A few weeks ago, I shared a picture of this beloved coffeecake on Instagram and it received a surprising amount of attention and interest – not that I should have been surprised, it completely deserves it.
This pineapple and cream cheese yeasted coffeecake has earned its rightful place alongside a large roasting pan full of baklava in my home every Easter morning. It simply wouldn’t feel like Easter without it and a lot of anticipation in built up the days prior to its long-awaited consumption. After all, this is something that is only made in my family once a year, and with good reason…
… it’s probably the most unhealthy thing that’s ever graced our kitchen. And I don’t say this to discourage you from making this at all – DEFINITELY MAKE THIS, IT’S SO, SO GOOD – just be aware that there’s A LOT of butter, and egg yolks, and sugar…. and cream cheese… you’ll see what I’m talking about when you get to the ingredient list.
And while it may seem like a very involved recipe, I can assure you that the multiple components are deceivingly simple to put together. Anyone who’s afraid of yeast dough will revel in how incredibly quick and easy this one is to make – seriously, I’m talking about a foolproof recipe here. Just mix up most of the dough ingredients in a mixer until they’re all combined, and then mix in the yeast and knead it for a few minutes and pop it in the fridge for a couple of hours. That’s it. Dunzo. Super easy, and super fast (well, fast if you ignore the 2 hours of fridge time).
And to anyone who has worked with yeast doughs before, you’ll notice that this is unlike any other yeast dough you’ve probably ever worked with. Because of the amount of butter, the texture feels more like a cross between a rich yeast dough and a cookie dough. It’s very smooth and easy to work with, just be forewarned that you won’t really reach any point of elasticity while kneading. The dough is so rich with butter and egg yolks, it’s actually reminiscent of a danish pastry dough, and combined with the fruit and cream cheese fillings it’s earned its spot as my all time favorite breakfast treat, EVER. That’s saying a lot.
To those of you who don’t love pineapple, you could always try swapping the pineapple filling with a different fruit filling. Just be sure that you use some type for jam or preserves (either store-bought or homemade), though, as opposed to fresh fruit. Just off the top of my head, I’m thinking a raspberry jam and cream cheese combo would work really well here…. just a thought 😉
Also, so sorry for the lack of pictures for the fillings and the actual assembly process – when I was doing those parts, taking pictures had completely slipped my mind! Not that the photos would have been particularly great since it was late at night and artificial light is THE WORST for photos. I’m all about that natural daylight when it comes to making food more photogenic. Rest assured, though, the fillings are even easier to whip up than the dough, but if you have any questions feel free to sound off in the comments!!
If the time between now and next Easter is simply too much for you to go without this pineapple cheese coffeecake, I completely understand. Go ahead. Make it. Now. You know you want to. (I know I want to…)
Pineapple Cream Cheese Yeast Coffeecake
Makes one 11″ x 17″ pan
For the dough:
3 packages active dry yeast
1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons warm water (110-130ºF depending on the type of yeast you’re using)
3 3/4 cups flour
1 1/2 Tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
6 egg yolks
3 sticks butter, softened
For the pineapple filling:
1 20-oz can crushed pineapple in juice
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup cornstarch
For the cream cheese filling:
2 1/2 8-oz. packages cream cheese, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the topping:
1 egg white, beaten until foamy
1/2 cup crushed walnuts (optional)
3/4 cup powdered sugar
Begin by making the dough: dissolve the yeast in warm water and allow to stand for about 5 minutes until foamy. Meanwhile, combine the flour, sugar ,salt, egg yolks, and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer. Once the yeast has proofed, add it tot he mixing bowl with the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for about 5 minutes, then place in a lightly greased bowl covered in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (it won’t rise much at all during this time, so it was fine when I let it set a duple of hours extra before moving on to the next step).
Next, make the pineapple filling: add the pineapples with the juice into a saucepan. In a small bowl, mix together the sugar and cornstarch, then stir into the pineapple. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat until it is thick and clear; set aside to cool slightly before assembling as you prepare the cream cheese filling.
In a medium mixing bowl (or in the bowl of a stand mixer), beat the cream cheese, sugar, egg yolks, and vanilla until smooth; continue to beat on medium-high speed for an additional 1-2 minutes.
Line an 11″ x 17″ jellyroll pan with parchment paper.
Remove the dough from the fridge and cut it into two equally sized pieces. On a lightly floured surface, roll out one of the pieces of dough into a rectangle large enough to fit into the pan with a 1/2-inch overhang. Fit this piece of dough into the pan (i like to roll it on the rolling pin and then slowly and gently unroll the sheet of dough into the pan), then evenly spread the pineapple filling over it. Dollop the cream cheese filing on top of the pineapple layer, then carefully spread into an even layer.
Roll the second piece of dough into a rectangle large enough to cover the pastry with a 1-inch overhang. Layer this sheet of dough over the filling. Create a tight seal around the edges of the pastry by pushing/sliding the overhanging dough against the (interior) side of the pan; do this all along the entire perimeter of the pan.
Brush the top of the pastry with the beaten egg white and sprinkle with chopped walnuts (if using). Cover with a clean kitchen towel and allow to rise in a warm, draft-free place (I like to preheat the oven to its lowest temperature setting, then turn it off and let the coffeecake rise in there – just be sure to place a pot holder or towel beneath the pan if the oven racks are too hot to the touch) for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 350ºF and bake the coffeecake for about 30 minutes, or until it is golden brown. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.
While cooling, prepare the glaze by mixing the powdered sugar with some milk until it reaches the desired consistency (not water-thin, but thin enough to drizzle). Drizzle the glaze all over the top of the coffeecake and serve in small squares when it cools to room temperature. Store any leftovers in the fridge.
Recipe from Marcia Gulachek