Arequipe Coffee Cake

By: Hannah Lee Leidy
arequipe coffee cake featured
Image by Erik Meadows

Miller Union pastry chef Claudia Martinez’s arequipe coffee cake is a recipe inspired by her childhood and Venezuelan roots. The airy, tender cake was a big part of church functions and a recipe her babysitter made. Because coffee cake has a reputation for being dry, Martinez added arequipe, an icing traditional in Colombia ans Venezuela, which Martinez calls “a homemade version of dulce de leche.” The arequipe is “less sweet and lighter, not as syrupy” in addition to being easier to make at home.

recipe heading-plus-icon


1 10-inch cake

    for the arequipe
  • 3 1⁄2 cups milk
  • 1 1⁄2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract 1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
  • for the streusel topping
  • 1⁄2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1⁄4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoons cinnamon 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • for the coffee cake
  • 2 1⁄2 cups cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
  • 3⁄4 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1⁄2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1⁄4 cups sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla paste or extract Maldon sea salt for finishing
  1. Make the arequipe: In a large pot, mix milk and sugar. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally until sugar dissolves. Add vanilla and baking soda, turn heat to low, and simmer uncovered for 11⁄2 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally and removing extra foam that forms on top, or until arequipe is a caramel color and has reduced to about 1 cup. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl to remove any clumps.
  2. Make the streusel topping: In a medium bowl, mix flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Cut in butter using a pastry cutter or rub in with your fingers until small-to-medium clumps form. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. Make the coffee cake: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter a 9-inch cake pan and place parchment liner on the bottom. In a medium bowl, sift cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  4. In bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in eggs 1 at a time, then add vanilla. Alternately beat in 1⁄3 of the flour mixture with 1⁄2 the sour cream, ending with flour. Continue to beat until well combined.
  5. Using an offset spatula, spoon batter into pan evenly. Sprinkle streusel topping mixture evenly over batter. Bake 40 to 55 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Transfer pan to a wire rack and let cool completely. Remove cake from pan, and transfer to parchment.
  6. Drizzle arequipe over cake, sprinkle with Maldon salt, and serve.

  • Recipe By
    Pastry chef Claudia Martinez of Miller Union in Atlanta
  • Contributing City

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