Starbucks Natural Fusions Brunch…


A couple weeks before Mother’s Day Starbucks contacted me and asked if I would be willing to host a brunch that day and serve their new Starbucks Natural Fusions coffees. I told them that sounds nice and all but that my mom lives nowhere near me so that couldn’t happen. They said they understood but I said, I do host Book Club in a couple of weeks, maybe we could do that and they liked that idea.

So Starbucks sent me a box of the coffee in all three flavors: vanilla, cinnamon, and caramel and a gift card to buy some groceries. My original menu I planned went out the window when my cyst burst, but I still wanted to make one complicated thing, croissants. I made a lot of easier things on the blog now I wanted to see if I could still make croissants. I can…and then promptly remember why I never do as they take way too long.

I originally was going to use the coffee in a lot of the dishes, but then remember that instant coffee is what I use mostly. I did use it in a couple of things, but mostly we just brewed it up and tried the different flavors.
The menu looked like this:

Four Cheese Quiche with Corn and Red Pepper Relish
Plain Croissants with Deli Meats and Cheeses
Chocolate Croissants with Tiramisu Spread (which featured the vanilla flavor)
Drunken Melon Salad
Bacon, Scallion, and Gruyere Muffins (made by a friend of mine)
Coffee Glazed Cinnamon Sour Cream Coffee Cake (which featured the cinnamon flavor)

When I first got the coffee I thought for sure the vanilla would be my favorite. Though it wasn’t bad, I just never got the vanilla flavor at all. We all agreed that it just tasted like coffee.  The caramel had mixed reviews. You could definitely tell there was flavor in there but some people felt that they couldn’t tell if it was caramel or not. The hands down favorite of the day was the cinnamon. Which I didn’t expect to like so much but then I kindly reminded myself that I love a Cinnamon Dolce and it made more sense. :)

We had a good time and it was a nice departure from our regular Book Club. For those wondering what we read, it was Bossypants by Tina Fey. I use the word read lightly as I actually ended up listening to it on my iPod while I was sick. Normally I don’t like audio books, but Tina narrates it herself and I think it makes it all the better. We all loved the book.

Thanks to Starbucks for sending the coffee and gift card to make our brunch possible. If you are interested in trying out the new Starbucks Natural Fusions and live in the US, please leave a comment and I will randomly select a comment to give away all three flavors.

Coffee Glazed Sour Cream Cinnamon Coffee Cake

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 extra-large eggs at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups sour cream
2 1/2 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tsp. instant coffee (I used Starbucks Via)

For the streusel:
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

For the glaze:
½ cup brewed Starbucks Natural Fusions Cinnamon Coffee
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan.

Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment for 4 to 5 minutes, until light. Add the eggs 1 at a time, then add the vanilla and sour cream. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture to the batter until just combined. Finish stirring with a spatula to be sure the batter is completely mixed.

For the streusel, place the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt, and butter in a bowl and pinch together with your fingers until it forms a crumble.

Spoon half the batter into the pan and spread it out with a knife. Sprinkle with 3/4 cup streusel. Spoon the rest of the batter in the pan, spread it out, and scatter the remaining streusel on top. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.

Let cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes. Carefully transfer the cake, streusel side up, onto a serving plate. Whisk the powdered sugar and coffee together to make the glaze. Drizzle as much as you like over the cake with a fork or spoon.
Adapted from Ina Garten Food Network


  1. That coffee cake looks fantastic, as does the whole menu. What a great brunch, YUM!!! :)

  2. I was in starbucks today and saw a man in a 3 piece suit order a venti hot cocoa, extra whip. It took all I had not to bust up laughing. I struggle with impulse control. ;)

    The coffeecake looks delish. Coffeecake is Jas’ fav. May give it a go this weekend.

  3. Great menu! I wish I was in your book club!

  4. Sounds like a fun book club!!! Menu looks amazing.

  5. Caldwell Price says:

    Looks like you girls had a great spread! Glad your starting to feel better. :)

  6. Rosanne says:

    Just ordered Bossypants last week and can’t wait to get it in the mail…now, I just need someone to host a brunch. :)

  7. I totally want to read that book for our next book club!

  8. I’ve had and liked the vanilla — but never thought to touch the cinnamon. I just assumed that it would look crimson and smell like Big Red gum… but I will have to give it a try!

  9. Your menu sounds yummy!

    I’m impressed that you made homemade croissants; I am sure those were delicious.

  10. I have always thought about giving homemade croissants a go. But then I hear stories about what a pain in the butt they are and I chicken out. I bet they were yummy!

