Apples are almost all the food world seems to be focusing on at the moment, so even though I want to continue to run mad with cans of pumpkin puree, I decided to see what folks in the magazines were drumming up. And actually they are drumming up some mighty fine things. Things like this coffee cake. Ooooh, man, this. coffee. cake.
Our story starts off with – what else – Granny Smith apples. You only need three of these beauts. They’ll get sliced and cooked a little in some butter and later become their own layer in this decadent cake.
We’re getting off to a mighty fine start, yessir.
These are a streusel’s favorite things: flour, brown sugar, salt, butter, cinnamon and pecans. It’s a good thing streusel happens to be one of our most favorite things.
No, I mean really. It’s obscene, actually, how much we love the stuff. You’ve been warned.
There’s a caramel sauce. Oh man, there is this wonderful, rich and so easy-to-make caramel sauce. Drool, need something to collect the drool…oh yeah… *swallow*. Sorry. Lots of drool.
There is a thick, creamy cake batter.
It tastes good raw.
It goes into a buttered and floured springform pan. It goes in so nice, doesn’t it go in so nice hmmmm?
A talented person layers in the slightly cooked apple slices. I was really enjoying watching sis blogging partner do this part. It looked like a pretty blossom. That we can eat. Oh. YEAH.
Oh! Oh, now someone is pouring delectable caramel sauce all over the pretty flower! What the heck EVER shall we do?
That’s right! We shall sprinkle it with streusel topping! Streusel for everyone!
We shall not eat the streusel with a spoon. No….not much.
Lookit! A baked coffee cake! It’s going to need a lot of time to rest and cool down. It’s very warm and cozy in its pan.
Right about at this point, we were having a bit of a euphoric tongue-gasmic experience. Sorry, but it’s true.
We almost didn’t make this cake because – true fact – it takes about four or so hours to make.
Best. Recipe. Ever. And worth every minute. Even all the extra minutes (that equaled another hour) after we discovered my oven had just cut itself off in the middle of baking! Weeeee! But we got it baked. And it was purrrrfect. And we loved it. And there is none left. Lick. The end.
Caramel Apple Coffee Cake
from Southern Living, September 2012
Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes (plus 1 1/2 hours cooling) Level: Intermediate Serves: 8
For the cake:
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 3 cups peeled and sliced Granny Smith apples (about 3 large)
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the streusel topping:
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
For the caramel sauce:
- 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/4 cup whipping cream
- 1/4 cup honey
To make the cake:
Preheat oven to 350°. Melt 2 Tbsp. butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add apples; sauté 5 minutes or until softened. Remove from heat; cool completely (about 30 minutes).
Meanwhile, prepare Streusel Topping and Caramel Sauce. Reserve 1/2 cup Caramel Sauce to use in a later step.
Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add sugar, beating well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition.
Combine flour, baking powder, and salt; add to butter mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed until blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla. Pour batter into a greased and floured shiny 10-inch springform pan; top with apples. Drizzle with 1/2 cup Caramel Sauce; sprinkle with Streusel Topping.
Bake at 350° for 45 minutes. Cover loosely with aluminum foil to prevent excessive browning; bake 25 to 30 minutes or until center is set. (A wooden pick will not come out clean.) Cool in pan on a wire rack 30 minutes; remove sides of pan. Cool completely on wire rack (about 1 1/2 hours). Drizzle with 1/2 cup Caramel Sauce.
To make the streusel topping:
Stir together flour, pecans, melted butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and salt until blended. Let stand 30 minutes or until firm enough to crumble into small pieces.
To make the caramel sauce:
Bring brown sugar, butter, whipping cream, and honey to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring constantly; boil, stirring constantly, 2 minutes. Remove from heat, and cool 15 minutes before serving. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator up to 1 week. To reheat, microwave at HIGH 10 to 15 seconds or just until warm; stir until smooth.
The original recipe said to use a 9-inch springform pan, but it was a good thing we did have one and went with a 10-inch size. The cake completely filled the pan, and a 9-inch wouldn’t have been big enough.
If you wanted to or need to because of availability, you could substitute walnuts for the pecans, but the pecans were divine.
The rest of the recipe was just perfect. As with anything like this, just be sure to watch your oven times and check it occasionally prior to the suggested time in case it should get done sooner or even need longer. All ovens vary.