Coconut Chai Coffee Cake

Coconut Chai Coffee Cake. This recipe had me at Coconut…really. Anything with coconut and I’m ALL IN. Especially when it comes to cakes, rice & bars.

Major bonus points for CHAI, COFFEE & CAKE. Three glorious things that start with the letter C.

Crunchy coconut topping gets a kick the the pants with chai spices. It’s like drinking tea and eating cake at the same time.

Coconut is already kinda buttery but when it’s mixed with butter…OMG. Fist pumps. Angels sing. Hallelujah. I just can’t STOP EATING THE TOPPING, get it away from me. Yeah..that.

This recipe comes from Aida Mollenkamp’s Keys to the Kitchen Cookbook. I am utterly OBSESSED with it. It’s one of those cookbooks where you find yourself marking almost EVERY. SINGLE. RECIPE to try. Not only does it have a ton of recipes, there are SOOO many great tips & tricks packed into this beautifully designed cookbook. It’s a graphic designer’s DREAM. Oh, and guess what?! I have an extra copy, so if you would like to win one for yourself, leave a comment below telling me one of your most useful tips in the kitchen! I’ll pick a winner at random on Wednesday October 24th. Good luck and let’s eat the heck out of this cake together, mmkay?


And we’re off!

First we start with the Streusel Topping. It’s all about the coconut & chai spices!

Hello Chai spices! Cardamom, ginger, cloves and BLACK PEPPER?! That’s right.

Every now and then you get a small little bite of black pepper and it totally SEALS the deal of this cake.

All of the ingredients get mixed into a bowl.

Instant topping! Put it in the fridge. We’ll use it later.

Now we get on with the cake part. Baking soda, powder, salt & flour get mixed up and set aside.

We have our sugar & wet ingredients next.

Butter & sugar get creamed and yogurt gets added to the mix.

Then we have our vanilla and eggs.

And then we add the dry to the wet.

Hey batter batter!

Smooth it out into the spring-form pan.

Top with the topping and press it into the batter. Now BAKE.

Yup. Pretty much. I couldn’t resist…

A slice of coffee cake for me and one for you.

We’re drinking hot chai with it because it’s soo dang literal!

With the colder weather coming up, I can’t imagine a better afternoon treat or breakfast for those dark mornings we’re experiencing right now.

Side note- WHY IS IT SO DARK? I should really just accept that it’s this time of year. But…COME ON.

Buy your copy of “Keys to the Kitchen” from one of these fine online retailers: AmazonAnthropologieBarnes & NobleChronicle Books, and check out these bloggers participating in Aida’s Virtual Dinner Party:

Bev Cooks – Dixie Caviar –  Edible Living – Family Fresh Cooking – Girl Hunter – Heather Christo Cooks – Hip Foodie Mom – Hola Jalapeño –  Ladles and Jellyspoons – Love & Lemons – Matt Bites –  Shutterbean – Sprouted Kitchen –Southern Girls Kitchen – Stir and Scribble –  Tartlet Sweets – The Culinary Life– Three Many Cooks – Turntable Kitchen – Two Peas and Their Pod – Vanilla Garlic – Weelicious – What’s Gaby Cooking – With Style & Grace

Coconut Chai Coffee Cake

makes 8-12 servings

recipe from Aida Mollenkamp’s Keys to the Kitchen

Streusel Topping:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted, plus more for coating
  • 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for coating.
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Yogurt Cake:

  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup whole milk plain yogurt (or sour cream) at room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Streusel:

Heat the oven to 350F and arrange a rack in the middle. Coat a 9 inch spring form pan with butter and flour and set aside.

Combine the streusel ingredients in a small bowl and mix until well incorporated and clumped. Refrigerated until read to use.

For the Cake:

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl until aerated and lumps are broken up; set aside.

Put the brown sugar and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat over medium speed until light in color and airy. Add the yogurt (or sour cream) and mix well. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until evenly combined. Remove the bowl from the mixture and stir in the flour mixture until just moistened through.

Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and spread evenly. Sprinkle the streusel over the top and press in to adhere. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and just a few crumbs remain, 50-55 minutes.

Transfer to a rack and cool at least 20 minutes before unmolding & serving.

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  • Lanette

    Handy, dandy tip? Well, I seriously love using silpats for everything. Nothing and I mean nothing sticks to it!

  • Emily @

    Wow-I need that cake!!! RIGHT.NOW! Well done sister! My best tip is the one I try to teach my husband (and fail to…): clean up as you are cooking and take the dishes out of the dishwasher immediately after they are clean! Otherwise things just get built up…and avoided.

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

    Totally digging this. Looks awesome!

  • Rebecca

    Here’s my tip:

    I have no time for floured surfaces. I’m a messy cook and I don’t need to actually sprinkle flour around my kitchen for it to still end up EVERYWHERE! So when a dough has to be rolled – a la cinnamon rolls – I lay lots of clingfilm (is there a different US term for it? plastic wrap?) down and roll onto that. I can grab a hold of the end of a sheet to start my rolling, and angling the wrap makes the dough spiral into itself in a far neater way than I could manage with my buttery-sugary fingers.

    Also. OMG. This cake. This cake forever.

  • Traci

    This cake and the book look good!
    My tip: put a baby gate in the door of the kitchen during serious cooking sessions. Keeps out the littles and contains the mess that they want to carry to all parts of the house.

  • Foodnerd901

    My 2 favorite tips are:
    1. Roast your whole chicken on a cookie sheet instead of roasting pan. I learned this from Michael Chiarello (sp?) years ago. It’s a proven technique with perfectly browned, crisp skin every time. This works for thanksgiving turkeys too!!

