Crunch-Topped Apple Coffee Cake

Crunch-Topped Apple Coffee CakeA few months ago, I volunteered to bring baked goods for the local cycling coalition’s monthly Bike to Work breakfast, as is my wont. I decided that I was in the mood for coffee cake, but I couldn’t find a single recipe that encompassed everything I wanted: a crunchy, crumbly topping, with a moist, fruity, not too sugary interior, all in a tender cake that would cut into nice pieces for eating without utensils.

This is what I cobbled together; I’ve made it three times now, and it’s been a big success every time. In fact, I might just argue that this is my platonic coffee cake. So while it does involve a “mise en place” approach of preparing several different components, then combining them, I think the results are worth it. Enjoy!

Crunch-Topped Apple Coffee Cake
(makes 32 smallish pieces)

Mix together until well-combined:

  • 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • grated zest of 1 large orange

Squeeze from the orange (add water to make up the volume if it’s not enough juice):

  • 1/2 cup orange juice

Mix in electric mixer for 2 minutes, until thick and smooth:

  • 4 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoon molasses (*)

Cut together (use your fingers, it’s yummy!) until blended into crumbly chunks:

  • 1/4 cup softened butter (1/2 stick)
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Toss together:

  • 4 cups cored and coarsely-chopped tart cooking apples, such as Granny Smith (about 3 to 5 apples)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

Cooking Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter and flour a 9×13 baking pan.
  2. Stir the flour mixture and the orange juice into the egg mixture, stopping as soon as the ingredients are blended together and there are no large lumps or dry spots.
  3. Pour half of the batter over the bottom of the pan. Cover evenly with the apple mixture, then pour the remaining batter over the apples. Use a spatula to smooth the batter over the apples to cover completely.
  4. Sprinkle the oat crumbles evenly over the surface of the cake.
  5. Bake in the center of the oven for 60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool in the pan on a rack for an hour. Cut into squares within the pan, remove, and serve.

* Note: If you don’t keep molasses around the house, substitute brown sugar for some or all of the granulated sugar!

This entry was posted in Food.

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