My favorite coffeecake recipe: cloning a bakery favorite

My favorite coffeecake recipe?

That’s a tough one. I mean, I could go with oh-so-classic Cinnamon-Streusel. Or, since I’m a New Englander by heart if not by birth, Blueberry Buckle. And then there’s Almond Puff Loaf, whose name doesn’t come within a moonlight mile of describing its crazy scrumptiousness.

But these days – perhaps because it’s been beckoning me from the kitchen counter all week – my favorite coffeecake is Tuscan Coffeecake.

Maybe, to distinguish this “cake” from its truly cake-y breakfast-time cousins, I should call it coffee [space] cake. As in, something to enjoy with a cup of coffee.

Because this restrained, adult-appropriate pastry is more yeast bread than cake, without the bright-gold crumb, crown of crumbly topping, or swirls of cinnamon that hallmark most American-style coffeecakes.

My Favorite Coffeecake Recipe via @kingarthurflour

With just 1/4 cup added sugar, this is a cake (bread) that doesn’t send you running for your toothbrush afterwards. It’s sweet – but its sweetness comes from an effusion of fruits (golden raisins and dates), and an ethereally thin layer of crunchy vanilla sugar glaze on top – with emphasis on the vanilla.

I first discovered this coffee cake in the Pane e Salute bakery in Woodstock VT about 8 years ago. Since transitioning to a restaurant some years back, this bakery, one I described in an earlier post, no longer exists. Thus I’m very glad that I tasted this cake while it was available, then was able to re-create it – right down to its crackly vanilla crust.

Try this cake. (Bread.) Please. If you’re one of those whose face scrunches unhappily at the mention of raisins, substitute dates. Dislike both dates and raisins (and toasted walnuts as well)? Unless you’re willing to put past prejudices aside, this recipe’s not for you.

My Favorite Coffeecake Recipe via @kingarthurflour

But if you like bread with distinctive European texture (think challah, or panettone); bread whose sweetness comes in the form of dried fruit, and perfectly balances a cup of dark-roast Italian coffee – then this coffee cake is for you.

My Favorite Coffeecake Recipe via @kingarthurflour

We’re going to begin with an overnight starter. Making yeast dough this way not only ensures the yeast gets a good, strong start, it creates flavor. As the dough sits, the yeast creates lactic and organic acids, both of which will enhance the taste of the finished cake.

Mix the following ingredients in a small (about 1-quart) bowl:

1 cup (4 1/4 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour or Artisan Bread Flour
1/2 cup cool water
1/16 teaspoon instant yeast

Cover and let rest overnight at room temperature.

Next day, mix the risen starter with the following:

2/3 cup lukewarm water
2 3/4 cups (11 1/2 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour or Artisan Bread Flour
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 large egg
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 1/4 teaspoons salt

My Favorite Coffeecake Recipe via @kingarthurflour

Mix and knead to form a smooth, supple dough. It’ll be very slack at first; for this reason, I suggest kneading in a bread machine, or with a mixer, rather than by hand. When kneading sticky dough by hand you tend to add additional flour, which can make bread tough and dry.

My Favorite Coffeecake Recipe via @kingarthurflour

Place the dough in a bowl, and let it rise about 1 hour. It may not quite double in bulk; that’s OK.

My Favorite Coffeecake Recipe via @kingarthurflour

Add the following to the bowl of risen dough:

1 cup toasted walnuts, very coarsely chopped
3/4 cup chopped dates
3/4 cup raisins, golden preferred

Knead the nuts and fruit into the dough thoroughly.

Note: You may be tempted to soak the fruit first, to plump and moisten it. DON’T DO IT. The liquid from the fruit will leak into the dough, making it incredibly sticky and hard to knead while incorporating the fruits. And don’t worry, the fruit will stay nicely moist without any soaking.

My Favorite Coffeecake Recipe via @kingarthurflour

Shape the dough into a flat ball, and place it in a lightly greased 9″ round cake pan. Take the time to gently push any exposed raisins or dates under the surface of the dough, so they don’t burn.

Cover the pan with lightly greased plastic wrap (or a clear shower cap, as I’ve done here), and allow the dough to rise for 60 minutes, or until it fills the pan side to side, barely cresting the top.

Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.

My Favorite Coffeecake Recipe via @kingarthurflour

Stir together the following:

2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon water

Drizzle the glaze over the risen dough.

