These days, I feel like a decade-younger version of myself, in university, agreeing to join any and every committee, agreeing to go to any and every event, spreading myself much too thin, only to realize I had no time left for – uh – school. But that’s how I used to excel, push, and challenge myself. There was no time to waste time, so I had to get it done. Even still, I’m grateful for the many gracious professors who always took my papers in late. I even had one paper in grad school that was an entire semester late! Thankfully that was the only time I ever let it get that bad. I always had good reason – as every student does – and it wasn’t for lack of initiative. Quite the opposite, actually. Somehow, by the grace of the post-secondary gods, I still managed good grades and got all that committee work done.
Maybe I’m getting a fresh injection of ambition as I enter my new decade, but the 30-year-old version of me seems to be signing up for every food blogging event I can get my hands on, including trying to plan one of my own in the new year. Stay tuned! The odd thing this time around, remarkably, is that I’m very much on top of things. Who is this new me? I haven’t handed a single thing in on time in my entire life. If it weren’t for the last minute nothing would get done. I think it speaks volumes about how much I’m enjoying this blogging venture, because I can honestly say I no longer live by those words.
The recipe? A classic, sour cream coffee cake.
My twist? An apple-y one.
I used a bundt pan for this cake, rather than the square one the recipe called for. I buttered and floured the pan generously, sprinkled streusel in the bottom of the pan, and then covered the streusel with a light layer of chopped apples. When making the dry batter, I added a pinch of all spice, too. I then followed the recipe’s directions by filling the pan with half the completed batter, then 1/2 the remaining streusel, then the rest of the batter on top. Once the cake had cooled to room temperature, I flipped it out of the pan. I spread some homemade Apple Butter along the peaks of the cake, then sprinkled some of the leftover streusel into it.
I loved cutting into it and seeing not only the streusel layer in the middle, but the apple surprise just under the surface. The Apple Butter added an extra kick of sweetness, too. Next time I might even put some apples in the center, along with the streusel.
Sour Cream & Apple Coffeecake
(with apple butter)
Adapted from Abby Dodge
Makes 8 to 10 servings.
For the streusel:
2/3 cup (4 5/8 ounces) firmly packed dark brown sugar
3/4 cup ( 3 3/8ounces) all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
For the cake:
2 cups (9 ounces) all purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon table salt
Pinch of ground cloves
Pinch of all spice
8 tablespoons (4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups (8 3/4 ounces) firmly packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup sour cream, at room temperature
1 Gala apple (or favourite baking apple), cored and sliced or cut into small chunks
To make the streusel:
In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, flour and cinnamon. Drizzle over the melted butter and, using a fork (or use your fingers), mix the ingredients are well blended and form small crumbs. Pop in the fridge while you make the cake batter.
To make the cake:
Position an oven rack in the center of the oven. Heat oven to 350°F. Generously grease and flour the sides, bottom and center of a bundt pan.
Sprinkle a small handful of the streusel into the bottom of the pan, then evenly distribute the apple overtop. Scrape half of the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Evenly scatter half of the streusel mixture over the batter. Spoon the remaining batter evenly over the streusel and spread evenly.
Bake until the top is browned and a pick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, 43 to 45 minutes. Cool the pan on a wire rack until warm or room temperature.
Flip the pan over and release the cake onto a plate. Once the cake is completely cooled, spread the apple butter over the top and ever-so-slightly over the sides of the cake. Sprinkle remaining streusel over the top of the cake and serve.
What’s your favourite way to enjoy coffee cake?