Coconut Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake (5C’s cake): Spring Break is not a break for moms

This past Monday was the first day of spring break for all the kids.  It is the first spring break in 6 years where all three kids are breaking at the exact same time and that in itself should tell you the whole story.

Three kids.  Three weeks because we are a year round school. With me.

Actually, I expected a bunch of benefits from the kids not being in school.  No more lunches to rush around and pack, nowhere to dash off to early in the morning, no more homework to check off, sign off, correct, and no extra commitment of school and the juggling act that comes with it to manage.  The kids would eat lunch at home; they’d have time to read and they’d have time to play.

All was going actually quite well on day 2 of spring break, when I decided that a run to Costco was in order.  We were out of vegetables, eggs, fresh fruit and I wanted to replenish all that.  It also seemed like an easy way to get everyone out of the house and provide them with a change of scenery, albeit the inside of a warehouse.  When I suggested it, all three happily replied YES and we piled into the car and drove.

However, as it has been literally years since I’ve gone with all three kids to Costco, I quickly discovered that things were not the same as it had been the last time I had gone.  Although Son and I go to Costco, I’ve not had to deal with all three at Costco.  I used to be able to stick all three in the cart and push them around, and suddenly, at ages 6, 8, 10, that seemed inappropriate and probably physically impossible as I’d have to push around over 150 pounds.  This meant that all three had to walk next to me as I ran around picking up the few things I needed.

In my head, I had imagined three children, all lined up in chronological order, quietly and efficiently walking with me, with no conversation and only the shopping head in my list to keep straight.  Only no one walked next to me. What I got were three kids, skipping, hopping, jogging, weaving their way through the aisles, as I tried desperately to keep my cart from running into them and the kids out of the way of other carts.  I found myself begging them repeatedly to stop moving and to just stick close to me so that we could get things done.  They chose to point to things, ask questions, beg for different things they wanted to eat, and move from topic to topic so quickly that my shopping list flew out of my head and I began walking around trying to remember the seven items on my list that I had to have.

45 minutes later, as we stood in line to check out, the kids continued their natural antics to utterly destroy my brain and I found myself thinking that Costco with three kids was ill-advised.  I felt like a vampire had taken all of my blood and I was in desperate need of both a blood transfusion as well as a coffin to put my aching head and body in.

Upon arriving at home, the kids scrambled to move all of the stuff they wanted to eat into the kitchen and I found myself suddenly grateful that I had three little scrambly, quickly-moving kids helping me shlep all the stuff from Costco into the house.  I definitely still needed a vacation, still needed a break, and still needed a blood transfusion, but at least all of my purchases were in the house in under 4 minutes.

A happy motherhood is one where you realize what the true breaks are.

I came up with this coffee cake as my desire for another type of break, a luxurious coffee one, lingered in the back of my mind every single day this week. With the three kids that sort of thing is unlikely, but I still managed to throw this cake together easily enough.  It has the chocolate coconut mixture paired with the lovely coffee cake texture.  It’s really yummy warm although it’s more difficult to cut and delicious room temperature as well.  Sit back and relax and enjoy the 5C’s.  Coconut Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake.

I am back to enjoying the 5C’s of spring break. Children.  Careening.  Caring.  Coffee.  Crazy.

Coconut Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake
Serves 6 to 8 people

1 ½  cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons double-acting baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
1 cup sour cream
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

⅓  cup firmly packed light brown sugar
⅔ cup shredded sweetened coconut
⅔  cup chocolate chips
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350.  Butter or oil a 9×13 baking pan.

In a bowl whisk together the flour, the baking powder, baking soda and a pinch of salt.

In a large bowl cream together the butter and 1 cup of the granulated sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy, add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, and beat in the vanilla. Add sour cream and mix well.  Add flour mixture on low speed, being careful to mix just until all the flour is incorporated.  Overbeating it will make for a tough coffee cake.  Pour batter into pan.

In a small bowl stir together the brown sugar, shredded coconut, chocolate chips, and the cinnamon and sprinkle on top of batter and swirl the sugar mixture into the batter. Bake the cake in the middle of a preheated oven for 35 to 45 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. Transfer it to a rack, and let it cool.

Cut into large squares and enjoy!

Printable recipe

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