I enjoy making this lovely coffee cake for anniversaries, Valentine's Day and other special occasions. I found the recipe more than 30 years ago, and I've been making it ever since. The delicious treat is a hit with family and friends. -Norma Hammond, Leland, Iowa
- 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
- 1 cup warm milk (110° to 115°)
- 3/4 cup butter, melted, divided
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3-1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons butter, softened
- 2 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 5 to 6 tablespoons milk
- In a bowl, dissolve yeast and water. Add milk, 1/2 cup butter, eggs, sugar, salt and 2 cups of flour. Add enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl; turn once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
- Punch dough down; let rest for 10 minutes. Divide in half. On a floured surface, roll each portion into a 15-in. x 10-in. rectangle. Brush with remaining butter. Combine filling ingredients; sprinkle over each rectangle to within 1/2 in. of edges.
- Roll up jelly-roll style, starting with a long side; pinch seams to seal. Place, seam side up, on two greased baking sheets. Fold each roll in half lengthwise with seams touching, with one side 1-1/2 in. longer than the other.
- With scissors, make a lengthwise cut down the middle to within 1 in. of open ends. Open and lay flat; arrange into a heart shape. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.
- Bake at 350° for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire racks.
- For icing, in a small bowl, cream butter, sugar and vanilla; add milk. Drizzle over hearts. Yield: 2 coffee cakes.
Originally published as Heart-Shaped Coffee Cake in Taste of Home October/November 2000, p39
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