My Favorite Coffeecake Recipe via @kingarthurflour

Place the pan on a lower oven rack; the cake will brown quickly, and you don’t want the top to burn.

Bake the cake for about 55 minutes, tenting with foil the final 15 to 20 minutes, if it seems to be browning too quickly. The finished loaf will be a deep, golden brown, and a digital thermometer insertd into the center will read at least 190°F.

Remove the cake from the oven, and turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool.

My Favorite Coffeecake Recipe via @kingarthurflour

Wait until it’s completely cool before slicing. I know it’s hard, but slicing the cake warm will give it a ragged, gummy cut surface.

My Favorite Coffeecake Recipe via @kingarthurflour

Serve in slices or wedges…

My Favorite Coffeecake Recipe via @kingarthurflour

…at room temperature or, even better, toasted.

The cake is sweet enough from the fruit that you don’t need jam; but mascarpone cheese or butter are always welcome. Maybe even a sprinkle of cinnamon, just because.

I figured this recipe might be a good candidate for using white wheat flour in place of some or all of the all-purpose flour. Let’s see how that worked out.

My Favorite Coffeecake Recipe via @kingarthurflour

Three slices: on the left, 100% all-purpose flour. In the center, about 40% white whole wheat, 60% AP flour. And on the right, 100% white whole wheat.

As you can see, the AP loaf definitely rose highest. The 40/60 loaf would have risen higher had I adjusted the consistency of the dough; my sourdough starter was quite liquid, and the loaf fell a bit in the oven as it baked. The 100% white whole wheat loaf definitely struggled to rise; I let it sit on the counter most of the day for it to even get as high as it did, and it exhibited very little oven spring.

As for flavor, the 100% whole wheat loaf definitely tasted strongly of wheat; I preferred the milder 40/60 loaf. Which is why when using whole wheat flour, I use white whole wheat exclusively; I’m not a whole grains lover, so the less “wheaty” flavor the better.

My Favorite Coffeecake Recipe via @kingarthurflour

Now, one more tip I’d like to share with you: I made the 40/60 loaf with active (fed) sourdough starter, instead of the overnight starter called for in the recipe. Notice how purple it looks? If you’ve made bread with nuts in the past, particularly walnuts, you may have noticed this purplish tinge.

The color is due to the interaction between gallic acid in the walnuts’ skin and iron in the flour, exacerbated by acidity in the dough (from the sourdough starter); and time, in the form of the loaf’s rising time. Though it looks a little odd, thankfully this reaction doesn’t affect flavor.

I feel like the “mother hen” of our recipe site, and I try to love all of my flock equally, from apple pie to zucchini bread. But just as every mom has a certain child who’s most in tune with her soul, I do have certain recipes that speak to me in a special way. This is one of them.

In fact, it’s all I can do right now to stay glued to my computer, rather than ambling out to the kitchen for “just one more” slice of this cake [bread] [coffee cake].

Tempted? Please read, bake, and review our recipe for Tuscan Coffeecake.

Print just the recipe.

PJ Hamel

PJ Hamel grew up in New England, graduated from Brown University, and was a Maine journalist before joining King Arthur Flour in 1990. PJ bakes and writes from her home on Cape Cod, where she enjoys beach-walking, her husband, two dogs, and really good food!


  1. Lorraine Fina Stevenski

    I love coffeecake too! My favorite is New York Crumb Cake. I make this every week into short muffins. PJ….Love your Tuscan Coffee Cake recipe and I will try it this week. But I think it needs a drop or two of Fiori Di Sicilia to enhance the Italian in this cake. Right?

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Oh, that nuance of Fiori Di Silicia sounds just yummy. Happy baking! Irene@KAF

  2. Kay

    Yum, looks delicious! I’ll skip the walnuts (because I am a heathen, yes) and it looks like a perfect breakfast for the week!

  3. Pia Owens

    I just made something very similar! But with chopped crystallized ginger in place of dates, which was lovely. I recommend that substitution for fellow date-haters.

    1. EL

      Thank you! From a fellow date hater (too sweet). I had thought about using dried tart cherries (and might still try that), but the crystallized ginger sounds great! Thanks, PJ, for also mentioning that sourdough works well here. I had intended to try mine.

