So Much Crumb Coffee Cake | How to be Awesome o $20 a Day

So Much Crumb Coffee Cake

So Much Crumb Coffee Cake | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

A new year has started, and I’ve let Instagram talk me into buying a planner. I’m trying to become a person who sets goals and gets things done. Maybe writing things down will make me less lazy. I’m skeptical, but the planner is pretty, so it’s fine.

My number one goal this year is to try to eat more fruits and vegetables. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know I basically hate all fruits and veggies, but now that I’m 40, I figure I better get my stuff together. I haven’t necessarily committed to eating less of anything yet, but I figure you’ve got to start somewhere.

So Much Crumb Coffee Cake | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Since I’m trying to be healthier, the obvious thing to do was to make you a cake with like a bucket of sugar in it. Guys, this So Much Crumb Coffee Cake is like basically a third sugar crumb layer, and it’s for sure extra in the best possible way. I suggest serving this in smallish pieces (smaller than in the picture) because it’s quite sweet. And of course, make sure you have your favorite tea or coffee alongside.

This recipe looks long, but don’t let that intimidate you. We’re mixing up three different components, and layering them, then baking them in the oven for about an hour. That’s all there is to it. This cake is going to be encased in a thick layer of crumb, so it’s a bit tricky to tell if it’s fully baked. I have no problem with an under baked cake, but if you’re trying to get onto Bake Off, be sure to test it in the center with a toothpick or cake tester.

We can have our So Much Crumb Coffee Cake and eat it, too. Just be sure to eat your veggies first.

So Much crumb coffee cake


16 servings

Prep time

30 minutes

Cooking time

55 minutes



for the topping

  • 1-1/4 cups caster sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 ounces unsalted butter, softened

for the filling

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

for the cake

  • 6 ounces unsalted butter, softened
  • 1-1/2 cups caster sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 3-3/4 cups plain flour
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1-1/4 cups whole milk


  • Preheat your oven to 350F (175C) and grease and flour a 9×13 inch baking pan. Set aside.
  • To make the topping, whisk together sugar, salt, flour, and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl. Add the softened butter and mix thoroughly until your mixture resembles wet sand. I find the easiest way to do this is with my clean hands. Set aside.
  • To make the filling, whisk together the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cocoa powder, and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Set aside.
  • To make the cake add the butter and both sugars to a large mixing bowl, and cream them together with an electric mixer. This should become pale and fluffy and will need about three to four minutes mixing on medium speed.
  • Turn your mixer down to low and beat in the vanilla. Then beat in one egg at a time, allowing the mixture to be well combined before adding the next egg. Scrape down your bowl, and mix again to make sure everything is incorporated.
  • In another mixing bowl or on a sheet of parchment (if like me you’ve already used all your mixing bowls for other components) sift together your flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • In a measuring jug, measure out your whole milk, and then use displacement to measure out your sour cream. When the sour cream makes the milk rise to the two cup mark, you’re good to go. Gently stir this together, but don’t worry if there are still a few lumps.
  • With your mixer on it’s lower setting, add in a third of your dry ingredients, followed by half of the milk mixture, then another third of dry, the rest of the wet, and finally the last of your dry ingredients. Allow things to combine before adding more stuff to the batter each time. You should have a thick and smooth batter. Ditch your electric mixer and give everything one more scrape and stir with a rubber spatula to make sure everything is fully mixed.
  • Pour about half your cake batter into your waiting pan, and use your spatula to spread it evenly, making sure to get right into the corners.
  • Sprinkle your entire filling mixture evenly over this. I used my fingers and a bit of shaking to get it evened out with complete coverage.
  • Spread the remaining cake batter over this, then use a butter knife of similar to gently swirl the filling through the batter.
  • Finally, add your topping and spread it evenly over the top of the cake. It’s gonna be a lot. Just accept it.
  • Bake for 55-60 minutes or until the cake is golden brown on top, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Allow to cool for 20-30 minutes before serving.

Adapted from Joy the Baker by Joy Wilson

Top 18 of 2018

Top 18 of 2018

Top 18 Recipes of 2018 | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

We made it through another tough year, but even though the world is a mess, we are finding ways to thrive. Before we jump fully into the promise of a new year, let’s look at your favorite recipes from 2018. First the top nine recipes published in 2018, then the top nine recipes for the year over all. It’s a tasty world, friends. Let’s get into it.

