Easy Homemade Coffee Cake For The Win!

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I love my coffee. I love sitting there, with a cup of Jo in hand, nibbling on some good old toast. But, unfortunately, I had a mishap recently. I burned my toast. It seemed like a sign. This day, I told myself, I was meant to burn my toast! This day, breakfast was meant for something more... 

Drama aside, I've always wanted to take a shot at a healthier version of coffee cake. This homemade version, using sparkling water instead of eggs/oil/butter, is pretty much perfect. There's no coffee in the recipe - but the brown sugar and cinnamon compliment a good old cup of Jo quite well. 

And I must say... this was the first time I warmed up the sweet cream cheese frosting I've used (though slightly altered) in recipes like Pumpkin Cream Cheese Cupcakes, Cake In A Jar, and Chocolate Cream Cheese Whoopie Pies... and the result is a sweet, coffee-cake drizzle that is to-die-for.

Prep time: 5 Minutes
Cook time: 35 Minutes
Total time: 40 Minutes
Yield: 10-12 Servings
Ingredients (Cake Batter):
  • 1 box Vanilla Cake Mix
  • 2 tablespoons Brown Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Cinnamon
  • 12 Ounces Sparkling Water, Club Soda, or Tonic Water
  • 1/4 cup Nuts (Pralines used here)
Ingredients (Crumble Top):
  • 1 Cup Wheat Flour
  • 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Softened Butter
  • 1 pinch Salt
  • 2 Tablespoons Oats
Ingredients (Frosting Drizzle):
  • 2 Cups Powdered Sugar
  • 8 Ounces Low-fat Cream Cheese
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Tablespoons Softened Butter
Cooking Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 325.
  2. [For Cake Batter]Combine cake mix and sparkling water and mix well. Spoon about 1/2 of this mixture into two greased cake pans in random places. A smooth layer is not necessary - just spoon that baby in!
  3. Add cinnamon, brown sugar, and (optional) nuts to the remaining batter. Stir well. Then spoon the remaining batter to fill in the cake pans. You should end up with a spotted-looking batter pattern.
  4. Using a spoon, knife, or fork, slowly glide back and forth from left to right, somewhat mixing the two cake batters.
  5. [For Crumble Top] In a separate bowl, combine Wheat Flour, Brown Sugar, Oats, and Salt. Mix well.
  6. Add softened butter and knead with your hands until the butter has broken apart and you have a crumbly mixture. Add nuts if desired.
  7. Sprinkle all of the crumbly mixture on top of both dishes of breakfast cake.
  8. Bake in oven for 28-34 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  9. [For Frosting] In a clean bowl, prepare frosting by combining Powdered Sugar, Cream Cheese, Vanilla Extract, and Softened Butter. Beat on low for 30 seconds, then high for 2-4 minutes, or until it begins to peak.
  10. Microwave frosting for 20-30 seconds. Stir. Then serve on top of breakfast cake with a cup of Jo on the side!

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