    2. PJ Hamel, post author

      Yes, I’m betting that crystallized ginger would add a nice bit of zing, as well as sweetness. And the sourdough should work fine; just adjust the consistency of the dough, if necessary, to make it soft and smooth but not overly sticky. Good luck – PJH

    3. EL

      I made this with the crystallzed ginger and nope, it didn’t work well. The ginger wasn’t bad, just distracting from the whole (I really didn’t change things that much otherwise) I also didn’t make the glaze the first time though and the glaze might have helped.

      I then made it again and this time used dried sweet cherries. Tasted wonderful, but had problems getting it out of the staub (preferred that to a cake pan and probably didn’t oil enough). So hopefully the next time will be the charm. I think that I’ll try it with apricots. That does sound lovely.

    4. The Baker's Hotline

      EL, you might want to try some parchment paper in the bottom of your Staub, along with oiling it. Barb@KAF

  4. Laura Fischer

    Gosh, PJ! I still have the catalogue that recipe was printed in, from YEARS ago! I and another Baking Circle member were both so intrigued by it, that we decided to do a tandem bake, and compare our thoughts. We both thought DELICIOUS!

    Your whole wheat version reminds me of a FL grocery chain’s very popular ‘Breakfast Bread’, sold in a standard loaf form. Ya gotta get there early, or the in store bakery is totally sold out! That was ‘cloned’ by yet another former BC member, who wanted to surprise his Mom, when she’d visit, from Florida. Thanks so much for posting this!

  5. doug stanley

    I made a lot of these and a lot of stollen (from the KAF mix) for Christmas gifts. I got a lot more positive feed-back on the Tuscan coffee cake. It was a real hit.

    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      I agree with you 100%, Doug – I simply love this Tuscan cake. I stash a loaf in the fridge (which is usually verboten for bread, as it dries it out), and then toast it for breakfast (which is why it’s OK for it to languish in the fridge while I finish up the loaf). Just plain butter is all it needs; and sometimes not even that, its flavor and texture are so tantalizing… 🙂 PJH

  6. Justin

    The standalone version of the recipe says to cook for 35 minutes, but the version written out on this page says 55 minutes. I’m pretty sure 55 minutes is best – given the relative age of the recipe, it may just have been an overlooked difference.

  7. EL

    Thank you! From a fellow date hater (too sweet). I had thought about using dried tart cherries (and might still try that), but the crystallized ginger sounds great! Thanks, PJ, for also mentioning that sourdough works well here. I had intended to try mine.

  8. Debra

    Made this today. I used a mix for dried fruits I had fromTrader Joes , golden raisins, blueberries, cherries and cranberries . It was the best. I have purchased some fruit and nut breads from the local bakeries but it was $5.50 for a medium loaf , this was so much better . Thanks I will make again.

  9. Kate

    Yes!! Thank you so much for this post. There used to be a gourmet grocer in my home town that had two sweet yeast breads that I adored having for breakfast. One was a white chocolate apricot and the other was dark chocolate cherry. I bet I could adapt this recipe to make either of those. I’ve tried other recipes in the past and failed miserable! This looks like a winner though!

  10. Ellen Matthewson

    I have a new favorite! I was a little dubious because I don’t care for sourdough, but this is not a sour tasting bread. I forgot to pick up dates at the store so I chopped up pitted prunes to substitute. Not a great substitution as they are a little tart and seem to clash with the mild flavors of the raisins and nuts.
    I will be making this again and again. I can see making it into a hot cross bun loaf by changing spices and stir-ins.
    The texture of this bread is moist and springy and is ever so toast-able! Butter and a tiny skiff of cinnamon sugar make it even more amazing.

  11. Rose Gary

    If you make this with the active sourdough starter, then do you still add yeast in the second step?

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      If you are a purist, no. If you want the extra assurance the bread will have some loft, yes. Your choice! Elisabeth@KAF

    2. Kim

      This looks great! I’ve been baking with sourdough culture for a few years now, but I’m still unclear how much Fed culture should I use instead of making the sponge with yeast? I’d like to make the 40% Wwhole wheat version. Thanks!

