Apple Coffee Cake

Apple Coffee Cake Recipe


My favorite way to write about recipes or cooking on this site is by sharing how each recipe intersects my life. That being said, sometimes a recipe lends itself to a more technical write-up, and I think that is the direction I am going to head with today's Apple Coffee Cake recipe.

I've been swamped, so I wanted a recipe that came together fast with big payoff. The Big Book of Vegetarian by Kathy Farrell-Kingsley successfully jumped off the shelf and into my shopping basket the other day. Many of the recipes fit the quick-and-easy bill. As you all know, I'm typically up for the grande culinary adventure, but for once it was refreshing to dive into a book void of obscure, tough to find ingredients. My guess is that 95% of the ingredients listed in this book can be found in most well-stocked supermarkets. A single-store cookbook, bless her.

This spicy cake punctuated with oozy, warm apples jumped out at me immediately. The Tuscan Quiche looked good, so did the Caramelized Onion Flatbread...but in the end, the prospect of baked apples won me over.

Yum.

If you can make a batch of cookies, you can make this cake - in roughly the same amount of steps. I know some of you are intimidated by cakes. Don't be. This is essentially a cookie dough with a little added liquid that makes it more of a batter than a dough. If you think of it this way you can start to think of the batter as a canvas that can accept all sorts of different fruits, spices, zests, or ingredients. Today it is all about apples, but maybe earlier in the year you might want to use plum segments, or nectarines, or big, sweet cherries - change up the spices a bit.

I started out the way I do with many cookie doughs - you know the drill. Sort the dry ingredients into a bowl. Cream the butter and sugar, add the eggs, etc, etc....Sounds familiar right? You end up baking the cake in an 8-inch spring form pan. The apple slices are arranged in a circular pattern on top.

As you can imagine the cake smells delicious - make this cake before a brunch and people will get woozy from the warm cinnamon air and anticipation of freshly baked apples.

I do have a couple tips, things I would do a bit differently next time. The main thing I will do is plunge the apple segments deep into the cake rather than arrange in a circular pattern on top. I suspect that will help keep the cake (and apples) nice and moist. Maybe I will even just stir them right into the batter before pouring into the pan, reserving a few to arrange on top. Because I ran out of room on top (whoops, I was supposed to overlap more), I ended up using less apple than the recipe called for.

The other thing is to really keep an eye on your baking time. I ended up baking for 50 minutes at 350F (after the initial 450F spurt), and if I had let it go much longer the cake would have been dry as a bone. So err on the side of slight under cooking vs. over. The cake will continue to bake on your counter for a while after you pull it out of the oven, so factor that in as well. I also couldn't resist a slight dusting of powdered sugar on top before serving.

Let me know if you give this one a spin, pretty darn tasty.

p.s: For those of you who haven't been recieving email notifications when I update - we should have that fixed sometime this week. My ISP shut off the list because it was getting too big...so we are figuring out the work-around. I will give everyone the heads up when it is back up and functional.

 
 
 
 

Apple Coffee Cake Recipe

Heidi notes: I do have a couple tips, things I would do a bit differently next time. The main thing I will do is plunge the apple segments deep into the cake rather than arrange in a circular pattern on top. I suspect that will help keep the cake (and apples) nice and moist. Maybe I will even just stir them right into the batter before pouring into the pan, reserving a few to arrange on top. Because I ran out of room on top (whoops, I was supposed to overlap more), I ended up using less apple than the recipe called for.

The other thing is to really keep an eye on your baking time. I ended up baking for 50 minutes at 350F (after the initial 450F spurt), and if I had let it go much longer the cake would have been dry as a bone. So err on the side of slight under cooking vs. over. The cake will continue to bake on your counter for a while after you pull it out of the oven, so factor that in as well. I also couldn't resist a slight dusting of powdered sugar on top before serving. Serve warm or room temp.

2 medium tart apples such as Granny Smith
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk or plain soy milk
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/3 cup apple jelly, stirred over low heat until smooth

Preheat the oven to 450F. Lightly grease and flour an 8-by-3-inch springform pan. Peel, quarter, and core the apples. Cut each quarter into 1/2-inch-thick wedges.

In a small bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt until blended. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter until smooth. Add the sugar and beat until fluffy. Beat in the milk, butter, eggs, and vanilla. Add the flour mixture and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, or until smooth.

Spread the batter in the prepared pan. Arrange the apple wedges, overlapping them slightly, in a circular pattern over the batter. Brush the apples with half of the apple jelly. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350F. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes longer, or until a cake tester inserted near the center comes out clean. Set the pan on a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes, then remove the sides of the pan. Brush the top of the cake with the remaining apple jelly. Cool completely on a rack. Serve at room temperature.

Serves 8.

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Your Comments


ha3rvey
October 4, 2005

Are you baking this right this minute? I think I can smell it RIGHT NOW.

I just got a free box of apples as a gift from the Texas Chefs Association meeting today, and I may have to cook this tomorrow. Or tonight.

