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 LifeThree 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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360 Comments

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  • October 22, 2012

    This looks awesome! Just like everything else on yo’ blog! (: Love it!

  • neha gattani
    October 22, 2012

    Perfect chai cake for these gloomy days.

  • Leslie
    October 22, 2012

    Looks excellent.

  • October 22, 2012

    This coffee cake sounds and looks awesome and funny, I’ve been researching coffee cakes lately b/c I want to make the ‘perfect’ one and have been driving myself nuts trying to figure out which one that should be :)

    Most useful tips? Take out the garbage frequently so your kitchen doesn’t stink! lol

  • October 22, 2012

    Hmmm cake for breakfast… I have a bit of brownie for mid morning!

  • Abby
    October 22, 2012

    A useful kitchen tip? Parchment paper is your best friend!

  • Stacey
    October 22, 2012

    My latest favorite is to use a big pot, line it with a heating pad set on low to make yogurt. The warm milk & starter are put in mason jars wrapped in dish towels, topped with more towels and the pot lid, voila, perfect incubating temperature!

  • Christine S
    October 22, 2012

    Feel a bit lame sharing with you a tip I got from you, but you shared putting a towel down on the counter when you’re baking for easy clean up – changed my life!!

  • Cate
    October 22, 2012

    I wonder if this is open internationally? I had to comment regardless since this cake contains all my favourite things! In fact, before I finished reading your post I jumped up to put some yoghurt on so I can make it tomorrow.YUM! My kitchen tip is to blend your own chai using leaf tea, fennel seeds, fresh ginger and freshly crushed spices and then to drink it liberally!

  • October 22, 2012

    Love chai! Love coconut! I’m so making this!!

  • October 22, 2012

    Oh, and I forgot about the giveaway! Mine’s just super simple. PREPARATION! Before you even start, get everything you need, all your ingredients, read through your recipe if you’re following one, get our equipment, oven heated etc etc. Sooooo many times have I previously fallen down but faffing about half way through and then realised, I’ve misplaced the mash potato tool, of forgot to buy lemons etc etc. Get your prep done, and you’re 80% of the way there.

  • Amy Ulrich
    October 22, 2012

    Looks amazing, gotta try this and then take it to work so I don’t eat the whole thing myself. Kitchen tip: have fun, be willing to make mistakes and take lots of test bites!

  • Rachel
    October 22, 2012

    This cake looks delicious! One of the most useful tips I learned in the kitchen was how to cut corn off the cob without making a mess. You take a giant bowl and then put a small bowl upside-down in the giant bowl. The upside-down bowl serves as a platform. You then put one end of the corn cob on the upside-down bowl and hold the other end with your hand. The whole cob should be pretty much inside the giant bowl. Then when you slice the kernels off, they stay contained inside the giant bowl instead of going all over the place.

  • October 22, 2012

    Hmmm looks delicious!
    Mini tip: when you fail your “crème anglaise”, pour it in a plastic bottle and shake, shake, shake!

  • Pam
    October 22, 2012

    One of my kitchen tips is a salt box. So much easier than having to drag the box of salt out of the cupboard. It’s pretty, functional and used every meal, so I just leave the round olive wood box right by my stove. I would love this cookbook. The cake looks like I need to make it today!

  • Brittney
    October 22, 2012

    My favorite kitchen tip? Clean up as you go! Makes after dinner so much easier! Love your blog!! :)

  • October 22, 2012

    Most Useful Tip(for the Mexican food Aficiando): When you are making flour tortillas you HAVE to warm the milk

  • October 22, 2012

    I must totally try this cake, and the book sounds terrific!

    As for kitchen tips, this is a bit boring but definitely a lifesaver for me: I keep a roll of masking tape and a sharpie in my cutlery drawer so that I can quickly label stuff before it goes into the freezer. Time and experience have taught me that I absolutely will NOT remember what it is after about a day, even if I pry open the foil and look.

  • Jess
    October 22, 2012

    This looks amazing!!!

    My kitchen tip: when you’re cutting an onion and start to get that tingling oh-my-god-don’t-touch-the-eyes feeling, stick your head in the freezer! Sounds ridiculous, but it seals up the tear ducts and makes onion slicing a no-cry event.

  • rachel
    October 22, 2012

    Hey there! My kitchen tip is that it’s totally worth having two sets of measuring spoons, cups and at least two ladles and cutting boards.

    • October 22, 2012

      agreed!

    • October 22, 2012

      At least two ladles! Totally agree.

  • October 22, 2012

    Can”t wait to try this cake!
    My most useful tip in the kitchen is always clean up one mess before starting another.

  • October 22, 2012

    I have a coconut-chai tea that I love…this is like that, but in CAKE FORM! yes!

    As for kitchen tips, I love to use my cutest bowls/plate/utensils when baking/cooking, I like pretty stuff…why not use it!? I keep a little bowl of binder clips on hand to clip bags or to hold parchment overhangs in place while baking. I also use baking soda+ vinegar, followed by hot water to keep the sink drains clean and flowing…and, more of a rule than a tip, clean up/do the dishes before starting something new AND clean as you go.

  • Sarah R
    October 22, 2012

    One of my favorite kitchen tips is to peel fresh ginger with the side of a spoon. It’s 300% easier that way! Also, this looks tasty!

  • October 22, 2012

    This looks so good!

    My tip has to do with BACON. When I open a new package to store in the freezer, I grab a long sheet of wax paper and fold the paper over every slice of bacon. This makes it super easy to grab the exact number of slices you need in the future, rather than trying to pry them off of one big block o’ frozen bacon.

  • Sarah
    October 22, 2012

    Hmm. Most useful kitchen tip? Use a fork to help break butter into the sugar when you’re making cookies. It speeds up the process of creaming the butter a LOT. I usually work with a fork until the butter is mostly mushed up, and then switch to a wooden spoon to finish creaming. It super works. And then you can use the fork to “test the dough for poison” later on the process. (That last one is totally a real thing.)

  • Kiera
    October 22, 2012

    wow wow – this cake looks awesome!
    kitchen tip…I echo the other commenters regarding preparation. If I have veggies (and even herbs) in the fridge prepped, I am MUCH more likely to eat them up.

  • Jennifer Read
    October 22, 2012

    Fall is my favorite time of year to have Celestial Seasonings Coconut Thai tea! Now I MUST make this to go with it! Other coconut fans in the house have been craving coffee cake, so this would be “perfection!”

    I measure my dry ingredients onto wax paper so I can fold it up to slide it into the mixer. If I use a bowl, it ALWAYS slides off the sides and onto the counter, so the wax paper saves me from that mess!

  • October 22, 2012

    A kitchen tip? Buy a kitchen scale and use it!! I love them :)

  • Bree
    October 22, 2012

    My kitchen tip was to also use a scale and have some really deep mixing bowls, so when your kids want to help stir things don’t go flying everywhere:-)

  • October 22, 2012

    This looks delicious! One of my favorite tips (especially useful when baking) comes from my late Grandmother: gather all of your ingredients first, and put each one away right after you use it. You won’t accidentally forget an ingredient, and your kitchen won’t be completely destroyed (hopefully)!

    • October 23, 2012

      That is also my tip – then while whatever you made is baking or cooking you can clean up any dishes and wipe down the counter.

  • October 22, 2012

    i always love your photos!

    i’m definitely not a pro in the kitchen, but the tips that i think are always the most helpful are the typical – mise en place and cleaning up as you go. when i do those things, my experience in the kitchen is so much nicer! :)

  • October 22, 2012

    Zomg this is a stunner. I looove a good coffee cake. You had me at chai, or maybe coconut. Either way- I’m on board!

  • October 22, 2012

    My key to the kitchen: clean as you go and take your time, being stressed in the kitchen is no fun for anyone!

  • October 22, 2012

    What a pretty, delicious-looking cake! I feel a chai craving coming on now too! Kitchen tip: Clean as you go. As much as I like to make a big mess while baking, I despise cleaning it up even more. So, if I can wash a few of the dishes as I dirty them, the end result is less overwhelming. = more enjoying of the baked goods!

  • HeatherJean
    October 22, 2012

    Anything with coconut is my fave. Kitchen tip – try out cookbooks at the library before you buy them. I get a new one almost every week – the Julia Childs – “Julia’s Kitchen Wisdom” is in my kitchen now – and it is definitely worthy of a purchase!

  • Elena.
    October 22, 2012

    I’ may make it this week and sell it at my little cafe! Sounds great! and love your pictures!

  • Lisa
    October 22, 2012

    I stole this tip from Smitten Kitchen: fill a shaker or old spice jar with flour. It makes it easy to flour your hands or the counter when you need to roll out dough or handle sticky things! I also love your tip about putting a towel down. I use it religiously now!

  • Harris
    October 22, 2012

    yummm. my tip is throw everything (reasonable) in the dishwasher. The sink will forgive you, and it isn’t worth the time.

  • Kelsey
    October 22, 2012

    Oooh man- tips are hard! My tip- neufchatel cheese. It’s good in everything, I like it on toast, I like it mixed into pasta sauces instead of (more) butter or heavy cream, I even put it into my scrambled eggs. Cream cheese makes everything better!

