i like the walnut, almond paste, and raspberry jam coffee cake you can get at Gelson's. It's sold in the Bakery area, but not at the bakery. It's not much to look at--just a brown cake, but it's quite good. It's studded with walnuts and it has three layers: a thick one of cake, a thin one of jam, and a sort of crust/bottom layer of some sort of crumb. Wonderful with black coffee, natch.
Huckleberry makes great coffee cake. I really love the one with cornmeal. Sometimes, they have apple streusel muffins. When you want a sense of discipline, go for those muffins. All of the breakfast pastries at Huckleberry are superb. Best blueberry bran muffins anywhere and then, of course there are those maple-bacon pastries.
This may be an old discussion but relevant to those still looking. We LOVE the pecan crumb coffee cake they serve you for free at Jar for Sunday brunch. It's like CRACK. You will be jonse'ing for more of it a week or two later. We finally asked them who makes it for them and we were told it is made by Susina bakery and cafe on Beverly near La Brea. Haven't gone there yet to see if it is available but will no doubt get around to it as soon as the craving hits us again.
Just in case anyone feels like making their own (hopefully this doesn't get moved to the home cookin' section), here's my Mom's coffee cake recipe (I just made this yesterday):
2 C flour
1 Tbsp (scant) baking powder
1 tsp salt (I would say make this a scant tsp)
2-3 Tbsp sugar
3 Tbsp oil
3/4 C milk
1/4 C margarine or butter
1/2-3/4 C brown sugar
1/2 C white sugar
2 tbsp (heaping) flour
2 tsp cinnamon
(Add more sugar or flour if it's clumping too much / add more shortening
if not clumping enough.)
Grease bottom of pan (I use a rectangular glass baking dish - maybe 8 x 12" or something?), thin layer of crumbs, add batter, then rest of crumbs. I make it vegan style with Ener-g egg replacer, almond milk and vegan, non-hydrogenated margarine. Comes out really nice and light with Giusto's organic pastry / cookie flour. I want to try it with white whole wheat flour soon too.
bake in a 400 oven 20-25 min
I also like this one, paraphrased from the Breitenbush Cookbook... it will work well even with non-wheat flours like rice flour.
* 1/2 lb tofu
* 1/2 C lemon juice
* 6 Tbsp oil
* 3/4 C honey (you could probably use brown rice syrup or agave nectar here)
* 1/2 C water or soy milk
* 2 1/2 C barley and rice flours or whole wheat pastry flour
* 1 tsp baking soda
* 1 tsp salt
* 1 tsp baking powder
* 1 C frozen blueberries, or fresh if available
Mix the wet ingredients til smooth. Mix dry ingredients, and gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet with a spatula. Add the blueberries last.
Pour into an oiled 5" x 7" pan; bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes or until done.
Gourmet Coffee Warehouse on Rose, now Groundworks, used to have these great squares of coffeecake with a brown sugar topping (which I'm pretty sure has ground nuts or is made in a place with nuts) and a similar line of streusel in the middle. Don't know if Groundworks still has it, but I've been pretty psyched to see the same coffeecake at Coffee Bean. It's the square one, not the bundt-shaped one (which is nowhere near as good).
So the short answer: Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, the square coffee cake.
For a while, a waitress as the O.P. Cafe on Ocean Park near 31st was making a killer blueberry coffee cake and other homey baked treats, but either she left or something because last time I went, they got their stuff from La Brea Bakery. It was okay, but not as good. (Come back, baker waitress!)
re: The Chowhound Team
The correct link to this interesting discussion on LAUSD coffee cake seems to be:
(PayOrPlay Jr. started kindergarten in LAUSD this year, but so far has insisted that I keep making his snacks and lunches every *&^^%! morning--maybe this will spark his interest. :-))
The best coffee cake I can think of is actually king cake (and so far we have never ever found anything here in LA to equal the mail order cakes you can get from Haydel's, etc.), so if anyone has any local suggestions for this year's Mardi Gras season king cake threads, they're most welcome!