Braided Date Coffee Cake
"At Christmas, I decorate these braids with candied cherries and pecans," relates Muriel Lerdal, Humboldt, Iowa.
Total TimePrep: 45 min. + rising Bake: 15 min.
- 2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup warm milk (110° to 115°)
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
- 2 eggs
- 4 to 4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup chopped dates
- 2/3 cups water
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/2 cup apricot preserves
- 1-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
- 3 tablespoons butter, softened
- 2 tablespoons boiling water
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the sugar, milk, oil, salt, eggs and 2 cups flour; beat on low speed 3 minutes. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
- Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, 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.
- Meanwhile, combine the dates, water, pecans, sugar and lemon juice in a saucepan. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened, 7-8 minutes. Stir in preserves; let cool.
- Punch dough down. Turn on a lightly floured surface; divide into thirds. Roll each portion into a 15x6-in. rectangle. Place on greased baking sheets. Spread a third of filling down the center third of each rectangle.
- On each long side, cut 1-1/2-in.-wide strips 1-3/4 in. into center. Starting at one end, fold alternating strips at an angle across filling; seal ends. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.
- Bake at 375° for 15-20 minutes or until browned. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool. Combine icing ingredients; drizzle over braids.
Nutrition Facts1 slice: 181 calories, 5g fat (1g saturated fat), 18mg cholesterol, 139mg sodium, 32g carbohydrate (18g sugars, 1g fiber), 3g protein.
Originally published as Braided Date Coffee Cake in Taste of Home December/January 1998
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