Benedictine Liqueur Coffeecake w/ Strawberries

Today, March 28, was the birth date of my mother. She passed away in 1978 at the age of sixty. Although 46 years have passed, it seems like it was only yesterday. She was truly an ‘Angel on Earth’, never to be forgotten by her family or by the people whose lives she touched.

I have so many memories of her wonderful cooking and baking. In her honor today, I decided to post a unique coffeecake recipe.

Since I have become a huge fan of Dom Benedictine Liqueur in sweet & savory recipes, this is the fifth recipe I have developed using it in the ingredients. When I first ‘discovered’ this interesting liqueur, I searched high and low for recipes to incorporate it in my baking and cooking. After having no success finding any, I resorted to my favorite ‘hobby’ of recipe development. So far, I have had good results.

If you’re not familiar with this liqueur, here is a brief bit of history about it. For more in-depth info, check out my blog article from December 2022 under Benedictine Liqueur Cupcakes.

The story of Benedictine dates back to 1510 when a Venetian monk of the Abbey of Fécamp, Dom Bernardo Vincelli, created an elixir intended to support good health. It includes a combination of 27 herbs and spices derived from plants from around the globe, including juniper, myrrh, saffron, vanilla, thyme, coriander and more. The liqueur tastes primarily of honey and baking spices, with citrus peel, herb, and stone fruit notes.

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Benedictine Liqueur Coffeecake w/ Strawberries
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Instructions
Strawberry Puree
  1. In a food processor, puree strawberries (SET ASIDE ABOUT 8 SLICING INTO THE TOPPING). Over medium-low heat, simmer puree until you have reduced the mixture by about half. Allow to cool completely before using in cake batter.
Coffeecake
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter a large cylinder pan (or a 9-inch round). Dust with flour & set aside.
  2. Toast pecans on a sheet pan in the oven for 7-8 minutes. Remove nuts from pan right away to prevent further toasting & place on a cutting board to cool, then finely chop.
  3. Sift flour, baking powder & salt together in a bowl. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, using a mixer, beat eggs on high until light in color, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to medium & add sugar; beat until mixture is pale & thick, about 4 minutes. Reduce speed to low; mix in oil & liqueur.
  5. Using a rubber spatula, lightly fold in flour mixture in 3 batches. Fold in toasted pecans. Spread half the cake batter in prepared baking pan. Place dollops of strawberry puree in a zigzag pattern down center of batter. Using the handle of a spoon, swirl puree lightly into batter. Top with remaining batter.
  6. Bake cake until a cake tester inserted in center comes out clean, about 25-30 minutes. Allow cake to cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Turn cake onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Strawberry Puree Topping
  1. With the remainder of the strawberry puree, add honey & vanilla to taste. Combine well. Slice remaining fresh strawberries & fold into puree.
Serving
  1. Slice coffeecake & top with strawberry puree topping. Of course nothing says you can't add some whipped cream or vanilla ice cream!

Benedictine Liqueur Mini Cupcakes

The story of Benedictine dates back to 1510 when a Venetian monk of the Abbey of Fécamp, Dom Bernardo Vincelli, created an elixir intended to support good health. The concoction was so well-received that the Benedictine monks of Fécamp continued the liqueur’s production up until the French Revolution. One of the Benedictine monks had a copy of the recipe for the elixir in a book he gave to a friend for safekeeping during the Revolution. That friend’s grandchild was Alexandre Le Grand.

Over 300 years later in 1863, Alexandre le Grand, a wine trader from Fécamp sought to resurrect it. After a year of attempting to recreate the mysterious brew, le Grand finally succeeded, transforming it into the liqueur it is today. He named it Benedictine, in honor of the monk Dom Bernardo Vincelli, and went on to erect a palace that would house its distillation: the Palais Benedictine in Fécamp.

Its recipe remains a secret, known by a select few and with only three copies in existence, each kept safe in a different locale. It includes a combination of 27 herbs and spices derived from plants from around the globe, including juniper, myrrh, saffron, vanilla, thyme, coriander and more. The ingredients are carefully combined and slowly distilled several times in copper stills that date back to the time of Alexandre le Grand. The liquid is then aged in oak casks for approximately two years and always stored at the Palais Benedictine. With an ABV of 40%, it is classified as a brandy and often served as a digestif after meals or used in cocktail recipes.

During the Middle Ages, about 90% of the population of Europe was the non-landowning laboring class, with the remainder split between the nobility and church. The monks were the keepers of most scientific and medical knowledge, as they were literate and often spent time copying important texts from one monastery to the next. Some monasteries operated hospitals and probably all had medicinal herb gardens and apothecaries (pharmacists) on site to make medicines for themselves and the surrounding community.

The liqueur tastes primarily of honey and baking spices, with citrus peel, herb, and stone fruit notes.

Print Recipe
Benedictine Liqueur Mini Cupcakes
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Rating: 5
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Servings
Ingredients
Cupcakes
Servings
Ingredients
Cupcakes
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
Cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line 2 mini cupcake pans ( 2-inch diameter) with paper liners.
  2. Place sugar & zest in the mixer bowl & blend until moist & fragrant. Add butter & beat until white. Add eggs, one at a time; beating well after each one.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt & baking powder. With mixer on low speed, add the flour, milk & liqueur alternately, scraping down sides of the bowl. Divide cake batter between the 24 paper lined cups.
  4. Bake 16-18 minutes, or until risen & baked through, testing with a toothpick in the center of the cupcake. Remove from baking pan & allow to cool.
Frosting
  1. Combine butter & cream cheese with a mixer until smooth & creamy. Blend in Benedictine liqueur. Slowly add the powdered sugar until you reach the right consistency. If you are using a pastry bag ensure that you have a medium consistency.
  2. Pipe the frosting onto each cupcake then garnish as you wish.