    3. The Baker's Hotline

      You’ll replace the sponge with 1 cup of starter, which weighs 8 to 8 1/2 ounces, or 227-241g. Happy baking! Laurie@KAF

  12. Rebecca Jones

    Just getting back into baking, esp breads, after many years off, and in the past month, delivery guys have been dropping lots of packages at my door from KAF, and my counter is now graced by a shiny red KitchenAid mixer. I am excited to try this recipe. It looks similar to a local bakery’s “harvest bread”, which I love. A few questions – to get more rise/less dense texture when using whole wheat flour, so that it’s like the loaf using just AP flour, should I add a bit of dough improver or gluten? And, I have both gold & red SAF yeast – since this is a sweeter bread, would it be better to use the gold? Last, is that a baking stone in the bottom of the oven in the photo? Just curious, is it there for helping to hold heat, or just in place of an oven liner? Hoping to make a trip up to Norwich next week – nothing like watching you folks creating magic in the test kitchen while eating a sandwich from the cafe on your amazing fresh bread.

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hello Rebecca – If you are shooting for replacing all the white flour with whole wheat flour, more liquid is your answer. Typically, 1-3 t. additional liquid per cup of whole grain flour is recommended. However, let your dough do the talking. It will let you know if it is still thirsty. Other ways to get a better loft is creating a sponge. This will not only help soften some of the bran but also provide more flavor. Combine half the liquid, half the flour and half the yeast and place in a cool spot for 3-10 hours. After the rest, combine the remaining ingredients with the sponge and proceed as usual. The first rise may go pretty quickly. Using Gold is not necessary in the Tuscan Coffeecake. If the sugar was closer to 4 T., Gold may be a consideration. The baking stone happily lives there. It is there for whenever you need it! No need to remove and replace. It does help to retain heat in the oven, yes. I hope you enjoy this recipe and we look forward to see you here in Norwich, Rebecca! Elisabeth@KAF

  13. Loretta Lipizzi

    Is there a bread machine version of this recipe? Can I make just the starter in my machine? Thank you.

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Loretta, I would use the bread machine to mix and knead the dough–it will actually work very well. But I would bake it in the oven.

  14. Carole Palucci

    I would love to try this recipe! I am a fan of panettone and would beam with pride serving this homemade treat for breakfast. As a novice bread baker, I would like to know how to add the butter…melted and cooled, cut in with a pastry cutter, softened and blended first, softened and tossed in whole? Any advice?

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      The butter should be room temperature soft so that it can be easily incorporated into the rest of the ingredients and help form a soft, supple dough. If a recipe needs anything aside from room temperature butter, it will specifically say “cold,” “melted,” etc. Otherwise, you can assume it should be soft to the touch–room temperature is fine. Enjoy this recipe! Kye@KAF

  15. Anne

    This recipe is new to me. But I recognize right away this is going to be something I’d love to bake and eat! A question, though: I want to make two loaves of this bread/coffee cake – one as is and one with added cocoa powder. (I just received 4 pounds from KAF, one pound each of four different kinds of KAF cocoa – for I love just about everything chocolatey.) Any suggestion what I need to adjust for the chocolate version? Thanks so much for this and many other lovely posts.

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Anne, it would probably involve more than adding cocoa to turn this into a chocolate coffeecake. You might want to add a chocolate filling, as described in this coffeecake recipe. Barb@KAF

  16. Betsy

    This looks amazing. I am wondering how much flour 40% white whole wheat actually is. I often put just a cup of www in a recipe, is this less than the 40%? And if I use the basic recipe instead of sourdough starter, do you think I’d get a more appetizing result than pictured?
    We have been buying “marathon” bread/rolls from Wegman’s lately that have cranberries, pumpkin seeds, and other dried fruit and grains in a slightly sweet dough. This looks like it might yield a similar yummy result. I have been contemplating how to approximate the rolls which sell for .75 each!

    1. Susan Reid

      Betsy, PJ gave the weights for flour in the recipe; here’s how to figure it out. Between the flour in the starter and the flour in the dough, there’s 15 3/4 ounces of flour called for in the ingredients. For convenience let’s call that 16 ounces. 40% of 16 ounces is 6.4 ounces. White whole wheat weighs 4 ounces per cup; so that works out to roughly 1 1/2 cups of white whole wheat flour. You could simply make the starter with white whole wheat (better way to go, the extra time in liquid will soften the bran and give you better baking results), then swap 1/2 cup of the all-purpose flour for the rest. Hope this helps. Susan

  17. Linda T

    Sounds wonderful. I want to try using the same combo of dried fruit and nuts I prefer in the Panettone Muffins — pineapple, apricot, craisins or dried cranberries, kiwi, papaya, walnuts — and still soak them in something, I use Apple Jack usually, I’d just decrease the other liquid to compensate. I may go a second round and try the Fiori di Sicilia but it sounds wonderful without as well. The vanilla sugar syrup on top is going to be a winner for sure, probably going to steal that for other things! Thanks for sharing.

