Coffee coffee cake muffins…and a GIVEAWAY!

You know when you first start dating someone and you’re totally obsessed with them, and your relationship, and life, and perhaps slightly amazed that someone else wants to spend every waking moment of every day with you, and you celebrate your one week date-i-versary, and your one month date-i-versary, and then your six month date-i-versary, and then…and then you wake up on your six year date-i-versary with a snoring man on one side of you and a tiny little baby on the other side, grabbing at your boobs?

Okay, or not.  But I did.

Anyways.  Tomorrow is my one month blog-i-versary.  As my steady date for the last six years can attest, I am obsessed with this little spot on the internet like it’s a heady new relationship.  It’s getting pretty serious, and I’m in it for the long haul.  So, I wanted to celebrate with a little giveaway.  See the end of this post for details…

In the meanwhile…there are these muffins, you see.

These days, it can be hard to stay awake.  Our one year old, Ada, still likes to wake up several times nightly.  I like to go to bed late, spending the last hours of the evening reading, writing, or catching up on TV shows.  I also like to wake up early to meditate and have a slow cup of tea in the dark morning quiet of the house.

Caffeine, therefore, is important.  (I would love to say I run on clean water, healthy food, yoga, and fumes, but alas…).

So, I was delighted to discover these muffins.  Coffee coffee cake muffins.  They are moist, rich with the flavour of espresso, and make the perfect mid-morning pick-me-up.


Here’s what you need:

10 tbsp. butter

1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp. milk

2 eggs

2 tsp. vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean, scraped

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup sugar

2 1/4 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

1 1/2 tsp. instant espresso powder mixed with 1 1/2 tbsp. warm water (I used an espresso tab run through my Tassimo machine for the same result)

For the streusel topping:

3 tbsp. cold butter, cut into small cubes

3 1/2 tbsp. sugar

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Here’s what you do:

Preheat your oven to 350F, and line a muffin pan with liners.

Melt the 10 tbsp. of butter in a saucepan over medium heat.  Cook down the butter until it begins to brown and crackle.  The crackling will subside and the butter will brown pretty quickly after that, so keep an eye on it.  Remove it from the heat once the butter is browned.

[If using a vanilla bean, take the scrapings and add them to the sugar, using your fingers to rub the beans through the sugar crystals].

Now, whisk together milk, eggs, and vanilla extract (if using) in a bowl.  Add the brown butter and stir to combine.

In a different bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Add the milk and butter mixture, stirring gently to combine.

Pour half of the batter into the muffin cups.  Stir the espresso and water mixture into the remaining batter.  Divide the espresso batter between the twelve muffin cups.

To make the topping combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and rub together with your fingertips until crumbly.  Sprinkle evenly over the batter in the cups.

Place the muffins in the oven and bake until a toothpick inserted into the centre of a muffin comes out clean – about 18-20 minutes.  Enjoy!

Recipe from Joy the Baker


This book has been showing up in my life.  I keep hearing about it.  And it sounds like my favourite type of thing:  a compilation of stories and recipes.

recipe book

It’s called “Musicians, Memories and Morsels:  An East Coast Story Cook Book.”  It’s filled with the unique recipes and delightful stories of a group of east coast musicians, and it’s a total delight to read.  I can’t wait to try some of the recipes in it.  Like Melanie Doane’s “Show Stopping Brownie Pudding” or Andrew Hunter and the Gatherers’ “Hawaiian Style Shoyu Chicken Plate Lunch.”

Anyways, because I love my readers, and I hope that maybe there are some other readers out there who might like to visit Purple House Cafe, here’s how to enter:

Comment on this post with the name of a friend that you think would like to read my blog (and, uh, let your friend know). Then, when your friend “follows” Purple House Cafe, I will put your name in the draw for the book!  I’ll make the draw on February 15th, and announce the winner on the site.

(North American readers only please!)