Or maybe right now... :)

 

Ana
October 4, 2005

Hi!
I like your blog a lot, the recipes, the way you write, everything is always very nice and neat!
I love cooked apples in any form of desserts and your apple coffee cake surely looks delicious, I may try it really soon!
Come visit my blog, is about cooking too! I hope you enjoy mine as much as I enjoy yours!
Ana

 

Happenstance
October 4, 2005

OMG this looks delish. I am going to whip one up this week. Ymmmmmmy.

 

adelaida D. Valencia
October 5, 2005

i love the recipe soo much,the taste,and te engredients are easy to mix with.i love it.........................hope i can receive more from u.thanks a lot.

 

Mia
October 5, 2005

Hi,

The cake looks just lovely!
Q from abroad: apple jelly? Is it like jam made of apples?
The cookbook seem good, but is it still inspiring without nice colorful photos?

/Mia
Sweden

 

John P
October 5, 2005

Hi!

Sweet photography, indeed. Just out of curiosity, what camera are you using and do you only use Photoshop for the additional blur? I've seen other photographers actually use Vaseline on their lenses to get a stronger effect, but the Photoshop method seems to do the trick as well. Since it's not a natural blurriness, what's your secret to these great shots?

Keep up the great work!

John P

 

fanny
October 5, 2005

Ho Heidi, this looks so good. I think it would be perfect for a lazy morning as the delicious smell of the cake would bring anybody - even the sleepy ones - to wake up and have a bite.
Thanx for the recipe.

Concerning the newsletter it's true that i hven't been receiving for a week or so, but i don't mind since i check your blog everyday for those exquisite "daily links".

Love
Fanny

 

Heidi
October 5, 2005

John,
The blur in the pictures are 'natural'....no outside photoshop work other than the occasional exposure or white balance correction. You get that shallow depth of field when you open up the aperature of a lens. Deep focus when you shut the aperature on a lens way down...there are a couple of photography threads on eGullet.com (in the forums) that might be helpful. I think I've posted to a couple of them in the past if you search under my user name (heidihi).

Miss Fanny. I'll pass the word on to Wayne about the daily links - he is my daily link elf. :)

 

Heidi
October 5, 2005

Mia,

I really does look like a very good weeknight type vegetarian cookbook. The fact that it doesn't have photography didn't really bother me....that being said, I know lots of people who won't try a recipe if it doesn't have a picture, so...It depends on whether or not you are in that camp ;)

-h

 

Wayne
October 5, 2005

I can attest that while this cake wasn't perfect (tho will be next time with Heidi's adjustments), the smell in the kitchen was perhaps one of the best sweet cooking smells that rivals homemade chocolate chip cookies.

Fanny - glad you are enjoying the links, hopefully you and everyone knows to click on the 'daily links' banner to go to the main page that has the archive of links - for when you are really bored at work ;-)

http://101cookbooks.com/daily/index.html

 

Amanda
October 5, 2005

I love your recipes... totally easy and inspiring for a beginning baker such as myself.

Perhaps you could include nutritional info (calories, etc)?

Amanda

 

Tina
October 5, 2005

I will definitely making this cake as soon as I go apple picking and then serving it for brunch. Yum.

 

Amanda
October 5, 2005

Perfect for Rosh Hashannah. I just made apple cake for a dinner i went to last night.

 

shauna
October 5, 2005

Gorgeous, as always. I'm certain this will work well with the new gluten-free flour I'm using these days. And in Washington, of course, we have a plethora of wonderful, new-crop apples right now. I'm going to make one this weekend.

Simply marvelous photographs, my dear.

 

Beth - The Zen Foodist
October 6, 2005

This looks delicious and perfect for apple season! I'm putting this in the to-try pile! Thanks!

 

Kathy
October 10, 2005

Oh, man, this smelled GREAT when I made it yesterday. I almost didn't care if it turned out okay or not! I tried the Heidi hints (even adding apples to the batter), ant it turned out great

Here's a hint of my own...instead of using flour after you grease your pan, use a mixture of cinnamon and sugar. It works well when you make banana bread, too.

Thanks again for the recipes!

 

Grace
October 10, 2005

This cake was great a smelled wonderful in the kitchen. I brought it to work this morning and was consumed in a matter 30 mins. I did make some modifications:

1) Sauted apple slices in 2 tbsp butter and a 1/4 cup of dark brown sugar. Set aside and proceeded to make the batter.
2) Replaced milk with buttermilk.
3) Filled the pan half way with batter. Layered 1/2 of the sauted apples leaving a 1/4 inch border and poured the pan drippings over them.
4) Spread remaining batter over and layered the remaining sauted apples.
5) Baked for 45 minutes after the 450 degree blast.

The apples were moist both on top and middle. The ones on top browned very nicely.

Thanks for the recipe and the prep tips, Heidi!

 

k.
October 10, 2005

like everyone said before me...wow, does it smell wonderful! i baked my cake for 50 minutes and like hedi said, it was about 5 minutes too long. next time i make it i think i'll try grace's suggestion and saute the apples first. really tasty though.

 

valentina jacome
October 11, 2005

Heidi, I love apple cakes. A recipe ot the sort is always welcome. I shall give it a go. I havent' got it wrong with any of the recipes I got here. I have just started a blog about brasilian food and it is still shapping up.If you would like to come and visit it is http://tapioca.blogs.com/tapiocaflour/