My friend Nora, about whom I've written before, is a regular dessert chef extraordinaire and one of my main inspirations in the kitchen. When she gave me a slice of this dessert-for-breakfast a few weeks ago I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. It's really that good. This coffee cake is incredibly dense and moist thanks to the cream cheese, and the bright bursts of raspberries are like edible exclamation points. This is Nora's version of what's been one of the top five recipes at Cooking Light for the past ten years. She uses real ingredients instead of the "lite" stuff, and whatever berries are in season at the Joshua Tree Farmer's market. It's simple to make and my god, is it delicious.
Nora's Raspberry Coffee Cake from Heaven
I highly recommend doubling the recipe and making two cakes
1/4 stick unsalted butter, softened
4 oz. cream cheese (half a standard 8 oz. container of the whipped stuff)
1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups frozen raspberries (helps keep their shape when mixing into thick batter)
2 tablespoons sugar for topping
Beat butter and cream cheese with electric mixer until creamy; gradually add 1 cup sugar, beating well. Add egg; beat well.
Combine flour, baking powder and salt; stir into butter mixture. Stir in vanilla; fold in frozen berries.
Pour batter into greased 9-inch round cake pan. Spinkle 2 tablespoons sugar over batter.
Bake at 350 for just under an hour; cool on wire rack. Serve with coffee; assume you're in heaven.