Top 9 Recipes from 2018 | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Top 9 from 2018

#9 – Vanilla Ice Cream

#8 – Cheesy Chorizo Chili

#7 – BBQ Pulled Pork Stove Top Mac & Cheese

#6 – Creamy Sausage Dip

#5 – Herbed Biscuits & Creamy Sausage Gravy

#4 – Buffalo Chicken Burger

#3 – Spicy Chicken Chili

#2 – Welsh Rarebit Muffins

#1 – Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Blossoms

Top 9 Recipes of All Time from 2018 | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Top 9 All Time Recipes in 2018

#9 – Parmesan Fried Gnocchi

#8 – Double Chocolate Muffins

#7 – Buttery Nipple Milkshake

#6 – Poinsettia Champagne Cocktail

#5 – Passion Fruit Green Tea

#4 – Chicken Parmesan

#3 – Classic Crunchy Peanut Butter Cookies

#2 – Buffalo Chicken Pinwheels

#1 – Peanut Butter Fudge

You guys have great taste. What recipes would you most like to see in 2019? Let’s make it awesome, friends.

Awesome in December

Awesome in December | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

December has been brilliant. Apart from the minutes dragging by at work leading up to a Christmas break so close you could taste it, this month has been full of love and celebration. I turned 40 without becoming hysterical, and was overwhelmed with love from so many people in ways I didn’t expect.

Christmas brought joy, great food, and a now complete set of Nigella Lawson books. I’m too spoiled. And even though I’ve started talking to myself a lot more, I’m still not over having time off from work. I’ve got another week to just chill and be entirely myself, and I’m very into it.

I’ve been watching lots of Golden Globe nominated movies and shows. We finally finished watching all six seasons of The Americans. I don’t know anyone else who watches this show, and I can’t understand why because it’s incredible. Seasons 1-5 are available on Amazon Prime (in the UK for sure). Get on it. I’ve also really enjoyed A Star is Born (I was surprised by how much I loved the music), as well as Homecoming and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, both on Amazon Prime.

The most delicious things on the internet come out at the end of the year. The holiday season is a big money maker for food bloggers, and they pull out off the stops.

Check out this gorgeous Sparkling Pomegranate Punch from Sprinkle Bakes.

I’m looking for an excuse to make this Baked Brie and Bread Wreath from The Candid Appetite right now.

And this Pink Peppermint Cake from How Sweet Eats is just everything.

Classic Crunchy Peanut Butter Cookies | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Your favorites this month were Classic Crunchy Peanut Butter Cookies, Chicken Parmesan, and Brown Elephants Cocktails. It makes me happy to think of people enjoying Amarula at Christmas. Wish Santa would bring me a bottle.

I hope you had a wonderful December and an absolutely amazing 2018. I’m ready to start the new year fresh. Let’s do it.

Super Fast Faux Pizza | How to be Awesome o $20 a Day

Super Fast Faux Pizza

Super Fast Faux Pizza | How to be Awesome o $20 a Day

We’re halfway through Christmas break, and I’m still loving the solitude. I’m sending love to all my friends who are starting to wish they could send their kids back to school already. Do children ever stop being hungry? Do they ever stop wiping their face on your skirt?

I know I personally ate so much at Christmas dinner, I thought I’d never have to eat again. I sometimes wish I was one of those animals, like an alligator or something, that only needs to eat every few weeks. Surely all that turkey and sweet potatoes should last us a little bit longer. Why do humans seem to never stop eating?

Super Fast Faux Pizza | How to be Awesome o $20 a Day

So if you’ve run out of turkey sandwiches but you still need to feed yourself and others, I’m bringing you something simple and quick that will please even picky children. This Super Fast Faux Pizza can be topped any way you like, and it takes basically no effort.

Measure, mix, pour, bake, top, done. We went with simple cheese and pepperoni this time, but you can easily clean out your fridge with this one. This pizza is best eaten straight out of the oven, so bring a hungry friend or two, or maybe some kids into the kitchen to help you finish this off. You could also easily section this off with different toppings for different people. It’s the flexible dish you need to get you through Christmas break stress-free.