  • October 22, 2012

    My tip for the kitchen came from Rachel Ray. The poor man’s trash bowl on the counter: I use a plastic grocery bag for waste so I eliminate trips to the trash can. Love this cake and can’t wait to make it. yummy

  • Melissa
    October 22, 2012

    This cake sounds divine! My useful kitchen tip? When a recipe calls for lemon or lime juice, before slicing them in half, I always roll them back and forth a few times between the counter (or cutting board) and the palm of my hand, pressing firmly, but not too hard. It helps loosen the pulp and makes them easier to juice. It also makes picking out the lemon seeds a lot easier, too.

  • Alexa
    October 22, 2012

    This is a pretty lame tip, but when I’m baking something I like to see if I can wash all of the the dishes before it’s done. I think of it as a race against the oven timer, which makes it a little more fun!

  • October 22, 2012

    Looks wonderful! I love the idea of all these flavors together. My favorite kitchen tip is simply to have everything ready to go and clean up as you’re done with ingredients. Cooking is a lot more relaxing when everything is already chopped when you need it.

  • zoë
    October 22, 2012

    I love all the words in this cake! yes please!

    Tip-wise: I like to put away my ingredients as I use them; cleaner kitchen by the time I’m finished with my recipe.

  • Jackie
    October 22, 2012

    I’ve been hearing so many good things about this cookbook! I think my “key” to the kitchen is confidence. If a recipe seems difficult, or there is an ingredient you aren’t used to working with, just follow the instructions, trust your instincts, and enjoy it!

  • Mary Ellen
    October 22, 2012

    Gosh this looks phenomenal! I must try this STAT.

    My most useful tip? Ice cube and muffin tins are your friends for freezing individual sized portions. I got probably about 8 pounds of hatch green chiles while they were roasting, threw them in the food processor and then the ice cube trays and voila – now can toss them into anything – biscuits, soups, eggs!

  • Louise Knight-Gibson
    October 22, 2012

    I’ve been reading all your comments with a pen and post-it, taking notes! My favorite tip won’t really change your life in the kitchen but I always enjoy cooking a little more with music. When we were little my mom would always play music to match the style of food we were eating. Opera music for Italian, Gypsy Kings for mexican food, and so on. It made dinner so much fun and it’s a tradition my sisters and I still continue!

  • christina
    October 22, 2012

    Looks so good. My most useful tip is clean as you go so that you can really enjoy your meal.

  • jenny
    October 22, 2012

    oh wow. tracy, you always post awesome recipes at exactly the right time! I was wondering what to bring to a brunch next weekend, and now I know. this looks sublime!

    so many good kitchen tips covered already. I guess the simple one that hasn’t been mentioned (but which is a total money-saver for me) is to keep nuts and whole-grain flours in the fridge. yes, it makes for a rather stuffed fridge sometimes (especially for those of us with small apartment fridges) but it really keeps the oils in the nuts and flours from going rancid so fast. nothing worse than pulling out an expensive bag of an ingredient for a recipe only to find it’s already spoiled!

  • gail
    October 22, 2012

    useful tip: clean up as you go; that way there is not a huge pile at the end

  • October 22, 2012

    My useful tip is to use a timer so you don’t burn your sweet potato fries. That is my real life problem…

  • Cho
    October 22, 2012

    This cake looks amazing. Looks like I need to go out and get a springform pan! (It will be totally worth it)

    My kitchen tip is from Anthony Bourdain… Read, read, read the recipe three times, and have everything prepped and organized. Helps eliminate mistakes!

  • Christine
    October 22, 2012

    Tracy – what a beautiful and thoughtful site! Kitchen tip – instead of mincing garlic, try crushing the cloves you require for a recipe in a mortar & pestle with a bit of course salt. Then add to your saute or sauce or dressing.

  • Rikki Talkradio
    October 22, 2012

    This looks amazing! I work at a coffeeshop, and one of my favorite treats there is making an iced coconut chai latte. Yum!

    My best kitchen tip is just rolling with the punches. My dad was a big cooking influence on my life, and he taught me that if something doesn’t work out the way you want, be ready to modify it and present it with confidence. Stuffed mushrooms explode? Cream of mushroom soup. Boom.

  • Lauren
    October 22, 2012

    Oh my I love coconut too, this looks great. My kitchen tips – first, read these comments there is some helpful advice here I’ll have to follow. Second, always start by putting on some good music, it’ll make you want to stay in the kitchen longer.

  • Jennie
    October 22, 2012

    the coffee cake looks SO delicious! my kitchen tip is to always make more kale chips than you think you need to because I always eat half of them right when they come out of the oven :)

  • October 22, 2012

    Oh man, this looks delicious. Holy crap.

    My best tip is to use a garlic chopper instead of a press to keep all the delicious garlicky flavor (I have a garlic problem) instead of losing it in the press. Thanks for the chance to win, lady!

  • Sofie T.
    October 22, 2012

    Love the coconut + chai combination!
    Kitchen tip: Prep what you can beforehand. Sometimes I’ll mix a dessert’s dry ingredients together the night before, and have some other things measured out, so I just need to throw them together and pop it into the oven.

  • Rebekah
    October 22, 2012

    Useful tip? CLEAN as you go! :)

  • Monique L.
    October 22, 2012

    Oh Tracy! You made my morning! I’ve been on the hunt for a chai recipe!

    My favorite baking tip in the kitchen would be to have all your ingredients out, organized and ready before the start of anything.

  • Cali
    October 22, 2012

    Yummy! Most useful tip? Toast your spices before you use them to make them pop!

  • Chelsea Norman
    October 22, 2012

    This looks SOOOOO good! One of the best tips that was given to me recently (so I guess I am now sharing as my own, lol) is chopping bacon with scissors! Random, but very helpful if you need to do it!

  • Rebecka
    October 22, 2012

    Genious! I love coconut, I love chai spices, I love crumbly topping and soft sponge underneath – this will be made soon!

  • Shannon McDermott
    October 22, 2012

    Useful kitchen tip-start with a clean kitchen. I don’t always follow my own tip but sure makes it easier to cook/bake/experiment with a clean kitchen.

  • Jheri
    October 22, 2012

    I love Chai! A good tip for cooking bacon is to cook it in the oven @ 400 degrees on a cooling rack over a foil covered jellyroll pan. It comes out crispy and delicious and no shrinkage! I also agree with most people who say to clean as you go, it makes it a little less overwhelming. Thanks for the tips by the way, these are great!

  • Sarah
    October 22, 2012

    I try to do the dishes as I’m making something or clean up while it’s in the oven. That cake looks yummy. I love anything with chai spices in it.

  • October 22, 2012

    Yum! Coconut, chai and coffee sound amazing together. My useful tip in the kitchen is probably to convince someone to clean for you ;) I’ll bake, while others enjoy the treats and then they can do the cleaning… it works for me!

  • Hannah
    October 22, 2012

    When cooking a large meal or many different dishes that need to all be ready at the same time…I will sit down the night before and write out a timeline with start times for each dish, baking times, etc. for each dish. Helps me stay on track and helps to get everything out on the table at once!

  • Emily D.
    October 22, 2012

    I don’t know if this quite counts as a kitchen tip but my nana taught it to me earlier this year and I feel like it’s something I should have known my whole life/everyone else already knew. So pretend we’re baking root beer cake or something. When you pour a glass of soda (or I guess anything carbonated), if you put your finger across the cup it won’t fizz over.

    And this cake looks like my kind of breakfast.

  • October 22, 2012

    YUM!
    As for a kitchen tip.. clean as you go! I think it makes a huge difference. Or atleast get the dirty dishes soaking for easier clean up later on.

  • Marie
    October 22, 2012

    Whenever I’m baking something, I lay a large dish towel on the counter where my work area will be. This way all of my mess ends up on the towel instead of my counter as I measure ingredients (flour-MESSY!) or lay down batter-coated spoons. When I’m done, I can just fold the towel up and throw it in the washer. Voila! Clean counter :)

  • October 22, 2012

    This looks like heaven!

    My tip:
    Pre-chopped garlic is worth the extra money. You don’t have to spend time dicing and your hands don’t get super stinky!

  • October 22, 2012

    This cake looks perfect for fall!
    My kitchen tip: when measuring out something sticky like honey or maple syrup or molasses, measure the oil or fat of the recipe in the same cup first, so the sticky ingredient will slide right out. No oil/butter in the recipe? I’ll spritz my measuring cup with a little cooking spray first.

  • October 22, 2012

    Looks delicious!
    My best tip is to have your knives professionally sharpened twice a year. With a wickedly sharp knife, all things are possible!

  • Amanda Martignetti
    October 22, 2012

    I cannot wait to make this cake! Looks scrumptious. Coating a measuring cup or spoon in some kind of oil to make something sticky like honey slide out is one of my favourite tips!

  • October 22, 2012

    This cake made my morning! I have found that the trash bowl concept has made my cooking/cleanup situation a lot easier.

  • October 22, 2012

    Dough. Rest it overnight. End of story. Oh the magic that occurs overnight in the fridge. Love your blog!

  • Abbie
    October 22, 2012

    This cake looks amazing! Probably my most useful kitchen tip is invest in a handheld grater. So much easier to grate garlic using one of these instead of using a garlic press.

  • October 22, 2012

    I feel the same about the darkness, and the time hasn’t even changed yet…make it stop!! In terms of kitchen tips, I use a melon baller to remove the seeds from apples and pears!

