Most homemade coffee cakes are pretty plain. When we want something fancier for the holidays, we go with a yeasted coffee cake with buttery layers of rich dough, a sweet almond filling, and a flourish of sliced nuts and white icing.
Once we finalized the filling (a mixture of cream cheese and almond paste) and dough (which we sweetened with honey instead of sugar), we focused on the shape. The method ended up being surprisingly easy: The almond filling is placed on the dough, which has been shaped into a rectangle, then the whole thing is rolled up, formed into a circle, and cut to create a floral pattern that exposes some of the filling. That’s all it took to get the shape of—and remove the mystery from—homemade ring-shaped coffee cake.
Making the Coffee Cake
1. After rolling the dough in an 18 by 9-inch rectangle, spread a 1-inch-wide strip of the filling about 1 inch above the bottom edge of the dough.
2. Loosen the dough from the counter with a bench scraper (or metal spatula) and carefully roll the dough into an even cylinder. Pinch the seam to seal.
3. Transfer the dough log to a parchment-lined baking sheet and shape into a ring. Make about 11 cuts around the outside of the ring using scissors, spacing them 1 to 1 1⁄2 inches apart.
4. Twist each piece of dough cut side up.
Want to try it for yourself? Check out our Almond Ring Coffee Cake recipe for free through November 29th.