Tuscan Coffeecake-Secret Recipe Club

Tuscan Coffeecake

The Secret Recipe Club is a group of bloggers and foodies who enjoy preparing recipes from other members blogs. Each member is assigned another member’s blog to prepare and post a dish on the selected reveal day for that particular group. It is a secret, hence the moniker. As always, I have a difficult time choosing a recipe amongst all the tantalizing photos of culinary delights. However, after perusing the yeast breads featured by Karen of Karen Cooks, I knew I had at least narrowed it down. Karen prepares many delicious dishes and like myself, she likes to bake breads. The Tuscan Coffeecake with its Italian name caught my eye immediately, so the choice was made. Originally from King Arthur Flour, the cake is chocked full of dried fruit and toasted walnuts-a hearty slightly sweet bread that incorporates a starter to further enhances the flavor and quality of the baked product. Because the dough is a thick heavy one, I used my bread machine to mix and knead, adding the fruit and nuts later in the cycle. If you don’t have a bread machine, I suggest using a heavy-duty mixer to knead the dough.

A few words about Karen that I learned while reading her blog-she loves photographing her family, calls her husband-the gardener and has recently set up a gardening blog-Karen Cooks and Gardens, a perfect site for one who loves to cook with fresh herbs and vegetables. Not only a bread aficionado, but also prepares many delicious Mexican and Portuguese dishes. I also made her Chile Verde, but it’s in the freezer now awaiting its turn at dinner. The recipe is as it reads on Karen’s blog with the exception of one or two substitutions noted in parentheses. I saw no reason to mess with a good thing-so to speak.

Recipe from King Arthur Flour and Karen Cooks

STARTER1 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour1/2 cup cool water1/16 teaspoon instant yeast

Mix the starter ingredients in a small (about 1-quart) bowl, and let rest overnight at room temperature.DOUGHall of the starter2/3 cup water2 3/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter1 large egg2 tablespoons sugar2 teaspoons instant yeast1 1/4 teaspoons saltFILLING1 cup toasted walnuts, very coarsely chopped3/4 cup chopped dates-(I used chopped dried prune plums)3/4 cup raisins, golden preferredTOPPING2 tablespoons sugar (I used Turbinado sugar)1/2 teaspoon vanilla (I used powdered vanilla)1 teaspoon water (2 teaspoons of water if using powdered vanilla)

Combine the dough ingredients, mixing and kneading to form a smooth, supple dough. It’ll be very slack; for this reason, I suggest kneading in a bread machine, or with a mixer, rather than by hand. Place the dough in a bowl, and let it rise about 1 hour. It may not double in bulk; that’s OK.Gently deflate the dough, and knead the nuts and fruit into it. Shape the dough into a flat ball, and place it in a 9-inch round cake pan. Cover the pan with a proof cover or lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow the loaf to rise for 30 minutes, or till it barely crests over the top of the pan.Combine the sugar, vanilla and water, and drizzle this mixture over the top of the risen coffeecake. Bake it in a preheated 350°F oven for 35 minutes, or until it’s golden brown and the internal temperature registers 190°F. Remove it from the oven, and after 5 minutes, carefully turn it out of the pan. Allow it to cool on a rack. Yield: 1 cake, about 8 to 10 servings.

Tuscan Coffeecake Dip

Leftover coffeecake can be sliced, toasted and spread with cream cheese. Part of a Valentine’s tea party, maybe?



Please do not use images or text without my permission. 




  1. Karen
    February 13, 2012 / 6:14 pm

    Beautiful photos! I just love this bread and am glad you did, too! It makes a beautiful gift at Christmastime or Easter.

  2. Daniel Saraga
    February 13, 2012 / 6:35 pm

    so it's more of a bread than a cake (I noticed the yeast)? It looks incredibly tasty and your photos are excellent. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Debbi Does Dinner Healthy
    February 13, 2012 / 8:03 pm

    The pictures look amazing! The dates, walnuts and raisins in it, holy cow I'll bet this was awesome!

  4. Flavors of the Sun
    February 13, 2012 / 8:43 pm

    What a beautiful bread/coffeecake! It looks perfectly cooked and is equally beautiful in color and in black and white.. Nice round-up of other bloggers efforts as well. I can see I need some time to check this out.

  5. Lisa~~
    February 13, 2012 / 9:14 pm

    What a beautiful bread and it sounds divine with the fruit and nuts.If you haven't already, I'd love for you to check out my Group 'A' SRC entry: Crunchy Fudgy Heart BitesLisa~~Cook Lisa Cook

  6. Mary
    February 13, 2012 / 9:48 pm

    What wonderful photos. I am new to your blog, so I took some time to browse through your earlier posts. I'm so glad I did that. I really like the food and recipes you share with your readers you share with your readers and I'll definitely be back. I hope you have a wonderful day. Blessings…Mary

  7. Judee @ Gluten Free A-Z
    February 14, 2012 / 12:06 am

    That is one beautiful coffee cake, and I love your pics too. I just switched over to group B so I'm glad to meet you and your blog. Hope you'll come over and visit me.

  8. Fallon
    February 14, 2012 / 2:23 am

    That looks fantastic! It looks so doughy and hearty.

  9. A Feast for the Eyes
    February 14, 2012 / 3:05 am

    King Arthur Flour is one of my most trusted recipe sources. This is beautiful, just as your food styling is. So nice to find you via the SRC!

  10. Betsy
    February 14, 2012 / 3:53 am

    Baking bread always reminds me of my Grandma. This one looks like it would be right up her alley! I'm stopping by from SRC but I'd love if you check our my new site seasonalpotluck.com February is oranges month so if you have any orange recipes, we'd love if you'd link up! http://bit.ly/zDoNfx

  11. Lynne
    February 14, 2012 / 8:24 pm

    Thanks so much everyone for commenting on the Tuscan Coffeecake. It is as Daniel said more of a bread and i'm not sure why mine rose so high as I made the recipe exactly like Karen. It's unbelievably delicious warm from the oven, but after a few days dries out some, so would be a good candidate for toast or maybe a bread pudding-not sure. I have looked at all your lovely posts and would love to make any and all of your recipes.Thanks, Lynne

  12. Sarah
    February 15, 2012 / 12:08 am

    looks super delish, I love coffee cakes:)

  13. Kristy Lynn
    February 15, 2012 / 7:08 pm

    agreed. your photographs look beautiful.

  14. Jen @ Peanut Butter and Peppers
    February 16, 2012 / 4:16 am

    Oh my your Coffeecake looks amazing!!!

  15. Avril
    February 19, 2012 / 9:43 pm

    What a beautiful coffee cake! It looks absolutely delicious!

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