  • Emmy
    October 22, 2012

    Oh. My. Gosh. That looks so good. I love chai! One kitchen tip that I use is to start garlic and spices in cold oil when I’m starting to saute something so that the flavor infuses as the oil warms and the garlic doesn’t burn.

  • October 22, 2012

    This looks soooo good! I love anything chai. Yum! xx
    http://www.bohoglow.wordpress.com
    http://www.youtube.com/user/bohoglow

  • Kelly
    October 22, 2012

    I’m a sucker for coconut too!
    As for kitchen tips? Listening to podcasts while cooking/baking provides entertainment – the Joy the Baker podcast is a good one! I also agree with the tips to read the recipe all the way through, prep ingredients at the beginning and keep a grocery store produce bag on the counter to use like a RR ‘trash bowl’
    Thanks for the great recipe and the giveaway!!

  • October 22, 2012

    oh man, this looks delish!

    For me, I like to chop chocolate and then transfer it to some wax paper to tip into the batter or whatever. Then you don’t waste all the little chocolate bits.

  • Rachelle S.
    October 22, 2012

    My kitchen tip is to give yourself about twice as much time as you think you’ll need to cook. I hate getting dinner on the table super late and then I stress myself out, which inevitably leads to some sort of accident!

  • October 22, 2012

    Holy whoa. From the coconut to the cardamom and ginger, this cake is a combination of favourites! I need to bake this.

    • October 22, 2012

      Whoops, I got too distracted by the cake and forgot to take part in the kitchen tips contest!
      I always chop, peel, grate, measure and set out all ingredients before even starting the cooking process. This makes me feel like I am on a cooking show and also keeps things calm and organized.
      Listening to good music, or the Joy the Baker Podcast while cooking/baking is also a must for me.

  • October 22, 2012

    I love chai as well, and I think my most useful tip in the kitchen is for complex recipe setting out the right amount of each ingredient so when everything gets crazy you don’t make a measuring mistake

  • Karly W
    October 22, 2012

    Slathering some (not much!) olive oil on your hands when rolling meatballs or meatloaf or even some stickier bread doughs really helps to keep it in a ball and not stuck to your hands. It works much better than using lots of flour, which can actually change the results or texture of a recipe. Thanks for the giveaway!

  • Neena
    October 22, 2012

    My useful kitchen may also be yours – I always like to have a trash bowl nearby. Unbelievably delicious looking cake – I’ll be making it REAL SOON!

  • Candy
    October 22, 2012

    A useful tip, put the root bit of green onions in water and it will grow a whole new green onion.

  • October 22, 2012

    This looks amaaaaazing!! One of my best kitchen tips is a time saver. As soon as you get home from he grocery store, take out the package of chicken and cut it up into small portions to throw in the freezer. It’s a great diet tool too.

  • Sara
    October 22, 2012

    Always have lemons, garlic, and good olive oil on hand… Would love the book!

  • Forrest
    October 22, 2012

    Oh man. I want that cake now! My new favorite cooking tip is from your maj Joy, grating citrus rind into sugar and mashing it up when making citrus flavored desserts. It really makes a difference!

  • Nicole
    October 22, 2012

    My favorite kitchen tip – store extra cut up fresh herbs in the freezer by putting 1 Tbs of chopped herbs in the bottom of each cube and covering with water

  • October 22, 2012

    One of my tips is to have all your ingredients ready before you start cooking!

  • October 22, 2012

    Have a subscription to Cooks Illustrated! It is an invaluable and inspiring kitchen resource.

  • October 22, 2012

    That. Looks. SoGood. I’m all over that cake, ASAP.

    My tip? I finally figured out how to avoid static-strewn coffee when I’m dumping the grinds from the grinder to the french press. Dry anti-static cloth, quick wipe-down of the grinder vessel. Yay. It was far too early to wipe down the counter every morning. And so sad to waste the coffee. Science rules!

  • October 22, 2012

    Oh jeez … I have to tell YOU one of my useful tips?! You’ve got so many good ones!

    Let’s see … Charlie and I split the dishes, and it makes cleaning up WAY EASIER. I load everything that’s dishwasher safe into the dishwasher. He hand washes the rest. It makes the mountain of mess seem less daunting when you’ve got a groovy partner in crime!

  • Jane M
    October 22, 2012

    When I spray Pam I open my oven door and spray so it won’t go all over my kitchen.

  • October 22, 2012

    Ugh, I wish I wasn’t the only person I know who likes coconut. I so want to make that amazing-looking cake but I’d have to eat it all myself! It’s a blessing and a curse.

    My kitchen tip is doing mise en place. If I measure everything out beforehand, there’s no way I can forget to add something or realize I’m missing an ingredient halfway through a recipe. It’s especially helpful when doing something like a stir-fry when everything happens in very quick succession.

  • October 22, 2012

    Always read your recipe before you start baking. And if you can, read it a day in advance to make sure you have all of your ingredients. Nothing like starting your recipe to realize that you don’t have all of the ingredients or need something to refrigerate overnight.

  • Kate
    October 22, 2012

    I had to make sure I was awake when I looked at this cake- it speaks my heart’s cake language. HELLO CHAI. HELLO COCONUT! I think I know what I am making after finishing work today :)

    My favourite kitchen tips are: if you have to measure something sticky (molasses, honey…) try to use the measure for an ingredient that is oily first- helps everything slide out.
    My second tip is keep your knives sharp. A dull knife is so much more dangerous, and, sharp knives make it all so much easier.

  • October 22, 2012

    Clean as you go. I cannot stress enough how nice it is to be finished making something delicious and have most of the kitchen already cleaned because when I finished with something, I cleaned it right away.

  • Sj
    October 22, 2012

    Simplest tip possible: use a pizza stone for baking two ways: 1) simply keep it in the oven with whatever you are baking to help keep temps stable (especially good for wonky apartment ovens) 2) bake your shortbreads directly on the stone (with parchment) to impart a sort of brown- buttery taste. I do this with the Scarborough fair shortbread recipe from gourmet magazine.

  • October 22, 2012

    Always read the entire recipe a few times before you even think about gathering up the ingredients to start cooking!

  • Kathy
    October 22, 2012

    My most useful tip is to clean as you go. It makes clean up somewhat sane and is not as intimidating as having a sinkful of dirty dishes :)

  • This cake looks SO good. Chai is the magic word.

    My kitchen tip is – invest in a garlic press.It’s my favorite tool in the kitchen. It minces up the garlic without having to handle it too much. No more garlic hands!

  • October 22, 2012

    Best Cooking Tip: read the whole recipe before you start. Now, I don’t always follow my own advice, but it is SO IMPORTANT. :)

  • October 22, 2012

    Holy heck, this cake looks amazing! My favorite kitchen tip is when you need to reserve pasta water, put your colander in the sink and put a measuring cup inside to remind yourself. This one has definitely saved me a few times.

  • Kimberly Gonzalez
    October 22, 2012

    Looks amazing! My kitchen/baking tip of the moment is to steep milk (in my case soy or almond) with different cereals to create deeply rich, malty cereal milks to use in baking. It adds a really delicious dimension to baked goodies… I got this technique from Momofuku Milk Bar and use it all the time!

  • October 22, 2012

    OH GOD I need this. I suppose the best kitchen tip I have up my sleeve is having a kitchen scale handy. It’s the perfect way to know I’m prepping the right amount of pasta or ingredients for a recipe. Also, I keep my spices in alphabetical order on a multi-tiered shelf. Makes finding what I need a cinch!

  • October 22, 2012

    Oh wow, this cake looks delicious!

    My most useful tip is to make a pact with your husband/partner/housemate that if you cook, they’re wash up. They get delicious food & you get a clean kitchen!

  • October 22, 2012

    I’m hosting my baby and mommy group this week, and I’m totally making this!

  • October 22, 2012

    Oh. Man. I know what I’m doing tomorrow, haha ;)
    Let’s see . . . useful kitchen tip . . . ah, I know! MUSIC. Always have good music playing while you cook: the mood adds to the food :)
    x Julie

  • Angela
    October 22, 2012

    My best kitchen tip? Salsa music. While making anything.

  • Kali
    October 22, 2012

    You had with the word coconut. I am nuts over it, my husband not so much. Oh well!

    My kitchen tip: I place measured ingredients in order on my counter so as I’m going through and I can easily see what ingredient is next. Definitely has became a life saver!

  • October 22, 2012

    I’ve never wanted to go home and bake so badly! YUM!
    #1 tip – CLEAN UP as you go. Have a trash bowl or work right on a large cutting board – easier to clean that way.

  • October 22, 2012

    Best kitchen tip I’ve ever received – if you don’t love what you’re making, no one else will. Emotion always comes through in the finish product!

  • October 22, 2012

    This looks so good! And I have all the ingredients. I will be making this soon!

  • heather
    October 22, 2012

    droooooling over this cake right now! I just had a chai tea yesterday from starbucks that was way overpriced :) most useful tip? clean as you go and gather all of the ingrediants prior to starting! really tough stuff. ha.

  • kathy h
    October 22, 2012

    this looks devine!
    my kitchen tip – I wear dollar store safety goggles while chopping large amounts of onions so I don’t tear up – don’t laugh, it’s true!

