The sun was slowly rising to peak over the horizon on a
beautiful Saturday morning and the smell of freshly brewed coffee was wafting
through our boat. Anchored near Crystal
Lake in the back bays the Lynnhaven Inlet in Virginia Beach for the weekend, I
was taking in the beauty of Seashore State Park while I sipped my first of cup
coffee that morning.
Morning coffee is one
of my favorite times of the day when out boating with friends, whether we are
relaxing on the aft deck or enjoying the view from the bow. On this particular weekend, the "mother
ship", our 56 ft Hatteras motor yacht, Destiny, was rafted up with two of
our fellow boating comrades, with one boat secured on each side. The group began to slowly congregate on our
aft deck and fill their Tervis mugs with hot java. As is so common to the boating lifestyle,
leisurely conversation ensued. After I
finished my first cup of coffee, I excused myself to the galley to prepare
breakfast. Soon the scent of a second
pot of coffee was mingling with that of delicious cinnamon and brown sugar.
It is not uncommon for the Destiny to be the central hub for
weekend festivities as we were that weekend.
I often am asked, how do you entertain guests without becoming a galley
slave for the weekend? I believe I have discovered one of the key secrets to success and it is
really quite simple: plan, prepare and
This particular weekend, coffee cake was warming in the
oven. What you say? Baking a cake while on a boating
weekend? That doesn't sound relaxing at
all! But, I assure you, I was totally
My secret? I baked the
coffee cake prior to departing for the weekend!
It took just a little advance planning, some basic pantry staples and I was able to deliver a beautiful tray
filled with a warm, homemade coffee cake, a bowl of fresh fruit and a pitcher of orange juice to
the aft deck. Our friends could then help
themselves to a slice, as big or as small as their heart desired. No one had spend time in their galley to
prepare breakfast while we were anchored out that day. It made breakfast simple, fast and
Other breakfast options that I have discovered make
weekend boating trips or entertaining
guests on board a breeze are: egg bakes,
French toast stratas, sweet breads and muffins.
All can be prepared in advance and finished with little effort in your
on-board oven or toaster oven. They also
work great for serving a fairly large group with ease. With coffee cakes, sweet
breads and muffins, you can prepared
even further in advance, freeze them and then thaw them out the night before
you plan to use them.
The few minutes you spend to plan and prepare before you
leave your dock or arrive at your boat for the weekend, can definitely be a key
to unlocking the galley chains on your next boat excursion.
Sour Cream Coffee Cake
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
3 eggs, large
1 cup sour cream
2 1/2 cups flour plus 1 tablespoon, divided
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon extract
1 cup pecans, chopped
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a 13x9-inch baking pan with nonstick baking spray and then flour; set aside.
In a large bowl, beat butter and shortening at medium-high speed with an electric1.mixer until creamy, about 2 minutes. Gradually add sugar, and continue to beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
In a small bowl, whisk together eggs and sour cream. In another bowl, whisk together 2½ cups flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with sour cream mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture and beating at low speed just until combined. Stir in extracts. Spread batter into a prepared pan.
In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, remaining 1 tablespoon flour, and cinnamon. Add brown sugar and pecans and stir to combine. Sprinkle the brown sugar topping over batter.
Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Let cool completely in pan on a wire rack.