I know that, in the title of this post, I called this delicious looking dessert Chocolate Walnut Coffee Cake, but I’m going to be honest with you:
In my house, it’s actually called Funeral Cake.
Before you jump to any conclusions, let me explain.
My family first had this cake in 1993, when a friend of my mom’s brought it to the funerals of both of my grandfathers. It’s also reminiscent of coffee cakes, breads and pastries that Jews often pick up from the local bakery when they visit a family mourning a loved one.
In other words, it’s delicious and comforting all at once.
While its origins are unknown (we use the original recipe card, which is remarkably still intact), the cake’s creator managed to accomplish something that very few people can.
A moist coffee cake.
The top, middle and bottom of the cake are layered with a mixture of cinnamon, sugar, walnuts and chocolate, which bakes into a sour cream batter. Instead of biting into a crumbly dryness, you’re met with pockets of chunky topping juxtaposed with spongy, light cake.
It’s sort of like Babka, but way better. And without the crust.
This is an incredibly easy cake to make, and I guarantee that everyone who tries it will be impressed.
And no, you don’t have to bring it to a funeral. It is acoffee cake after all.
1. Mix together the ingredients for the topping and set aside.
2. In the bowl of a mixer, cream together butter, eggs, sugar, vanilla, baking soda and baking powder until smooth.
3. Add in sour cream and mix until smooth.
4. Slowly add flour, mixing thoroughly.
5. In the bottom of awell-greased angel food pan, sprinkle 1/3 of the topping.
6. Using a large spoon, glob in half of the batter as evenly around the pan as possible. Then, with agreased spatula, lightly spread it around to cover the topping. If some gets caught in the batter, it is okay.
7. Sprinkle another 1/3 of the topping, and repeat step above with the rest of the batter. Then top with the rest of the topping. The pan will be topping, batter, topping, batter, topping.
8. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour at 350F until it passes the toothpick test.