  • Sasha
    October 22, 2012

    I

    • Sasha
      October 22, 2012

      I dunno why my comment didn’t post properly but I’ll try again :)

      I

  • October 22, 2012

    I want to eat this NOW!

    I zest all my limes and lemons and keep the zest in the freezer for future use. Waste not, want not!

  • Kaitlin
    October 22, 2012

    This looks so good! My most useful tip is probably to clean up as you go. I also like to make double batches of marinades. I’ll marinate and cook one package of meat and freeze the a second package in the marinade for a quick dinner later on.

  • Kate
    October 22, 2012

    This looks fab! I guess the old adage, clean as you go. But if you can’t and things get piled up- get a good pair of rubber gloves, find a guilty pleasure reality show on hulu, and play it on the window above your sink while you wash. It makes that hour of dishes fly by!! (I don’t have a dishwasher, so this happens…)

    Great question, can’t wait to read the other answers.

  • October 22, 2012

    My favorite tip this time of year is to never underestimate how many ways you can use your disher. (Ya know, that cute little ice cream scoop thing?)

  • Ann M.
    October 22, 2012

    Looks awesome. Not sure if it’s a tip but –utilize your slow cooker. So many great recipes for slow cookers and there is nothing better than coming home after a long day at work and having dinner ready and waiting. Slow cooker is also great for making breakfast overnight and for desserts!

  • October 22, 2012

    You had me at coconut!!! WHY is coconut so dang good but plain coconut water a little odd tasting? Anyhoo, my fav’s = coconut + coffee cake so I can only imagine how good this is.

  • October 22, 2012

    Oh almost forgot, my favorite kitchen tip is to always have a garbage bowl! Seriously, it saves me a huge headache. Especially because I barely have any counter space.

  • Michelle Warnke
    October 22, 2012

    This looks delicious!!!
    My newest fave trick is to use scissors to cut fresh herbs. I know this isn’t new information but I took a long time to try it and don’t know why I didn’t try it sooner! So much easier than chopping! My other favorite (but obvious) kitchen trick is to do all the prep work (chopping/gathering ingredients/measuring) before cooking anything.

  • October 22, 2012

    I think the most useful thing I’ve been using a lot if my box grater for any and all recipes that call for “cutting in” butter. The large grating side works wonders.

    This coffee cake looks amazing. I love cake. And chai. Learning to love coconut.

  • Katie
    October 22, 2012

    My kitchen tip is to keep your knives sharp! It took me a while to get over a weird fear of sharpening my own knives, but what a difference it makes!

  • October 22, 2012

    Eh… *is my box grater. Not *if. There are no ifs about it.

  • Lauren
    October 22, 2012

    Yum…!

    Most most helpful kitchen tip is organization.
    I like lists and piles of ingredients including tools ready to go.
    Totes eliminates mistakes.

  • Bianca
    October 22, 2012

    I would totally lick the bowl clean…this recipe looks TO DROOL FOR.

    Useful tip? I always transfer my vinegars and olive oils to pretty but functional cork bottles. You have to deal with a cap, and somehow, there’s less of a mess when pouring. Happy Monday!

  • Deb B.
    October 22, 2012

    Useful kitchen tip from a baker number 1: Purchase a digital scale and don’t look back. There is nothing better than consistency, especially with baking recipes and my oh, my, a scale is a beautiful thing for an organized cook. Plus, you don’t get your measuring cups and extra bowls all dirty.

    Related tip number 2: Don’t have weight measurements for everything in a recipe? Tablespoons are approximately equal to .5 ounces, teaspoons, .17 ounces. Also, keep a calculator around for doubling and trebling recipes. Like, say, to make 2 of these cakes. One for now, one for….say… tomorrow.

    Final tip, 3 words: Mise. En. Place. Okay, 4: Always.

  • October 22, 2012

    I’ll give you two! One is to spray measuring cups with cooking spray before pouring in something sticky (honey, molasses, peanut butter, etc.) – it will come out nice and easy. The other is to scoop cupcake batter into tins using a 1/3 measuring cup – I think it’s the perfect size for cupcakes and muffins!

  • Karen
    October 22, 2012

    Useful tip: When cleaning the microwave, mix lemon juice and water in a bowl and cook on high for 5 minutes. The steam cleans perfectly and it smells all lemony :)

  • Allison
    October 22, 2012

    Kitchen tip: I’m really terrible at cooking chicken in a skillet without it turning all dry, so whether it’s white or dark meat, I always stick it in the oven to cook! This is useful for recipes that call for the addition of cooked chicken or pasta that contains chicken!

  • October 22, 2012

    Oh my gosh. All of the things I love wrapped into one cozy coffee cake. Delish!

  • Lauren
    October 22, 2012

    This looks very intriguing and fitting of my autumn mood this morning! Kitchen tip: When making pie crust, combine fat into flour using a fork (not the more complicated 2 knives suggestion).

  • October 22, 2012

    This looks LOVELY. I think I shall bring it to a friend’s house this weekend. My kitchen tip is to use freshly grated nutmeg instead of the pre-grated stuff whenever possible. Not only is it fun to grate, it seems to last forever and it’s just so lovely (as long as you don’t go overboard…then things get weird).

  • Colleen
    October 22, 2012

    This looks so yummy! I am going to try it when I host my bookgroup. Can’t wait.

    My tip is not to throw out your unused lemons — slice them 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick, lay flat on a waxed paper or parchment lined baking sheet and freeze and use in place of ice cubes.

    : )

  • Christina
    October 22, 2012

    Making this today. Im so ready to have more chai and coconut in my life.

    Kitchen Tip: Clean as you go, it just makes life easier and when someone pokes their head in to see what smells so good it doesn’t look like you’re cooking up a hurricane.

  • Megan
    October 22, 2012

    Looks like a beautiful book! My tip is the best way to keep herbs fresh is to put them upside down in a big bowl of water and put them in the fridge. Change the water once in a while, and they stay good for a shocking length of time.

  • Hillary
    October 22, 2012

    My best tip is to clean up as you go. I think someone else mentioned it too. Lifesaver! Also, taste everything as you go. This cookbook looks awesome!

  • Karleen
    October 22, 2012

    Clean as you go!!! That’s my useful kitchen tip. Get every dirty dish in the dishwasher and ingredient back to its home as soon as your done. That way when you’re done cooking, you’re also done cleaning.

    This looks so yummy!

  • annaliese
    October 22, 2012

    Hmmm, useful tip . . .I make chicken stock from the bones after I make roast chicken and ladle it directly into yogurt or peanut butter jars and freeze. It’s the perfect amount to add to rice pilaf or rissoto for a flavor boost.

    This Cookbook looks great.

  • October 22, 2012

    That is looking so good on this rainy Monday morning! My kitchen tip – clean as things are baking or cooking. I hate to look at a dirty kitchen when I am full and sitting on the couch.

  • Darl Blankinship
    October 22, 2012

    Hi. I love your blog. Especiallly Friday lists. I make your recipes all the time. My tip is to oil or grease a measuring cup before measuring out sticky ingredients like honey or maple syrup. Just made some amazing caramel for caramel apples. I used molasses, maple syrup, karo syrup…You get the idea.

  • Katie
    October 22, 2012

    HOT CHAI that looks GOOD!

    I try to remember to empty the dishwasher before I start cooking AND before guests arrive. Makes clean up less of a task.

  • October 22, 2012

    i’m nuts for anything coconut as well! will add this one to the brunch arsenal.

    my kitchen tip is to always have some butter on the counter. nothing bums me out more than trying to spread cold, hard butter on good, warm toast. blah. get a pretty handmade ceramic crock to keep out and you will always have soft butter ready to rock’n'roll.

    (i’ve never had un-refrigerated butter go bad on me, but i guess you gotta proceed at your own risk.)

  • Laura S
    October 22, 2012

    We recently bought a house and it has a gas stove/oven, which I’ve never used before. I emailed my g’ma for some tips on using gas and this is what she replied: “don’t leave a paper towel close to a burner (ask G’pa & Jared about that)……and NEVER FRY BACON NAKED.” bahahaha! I’ve don’t even want to know!!

  • Erin
    October 22, 2012

    My tip is a simple one, but I always regret it when I don’t follow it: CLEAN UP AS YOU GO :) All of those dishes and ingredients left at the end are so overwhelming. Looks like a delicious cake, Tracy! Thanks! (PS. My husband is psyched that the weather is cooler – he keeps talking about your soft pretzel recipes…mmm!)

  • bethany
    October 22, 2012

    mmm! yummy cake!

    a few tips:

    - use sharp knives! safer, quicker, easier, and way more fun.

    - tomatoes will get the garlic smell off your hands (useful when making mexican or italian food – just dice the tomatoes second and you’re all set). rubbing your fingers on stainless steel works, too!

    - when using cooking spray, do it over your open dishwasher (not with clean dishes inside!) to keep that stuff off your floor/counter. It all washes away when you run the dishwasher.

  • jenifer
    October 22, 2012

    i love coffee cake. this looks like a slam dunk.

    favorite tip? make sure you are drinking a cocktail (ya know, like a jen & tonic) OR a glass of wine while cooking. plus, some excellent music & your evening is perfect.

  • Nora
    October 22, 2012

    Cleaning up as you go! Those of us with farm houses that we are renovating have dinky kitchens!

