This week’s recipe is here for two reasons: first, the weather has finally been cooling down in my part of the world and that always puts me in the mood to do autumn-y baking featuring autumn-y flavors/ingredients.

Second, it was my thirty-fourth birthday this past week. It was an occasion that called for cake. But not just any cake. I started a tradition for myself several years ago of baking a new cake for my birthday every year as a way of not just celebrating myself, but also a way of celebrating a new ‘me’ since, ideally, with every new year, I’m making some kind of progress on myself.

Year 34 was a year of intense work/tests/preparation for me. I set some very high goals for myself going into it, and I’m pleased to say that just about all of them have been met. One of the best feelings in the world for me personally is when my hard work pays off, and it really just motivates me to want to push and reach higher. That alone is worth celebrating.

Another thing well worth celebrating is this cake, so let’s get into that, shall we?

A couple weeks ago I visited an apple orchard and brought home some apples that I intended to both eat raw and do some baking with. My birthday cake seemed like it would be a good one of the uses that I put them to.

This cake has three components to it, but don’t let that or the length of the recipe intimidate you; it’s quite simple. The first component is the streusel that gets sprinkled on top of the cake. I flavored it with cinnamon, as well as ginger, nutmeg and allspice, and then a bit of vanilla.

The second component is a fresh diced apple filling that’s seasoned with the same spices as the streusel, brown sugar and melted butter. Half of the cake batter is spread in the bottom of the pan, then the apple filling is layered on top of that, followed by the remaining batter, and the streusel topping.

Coffee cake itself sometimes has the risk of being really dry and bland. That’s where the fresh apples and the sour cream in the batter come in to give the finished product an added moisture.

I highly recommend that you don’t skip the step of lining the cake pan with parchment paper before baking; it will make cutting into and removing the cake so much easier, and will also make it easier to clean when all is said and done.

As a whole, the cake tastes exactly the way you would expect it to. The texture itself is soft and especially moist with the added apples throughout. The streusel is fabulous, adding teh perfect amount of crumbly buttered, spiced crunch on top. It made for a perfect birthday present to myself and a autumn-flavored celebration of yet another year under my belt.


Apple Pie Coffee Cake

Recipe Adapted from Taste of the South


For Streusel

  • ⅔ cup all-purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup firmly packed light
  • brown sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or emulsion

For Filling

  • 2 cups peeled ½-inch-chopped Pink Lady apples
  • ⅓ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For Cake

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or emulsion
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ cup sour cream, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk, room temperature

Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a 9-inch baking pan with baking spray (like PAM). Line with parchment paper, letting excess extend over sides of pan.

For streusel: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Add butter, tossing to coat. Using your fingers, cut in butter until evenly combined and texture is sandy. Keep refrigerated until ready to use.

For Filling: In a medium bowl, toss together apples, brown sugar, flour, and spices. Set aside.

For Cake: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or using a handheld mixer, beat softened butter and granulated sugar on medium speed until fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl as needed.

Beat in eggs, one at a time, just until blended. Beat in vanilla.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. With mixer on low speed, beat flour mixture into butter mixture in three additions, starting and ending with flour mixture, alternating with sour cream and milk, just until combined, stopping to scrape sides of bowl as needed.

Place 2 cups batter into prepared pan and spread into an even layer.

Add melted butter to apple filling mixture, tossing to combine. Spoon apple filling mixture into an even layer on top of batter in prepared pan.

Dollop remaining batter in small amounts on top of filling and then spread batter into an even layer. Tap pan on countertop 3 to 5 times to release any air bubbles. Sprinkle streusel evenly on top.

Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Let cool in pan for 15 minutes. Using excess parchment as handles, remove from pan. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Sharing at Fiesta Friday #504.

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