I was surfing the net for some inspiration on what to bake today when I stumbled across a nice apple cake on Joy of Baking. Excellent website for baked goods, fantastic website for pictures. Looking to gain a few pounds with no effort? Look up some pictures on this website. No…wait…it’s effortless anyways. 😛 My thoughts this morning were leaning towards apple, lemon, or chocolate. And something easy and comforting.
This fits the bill. It’s almost like a coffee cake, with the cinnamon laced crumb topping and the moist cake underneath, except for the apples. The apples are thinly sliced and layered between the crumb topping and the cake. It adds a tartness that cuts into the sweetness and pairs perfectly with the cinnamon in the topping. Speaking of the topping, the crumbs are crunchy and buttery, and creates a wonderful contrast with the tender apples and the soft cake.
I used some leftover MacIntosh apples, although I think just about any apple would do. Great way to get rid of those lonely apples that have been sitting neglected in the back of the fridge. I only wish I’d peeled the apples first. Oh wells, extra fibre and vitamins and excuse to eat this for breakfast. 😉 This is not a heavy cake, not too sweet or butter-laden. I suppose I could convince myself to eat this for breakfast anyways. You could too.
Apple Crumb Cake
adapted from Joy of Baking
(makes one 8 inch square cake)
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
3 Tbsp. butter, cold
1 cup flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup plain yogurt (I’d imagine sour cream would work well also)
3 Tbsp. milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 apples, preferably peeled, cut into 1/8 inch thick slices
To make the topping, combine all ingredients and rub the butter in with your fingers until the crumbs start to clump together. Set aside.
To make the cake, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and mix well. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture and stir. Add the yogurt and milk. Mix until blended, don’t over do it.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray an 8-inch square cake pan with nonstick cooking spray. Alternatively, grease and flour or grease and line with parchment paper. Whatever is easiest for you.
Spread the cake batter into the prepared pan and level the surface. Press the apples onto the batter. Finally, cover with the topping mixture. Press down with your fingers to make sure everything adheres to each other.
Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the pan comes out clean, and the crumb topping is golden brown. Enjoy with some coffee and a friend. Don’t forget to inhale in deeply the spicy sweet aroma that fills your house!