  • Betsy
    October 22, 2012

    Recipe looks ah-mazing! I love chai anything. My kitchen tip is to line the crumb tray in the toaster oven with foil. Huge help with cleaning that thing!

  • Jenny
    October 22, 2012

    My most useful kitchen tip is to clean as I go. Once I get whatever it is I am making into the oven I start cleaning. When things sit for too long like batter in bowls it gets hard and is super hard to clean.

  • Emma Young
    October 22, 2012

    Your post made me CRAVE coconut (though I’m almost always craving coconut). Useful tip in the kitchen: garlicky fingers? Rub a lemon on them!

  • October 22, 2012

    So, did you plot this out way in advance? GENIUS TIMING re: chai spices and FALL, with, what, RAIN today??? In California??? & for days?!? Woah. (p.s. DARK dark @ 6:30 a.m. is freaking me out!)

    Total bonehead hint that folks probably already know, but it’s SO easy & makes a huge diff.

    if you’re making cookies or bars or anything with nuts in it, when you turn on the oven to pre-heat, fling the nuts onto a cookie sheet, put it into the oven (maybe take out and toss & return, if you feel like it), and by the time the oven is preheated, there is this lovely toasted nut smell coming your way, so you take them out and chop them and THEN add them to whatever recipe.

    SO MUCH YUMMIER! And it adds NO time to your work, makes good use of the heat in the oven while it warms, and you look like a total pro. No bigs! xoxoxo

  • October 22, 2012

    Kitchen tip! Start every baking day with a pot of fresh coffee. I guess this is less of a kitchen tip and more of a life tip…

  • Anna
    October 22, 2012

    Post-it pads and pens are my secret weapon in the kitchen. I read recipes then rewrite a condensed version on a Post-it. Then I stick it to a cupboard door in my line of sight. It saves counter space; my kitchen is teeny-weeny. Also, pens are used to make notes in my cookbooks (gasp!) about results, variations, or things to try for next time. Plus, I then can make a list of needed items as I run out of things. I have regular pens for writing on paper and Sharpies for writing expiration dates on containers. I have Post-its in different sizes, colors, shapes, and formats. (Lined, etc.). I usually can find my favorite recipe from a cookbook by going to the most worn out sticky note! One of the previous comments posted above mentioned taking notes with these tools! See? Invaluable!

    • Anna
      October 22, 2012

      One last thing; when I don’t use a recipe and just “wing” it, I record the recipe if it was a success. That way I don’t forget the ingredients or measurements.

  • October 22, 2012

    Holy Toledo that cake screams MAKE ME! My favorite kitchen tip is to substitute Chinese 5-Spice anytime a recipe calls for Cinnamon. :)

  • October 22, 2012

    Heyyya! My useful tip is make homemade broth and freeze it in ice trays so you always have flavorful (and preservative free) stock on hand in the freezer!

  • October 22, 2012

    Oh man! This looks good. I love all the tips about cleaning as you go.

    Here is my tip: use a serrated knife for cutting tomatoes to make the cuts much cleaner.

    Also, if you buy pears or other stone fruit that isn’t ripe put it in a paper bag on the counter until it’s ready to go.

    Love your photos and recipes!

  • brandi
    October 22, 2012

    i am a novice cook, so i’m thinking this cookbook will be great for me! and i love reading all of these tips! one tip that is pretty old school but i will always, always remember is the old rubbing your hands against a steel sink to get the garlic smell off of them. it’s a little magical!

  • Alana
    October 22, 2012

    Cheese grater’s aren’t just used for cheese……zucchini, apple, ginger, chocolate……BUTTER!

  • Jessica
    October 22, 2012

    A useful kitchen tip (I figured this out from experience) convection bake and regular bake are NOT the same thing. You have to turn the temperature down several degrees if you’re using convection bake, otherwise you banana nut bread comes out very dry and unappetizing and you burn things…lots of things.

  • October 22, 2012

    My kitchen tip is to buy fruit when it’s on offer and in season, prep it and keep it in the freezer for instant smoothie ingredients. Also applies to when you over-buy and can’t finish food before it goes bad: bananas, avocado, and KALE! (I can never get through a whole bag…shame…) Win-win situation because your smoothie is nice and cold and you’ve saved food instead of throwing it away. :)

  • Courtney
    October 22, 2012

    Oh, wow, looks amazing! A favorite tip is to always make extra of my staples, e.g. grind extra oats for oat flour; chop an extra bell pepper, etc. For when I get a baked good craving or egg scramble for dinner, I’m set!

  • October 22, 2012

    This looks freaking amazing! I’ll definitely put this on my to-make list this week. My most useful kitchen tip? I have two: There’s no such thing as an overly-greased pan or too much parchment paper and always start off in a clean kitchen. It makes everything sooooo much easier.

  • Emily
    October 22, 2012

    Oh my gosh! Have to make this immediately! My kitchen tip? Have a large bowl to deposit dirty items as you go – makes dish washing so much easier!

  • Jessica H
    October 22, 2012

    Yay for fantastic cookbooks!! My absolute best tip for the kitchen is to use a kitchen scale for flour. I cup unsifted, all purpose flour is 5 ounces. I always stress over whether or not I’m measuring properly so weighing the flour takes the guesswork out AND it means less dishes to clean!!

  • Sara R
    October 22, 2012

    The cake looks amazing, and so does the cookbook. My kitchen tip is this – chop things in advance. If we’re going to have a busy evening or a meal that takes a long time, if I have time the night before or earlier in the day, I will chop things and set aside for the evening meal. Oh, and always use a non-pourous cutting board for chopping onions, or everything else you chop will smell like onions, and those cutting boards are hard to get the onion juices out of.

  • Pripop
    October 22, 2012

    Use digital scales! Put the bowl into the scales, set the scales to zero and put the ingredients directly in. Accurate and less washing up!
    If you’re baking with a small child (mine daughter is the same age as Cooper…4 this month! Eek!!?!) always get them to crack the eggs into a seperate bowl and not directly in the other Ingredients (rogue bits of shell!). Also when mixing , to avoid them flicking flour or whatever accross the kitchen, tell them the spoon must always be touching the bottom of the bowl!

  • Mark
    October 22, 2012

    This coffee cake looks really delicious!

    My favorite kitchen tip is to keep a container of chopped onions in the freezer. Sometime eventually you’ll need them and you can always add to them when you chop a little more than you need. Dedicate a good old tupperware container to this process as that onion smell will permeate it.

  • Joanna
    October 22, 2012

    My boyfriend always makes too much coffee for the both of us. I take the leftovers to make coffee ice cubes. They are useful for icing down your coffee in the summer or cooling down your piping hot coffee enough for that first, eye-opening, sip in the morning.

  • Lindsay Landgraf
    October 22, 2012

    I made this immediately and it’s baking right now! Can’t wait to taste it. Baking = therapy. Kitchen tip; have a garbage bowl, especially when chopping veggies. Then just dump the whole thing into compost!

  • Marissa
    October 22, 2012

    My most useful kitchen tip? Clean up as you go! My mom showed me that tip when I was WAY too young to understand how essential that little tip really is.

  • mireya
    October 22, 2012

    most useful tip? get everything you need in one place where you can reach it easily, THEN start cooking. oh, and read your recipe like 4 times before you start

  • Amelia
    October 22, 2012

    My tip is an ingredient: vinegar. It is the best for everything; salad dressings, sauces, breakfast bakes… In addition to being yummy, it’s also healthy! :)

  • Meredith S.
    October 22, 2012

    Oh. my. goodness. I read this and then immediately made my grocery list! ok–Kitchen tip. Whenever you use a lemon in a recipe use the 1/2 piece of lemon to clean non-stick pans or anything that you don’t want to scratch! And it makes everything smell lovely!

  • alysa hunter
    October 22, 2012

    Kitchen tip: dicing meats (chicken, bacon, pork) when they’re halfway thawed is easier than doing it when they’re soft and fleshy or hot after cooking them. I LOVE cookbooks! Pick me! Pick me!

  • Dawn
    October 22, 2012

    That cake looks maj.
    My best tip is to use a pants hanger to hang a recipe card or printout over your countertop (hang it on a cupboard handle) so you can easily see it while you’re cookin’!

  • Missy
    October 22, 2012

    Kitchen tip, sauteed garlic an onions make any dish better!

  • kelly
    October 22, 2012

    This looks so yummy! My kitchen tip is to cook your bacon on an aluminum foil lined cookie sheet in the oven 350 for about 15-20 min. So much easier & cleaner than cooking stovetop.

  • October 22, 2012

    Chai spiced streusel? Oh my lord.

    My tip is to utilize the freezer! My favorite thing that my mom did when I was growing up was to use fresh tomatoes and basil to make pasta sauce and pasta in the summer, then freeze them into single-use tupperwares and thaw them out for fresh meals in the winter time, when the ingredients weren’t as abundant.

  • October 22, 2012

    Holy yum, that looks incredible. I’m just getting back into coconut again. I also made something very similar to this last week with a pumpkin cake base with an apple streudel on top. It’s the time of year for coffee cakeish things and chai!!

  • Elizabeth
    October 22, 2012

    I’m not sure I have any tips for the kitchen! That’s why this book would be really great….

  • October 22, 2012

    I am definitely making this when I get off work. Oh my.