  11. Croissants? You didn’t! Still on my to try list.

    Love the coffee cake and the menu, sounds great! (btw love the idea of a bookclub as well)

  12. Sounds great. I’m always looking for a good coffee to brew at home as I am never satisfied with what I have on hand.

  13. Britta M. says:

    Mmm, baking and books! Two of my favorite things.

  14. Tina Fey-hilarious!
    Starbucks-always the best!
    Croissants-difficult, but delish!
    Coffee cake- yum, yum, yum!

  15. I don’t usually drink coffee, but keep it on hand because I love coffee flavored anything! I would so make this coffee cake for guests. And that salad looks phenomenal. YUM.

  16. A lovely brunch! I’d love to test those coffees.



  17. Victoria says:

    That coffee cake looks super yummy. :)

    I saw Tina Fey on The Today Show promoting Bossypants. She cracks me up, so whenever I’ve gone to Target, I’ve been tempted to pick it up. Maybe I will next time. :)

  18. Mercedes says:

    Oh pick me! Pick me!

  19. lovely! my book club always served wine. maybe we would have talked more about books if we drank coffee instead…

  20. The cinnamon sounds divine – I rely on Starbucks’ Cinnamon Dulce latte!

  21. Hey Peabody! Love the menu, especially with the coffee additions. I also LOVE your keep it real style!

  22. Wish we had enough people around here for a book club. :( The menu sounds great though!

  23. Glad you’re feeling a bit better! At least enough to try making croissants. Take it easy and get better so you can continue making delicious food:)

  24. I like cinnamon in my morning coffee, so bet I’d like the cinnamon flavor version as well.

  25. My mouth is watering that cake looks fantastic! That’s awesome that you got to try out starbucks goods!

  26. The coffee cake looks delicious! Outstanding photo work too. Think I’m going to try out that one this weekend. Keep up the outstanding work!

  27. Oh I love coffee cake! This one looks delicious. What a fun book club meeting.

  28. Cinnamon puts a nice twist on an ordinary coffee. Our pastor does it every month for our Sunday social.

  29. And I thought I was cool when my local Starbucks started occasionally sending over free drinks as I sit and eat my brown bag lunch and use their Wi-Fi on my work break. Not quite banging down my door and sending me the goods at home, eh? But it’ll do.

  30. that cake looks delicious – ok, now i’m drooling.

  31. Fun to try the Starbucks flavors anyway, tho I tend not to like pre-flavored coffee in a bag. I like to do the flavoring myself. That cake looks really good, but the four cheese quiche with corn/pepper relish sounds even better. But then, both would be my choice. Glad you’re still posting. I just told a friend about your site and she loves it too.

  32. Oh my goodness do you make the most delectable looking cakes, Mrs. Peabody!

    Now, I don’t know which of these new coffees I will try first.

  33. Wow, I wish I belonged to your book club! Everything looks delicious.

  34. Elizabeth says:

    I love brunch, and breakfast. Its my favorite meal time. That coffee cake looks divine, oh and the quiches…yum! I really want to try the caramel and cinnamon flavors.

  35. Looks yummy! I love cinnamon dolce as well so now I want to try the cinnamon coffee!

  36. I’m not a big starbucks fan, but I got those same flavors some months ago and I really enjoyed them. However, the star of this post is definitely the coffee cake. It looks so good I could go for a piece right now for my morning (non-starbucks) coffee :)

  37. Ohhh.. I’m so interested in trying the flavors. ;) Glad the good folks at Starbucks were up for a brunch!

  38. I am a huge sucker for coffee cake. It’s just one of those things you can keep eating and eating until there is absolutely none left… and then the shame kicks in :). This coffee cake looks like it’s definitely going to fall into that category :).

  39. Everything looks so yummy! May I join your book club?

  40. That menu looks amazing! I’m normally not a drip coffee fan, but I do love a Cinnamon Dolce latte!

  41. We’re having a brunch next weekend for Sophie’s birthday and I’m totally adding that coffee cake to the menu! Yum!! Maybe we’ll have to check out that cinnamon coffee too… :)

  42. Thanks for hosting book club! The coffee cake was amazing. :)

  43. Those croissants look amazing pi! They are probably the one thing I miss the most, but alas, gluten free croissant are pretty much non-existent. Had some in Ireland though! Hope you’re feeling better.

  44. That a gorgeous coffee cake and your croissants are a thing of beauty!

  45. I WANT!!!! Homemade croissants are very ambitious of you! Is there a recipe for the corn salad? Thanks for sharing.

  46. Peabody says:

    @Cindy- you can find the recipe over on my other blog:

  47. Thank you!


  1. […] people asked me after seeing my brunch post over on Culinary Concoctions for the corn relish recipe, so here it is. It went with a 4-cheese […]

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