    2. Throw those citrus (from those dark and stormy’s) peels down your dispos-all instead of your trash. It helps clean your dispos-all AND makes your drains citrusy fresh :-)

  • Kat

    Most of my kitchen tips involve getting rid of fruit flies! I hope you don’t need those. :)

    p.s. I love hearing you on the JTB podcast!

  • Becky Harris

    That looks SOOO delicious!
    My main tip for the kitchen is to place a towel underneath everything while baking. This prevents a LOT of cleanup afterwards and is an easy way to visually keep all your ingredients together.

  • Connie

    This looks amazing!!! Kitchen tip: Always buy your oil in a dark glass bottle and store it away from the light. Also, just to go one step further, I only pick the bottles from the back of the shelf at the grocery store. Those damn lights are on all day, compromising the quality of my oil. It’s super uncool. COOKBOOK! COOKBOOK! :)

  • Kate @ Eat, Recycle, Repeat

    Love the photos in this recipe. It looks like the perfect combination of flavors for a cozy fall day. You’ve definitely got me intrigued about this cookbook!

  • Erica Frances

    Useful kitchen tip: Before chopping garlic, I spray my knife with PAM — no stick!

  • Jessica

    My mom always taught me – cook meat right away on high to lock in moisture, then let it simmer on a low temperature to cook thoroughly.
    Also, make extra and freeze it!!

  • Brenda

    Rachael Ray garbage bowl is awesome. :)

  • Jamiek

    When I have to measure honey or syrup, I spray vegetable spray on the inside of the measureing cup and it rolls right on out.

  • Kim

    My useful tip in the kitchen is pretty common I think…I process my produce when I come home from the store. So I wash my veggies and cut them up and store them properly so they are ready to eat/ use in a recipe.

  • Jessica W

    Useful tip: read the recipe ahead of time to make sure you actually have everything, not just think you have it. :)

  • Shital Swarup

    Hi Tracy! Kitchen tip- It’s good to keep vinegar and water (1:1 ratio)in a spray bottle on the sink counter(Optional – a few drops of dishwashing liquid so it’s not too “smelly”) so once washing up’s done a few sprays gets your sink disinfected. This spray can also be used for quick cleaning up of spills while cooking. Voila!

  • mini-cake

    My tip is to freeze nuts to keep them fresh and stop them from going rancid before you get a chance to use them up.

  • Rachel

    Useful kitchen tip: do cleanup as you go. It makes the after dinner mess less monumental to tackle after you’ve already done the hard work of cooking.

  • Grace

    This looks like something that would be easy to eat all in one sitting. My favorite kitchen tip is to do all of the prep and chopping before hand so that when it comes to cooking the recipe you can be more attentive!

  • Mary Helen

    Try peeling fresh ginger with a spoon!

  • Annette

    My useful kitchen tip… Marry a pastry chef! LOL – guess who I’m giving this recipe to?

  • Kimberly A.

    My tip is to relax and experiment in the kitchen. Sometimes things won’t turn out as good as you’d hoped, but try to embrace the imperfection and use it as a learning experience for next time. If you trust your palate and your instincts, you may be rewarded with some amazing meals and an increased confidence in your cooking skills.

    P.S. I need this cake in my life. STAT.

  • Ben L.

    Kitchen tip: to cut cherry tomatoes, but them on a plate, put a lid on top of them, & use a sharp knife to cut them horizontally.

    I’d love to win the book!

  • Margaret

    Sifting! is this a tip?
    I’m also a fan of using the paper wrapper of the butter stick (FLASHBACK: God’s Gold) to butter the pan I’m using. No greasy hands, using usually non-used butter leftovers.. it’s a win-win.

  • Shawna Greenway

    Kitchen tip – always start with a clean kitchen and an empty dish washer and then clean as you go. We have a washer that doesn’t require rinsing the dishes beforehand so I just toss them in as I’m finished with them.

  • Tara

    Must make that cake! Kitchen Tip: Sharp Knives always!

  • dena

    My tip? Pizza is breakfast food.

  • Tagati

    Great giveaway!

    My kitchen tip is to clean up as you go so you can relax while the
    item(s) are baking. No big mess at the end to disturb your taste test of your baking.

  • Leslie

    Yum! I always love your photos, especially the ones that include coffee or tea!

    My kitchen tip? Always have canned tomatoes on hand. They are useful for so many things: pasta sauce, salsa, soups, etc. The possibilities are endless.

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  • The Food Hound

    I like chai the way it’s supposed to be consumed- with all that milk and a little sugar :) None of this black chai tea for me :) I would LOVE this cake- Booze Hound not so much, but if I eat the whole thing before he gets home, that solves that!

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  • Krissa

    Oh yum! I love chai and love coffee cake…can’t wait to try this one out. If I don’t have a spring form pan…is there another pan that would work to bake it in? If I used a bundt and put the topping in first would that work?

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  • Cookie and Kate

    Aida’s book is on its way to my place as I type! Eeks, can’t wait. This coffee cake looks absolutely stellar. I have been obsessed with chai lately!

  • Johanna

    girl – this recipe is fab-YOU-lous. Thanks for sharing it. Enjoyed it last week with a cup of coffee and a chat with a friend.

  • Holly W

    I have to let you know, I was dreaming about this delicious-sounding cake since you posted it. Finally tried it yesterday, and it is beyond my wildest dreams… SO delicious. The Streusel was perfect. Ahh, I wish I had brought some to work with me… darn! Anyway, if you want to check it out, here it is… Let me know what you think! :)

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  • Katherine

    I’m thinking of using sweetened coconut in the topping, good or bad idea?

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  • Rachel

    Just made this coffee cake yesterday. It is unbelievably delicious!

    This is a link to my photo of it on my Instagram feed:

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  • Laurie

    For any high altitude bakers, I am at 8,500 feet and to make these as muffins I completely eliminated the baking soda and they came out perfectly.

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