  18. Phyllis Howell

    Hi there! This recipe looks delicious. I want to make it this weekend, but have a question: are the bowl used for the initial rise and the cake pan greased at all? I want to make sure I get all the delicious goodness out of this and not have it stuck in the pan 🙂


    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Phyllis, yes, lightly grease or spray the bowls so that the dough doesn’t stick as it rises or when you remove it. Bryanna@KAF

  19. Joy

    This looks very much like Panatoni and Italian festive bread except instead of the dates I use citrine and I use pine nuts, much sweeter then walnuts.

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Use a cup of starter, about 8 to 8 1/2 ounces, or 227-241g. Happy baking! Laurie@KAF

  20. Arna Caplan

    Thank you for this recipe. It is wonderful, with just enough sweetness to satisfy my pre-diabetic husband. We are not date lovers, so I made it with apricots. Loved the texture. I assume the starter contributes to the lightness of the finished product. I am always on the lookout for low sugar baked goods, and this recipe is certainly a keeper.

  21. Susan

    The Fiori Di Sicilia is the way to go. The last time I made this, I used eight drops and thought it was a bit much. However, the next day we changed our minds. It definitely mellows over time. If you are new to the Fiori, you might want to start with four to six drops. We keep the cake stored in the freezer in packs of several slices each. I store the dropper in the refrigerator with the Fiori.

  22. robyne

    I made this coffee cake today, without dates and it came out perfect!!! I have been waiting all afternoon to try it,delicious.Not too sweet,beautiful crumb and the vanilla sugar on top was great.Thank you KAF for yet another great recipe.

  23. Ann

    How do you keep the dough from ejecting the fruit and nuts? I’m looking at the fruit (that I so patiently poked in) popping out while the dough is rising. I did not soak the fruit. I’m sure the end result will be wonderful but it’s kind of frustrating to watch.

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Ann, soaking can help, or tossing the fruit with flour before you add it. As you shape it, you’ll try to pull a thin skin of dough over the fruit to keep it from poking out and burning. Laurie@KAF

  24. Sylvia Pickich

    I made this yesterday, and it was a big hit at work! I made the dough in my bread machine. I was wondering if there is a reason the dates/raisins/walnuts are added after the first rising, or could they be added during the dough cycle of the machine?

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Sylvia, adding them after gives the dough the chance to be thoroughly kneaded without any of the extra goodies (the nuts, dates, etc) getting in the way.

  25. Marcus West

    This recipe was easy to make like all the baking recipes on your website, I always substitute organic flour and ingredients to make everything organic, and use only pink Himalayan sea salt. Every time I bake it ALWAYS turns out good ………….. This is like a baking heaven for me.

  26. Teddi

    I made this with 27% (3/4 cup) white whole wheat, and dried montmorency cherries instead of dates, and my boys sat around drooling waiting for it to cool, but we didn’t wait all the way to cool because patience isn’t a strong suit around here, and it is quite delicious. I bookmarked this one. Thanks, PJ

  27. Ann

    Sorry for the double posting. I thought I hadn’t submitted it then rewrote it after baking and eating. I read the Do not soak the fruit caution note. I did flour the dates when I chopped them so some of the flour got mixed in with the raisins. It didn’t seem to help. I’ll be more aggressive in burying the critters next time. Thanks for the great recipe.

  28. LloydK

    I tried this and it came out great!! I did the starter all unbleached AP and 1 cup of whole wheat flour in the next day’s mixing.

    The two things I would try next time is probably cutting the recipe in half and using a more rectangular pan. The round shape was easy to make but cutting slices and storage aren’t as easy with that shape.

    The other part I wasn’t wild about was adding the sugar, water and vanilla drizzle. I found it seemed to retard some of the rising as you out it in the oven so there were sunken spots. Also if you don’t put a pan underneath, some of the sugar dripped and burned. Lastly, some of the sugar drizzle was more apt to have a few burnt sugary areas where it drizzled to the edge of the pan which also made it more difficult to dislodge the bread from the pan

    The loaf itself was mildly sweet and flavorful so it may not need this extra drizzle given the impacts I encountered. I’d be interested if anyone else encountered this and their thoughts.

