Coffeecake Stars

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Yield: Two 8" coffeecakes

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This variation on our Tuscan Coffeecake is great for special occasions. Baked in a couple of star pans (or simply two 8" round cake pans), it yields two loaves: one for giving, and one to enjoy yourself.

Coffeecake Stars

star rating (4) rate this recipe »
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time: Overnight,
Yield: Two 8" coffeecakes
Published: 01/01/2010


Overnight starter



  • 1 1/2 cups toasted walnuts, very coarsely chopped
  • 1 heaping cup chopped dates
  • 1 heaping cup raisins, golden preferred


  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon water


1) Mix the starter ingredients in a small (about 1-quart) bowl or other container; the dough will be stiff. Cover and let rest overnight at room temperature.

2) The next day, the starter should have expanded and be bubbly.

3) Combine the starter with the remaining dough ingredients (NOT the nuts and fruit), mixing and kneading to form a smooth, supple dough. It'll be very slack; for this reason, we suggest kneading in a bread machine, or with a mixer, rather than by hand.

4) Place the dough in a bowl or other rising container, cover it, and let it rise for about 1 hour.

5) It may not double in bulk; that's OK.

6) Gently deflate the dough, and knead in the nuts and fruit. It's a sticky process; place them atop the dough in the bowl, wet your fingers, and keep working everything around till the fruit, nuts, and dough are combined.

7) Divide the dough in half; each half will weigh about 30 ounces, if you have a scale. Place each half in a lightly greased 9" star-shaped pan or 8" round cake pan, gently nudging it into the corners or out to the edge of the pan.

8) If you're using paper star-shaped pans, place them on a baking sheet for support. 8" cake pans can be treated the same way, for ease of handling; it's simpler to move one pan around than two.

9) Gently poke any raisins or dates that are sticking up above the top surface of the dough back into the loaf; this will prevent them form burning.

10) Cover the pans with a proof cover or lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow the loaves to rise for about an hour; they won't rise a lot. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.

11) While the loaves are rising, stir together the topping ingredients and let them rest at room temperature.

12) The mixture will seem dry at first, but will liquefy as it sits and the sugar dissolves.

13) Drizzle the topping over the loaves.

14) Bake the loaves till they're a light golden brown and their internal temperature registers 190°F, about 45 to 50 minutes.

15) Remove the loaves from the oven. Allow them to cool right in the paper pan, for gift-giving. If baked in round cake pans, allow them to cool for about 10 minutes, then turn them out onto a rack to cool completely.


  • star rating 12/13/2008
  • Peter Gordon from Marshall, NC
  • I made this recipe 5 times. The first time I put all the liquid in as called for and tried to add the filling by hand. WHAT A MESS! I then figured that kneading in the filling with a rubber spatula would work much better! The second time I reduced the water to 6 ounces. A little better but still too slack. When I got to 5 ounces it was very close to a Ciabata type of dough and worked well. My eggs tended to run a little large (2 oz each) which probably drove the liquid ratio from 80% to about 69%. I still kneaded with a rubber spatula and the results were fantastic!!
  • star rating 11/17/2008
  • Ana Gisel from mexico
  • so good
  • star rating 11/14/2008
  • Faye Massey from Macon, GA
  • Wonderful! I just love pasttries from Tuscany - so good! Thanks
  • star rating 11/14/2008
  • Lori F. from California
  • Loved the presentation in the paper baking molds. Have used them many times with fantastic results!

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