the overnight stay wreaked havoc on these coffee cakes—some recipes were dry, others squat and gummy, and a few misshapen and tainted by off-putting flavors. And when it came to the streusel, most of it was dull and floury. We wanted a make-ahead coffee cake recipe that could withstand overnight refrigeration. To achieve this, we used the reverse creaming method of cutting the butter into the dry ingredients until crumbly before the wet ingredients are incorporated—the technique worked wonders here, because less air is worked into the batter, so there is less deflation. Tucking half of the streusel inside the cake (between layers of batter) also helped promote a sturdier cake. For our coffee cake recipe’s streusel topping, we cut a little butter and flour into our mixture of pecans, sugar, and cinnamon. The added moisture allowed the topping to clump and stay put on top of the cake.