Once upon a time there was a well known restaurant in Mendocino, CA called Cafe Beaujolais. Unfortunately I never made it there in its heyday, but I have their cookbook in my collection. I’ve tried a variety of recipes in the book but I would have to say that this recipe is one that I keep coming back to whenever I’m in need of a coffeecake. Word has it that this cake was the most popular item on their menu and their loyal customers were in an uproar when they tried to stop making it.
This cake reminds me of one that your grandmother might have made. It’s quite moist with a nice crumb. It’s particularly addictive when served warm. I frequently made this at my cafe (here’s a rather wordy post from the first month of my blog) baking it instead in a 9″ springform pan which will give you a much thicker slice. Just adjust your baking time if you choose to do it this way. You may need to add about 12-15 minutes.
Cafe Beaujolais Buttermilk Coffeecake
2 1/4 cups flour
1 cup brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 cup corn oil
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (original recipe calls for sliced almonds)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
powdered sugar for dusing (optional)
Mix flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, salt and ginger. Blend in oil until smooth. Remove 3/4 cup mixture and combine with nuts and remaining 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Mix and set aside.
To remaining flour mixture, add baking powder, baking soda, egg and buttermilk. Blend until smooth. Pour into buttered 13×9-inch baking pan. Sprinkle reserved nut mixture evenly over surface of batter. Bake at 350 degrees 30 to 35 minutes. Place pan on wire rack to cool. Cut into squares to serve. Makes 8 to 12 servings.