That name is a mouthful isn’t it. And this cake is too. When our fearless leader Abby Dodge, she of Bon Appetit, numerous cookbooks and now #baketogether fame posted that we would be doing coffee cake this month, it seemed destined from the start for me that I would be mixing it up with some apples. While most of the food blogging world has gone bananas over pumpkin, this time of year is my time for apples. Pumpkin will get its’ chance with me but in November where it belongs!
I’m in love with honey crisp apples and I may have bought a few too many thinking I would be wanting to keep that doctor away. The idea of putting them into a coffee cake drizzled with caramel sauce seemed perfect on many levels.
- I had apples (using things I have on hand is surely a strong thread in my culinary journey)
- I wanted to experiment with making an espresso caramel sauce; seemed perfect that a ‘coffee’ cake would have a touch of espresso
- Abby’s recipe sounded like a great way to bring it all together
I made a few revisions to Abby’s basic recipe but not a lot. I decided to limit some of the spiciness of the batter so there are no cloves in sight. I also used Greek yogurt instead of sour cream. It’s lowfat, I can eat it for breakfast with homemade granola and it seems to work just like sour cream in baked goods so I guess it’s true that Greek yogurt is my go to sour cream.
Some might wonder why I decided to top this cake with quickly sauteed apples when there were apples already pressed into the top. Oh how I hate this ‘woe is me’ part of my life but again, just chalk it up to altitude! I made my standard substitutions but think I forgot to turn up the heat in my oven and both the center of the cake and I were a bit depressed. I never remake a recipe; this is food we eat but I always try to find a solution…so that one lone apple had a purpose and as fate would have it; I liked having that addition to the end results, both in looks and flavor.
Apples, caramel and walnuts...what is there NOT to like?
- 2/3 cup (4 5/8 ounces) firmly packed dark brown sugar
- 3/4 cup ( 3 3/8ounces) all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 3/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 2 cups (9 ounces) all purpose flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon table salt
- 8 tablespoons (4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/4 cups (8 3/4 ounces) firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 cup yogurt, at room temperature
- 3 baking apples, peeled, cored and sliced; divided
- 1 tsp of butter
- Caramel sauce, purchased or see link after recipe for Espresso Caramel Sauce
- In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, flour and cinnamon.
- Drizzle over the melted butter and, using a fork (or use your fingers), mix the ingredients are well blended and form small crumbs.
- Add chopped walnuts and mix into topping.
- Pop in the frig while you make the cake batter.
- Position an oven rack in the center of the oven. Heat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease and flour the sides and bottom of a 9" round springform pan. Wrap the bottom and up 1" of the pan tightly with aluminum foil to prevent dough from leaking while baking.
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Whisk until well blended.
- In a large bowl, beat butter, sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium speed until well blended, about 3 minutes.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stop to scrape the bowl and beaters as needed.
- Add about half of the flour mixture and mix on low speed just until blended. Add the yogurt and continue mixing just until blended. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the remaining flour mixture.
- Scrape half of the batter (about 1lb 2 ounces for those of you who use a scale) into the prepared pan and spread evenly.
- Evenly scatter half of the streusel mixture over the batter.
- Spoon the remaining batter evenly over the streusel and spread evenly.
- Arrange slices from two of the apples around the top of the cake, pushing in slightly.
- Scatter the remaining streusel evenly over the top.
- Bake until the top is browned and a pick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, approximately 45-50 minutes. Cool the pan on a wire rack until warm or room temperature.
- Cut remaining apple slices in half and saute in teaspoon of butter for two minutes. Drizzle with some caramel sauce, mix thoroughly and mound in center of coffee cake.
- Drizzle entire cake with more caramel sauce.
I used my recipe for Rum Caramel Sauce for the Espresso Caramel Sauce and noted substitutions. I love the flavor, subtle but a definite touch of espresso.
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