Thursday, August 25, 2011

Apple Coffee Cake

Every once in a while you stumble across a recipe that becomes part of your life. It's one of those recipes that you continue to make, year after year. It becomes a staple at certain holidays and times of year. For me this is a classic applesauce coffee cake that I found in a Martha Stewart cookbook years ago. I love it because it is quick and simple to prepare, and it uses ingredients that I usually have stocked in my pantry. But, what I love most about this cake is its presentation. It is a beauty; a high cake, dense, and decorative. People are always impressed by it. And, the best part is, that it freezes really well too. Look, I am not a major 'freezer', if you ask me, fresh is always best. But, I've got to be realistic. And, chances are, if there's something I can prepare in advance, I will. When I am referring to freezing, I am not talking about leaving something in your freezer for 2 years, but usually for up to a month or so. Everyone seems to love this cake because it tastes like home.

p.s. The slices apples on the top of the cake can be replaced with sliced peaches, plums or pears.
p.p.s. Rosh Hashana is just around the corner and this makes a perfect dessert for the holidays.

Applesauce Coffee Cake
Martha Stewart 

  • Vegetable-oil cooking spray
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 3/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped toasted pecans
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups store-bought applesauce
  • 2 small juicy apples, such as McIntosh, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4-inch-thick wedges
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 10-inch angel-food-cake pan with cooking spray; set aside. Make crumb topping: Stir together 4 tablespoons butter, the dark-brown sugar, oats, 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon salt until smooth. Stir in 1/2 cup pecans; set aside.
  2. Make batter: Sift flour, baking soda, nutmeg, cloves, and remaining 2 teaspoons cinnamon and 3/4 teaspoon salt; set aside. Put remaining 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, the granulated sugar, and light-brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Cream on medium speed until smooth, about 3 minutes. Mix in the eggs, one at a time. Reduce speed to low; mix in applesauce and then flour mixture. Stir in remaining cup nuts by hand.
  3. Pour batter into oiled pan; sprinkle reserved crumb topping over batter. Lay apples on top, tucking some into batter.
  4. Bake until a cake tester inserted near center comes out clean, about 1 hour and 10 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack.

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