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Cream cheese coffee cake is a baked cake in which cream cheese has been used as a primary flavoring ingredient. The cream cheese is usually blended together with other sweet flavors, such as vanilla and sugar, and used as a filling. This dessert may be topped with vanilla or caramel icing, and is frequently served with dark, bitter coffee, or plain vanilla ice cream.
One popular method used when making cream cheese coffee cake involves using this ingredient as a type of swirled filling. The cake used in this type of recipe is typically a type of pound cake. The batter is somewhat thick and heavy, and creates a dense, rich, butter-flavored cake when baked. This batter may be blended with sour cream or milk to increase its moisture and make it lighter when combining it with cream cheese.
The cream cheese filling is often a combination of softened cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla extract, similar to ingredients used in cheesecake. These ingredients are mixed together until well blended and combined with the primary cake batter in layers. This type of cream cheese coffee cake tends to work best when baked in a circular bundt pan. Half of the heavy, pound cake-like batter should be poured into the bundt pant first, followed by all of the cream cheese batter filling. The cake should then be topped with the remaining pound cake batter. A flat bladed knife or long toothpick may be used to lightly dip and swirl the ingredients together for a marbled effect.
This type of cake should be baked longer than traditional pound or coffee cakes. Half an hour to one hour may be required in a hot oven so that all of the ingredients may adequately set together. A toothpick inserted near the center of the cake should come out somewhat clean, with only cream cheese filling residue remaining when the dessert has completed cooking.
Another popular form of cream cheese coffee cake involves using yeast based bread to create a type of danish. Yeast bread is mixed in a traditional manner, incorporating additional portions of sugar and butter for flavor. The dough may be divided into equal portions and rolled into long rectangles. Each rectangle is then topped with a filling of cream cheese blended with sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract. The dough is then rolled and cut crosswise so that the filling may rise slightly through the tops of the bread.
A traditional vanilla icing may be used to top cream cheese coffee cake, or may be substituted with a fruit and nut flavored alternative. Vanilla icing may be mixed together using confectioner's sugar, vanilla extract, and milk to create a smooth, light consistency. This should be drizzled over the pound cake or danish immediately so that the icing may harden slightly around the dessert. A caramel flavored icing may be substituted by allowing the sugar to first caramelize for several minutes in butter on a hot stove top before adding the additional ingredients. Chopped pecans and fresh apple slices pair well with this variation.