Mary Beth Johnson is a writer based in Atlanta, GA. She is currently writing her first book in between school drop off and laundry piles.
She can be found every day on Instagram and at the local coffee shop.
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and with it all the sweets and treats to celebrate love. I’ve got some fun recipes and crafts to share with you in the coming weeks, including this delectable Dark Chocolate Raspberry Coffee Cake that we made in the last few days of Christmas break.
January always feels like is should be the last month of winter, doesn’t it? In this month you’re saying goodbye to the old year and welcoming the new. You’re sending the kids back to school. And, if you’re anything like me, you’re already making plans for summer when the kids get out of school again. I am constantly reminding myself to slow down in January. Stay in the present. Winter has a little bit more to teach us.
I’m grateful Valentine’s Day makes an appearance mid-February. There’s something about homemade marshmallows, sweet love notes, and little gifts that create a beautiful pause on a power-through-your-New-Year’s-resolution-month. I’ve always tried to make this holiday stand out to my kids. Even when they were really little and could barely talk, I wanted them to know that love was important to celebrate. We would do simple things, like bake muffins for breakfast. Then, we would eat them warm out of the oven. Next, we would make little notes for their friends and pass them out at church. I like that February 14th gives us an extra push to set aside a day to say, “Hey, I care about you and here’s what you mean to me.” I know some people think this day is cheesy and over-commercialized, but I think it is such a great reminder to lean into love.
These days, my kids are quite a bit older and we’re not in the slow mornings phase of life anymore. Yesterday, everybody went back to school after winter break (which means, homework, tennis, football, and teacher emails just started rolling in again). My youngest, who is 5, wanted to plan a “back-to-school” party. He decorated paper plates with sweet loves notes that said things like, “Congratulations! You win a special hug from me” in different colors. We picked up donuts from up the street and ate them with hot chocolate. This is what celebrating love looks like. You don’t have to spend much money or have your celebration on the actual holiday. Gather your people around you. Stop and acknowledge that love sits at your table and fills your home.
This Dark Chocolate Raspberry Coffee Cake was discovered during Christmas break when I was baking and trying all sorts of new recipes. The cake is so moist and holds a combination of textures and flavors. The crunchy streusel topping that sinks into the top of the cake is my favorite part. You can sub the white chocolate for the dark – also delicious! Enjoy with a cup of milk or a mug of hot coffee.
Freezing Instructions: Freeze baked and cooled cake for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator or at room temperature before serving.
Cake Pan Sizes: You can bake this cake in an 8-inch or 9-inch square baking pan, a 9-inch pie dish, an 11×7 inch baking pan, or an oval baker that’s about 9-10 inches long. Anything that holds 8-10 cups of batter works. The bake time slightly changes, so keep your eye on the cake after about 42 minutes and have a toothpick handy to check for doneness. For a 9×5 inch loaf pan, bake for at least 60-65 minutes. For a larger 9×13 inch cake, double the recipe. The bake time will be a little longer, but use a toothpick to test for doneness.
Chocolate Chips: You can use milk chocolate, white chocolate, semi-sweet, or dark/bittersweet chocolate chips.
Recipe by Sally's Baking Addiction