Super Fast Faux Pizza | How to be Awesome o $20 a Day

Keep the mellow feeling alive. Don’t let anything get in the way of your relaxation. Make life simple by making Super Fast Faux Pizza. It’s gonna be awesome.

Super Fast Faux Pizza


2-4 Servings

Prep Time

10 minutes

Cooking Time

35 minutes


  • 1 egg
  • 100 grams plain flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 250 ml milk
  • 100 grams shredded cheese (anything you have around)
  • Your favorite pizza toppings (any meats should be pre-cooked)


  • Preheat oven to 400F (200C) and lightly coat a 9-inch pie pan with oil.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together egg, flour, salt, and milk until fully combined.
  • Stir in half of your cheese to the batter.
  • Pour the batter into your waiting pie pan and bake for 30 minutes. It will be golden and puffy.
  • Remove your crust from the oven, add your favorite toppings and remaining cheese, and pop it back in the oven for three to five minutes to warm the toppings and melt the cheese.
  • Slice and serve.

Adapted from How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Chocolate Orange Scones | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Chocolate & Orange Scones

One thing I love about Christmas in the UK is how much chocolate is involved. They don’t seem to do a ton of Christmas baking here. There are no giant cookie platters, no homemade fudge, peanut butter buckeyes or other candy. But a very common gift, particularly for co-workers or distant relations, is a giant tub of chocolates. By the time all the gifts are opened on Christmas day, there might be multiple boxes of chocolates to get through. There’s nothing bad about that.

Possibly one of the most coveted types of chocolate I always wished would show up in my stocking as a child was a chocolate orange. There was just something about cracking apart those chocolate segments that felt so magical and tasted even better. Now that I’m grown, I can just buy my own chocolate oranges any time of year, and it’s become a great way to pass the time on a long train journey.

In case you didn’t get a chocolate orange this Christmas, I’ve made you Chocolate Orange Scones. Maybe you still have house guests hanging around or children who are still off school, and this is a beautifully simple and delicious quick breakfast or afternoon nibble with a cup of tea. It’s got classic Christmas flavors with orange zest and plenty of chocolate chips.

I have the worst time making biscuits and scones. I struggle with how wet the dough should be and always end up with a sticky mess. This dough came together beautifully, and I cannot encourage you enough to not skip putting the butter and dry ingredients in the freezer. This can probably be explained by science, but t me, it’s just magic. Whatever. It works.

The days after Christmas might be a bit of a let down, but these Chocolate Orange Scones will make everyone happy in the morning.

Chocolate & Orange Scones

8 Scones

20 minutes

16 Minutes



  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2-1/2 ounces cold unsalted butter
  • 1-1/2 cups single cream
  • Zest of 1 large orange
  • 100 grams dark chocolate chips


  • Preheat your oven to 400F (200C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Add flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar to a mixing bowl and whisk gently to combine.
  • Use the large hole side of your grater to grate the cold butter into the dry ingredients. Use a rubber spatula to to gently stir the butter and flour together to disperse evenly.
  • Put the whole bowl of dry ingredients and butter into the freezer for 10 minutes.
  • While your butter and flour is chilling, measure out your single cream, and then zest your orange over the cream.
  • Once your mixing bowl is out of the freezer, add your cream and orange zest mixture and the chocolate chips to the bowl, and use your rubber spatula to stir it all together. Try not to overmix. It should be very thick.
  • Turn your dough out onto a well-floured surface, and knead it a few times to bring everything together. Pat it out into a rectangle about 1-inch thick. Use a bench scraper or a knife to divide rectangle into four smaller rectangles, then cut each rectangle in half diagonally to form 8 triangles.
  • Transfer your scones to your waiting baking sheet and bake for about 16 minutes or until they just start to turn golden. They will be crusty on the outside but still tender in the middle.
  • Allow them to cool for about five minutes before serving warm. If you’re feeling fancy, you can melt some chocolate, add it to a piping bag, and add some chocolate drizzles on the top first.

Adapted from What’s Gaby Cooking

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