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Sunday, August 15, 2010

Mariposa Baking Sour Cream Coffee Cake

I'm going to cut right to the chase. Mariposa Baking's Sour Cream Coffee Cake is, quite simply, the best coffee cake I've ever had. Now, a cynic might point out that I have never had any other coffee cakes. Still, that doesn't make it any less true: it's the best coffee cake I've ever had. But first, let's talk about the bakers. Mariposa Baking are a small bakery run out of Oakland, California, and appear to have been around since at least 2004. They strive to create "artisan"- quality products (using mostly organic ingredients), producing small batches of food rather than assembly lining their way through the creation process. They claim that their food was blind taste-tested against comparable wheat products by a panel of culinary experts, and they only finished tinkering with the recipies when the panel couldn't tell the GDF food from the non-GF food (for more about the bakery, I recommend taking a look at their FAQ). They also, apparently, donate 2% of their annual profits to "community & world organizations," though it does not seem to be specified anywhere what that means. But, I'm being nitpicky. Anyway, their food is slowly starting to creep out, and you can find this coffee cake, along with a few different types of brownies, in the freezer of R Downs, who seem to have a knack at getting great GF treats before anyone else in town. You'll note on Mariposa's website that they also offer many other delectable-looking foods; if those bagels ever make it out here, it'll be time for another bagel battle!

However, we're here to talk about coffee cake. Said coffee cake comes in a 4.5" wide, circular bundle of deliciousness. It measures about a couple inches thick, and when you look at it, it's all about layers. The top is layered with cinnamon and small walnut pieces. Then you have a cake layer, then a cinnamon streusel layer, and a final cake layer. Given the thickness involved, I kind of expected the cake layers to be a little dense; I was pleasantly surprised when the cake turned out to be not only relatively light, but moist as well. The cinnamon layers are delicious, and the walnuts provide just enough of a crunchy texture without being difficult to handle. In fact, I'd like to see similarly-sized walnuts sold in bulk in supermarkets!

Is there a downside to this coffee cake? Well, it's not a downside per se, but I would recommend against attempting to eat the entire thing in one sitting, as it's quite rich. Now, this is the point in the review where I would regale you with nutritional information, but there's a snag: the labels I have don't have any nutritional information on them, and Mariposa's website does not include said information in their nutrition section! Whoops! I'd argue that the fact alone that the coffee cake is so very good is an indication that it can't be remotely healthy, but again, that would be cynical of me. I will say that the first two ingredients listed are sour cream, and organic unrefined cane sugar. That's quite a start! Perhaps I will look into this matter a little further. For now, though, I will just recommend that you slice the thing up and enjoy it over several occasions. That way it'll last longer, and with a coffee cake this good, why wouldn't you want to spread the joy as long as possible?

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