    Overall, really a great recipe! Thank you for sharing it!

  29. Helen Parrish

    Wonderful! Very tasty! Subs prune for raisin, added dried cranberries and walnuts. It turned out wonderful and took about 50 minutes to bake. Will try with different ingredients next time. Thank you so very much

  30. Colorado Carol

    I live at 7100 feet in Colorado. I made this wonderful coffee cake today and followed the recipe exactly. It took a little longer to rise, perhaps due to the elevation. I think it may be the best thing I have ever made. The crisp sugar top Is perfect! Thank you very much for perfecting this recipe and sharing it.

  31. Connie

    I’ve made your No-Knead Harvest Bread and at first glance I thought it was the same recipe. I see the egg in the ingredients, so I guess that is what would make it more like a cake? I will have to try this and see how I like it compared to the bread.

    1. MaryJane Robbins

      That’s right, Connie, the egg does make this a bit cakey as opposed to bready. ~ MJ

  32. Ricardo Neves Gonzalez - Petrópolis, R.J. - Brazil

    This bread is Wonderful!!!!!
    One of the best i ever baked. Simply one of the most scented of all, similar to that Crescia al Formaggio ( it´s salty but really one of the best scented ever!! ).
    and what can we say about texture from crust to crumb? Fluffy, golden colored, with those flavors of any kind of fruit we can add to the dough!
    As it have same sweet dough of Panettone, is always important to get a dough with unless 67 to 70% hydration level, just to adjust the liquid supply to the yeast.
    And for me is true and not less important the fact that we may bake this bread at lower temperatures for a long time, just we do with cakes!
    I baked a big one ( 600 g./ 21 Oz. ) at 160 Celsius for 55 minutes and it turns perfectly. We need to resist the tentation to slice it as soon as it comes out from the oven. The crust is still so fluffy and it needs to acquire a kind of resistence to knife during slicing time!
    Thanks P.J.

  33. Kit from Molokai

    OMG!!! This was simply wonderful! I made it this morning using a combination of crystallized ginger, cranberries and regular raisins for the dried dates, they’re hard to find here. I adjusted the oven temperature down to 300 for the last 20 minutes of baking after tenting since my loaf was already a deep golden brown. When the baking time was up our house smelled like a bakery. We needed to exhibit monumental restraint to wait until the cake was cooled. Oh, so worth the wait! We sliced it and ate it just like that, enjoying the crispy edges and soft crumb. Then we sliced some more and slathered it with butter. We sliced some more and shared some with our neighbors. Needless to say, I’ve just mixed up another starter to do this all over again tomorrow! Pure heaven… Thank you for a fabulous recipe!

  34. Leslie From Chicagoland

    Made this two days ago – tastes wonderful. Husband has declared it his favorite because of the texture, especially toasted. My question: I made it per the directions with KA yeast & all KAF A-P flour measured with a scale. Dough was very, very soft. Additional kneading (stand mixer, dough hook) didn’t help much. I added only two Tbl. more flour. Still pretty sticky. It rose fast and high. Very hard to add fruits/nuts due to stickiness. Persevered and it rose and filled the pan quickly. Baked and checked with Thermopen. Good outcome, but a pain to handle. Thoughts?

    1. MaryJane Robbins

      You do want a soft, sticky dough for this bread. Try using a little oil or butter on your hands to help with the stickiness, it works like a charm. ~ MJ

  35. ken Ralph

    I really like your recipes. Have been looking for a cranberry raisin recipe for quite a while. I would like your opinion on this. To sit the sponge overnight on the counter to rise really wouldn’t happen in most places with A/c etc. I read that you can turn your oven on at 75 degrees then turn it off when it reaches the temperature. You can then put your sponge in the oven and it will rise nicely, then you can get onto finishing the recipe.


