Before I got married, my sister had a wonderful idea. She made recipe cards and collected recipes from family and friends and then put them in a recipe box for me. That recipe box, with all of the recipes inside, has become one of my most cherished keepsakes. Not only do I have fabulous recipes that I have literally turned to time and time again, but I feel connected to all the different women in my life who supported me and played different roles in helping me become me.
One of these special recipes is from a childhood friend, who shared a recipe with me that she said has been passed down through multiple generations on her mother's side, and I feel touched that she shared the recipe with me. And - it's delicious, too! It is sour cream coffeecake, with a cinnamon sugar ribbon. It is truly amazing! It is great to bring as a hostess gift. It freezes incredibly well, so I can make it ahead of time and have a special breakfast treat for overnight guests. It also makes a great gift around the holidays as well.
When I started gravitating towards veganism, one of the recipes I thought about experimenting with first was the coffeecake. Not surprisingly, Earth's Balance, with a little extra kick of vanilla, worked well. Even the eggs didn't cause a huge ruckus; after some research, I learned that unsweetened applesauce actually works well in quick breads, and in this recipe, applesauce creates a moist, tasty result.
As you can imagine from the name, though, there is an additional ingredient apart from the butter and eggs that created a vegan hurdle: sour cream. I wasn't entirely sure if I could just substitute vegan sour cream. First, I've never eaten it before, so I wasn't sure if tasted good. Second, even if good, I have no idea if vegan sour cream can go in the oven. Then, thanks to the internet, I learned that, when baking, soy yogurt can replace sour cream. Who knew? To be perfectly frank, the concept of soy yogurt kind of weirds me out to eat by itself, for no good reason. But then I decided that, since the soy yogurt is actually going into something and I don't have to see it directly that maybe I could be brave and try it.
I am pleased to report that using soy yogurt is one of the best vegan baking tips I've picked up. The final result of the coffeecake was just as delicious as the original - and maybe now I'll start eating soy yogurt by itself? Well, one step at a time, people.
Yields: One coffeecake, which easily feeds 6-8 people
1/2 c. non-dairy butter substitute (I vote for Earth's Balance)
1 c. granulated white sugar (I recommend vegan, if you can find it)
1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce
1 - 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
6 oz. plain (not vanilla!) soy yogurt (RECIPE UPDATE: I tested vanilla, and it's great - I use that now! So either plain or vanilla is fine.)
Cinnamon sugar (2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/4 c. white sugar, and optional 1/2 c. chopped nuts)
1) Cream butter substitute and sugar; add applesauce and vanilla. Beat until light.
2) Alternate dry ingredients (flour, soda, and powder) and soy yogurt (start and end with dry ingredients) until just mixed; don't overmix!
3) Pour half the batter into a well-greased springform or bundt pan. Sprinkle with 1/2-2/3 cinnamon sugar on top. Pour other half of batter on top and sprinkle remaining cinnamon sugar on top.
4) Put cake in preheated 350 degree oven for 40-45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
5) If using bundt pan, immediately remove from pan; cool completely on wire rack.