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Mar 23, 2013 08:26 AM

Coffee Cake! and my hate of baking…

I am not an accomplished baker. While I have gotten pretty good a bread and your basic cookies and brownies that is about the extent of my baking. I think its the "science" aspect of it that turns me off. I am more of a wing it cook and having to weigh out the flour, sugar etc just doesn't float my boat.

But my son was recently exposed to the starbucks coffee cake (thanks hon) and he talks about nothing else. At close to $4 a pop it's not something I care to indulge him.

So I set out to make Martha Stewarts version.

Man does my whole house smell good! But ugh what a pain in the ass! My son loved it and I know he will want it next weekend too.

Will this baking thing ever become enjoyable??

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  1. Hey, it's fun when the results are delicious and so appreciated. That looks like a great recipe, but with lots of steps, which may have been the thing you didn't like.

    1 Reply
    1. re: roxlet

      Agree.. I love baking and find it very relaxing, but different strokes for different folks. An easier recipe (with less steps) might be more fun for everyone.
      And what one person finds and enjoyable, relaxing activity, another person can find mind-numbingly tedious (I feel that way about gardening.. my mother could do nothing else and be happy).

    2. Personally, I love to bake.
      But you see that it is time consuming and still don't want to pay someone else to do it.

      I'd bake a few at a time and freeze them if I were you.
      Or teach him to bake.

      9 Replies
      1. re: magiesmom

        Yep - I enjoy baking but only when I have time. Depending on the age of your son (I'm thinking he's old enough if he's going to Starbucks) get him in the kitchen. He'll appreciate it even more if he's helping.

        1. re: JerryMe

          Oh trust me he's a great cook! He's been in kitchen with me since he was knee high to a grasshopper, LOL.

          Unfortunately he has my baking gene. He is just as impatient as I am when he comes to weighing, measuring etc.

          1. re: foodieX2

            Well, he can has four choices: make it himself, buy it, do without or find a partner who likes to bake. ;)

            1. re: foodieX2

              You've mentioned weighing as well as measuring. Perhaps it would be easier if you just measure -- use recipes that call for cups/teaspoons/tablespoons.

              I learned to bake first, then cook, and so am always wanting exact measurements for maindish recipes -- I just don't "get" the handful of this pinch of that method so many seem to prefer for making meals.

              If you're from USA, you could look for Krusteaz box-mix Crumb Cake and try it. It's quite sweet and like your recipe smells wonderful while baking. There's no shame in using a quality mix when the from-scratch alternative isn't fun for you.

              1. re: MidwesternerTT

                what's funny is I was going to suggest going by weight, as I find it infinitely easier and less time consuming than making sure I have a scoop leveled off. I just dump and tare my scale...

                1. re: Emme

                  weight is much easier and also more accurate.

                  1. re: magiesmom

                    I've been baking at home for more than 40 years, never using a scale. For me, measuring cups/spoons are very easy to use and accurate enough to get great results.

                    1. re: MidwesternerTT

                      yup, different people have different preferences.

                      I changed mine after about 35 years of baking; was very skeptical but now love my scale.

          2. I was a baker first, and a cook later, so sort of the opposite of you. So, I actually like baking and find it infinitely easier than cooking. BUT, one thing I've found is the super exact measurements aren't always needed for baking, as long as it's close. Now, for stuff like bread you need to be exact, but for most cookies, muffins, and things like coffee cake... "roughly close" usually works just fine for me. Maybe that will help, knowing that being super duper exact is not always necessary.

            Also, just like with cooking, having your mise en place ready to go helps with baking... measure it all out and set it out, so all you have to do is dump it in in the correct order... think of it as no different as chopping up onions and garlic for your base... you're just measuring flour and sugar instead (plus I think that takes less time than chopping!).

            4 Replies
            1. re: juliejulez

              Actually, you don't have to be that exact for bread! Once you have a basic idea of what the dough should feel like, you can pretty much wing it. Not like cakes, for sure!

              1. re: roxlet

                I feel like bread is less exacting than cake. I rarely measure for bread. With cake I do.

                1. re: roxlet

                  +1... Muffins, quick bread, coffee cake are all just variations on a theme. Bread too. Another category of things you can wing are fruit crisps.

                  1. re: roxlet

                    I think that is why I enjoy bread making. To me it more like cooking in that it is not nearly as exacting as many other things. I make a ton of bread but do admit to making many of the doughs in my bread machine and then finishing them off outside of the machine. I have become known for my foccacia, sourdough, pumpernickel and cinnamon rolls. However I don't think I would have ever tried my hand at bread making without this book. It took the mystery out

                    Rustic European Breads from Your Bread Machine

                2. If he's old enough to be drinking coffee, I think he's old enough to bake the cake if he loves it that much. This is a pretty easy recipe for him to make. Off the subject,that seems a lot of flour for the topping,did it turn out OK?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Mother of four

                    He wasn't drinking coffee, my husband was. He was just along for the ride and he splurged and bought our son the coffee cake.

                    It came out wonderful and he loved it as I noted earlier.

                  2. Why not? Just find the simpliest, recipe possible and embrace it!