    I would LOVE that cookbook. I have been hearing all about it lately and it sounds amazing. So, my kitchen tips are two things that I hardly ever remember to do but really pay off. First, read the recipe instructions ALL the way through before beginning. That way you know that your cinnamon rolls have to rise 90 minutes post-assembly and pre-baking even though the dough had already risen for two hours – causing your breakfast treat to be more of an afternoon snack. (This happened yesterday, go me.)

    And second – MISE EN PLACE BABY. Always. Not only does it make the actual cooking process go infinitely smoother and faster, you know that you have all of the ingredients you need to finish the dish. No running out to Jewel at eight in the morning for that extra 1/3 cup of flour.

  • Teri
    October 22, 2012

    That cake looks so good! One of my best kitchen tips is to get a cheap oven thermometer so you know that your oven is heating to to proper temperature.

  • October 22, 2012

    This looks fantastic! Everyone’s kitchen tips are fantastic as well — I have much to learn from fellow-readers it seems!

    My kitchen tip is to prepare ahead of time as much as you can. Gather ingredients, set out measuring cups and spoons and even confirm that the pans you need are clean and available (and will fit in your oven — believe me, I’ve been there when they don’t).

  • Megan
    October 22, 2012

    This cake is ULTIMATE. A coconutty tip: When you’re making rice, substitute half of the water for coconut milk. So easy and so buttery and good! It also works for rice pudding.

  • October 22, 2012

    Ahhhhhh you definitely had me at coconut! For reals yo! Okay, so I have quite a few kitchen tips, but one of them is to use olive oil in place of butter for certain baking recipes. I find that olive oil intensifies the flavor, especially in dark chocolate chip cookies. Oh, and it’s healthier! Boom shaka laka!

  • Lindsay
    October 22, 2012

    Definately will have to make this week. Looks delish!
    Most useful tip…hmmm…play music while you cook/bake. Seems to make the process so much more enjoyable when you can sing and dance in the kitchen.

  • Kristen G
    October 22, 2012

    As cheesy as those little whisks and spatulas are… they are PERFECT for morning eggs, applying frosting, and all of those small tasks.

  • Jessica
    October 22, 2012

    That cake looks amazing! My kitchen tip would be to make everything in batches, and store the leftovers in the freezer for later. It works a treat when you’re busy and you realise that you’ve already done all the work for the week!

  • ashley
    October 22, 2012

    great giveaway! it’s not a novel idea, but i like to keep a bowl next to me when i’m prepping to place onion skins, egg shells, and other food rubbish so that my work space stays clean. afterward, i dump all the food scraps into a compost pail to eventually use in my garden!

  • Natalie
    October 22, 2012

    Make sure you have all the ingredients and a glass of wine!

  • Sarah
    October 22, 2012

    Favorite kitchen tip? READ. THE. RECIPE. FIRST. I have been baking for many years and this one still bites me in the you know where.

  • Lindsay
    October 22, 2012

    This cake looks delish & I love me some chai spices. My most useful kitchen tip? Know your fridge and pantry – I find that the very best of meals come together when I haven’t shopped for a specific recipe but instead pulled together the bits & bobs I’ve got hanging around.

  • October 22, 2012

    Tracy – So glad you like this cake b/c it’s also one of my faves! Thanks for sharing!

  • karen b
    October 22, 2012

    a few:
    –read the recipe
    –clean as you go
    –don’t be afraid to use your hands

  • Eva
    October 22, 2012

    keep prepared meals in the freezer. all of us have had long, tired days where we don’t want to cook and the freezer is your best friend!

  • Lorna
    October 22, 2012

    I use a spoon to gently crack and then remove the shell from a boiled egg. As long as they’re not really new eggs, this works beautifully.

  • Rebecca Park
    October 22, 2012

    Love this cake and would love this book. My tip is as a vegan coconut milk makes a great substitute for cream in many recipes.

  • October 22, 2012

    hells yes this cake looks amazing. book’s already on my list, but of course a freebie is always better!

    my key to the kitchen? mise en place all the way!

  • Kristin
    October 22, 2012

    Beautiful cake! My kitchen tip: regularly throw your kitchen sponge in the dishwasher (top rack!) and run DW. It comes out clean, fresh and full of spongy life!

  • Ellie
    October 22, 2012

    My most useful tip is to clean as you go, especially when you have a teeny tiny kitchen.

  • Sarah
    October 22, 2012

    I can’t wait to try this recipe, it sounds absolutely delicious!

    I agree with all the comments regarding preparing your mise en place and reading a recipe fully before starting to cook or bake, and about cleaning/putting things away as you go. But my favorite kitchen tip is just to experiment with flavors you like. I often find myself adding seasonings or making additions to a recipe because I want more veggies or a different meat or to add a curry flavor to a sauce… so my favorite tip is just to be bold and unafraid! Don’t let yourself be intimidated by food! And remember that recipes are guidelines, not rules.

  • October 22, 2012

    That cake looks so good! My tip: bake quick breads on a baking sheet so the bottom doesn’t get too dark.

  • Jill
    October 22, 2012

    Hi Tracy,
    My kitchen tip is to get a set of real (not disposable) chopsticks at an Asian market. I use them to stir cocktails and to eat popcorn. “Popcorn?!?” you say. It’s a way to not shove handfuls of popcorn in your mouth and eat one piece at a time, like naturally skinny people (not me) do. Plus, it improves your chopstick skills for when you eat Chinese food. Also, I make popcorn by putting 1/4 cup popcorn in a paper lunch sack and folding the open end twice and really creasing it hard and microwave for 2 minutes on high. Voila! You can add a teaspoon of olive oil, but if I’m going to add olive oil, I’d rather do it after it’s popped, instead of butter.

  • mary
    October 22, 2012

    when zesting citrus, do so directly into what it’s going to be mixed with, to save those delicious essential oils… if you zest on a cutting board, all that deliciousness will be lost!

  • October 22, 2012

    Yum. Anything with streusel topping works for me. All of you “clean as you go” people crack me up. I’ve tried….sigh, I’ve tried. My tip is Parchment Paper! Works wonders for so many things.

  • October 22, 2012

    I want this right now. Right this very minute! (Also, I could happily spend the rest of my life cooking recipes from your blog. It’s tops, my friend.)

  • Sarah L
    October 22, 2012

    I don’t have any unique kitchen tips. One thing that I like to do – along with many other commenters, it seems – is to clean up as I cook. It makes the aftermath so much nicer!

  • MaryB
    October 22, 2012

    We use loads of lemons and limes. I like to buy them in bulk when they are on sale, then freeze the zest and the juice. So handy!

  • Kim
    October 22, 2012

    Yum. Totally making this coffee cake! One of my favorite useful tips is to clean up as you go….when it’s time to eat, your kitchen isn’t trashed.

  • October 22, 2012

    This coffee cake looks divine! Hmmm, useful tip… I have so many, I guess cutting potatoes for Steak Fries or Oven Fries with an apple wedger/corer thingy. So fast and easy.

  • jeanne
    October 22, 2012

    i rub my cast iron pieces with Coconut Oil after every use.

  • October 22, 2012

    ugh, yes, the darkness – why is it already here?? This cake looks like it would make your house smell so delicious – like a candle that smells like baked goods! Except this would be the real thing!

    My best kitchen tip for fall/winter: to make a butternut (or other hard squash) easier to cut & peel, I poke a few holes in it & then microwave for 1 minute. It makes it so much softer!

  • October 22, 2012

    My favorite kitchen tip is: use parchment paper every time the recipe says, and probably even if the recipe doesn’t say. Things sticking to baking pans is no fun at all, and it makes cleanup so much easier.

  • Katie
    October 22, 2012

    Extra copy, ey? Holla at me! Either way, I’ve already decided I’m making this coffee cake this weekend.

  • October 22, 2012

    This looks delightful! My kitchen tip is also a life tip,(for me anyway). Don’t worry about failure, that’s how you learn. Once I wasn’t so worried about something coming out wrong being in the kitchen became a lot more fun. As someone also said, a cocktail doesn’t hurt either. Oh and clean as you go!

  • Elizabeth
    October 22, 2012

    What a lovely cake! I have two tips: start with a clean kitchen and clean as you go. I have limited counter space and both tips really make a difference in my culinary adventures.

  • October 22, 2012

    I am obsessed with those giant roasted flakes of coconut from Trader Joe’s! They are so beautiful and chewy when baked up!!! Yum! I too, a stripes and polkadot lover, feel like this cookbook is my dream and I’m not even a graphic designer. My favorite kitchen tip is clean as you go! Especially since I don’t have a dishwasher.

  • Lisa
    October 22, 2012

    Yum!!! My kitchen tip is to always wipe down your bowl and beaters with lemon juice or vinegar before making a meringue. I’ve learned the hard way too may times that soap and water are necessary, but not always enough.

  • October 22, 2012

    That cake is looking good! My most useful tip in the kitchen is to use a bundt pan when cutting the kernels off an ear of corn. Place the corn, top down, in the hole of the bundt pan and use a knife to cut the kernels off the cob. The kernels (most of them at least) stay in the bundt pan instead of rolling around the kitchen counter and, let’s be real, the kitchen floor.

