Taking the Stress Out of Holiday Cooking

Taking the Stress Out of Holiday Cooking

Cinnamon Coffee Cake and Bay Leaf Ice Cream

A new national consumer survey by Ipsos reveals that the number one holiday cooking headache is synchronizing the meal so that all dishes are ready at the same time.

Brothers Michael and Bryan Voltaggio, of Bravo’s “Top Chef,” understand the delicate balance of preparing a holiday meal. “Holiday cooking is all about getting great food on the dinner table that can be savored and enjoyed. We prefer to keep the process as easy as possible,” says Michael.

The brothers offer a recipe for Cinnamon Coffee Cake and Bay Leaf Ice Cream, as well as these tips to help you get the timing of your holiday meal right:

Prepare in advance. Think about the cook time of each recipe; if dinner is at 4 p.m., you want your turkey out of the oven by 2 p.m., which means the turkey needs to be in a preheated oven by 8 a.m.

Make the most of your kitchen. Because convenience and flexibility are important in the kitchen, consider the Samsung Flex Duo Oven.  It is the world’s first freestanding electric range that can be divided into two cavities and then back into one larger oven. This gives cooks the option of preparing either two dishes at two different temperatures with no mixing of aromas or tastes, or one larger dish.

For tips, advice and recipes from the Voltaggio Brothers, as well as a chance to win a new oven, go to www.Facebook.com/SamsungHomeAppliances.

Cinnamon Coffee Cake and Bay Leaf Ice Cream


Coffee Cake
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 ounces unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup crème fraîche
  • 4 tablespoons cinnamon
Crumb topping
  • 1/8 pound butter
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2/3 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
Bay Leaf Ice Cream
  • 2 3/4 cups milk
  • 3/4 cup cream
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 8 fresh bay leaves, julienned
  • 1 allspice berry, cracked
  • 2 teaspoons ice cream stabilizer


  1. Coffee Cake – Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In mixer with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar for 3 minutes. Add buttermilk and eggs to creamed butter and sugar. Slowly add dry ingredients, 1/3 at a time. Fold in crème fraîche and reserve.
  3. Remove 1-3/4 cups batter; stir in 4 tablespoons of cinnamon until smooth. Gently fold cinnamon batter into remaining batter to create swirl effect.
  4. Place 1-1/2 cups batter into four 5 x 2-1/2-inch greased cake pans; place 1/4 cup of crumb topping (directions follow) on each cake, gently pressing into batter. Place in oven for 40-45 minutes, turning halfway through baking. Insert cake tester to make sure cake is cooked through. Let rest; cool for 1 hour.
  5. Crumb topping – Soften butter to room temperature. Combine all ingredients together in mixing bowl with paddle attachment until texture of sand. Distribute over cake batter as in main recipe above.
  6. Bay Leaf Ice Cream – Combine all ingredients in large bowl. Whisk together. Place in Cryovac bag; cook in 82°F water bath for 30 minutes. Once cooked, remove bag from water; shake rapidly for 30 seconds. Strain out bay leaves and allspice, cool properly over ice water bath to 40°F then transfer to ice cream maker and freeze according to directions.
  7. You can alternatively cook the ice cream base over a double boiler until custard has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon. Be sure to stir constantly.

Serves: 6


If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.

Leave a Comment