Peanut Butter Nutella Swirl Coffee Cake

Hi. It's been a while. My bad. University has done a good job of keeping me busy and sleep-deprived.

I've completed my first semester of university and now I'm on winter break. I don't really know how to approach this post because so much has happened, so I guess I'll just make a list of the important things.

1. I was super stressed out about halfway through the semester. Midterms were going on, and I felt like giving up. I hated (and still hate) the idea of being compared to other people for grades.

2. I finally turned 18, although there's not really much you can do when you're 18. I can sign up to vote and legally go on 18+ websites. That's pretty much it. I still don't have my driver's license so maybe I should get on that.

3. I accidentally knocked over a cup of coffee, ruining my beautiful (but dying) laptop. My first thought: Damn, I had all my psyc notes on there! Also, I lost all of the photos for older recipes that I was intending to re-upload... Oops.

4. I had a minor meltdown moment when I saw that the lab of a psychology class I had to take had only 1 spot left. I freaked out and dropped 2 of my science courses because they conflicted with that class... All without talking to my advisor. I later found out that I couldn't do that.

5. I was contemplating about switching into arts for a good 2/3 of the semester. I found myself loving my psychology class and disliking all my other classes (probably because I was super behind most of the time). However, I think I've found a happy medium between psychology and biology (specifically biomedical physiology and kinesiology) in behavioural neuroscience.

6. Before I wrote my first final, I was in this weird calm state. I pumped myself up in the morning with No Faith In Brooklyn by Hoodie Allen, and I just felt so ready. I've never experienced anything like it. Now I have a pre-test ritual. Its success rate is currently 4/4.

7. I studied pretty hard for almost 3 weeks straight. Maybe it wasn't actually 3 weeks straight, but it sure felt like it. The day after I finished my last final, I wasn't sure what to do with all my free time... I was actually bored?

8. I think I underestimate my abilities, or myself in general? I was okay with just being barely above the average mark, even though I'm better than that. Maybe in the back of my mind I knew that I was, but doubt is a funny thing. My final marks ended up being much higher than I had initially predicted.

9. I have a bunch of cool friends, both old and new. I don't know how I even made any new friends because I'm just an awkward, overly sarcastic blob? I still talk to my friends from high school super often, which makes me happy.

So that brings me to today. I'm in full winter break mode. Thank goodness. It's felt like a long time since I could just relax and do nothing. I've hung out with old friends, listened to Beyoncé's new album, became obsessed with Ariana Grande because she is literally a goddess and her album is amazeballs, and baked!

It's been so long since I've wandered into the kitchen (but not literally because I do that on a daily basis). I took out my camera, blasted Ariana Grande's album, and started making this coffee cake. It felt so nice not having to worry about anything and just stir together ingredients, which took way longer than it should have because I didn't want to dirty my hand mixer. That's how much I hate washing dishes.

Baking that day was extra comforting because it was snowing pretty hard outside. I think it snowed about 10 cm? After I finished photographing everything, I went outside to play for a bit because I am a little child at heart.

This peanut butter Nutella swirl coffee cake is a nice treat. Peanut butter and chocolate is a great combination, and in this coffee cake, the Nutella and chocolate chips act as a sweet compliment to the peanut butter cake. Also, they just look pretty too. The topping is crunchy, providing a texture contrast. This cake has a nice fluffy texture, and it's not overly sweet. I really dig this.

Seeing as it's already the 22nd, I should wish you all a very merry Christmas! Have a good one.

Peanut Butter Nutella Swirl Coffee Cake
Adapted from Suite 101 via Tracey's Culinary Adventure

I used whole wheat flour in the topping to give it a nuttiness, but mostly because I like sneaking it into recipes. It makes me feel super stealth. Feel free to substitute the whole wheat flour with AP if you wish.

Nutella is ridiculously hard to spread so to make it less of a pain, I put it in a metal bowl and put that bowl over a larger bowl of hot water. After a few minutes, the Nutella should loosen up. Alternatively, I'm sure you can just microwave it for a few seconds?

Yield: 9 servings

For the topping:
1/4 cup (32 grams) whole wheat flour
3 tablespoons (41 grams) packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons (31 grams) peanut butter
1 tablespoon (14 grams) unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup (50 grams) chocolate chips (I used milk, but use whatever you have)

For the cake:
1 cup (128 grams) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup (62 grams) smooth peanut butter
2 tablespoons (28 grams) unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup (73 grams) packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup (70 grams) Nutella

Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray an 8-inch square baking pan with cooking spray, or line with parchment paper.

To create the topping, stir together the flour and brown sugar, crushing any large brown sugar clumps. Add in the peanut butter and melted butter, and mix until crumbly. Stir in the chocolate chips. Set aside.

To make the cake, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. In a large bowl, beat together the peanut butter and butter with an electric mixer (or stand mixer) on medium speed until creamy and smooth. Add in the brown sugar, and continue beating until the mixture is light and fluffy. Whisk in the egg. On low speed, add in half of the dry ingredients, and mix completely. Whisk in the milk, and finally mix in the rest of the dry ingredients until just combined.

Spread about half of the cake batter evenly in the pan. Drizzle over the Nutella, and spread as evenly as possible (don't worry about it too much). Spread over the rest of the cake batter (I find that doing little dollops everywhere, then attempting to even it out works the best). Sprinkle over the topping.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer the pan onto a cooling rack, and cool completely before serving (or if you can't resist, just wait until it's not going to burn your tongue).

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