  • Christine
    October 22, 2012

    Looks amazing! Useful kitchen tip: clamp the otherwise unused belt clip that comes with your Otterbox to a cupboard handle to have your iPhone (and by extension, Shutterbean and other recipes) at eye level at all times. :)

  • Andria Sheridan
    October 22, 2012

    Tracy – you always make the things that speak to my heart. This cake is no exception. Okay for kitchen tips, my Grammy always said “it is better to keep up than catch up” so I clean as I go, with my dishwasher open so I can just plop stuff straight in there. Secondly, when I see my fruit or veg nearly to over ripe, and I know I won’t use it I just wash and slap it on a silpat lined baking sheet in my freezer, that way each piece freezes individually then I plop them in my freezer bags for my smoothies. This way I don’t feel guilty about wasting fruit, and it always prompts me to make more smoothies.

  • Susan P
    October 22, 2012

    I love anything chai! I have two tips. First one is to wet a paper towel and place it under your cutting board and it won’t move. The second is have a large bowl near the prep surface which saves time and makes for easy cleanup…..sorry Rachel Ray I didn’t get that from you. My grandmother did this and when we were young and helping her cook or bake, it was our job to put all the garbage into the bowl.

  • Nan
    October 22, 2012

    Yummy recipe — omg –also, fun to read all the tips. My best tip is oven-drying tomatoes because you can get a deep rich tomato flavor out of even a tasteless greenhouse tomato in winter this way. Great for salads, cooking, tomato bread, soup, whatever.

  • Sandra Lea
    October 22, 2012

    Mise En Place . . . get everything ready before you start to cook. Such a simple concept but so many people neglect to do it.

  • October 22, 2012

    When things are getting stressful and dinner is full of bad…or a bag full of bad…whip out the slow cooker. It’ll give you at least one…and often more, day of quick, easy delicious and at least healthier than pizza dinner.

  • Arianne
    October 22, 2012

    My kitchen tip is: clean as you go. It makes everything so much more enjoyable at the end when most of the kitchen is already clean. Plus, it give me something to do besides lick the bowl when there are yummy baked goods in the oven.

  • Katy F
    October 22, 2012

    I’m not sure if this really qualifies as a tip or not, but recently I was making homemade BBQ sauce, and replaced all of the water in the recipe with bourbon. It was excellent.

  • Holly
    October 22, 2012

    Can’t wait to try this coffee cake recipe! My favorite kitchen tip is to make large quantities of rice or quinoa to use in dishes later on.

  • Megan
    October 22, 2012

    I cut up my veggies all at the same itme

  • October 22, 2012

    This looks incredible! The cookbook sounds amazing as well!

  • October 22, 2012

    Looks delicious. Almost makes me miss cake.. but turning this into a cheesecake sounds like a heavenly idea. :-)

  • melissa
    October 22, 2012

    i don’t know if it’s really a tip, but i love cooking a whole bunch of chicken breasts in the crockpot then shredding it and freezing in individual bags. it is so nice to have shredded chicken to grab on short notice and use in so many different quick dinners!!

  • October 22, 2012

    Best tip? Bother doing your dishes right away, or else you’ll hate yourself tomorrow.

    (Not that I frequently have an issue with this or anything…)

  • October 22, 2012

    My kitchen tip would be to always start with a clean kitchen and an empty sink. And to keep the garbage disposal smelling fresh, run a lemon cut into quartes through it. Makes it smell wonderful.

  • October 22, 2012

    Gnats bugging you in the kitchen and trying to get at your produce? Put slices of banana in a jar, create a funnel out of paper and place it in the opening of the jar, place tape around the outside of the funnel, and BAM, instant gnat trap! The gnats will smell the banana and travel down the funnel into the jar!

  • Allison
    October 22, 2012

    Use your butter wrapper to butter your pan.

  • Megan
    October 22, 2012

    I love fresh, homemade pesto year-round made with basil from my summer garden. When I’ve got a bumper crop of basil, I make a big batch of pesto minus the cheese. I pack it into ice cube trays to freeze. Once frozen, I just pop out the cubes and put them all in a bag. That way I can get out a lot or a little pesto depending on how much I want. I’ve done this with broth, orange juice… Makes portion control easier and I waste less.

  • October 22, 2012

    I measure out all my spices/herbs at the start of a recipe for two reasons — one, so that they’re ready when I need them and two, so that I can find out BEFORE I start baking or cooking that I’m actually out of cumin or that I only have 3/4 of a teaspoon of cinnamon left. I am well known for being out of ingredients in the middle of cooking or baking!

  • Erin Louise
    October 22, 2012

    Parchment Paper is perhaps the most glorious kitchen product of all time…I use it practically everyday!

  • Meg Kinney
    October 22, 2012

    Per your request, ;), one of my favorite kitchen tips is this. Spray a cheese grater with cooking spray before using and voila, no sticky mess.

  • Molly
    October 22, 2012

    Don’t be afraid to add a little pizazz to the recipe and really make it your own.

  • Jessica
    October 22, 2012

    Mis en place, works every time

  • Corisa
    October 22, 2012

    Clean up as you go! It’ll be easier and less work in the end !

  • October 22, 2012

    My kitchen tip is, like many lovely ladies here, is to clean as I go. I am always doing 2-3 thing at one time and that works so much better than having an intimidating heap of dirty utensils and dishes at the end of a tiring day.

  • Susanne
    October 22, 2012

    A tip: always make sure you are using the right tool for the job. A sharp enough/ and big enough knife, a big enough bowl/pot, and measure correctly when baking.

  • October 22, 2012

    Must make is tomorrow. I’m so excited already. Useful tip? Using floss to cut cinnamon rolls, like this http://lifecurrents.dw2.net/cinnamon-rolls-a-tutorial-for-rolling-and-cutting/

  • Lisa
    October 22, 2012

    Would love to try out this book!
    My kitchen tip–buy the big bag of lemons, it’s much cheaper. Then store extras in the freezer, this way you always have fresh lemon juice. Just thaw before using, I think they are even jucier!

  • Shannon Erskine
    October 22, 2012

    This looks TO DIE FOR! Can’t wait to make it!

    -Most useful tip: Clean as you go. My dad taught me this at a young age!

  • October 22, 2012

    YUM. Looks and sounds delicious. And dangerous. My favorite kitchen tip is to save all your vegetable scraps for stock. Cheap and easy!

  • October 22, 2012

    I love coffeecake! My favorite kitchen tip… have a book handy when cooking something that requires long stretches of stirring at the stove. Thanks for the giveaway!

  • October 22, 2012

    I’m not a huge coconut fan, but this looks mighty tasty!

    My Tip: If you bake it, eat it. (share, of course, but be sure to enjoy your own baking!)

  • October 22, 2012

    Oh good heavens. This looks AMAZING. Making this ASAP.

    Here’s one of my favorite kitchen tips: if baking a white or yellow cake, grease the pans with butter and instead of dusting with flour, use confectioner’s sugar to keep cake from sticking. If making a chocolate cake, sub cocoa powder for the flour. Delicious and totes easy!

  • Elaine
    October 22, 2012

    Use an extra bowl as your “garbage bowl” instead of running back and forth to the garbage (or compost) while you’re working.

  • arlene T.
    October 22, 2012

    My most useful tip in the kitchen: to get get more juice out of a lemon after squeezing what you can out, put it in the microwave for 1 min or so & then squeeze some more.

  • Jen
    October 22, 2012

    I think it’s a good idea to prep some things ahead of time…I am more likely to put dinner on the table if it is more assembly than cooking…I like cooking but dinner time always seems to come when I am exhausted and kids are grumpy…

  • October 22, 2012

    mmm i love the flavors of this cake! perfect for the coming of fall… with a cup of tea!

    my favorite kitchen tip: always use parchment paper when baking – saves so much clean-up time/energy! also, mise-en-place works wonders! and use herbs/spices creatively!

  • Jess
    October 22, 2012

    Useful tip: Do as much prep work as you can on Sunday to make weeknight dinners easier..:

  • October 23, 2012

    This cake looks AHmazing. So many favorite things going on!
    My tip: To store fresh herbs, I keep them in a small cup with a little water in the bottom for the stems (like a little vase) and cover it with a plastic bag (fixed on with a rubber band) in the fridge. This helps them last waaaay longer than the damp paper towel in a plastic bag deal. For realz!

  • Hatti
    October 23, 2012

    If this is open internationally…my tip is to put half a lemon in the fridge or freezer to remove any smells…when we moved into our house our freezer was so musty and yuk, this trick helped loads!

  • Amanda
    October 23, 2012

    My kitchen tip is about poached eggs! Swirl the hot water vigorously in a circle to create a little whirlpool…when you slide the egg in the swirling water, it will swirl all the little pieces of the egg white back towards the egg for a perfect shape!

  • Jemma
    October 23, 2012

    My tip is that if you put cold diced butter in a bowl of lukewarm water, it softens it to a consistency you’d want when creaming butter and sugar together. Then all you do is carefully drain off the water and you’re left with squashy butter cubes ready to become creamy.