    Ken alph

    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      Ken, I’ve done this — you might need to experiment a bit to find out exactly how long, and at what temperature, you need to preheat your oven, since I’ve never seen an oven with a setting of 75°F. You can also try just turning the oven light on for a couple of hours, then turning it off; if I leave my oven light on the oven temp. stays at just under 90°F, so turning it off would, I imagine, lower the temp. a bit, hopefully to the 75°F you’re looking for. PJH

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Marianne, this recipe includes yeast, which means it isn’t a great recipe to convert to gluten-free using our Measure for Measure Flour. Instead, you might want to use this recipe for Gluten-Free Coffeecake and then add some of the same yummy mix-ins (walnuts, dates, and raisins). Happy GF baking! Kye@KAF

  36. Diana

    This is very similar to the recipe that my Nonna (from Treviso) used to make. In that vein, could this be baked in metal coffee cans and if so, would it make one can or two? (I can’t imagine pannetone being baked in any other shape — just the way I was raised.) Thanks.

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Diana, we’re glad to hear this recipe might help you recreate something delicious from your childhood. We haven’t tried baking this recipe in metal coffee cans or molds, but you’re welcome to give it a try if that’s how you prefer your sweet yeast breads to look. The number of cans it will fill depends on the size; fill the cans about 2/3 of the way before the second rising. You’ll want to leave the tops uncovered and adjust the baking time based on the color, smell, and sound of the bread when you knock on it. The internal temperature should be about 200-205°F when it has finished baking. Keep in mind you’ll want to use a can/mold that’s food-safe as some coffee cans have lead solder. Good luck! Kye@KAF

  37. Debra Spencer

    I have made this recipe several different ways , always comes out great. I use my regular sourdough starter most of the time. I add cinnamon to my dough and it is my go to breakfast bread.

  38. millie oja

    I’m going to give it a try on making this bread tomorrow,but I hate needing bread because my hand is on pain all the time,I always make bread in a bread machines

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Not to worry, Millie, this dough is actually best kneaded in either a bread machine or stand mixer. We just recommend taking it out of the bread machine to rise, shape and bake. Happy baking! Mollie@KAF

  39. Colombe Loef

    I’ve waiting for the first rise, wondering if the bowl should of been greased and should the pan for baking be greased as well. Nothing noted. Also no instant yeast, used regular yeast. Hope it works.

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Thanks for pointing this out! We’ve adding this step (lightly greasing the pan) to both the blog and the recipe. This will ensure your coffeecake turns out nicely once it has finished baking. Hope that helps! Kye@KAF

  40. Nancy

    This is my go to favorite. I change up the nuts and the fruit. So far favorite is cherries, raisins and apricots with toasted pecans! Pure heaven!! I made a dozen at Christmas to give to the neighbors – big hit!

  41. Sara T.

    This is a phenomenal recipe. Not only does it smell absolutely amazing, it is the most delicious bread/cake I’ve ever had. Seriously. I used toasted hazelnuts instead of walnuts, and the end result reminds me a little bit of Panforte di Siena, my favorite Christmas treat. It was a little hard to get out of the pan after baking, even though I oiled thoroughly. Will def use my Springform next time.

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      That would be delicious, Carol! Our Fruitcake Fruit Blend has raisins, pineapple, currants, cranberries, dates, and just a touch of confectioners’ sugar in it, all of which will make your coffeecake shine. You might still want to add 1 cup of walnuts for crunch and a nutty flavor. Enjoy! Kye@KAF

  42. ShawnA

    Just made this last night and I had a lightly toasted slice with my coffee this morning. It was wonderful! I tweaked the recipe a bit, and I wanted to share my version with you.

    First, in lieu of the starter, I used the cast-offs from refreshing my sourdough starter; which I refreshed and left on the counter for 8 hours before using. Because I was using that, I only used 1tsp of yeast. I didn’t have any raisins or dates on hand, but I did have dried blueberries (actually blueberry-infused Craisins). To add a little flavor interest, I took 2 oz of the blueberries and macerated them in brandy while the dough was rising. Everything else was the same, and it turned out good, though I think I underproofed it slightly.

    Thank you for introducing me to my new favorite breakfast bread (cake)!

  43. Joe Atkinson

    Hello, Sourdough is referred to several times in the comments and replies. Is the sponge what is being referred as sourdough? Can sourdough starter be used?
    There are several KAF recipes that call for an overnight sponge, can sourdough starter be used in these.
    I’m obviously a novice baker but I love baking and King Arthur recipes.

    Thank you, Joe

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Joe. “Sponge” is one of the many labels that sourdough has, and you can certainly use your own sourdough starter to replace the sponge in this recipe. Simply replace the 4.25 oz flour and 4 oz cool water with 8.25 oz (or a heaping cup) of your ripe sourdough starter. Happy baking! Annabelle@KAF

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