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Yogurt Sour Cream Coffee Cake

This recipe taught me to never even think about throwing away what I saw as a failed cake. I was trying to re-create a coffee cake I'd made for my father-in-law, one that I'd improvised with vanilla yogurt because he didn't have any vanilla extract. When I made the recipe a few weeks later before work, I pulled the new cake out of the oven about 10 minutes too soon. It cooled for 15 minutes. When I saw how soft it was, it went back into the oven for another 15 minutes. I brought it in warm, and issued a warning: "This is an experiment that didn't quite bake. It almost hit the trash can, but then I thought: No, pecans are expensive."

Everybody loved it. The gooey center was the selling point. Two people demanded the recipe. As I said, these people will eat anything.

Try it for yourself. If you want the goo, just take it out 10 minutes early, let it cool a few minutes, then pop it back in. Serve it warm.

1 cup butter

2 cups sugar

2 eggs

1/2 cup vanilla yogurt

1/2 cup sour cream

2 cups cake flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup sugar

1 cup chopped pecans

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9- or 10-inch cake pan.

Cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer. Add eggs one at a time and blend. Add yogurt, then sour cream. Blend some more until smooth.

Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Add gradually to batter.

Mix sugar, pecans and cinnamon and set aside. This is the topping.

Pour half the batter into cake pan and sprinkle with half the topping mix. Pour in rest of batter. Sprinkle rest of topping mix over batter.

Bake for 1 hour. That should get it gooey-to-slightly baked.

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