Toffee Bar Coffee Cake

Two coffee cakes in one day?!  WHAT is going on in my kitchen??  What is this madness?!

Every day at work, Jeff participates in a little team event called “Banana Time.”  I swear, it’s not dirty.

Actually, it’s really exactly what it sounds like.  Basically, Jeff and all his co-workers get together and they all eat fruit and other mid-morning snacks.  Jeff takes a Gala apple… everyday.  Not a Granny Smith, Never a Pink Lady – ALWAYS a Gala.

One of Jeff’s co-workers has a wife who occasionally bakes for the office and has made some truly amazing culinary creations.  Every time she bakes something and sends it to the office with him, Jeff takes a picture and usually says something like “Just saying…”  Basically, he dares me to compete against her in a bake-off so he and his co-workers can enjoy the spoils our baking-duel.

While I NEVER fall for this ploy….well…actually….I do…sometimes… fall for this ploy.  I’m such a sucker for the notion of competition, even though it’s not really a competition.

So while I was making a coffee cake to take to my office tomorrow, I figured I would whip one up for Jeff’s office as well.  Maybe his office “man-niche” will be “Guy whose wife brings baked goods” (see my previous post for some context…).

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Spray a 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish or a springform pan with non-stick cooking spray (I went with a springform because I thought it would be a little prettier).

Start by toasting the pecan pieces in a skillet.  You don’t need to add any oil, but you do need to keep an eye on it because they will burn easily.

Using electric mixer, beat flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, butter, and salt in large bowl on low speed until mixture resembles coarse meal.

Transfer 1/2 cup butter-sugar mixture to medium bowl; mix in toffee and pecans. Set aside.


A note about chopping Heath bars.  You could chop them up normally…..  OR, you do it the way my Grandma and I used to.  Take the heath bars out to the garage and beat the crap out of them with a hammer.  If you’re having a stressful day, I suggest the latter option.

Stir baking soda into remaining butter-sugar mixture in large bowl. Add buttermilk, egg and vanilla, beating until just combined. Transfer batter to prepared dish.

Sprinkle toffee topping evenly over batter. Bake until topping is golden brown and toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Cool completely in baking dish. Cut into 16 squares. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Store in airtight container at room temperature.)

Hope this is promotion worthy!


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 1.4-ounce chocolate-covered English toffee bars (such as Heath Bars), chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Adapted from Bon Appetit, December 1999.  Originally from The Harmony House Inn in New Bern, North Carolina.

Tags: , ,

Categories: Breakfast, Recipes

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