Saturday, October 8, 2011

Apple Streusel Coffee Cake

Last weekend was chapter two in my birthday celebration extravaganza. The plan was to go on a wine tour on Seneca Lake. This isn't one of those we'll rent a bus and spend 12 hours wine tasting type of tours. It was a have a couple of designated drivers and load up a couple of cars variety. There are few activities I can imagine spending the better part of a day doing. As a matter of fact I cannot think of one really.

For that reason I planned a wine tasting trip to be around 5 hours including the 2 hour round trip drive to the lake, leaving around 3 hours of tasting.  Nonetheless, a car ride plus wine tasting called for a snack.

 I had two criteria of what the treat needed to include: apples and a streusel topping. It was my birthday and a streusel topping was nonnegotiable. Also, I knew my snack had to include apples since we were still busting with apples from our apple picking adventure a few weeks before.  I surfed the web and perused a few cookbooks until I landed on my The Williams-Sonoma Baking Book.

 As an aside, I love all cook books that include many pictures of what I may or may not make. I think the Barefoot Contessa does a wonderful job at including the pics and therefore I have four of her books. It goes without saying that the Pioneer Woman makes sure her recipes are chocked full of photos. Good news about the Willams-Sonoma cook book every recipe is accompanied by a glossy picture of the goods.

Anywho, although I enjoyed the photo features in WS Baking Book, it did not produce a treat that met my criteria. However, it did have an easy-looking recipe for peach streusel coffee cake and since I change recipes at will I thought I'd have apples substitute for the peaches.

Take a look at the results.

I died. Joel could barely stay away and my wine-tasting friends loved them.

Here's how I did it.

Step one:

Gather up the participants in todays culinary adventure. Please note the surprise ingredient, almond extract, that I was not sure how it behave with apples rather than peaches but I was fearless and forged ahead.

Step two:

Work it out. Get the all-star streusel topping ready. Set aside. Better yet, pop her in the fridge cold butter is key to good streusel.

Step three:

Whisk it. Now whisk it good.

I'm going for a high cheesy factor today. How'm I doing?

This is the part of most recipes they ask you to use multiple bowls. I'm not going to do that. It is well documented that I detest using multiple bowls unless absolutely necessary. For those of you who do not currently have a dish washer, I know you feel my pain.

Don't be alarmed the cake batter is thick. This is good. The apples need to set gently on top of it and if it was runny this would be no bueno.

Step four:

Layer up! Easy as pie err coffee cake.  Pop this lovely mama into the oven for 40-45 minutes. Devoir immediately. Well let it cool off a bit but basically immediately. 

Enjoy the fruits of your labor! 

How adorable do these look all ready to go in their to-go container for our trip? Also, for the record, the almond extract was an amazing addition to the cake! Go with it. 

Apple Streusel Coffee Cake 
Adapted from The Williams-Sonoma Baking Book 

Makes one 9-inch cake

For the streusel: 
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon 
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

For the cake: 
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
3-4 medium baking apples, peeled and sliced thin

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees or if using a glass baking dish (as I did) set over to 325 degrees. 

Measure the streusel ingredients into a bowl and cut butter into dry ingredients using a pastry blender, fork, or your fingers. The butter should be broken down to pea-sized bits. Set aside or in the refrigerator. 

Moving on to make the cake. In a medium bowl whisk together the eggs, melted butter, milk, vanilla, and almond extract for about a minute until the mixture is creamy. Sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt over the wet mixture. Stir until just combined and the batter is without lumps, over-stirring = disaster people. 

Prepare the baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Spread the cake batter on the bottom. Gently place and press the apples in a single layer over the cake batter. Top with streusel. 

Bake until topping is golden brown and a tooth pick comes out of the center clean. This take about 45 minutes. Cool for 20 minutes before serving. 



  1. Okay, Amy P. I LOVE LOVE LOVE me some coffee cake. My grandma is known for making her coffee cake with sugar (that is two inches high, so I'm told). I am nervous about using the apples as it may taste like apple pie? Did you find that, or no? good work! Jody

  2. I agree Jody - I LUUURVE coffee cake! I also agree the crumble part is the most important part! It doesn't taste like apple pie at all in my opinion because of the almond flavor and the lack of pie flavorings other than the cinnamon. It's unique. :)