  • October 23, 2012

    Oh my!!! I zoomed home from work this arvo to make these in a cupcake form… They are the first things I’ve cooked in my new kitchen, and the smell whilst cooking, well…. *swoon*. Taste pretty magnificent as well, I don’t mind saying (love the inclusion of black pepper in the crumble)! I’m taking them to work tomorrow for a goodbye afernoon tea for some colleagues, so I’m sure they’ll go down a treat :)
    As for kitchen tips, in the baking world, I find it’s all about preparation, and spending a bit of time getting all my ingredients measured beforehand so I’m ready to go without scrounging around for bits all over the place. I also loved your tips on a recent ‘High Straightenance’ post, and have adopted your practice of keeping a bowl for all my scraps and rubbish on hand so I’m not looking for the bin every time I crack an egg. Common sense, but it makes such a difference!
    I’ve also posted some pics of my coconut chai crumble cupcakes on my facebook page here: http://www.facebook.com/whimsicaldale
    Much love from Melbourne! xx

  • Jennifer Brown
    October 23, 2012

    My kitchen tip is to clean your meat and veggies as soon as you get home from the grocery store. If your chicken breasts aren’t as trimmed as they should be, then do it and repackage it. If you need diced onion for the week, then go ahead and dice it. This way you save room in the fridge and can have things ready to go, instead of putting off cooking because you have to get these things ready before you can cook.

  • October 23, 2012

    Use baking soda and a little water to scrub gross pans!

  • Christine
    October 23, 2012

    Lookin’ gooooood! I need to make a dessert for a shower this weekend and this may be just the thing!

    Kitchen tip? Squeeze lemons cut side up so the seeds stay with the lemon and don’t travel into your dinner. (Totally stolen from Rachael Ray…)

  • BunnyMama
    October 23, 2012

    This cake looks so so so good. I’m a sucker for coconut!

    It seems like everyone has already taken all the “big” kitchen tips, so here’s a few little one I like:

    When using molasses in a recipe, first spray the inside of your measuring spoon or cup with a little cooking spray, and the molasses will slide right out.

    After handling raw meat, disinfect your cutting board by rubbing a cut lemon across it, let it sit 10 minutes, then rinse off and wash as usual.

    When storing hard herbs in the freezer, chop them up, fill ice cube trays 2/3 full and top them up with olive oil. Freeze, and you’ve got a great herb-infused oil in recipe-friendly portions!

  • Christine D
    October 23, 2012

    This cake looks so fantastic! My kitchen tip is that I always start with a clean kitchen, and then put away my ingredients as I go … this way, when I’m done, I have whatever I’ve baked plus a tidy kitchen. I know it’s silly but it makes me feel accomplished :) When I don’t start with a clean kitchen, I just feel scattered!

  • October 23, 2012

    I’ve been adding so many cookbooks to my wish list lately, and would love this one! My kitchen tip is to clean as you go– it really makes such a huge difference at the end of the night when you’re exhausted and don’t want to tackle a huge mess in the kitchen.

    Also, this recipe looks delicious. My fiance has a special love of chai, and so I’m sure I’ll be making it some time this holiday season.

  • Erin
    October 23, 2012

    I’m afraid this is a confession more than a tip — but it makes pulling together a family dinner for 3 teenagers possible for me. For most recipes that call for shredded, cubed or pulled cooked chicken, a roasted rotisserie chicken from my supermarket is my absolute best friend. No shame.

  • Emily
    October 23, 2012

    I don’t really have any earth shattering tips, but I use mason jars for storing dried beans, rice, lentils, barley, etc. I like the look of it better than a bunch of twisted-up bags, and I think it keeps better.

  • October 23, 2012

    I moved a year and a half ago to Japan to teach English. I was shocked to find my new kitchen was super duper small and I was left oven less. But I love cooking/backing and didn’t let this stop me. My tip for the kitchen is believing that there IS a way to adapt. If you don’t have some ingredients for a recipe that’s okay… you can change it up. It makes for a braver, livelier , more color filled kitchen of any shape and size. Oh and my parents gifted me the money to get a toaster oven last Christmas so I am ovenless no more! :D

  • joeynumber41
    October 23, 2012

    My tip: clean as you go. It makes life so much easier.

  • Kaela
    October 23, 2012

    Baked potatoes and corn on the cob in the microwave. So quick, so simple!

  • Kristen
    October 23, 2012

    Looks delicious! Best kitchen tip? When lemons are in season juice a bunch of them one day, you can then freeze the lemon juice in ice cube trays and anytime you need a tbs of lemon juice just throw in a cube.

  • camilla
    October 23, 2012

    A tip I stumbled upon this past summer: getting kernels off a corn cob is always a messy endeavor, but if you stick the stalk in the center of a Bundt pan and then slice downwards, the kernels will collect below, instead of all over your kitchen counter (or floor).

    This cake looks stellar!

  • Emily
    October 23, 2012

    one of the most useful tips i’ve learned is when measuring out shortening, line your measuring cups/spoons with plastic wrap. it pops right out and makes for super easy clean up.

  • Wilma
    October 23, 2012

    This coffee cake has so many of my favorite things in it! I’ll add it to my “to make” list. I don’t have any brilliant kitchen tips, but if I clean up as I cook I don’t feel like I need to slit my wrists when it comes to clean up time. Also always lining roasting sheets with foil when roasting vegetables. No washing required!

  • Tiffany
    October 23, 2012

    Kitchen Tip –
    While cleaning the kitchen floors/entry way to your house, do not forget that you put all of your shoes out on the front pourch.
    It will most definitely rain buckets that night and all you will have to wear to work the next day will be slippers.

  • Kat
    October 23, 2012

    Wow that looks delicious! My favorite tip is to use a “garbage bowl” when prepping. I can toss the scraps instead of hunting down the trash can on the other side of the kitchen.

  • Rachel
    October 23, 2012

    From Whitney Houston: Even if you have no idea what you’re making for dinner saute some onions and garlic on the stove. It will make the house smell like something good is cooking. This also happens to be the base for almost every meal I cook.

  • MELISSA
    October 23, 2012

    I am going to make this tomorrow, my kids are on mid-term break and it will be perfect!

    My tip is that herbs make my food sing, so I buy them when they are on sale, bag them and freeze.

  • Amy
    October 23, 2012

    This cake looks AMAZING. Even though we are pretty strict paleo, I’m going to cheat and make this for my husband’s birthday!

    We don’t do dairy but I still like milk in my coffee so when I buy raw milk (the smallest being half a gallon) I freeze it in ice cube trays and plop on in my morning milk. It’s the perfect amount.

    I also am a kale fanatic so I always wash, dry and cut up my dinosaur kale and line a big rubbermaid container with paper towels. It’s so easy to incorporate sauteed kale into any meal when I do this.

  • Amy
    October 23, 2012

    I meant my morning coffee not morning milk! Too distracted by thoughts of this cake.

  • Kimiko
    October 23, 2012

    My kitchen tip is to always Season your meal at each stage of cooking. For example, season your chicken while you prep it, then once its out of the oven/pot/oil because it always needs a fresh coating of delicious to bring out the flavours!

  • Stacey
    October 23, 2012

    Love you and Joy. But you and Joy together… I’m guessing it’s mind-blowingly awesome. I love all of the things that go into this beauty of a cake!

  • October 23, 2012

    Kitchen tip: taste as you go! Cause even if you think following the recipe to the tee will give you perfect results , your taste buds will tell you what’s up.

  • Lanette
    October 23, 2012

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

  • October 23, 2012

    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.

  • October 23, 2012

    Totally digging this. Looks awesome!

  • Rebecca
    October 23, 2012

    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
    October 23, 2012

    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.

  • October 23, 2012

    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 :-)

  • October 23, 2012

    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
    October 23, 2012

    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
    October 23, 2012

    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! :)

  • October 23, 2012

    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
    October 23, 2012

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

  • Jessica
    October 23, 2012

    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
    October 23, 2012

    Rachael Ray garbage bowl is awesome. :)

  • October 23, 2012

    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.

  • October 23, 2012

    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
    October 23, 2012

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

  • Shital Swarup
    October 23, 2012

    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
    October 23, 2012

    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.

  • October 23, 2012

    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
    October 23, 2012

    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
    October 23, 2012

    Try peeling fresh ginger with a spoon!

  • Annette
    October 23, 2012

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

  • Kimberly A.
    October 23, 2012

    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.
    October 24, 2012

    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
    October 24, 2012

    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.

  • October 24, 2012

    yum yum!

  • Shawna Greenway
    October 24, 2012

    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
    October 24, 2012

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

  • October 24, 2012

    My tip? Pizza is breakfast food.

  • Tagati
    October 24, 2012

    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.

  • October 24, 2012

    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.

  • October 25, 2012

    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!

  • October 28, 2012

    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?

    • Tracy
      October 28, 2012

      You could totally use a brownie pan too or a 9×13 baking pan!

  • October 29, 2012

    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!

  • October 29, 2012

    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.

  • November 5, 2012

    Tracy,
    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… http://happyfoodhealthylife.com/2012/11/05/coconut-chai-coffee-cake/ Let me know what you think! :)

  • Katherine
    June 8, 2013

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

  • December 5, 2013

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

    This is a link to my photo of it on my Instagram feed:
    http://instagram.com/p/hhQ1iYnsIC/

  • October 23, 2012

    You had me at Chai. Love the photos. The one with the coffee cake and cups just makes me smile.

    Kitchen tip… When you don’t know what to make for a quick dinner think soup or breakfast for dinner. Eggs are so easy and can be put to many uses.

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