April 1, 2011

Belated Daring Bakers’ Challenge: Meringue Coffee Cake

cake cutout

Blog readers, I am in denial. Deep, deep, denial. I’m so in denial that I won’t even admit to being in denial.

The fact of the matter is, that after quite a nice string of culinary successes, I have experienced another kitchen disaster. Taking the form of an innocent coffee cake, this month’s Daring Bakers’ Challenge threw me for a loop. The March 2011 Daring Baker’s Challenge was hosted by Ria of Ria’s Collection and Jamie of Life’s a Feast. Ria and Jamie challenged The Daring Bakers to bake a yeasted Meringue Coffee Cake. Before you raise your eyebrows and make a really funny-looking face of confusion—much like I did when first reading the name of this recipe—take a look at the picture above. Nothing too crazy, right?


In theory, making a bready, yeasty coffee cake is a relatively simple task. Even adding some shiny meringue in the middle does not come across as rocket science. My downfall in this challenge came in the same form that brought down the heroes of tragedies past—pride. After creating a few successful, yummy recipes on my own, I assumed that I could easily modify this coffee cake into something really cool and wonderfully unique. Branching away from the regular ol’ cinnamon/sugar route (a crucial error), I opted for dark chocolate chips, dried cherries, and orange sugar.

orange sugar

You’re making a sort of sour lemon face at the moment, right? Cause that’s what I’m doing, even in memory. It was a weird decision, brought on by some sudden, strange urge to include orange zest in something—this coffee cake was really just a helpless bystander.

Honestly, throughout the cooking process, I was thoroughly convinced that my flavor choices were fantastic. Now? I don’t know what I was thinking. Chalk it up to temporary psychosis, triggered by a lack of dark chocolate. This coffee cake was a cry for chocolate-y help.

choc cherries and orange

That actually sounds like a pretty good excuse. I think I’ll keep it.

However, the truth is that I really just misjudged what would work with this recipe. Had I followed the instructions and gone with one of the fillings suggested in the information packet, I’m convinced that this coffee cake would’ve been delicious. Just by eating around the unfortunate filling, I can tell you that the bread tastes wonderful, so this may be a recipe that I will have to give a second try.

dough layout

If you’re interested in learning more about this recipe, maybe giving it a try with a much better filling, etc., etc., check out the info packet from the Daring Bakers.

dough fill close up


  1. Your meringue coffee cake looks so inviting and tasty! Great clicks.

  2. Una vera delizia, complimenti ciao

  3. Oh dear...

    Well, the photos look tasty at least! }:P

  4. Sorry this didn't turn out the way you envisioned, however your pictures are still beautiful :o)

  5. Wow, my mouth is watering.
    This looks excellent. Everytime I read your blog, I am just so in love with your pictures!!

  6. That's a shame because your cake looks beautiful. Your dough rose so nicely!

    I bet two of the three would have tasted great being either the chocolate and cherries or chocolate and orange or even the orange and cherries...

    I know the chocolate and orange sugar works because I used that combination, but a lot more orange sugar, like 1/4 cup with sliced orange gumdrops and it was a great taste :)

  7. I've tried and failed the whole orange-chocolate experiment as well, mine was with some scones. The bread looks fantastic though!

  8. Oh Koci, sorry to hear it didin't turn out as you expected it.
    Looks great tho.

  9. Oh well - think of all the really wonderful things you've made by experimenting with recipes. Who dares wins (most of the time). It looks wonderful even if you weren't satisfied with the flavour.

  10. It may not have tasted like you wanted it to, but I can tell you that it is visually delicious! I do like the orange sugar and chocolate combo. You were definitely on to something there!

  11. Sorry it didn't turn out the way you wanted, but good for you for taking a risk!!

  12. How did I miss this?! I think my Blogger feed is withholding blog posts from me.

    I'm sorry the flavour didn't work out as you hoped, though I totally get your need for zest. Anyway, it LOOKS delicious & the cake itself is beautiful. And I know I sound like a broken record, but glorious photos!

  13. @Angie's Recipes: Thank you!

    @Stefania: Gratzie! :D

    @wolfsilveroak: hehehe Thanks!

    @Susi: That's how it happens sometimes! Thanks!

    @Kristen: Aw, thank you so much!

    @Stacie: I was so happy that it actually rose! Whenever I bake breads, the whole dough-rising thing can get a bit hit and miss. :D I can definitely see how just chocolate and orange would be a very tasty combo!

    @Maggie: It's a tricky thing, orange zest. Sometimes it's delish, and sometimes it backfires. :D

    @A little bit of everything: Thanks!

    @Hester: I definitely agree, it's still tons of fun to step out of the box and experiment with these recipes!

    @Marisa: Thanks! I do think this recipe needs just a little bit of tweaking (or following the rules in the first place) to make it something really yummy.

    @Dana: Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right? :D

    @Suzler: hehehe No worries, I certainly don't get tired of hearing it! :D

  14. sorry it didn't work, I have mishaps every day, lol...the pics look amazing!!


  15. Orange sugar sounds quite great and delicious to me!
    And the dough's texture looks amazing, too.
    But I think I quite failed at that challenge, too...


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