Saturday, November 21, 2015

Apple Spiced Coffee Cake (and Our Renovated Kitchen!)

One of my favorite food blogs is White on Rice Couple.  Their recipes never let me down and, even more than that, I get a little bit addicted each time I make one of their recipes.  I'll do a trial run and cook or bake their recipes for Andy and myself and then I'll usually bust it back out within the week for guests (as seen here and here).

This is no exception.

When I read their recipe for Apple Spiced Coffee Cake I let out an audible "yessss...", probably confusing my office mates and then I hastily added a few items to my never ending grocery list and emailed myself the recipe to make later.

I didn't plan to blog this so the pictures aren't well thought out but with a delectable, seasonal coffee cake like this, I don't think I need pictures to convince you how badly you need try this.  Just look at the ingredients, you'll know what I mean.

A crumbly, nutty, sweet crust on top of moist, spicy apple cake.  I won't be shocked if you're at least thinking "yessss" right this second.

I was half way through preparation and was being blown away by the grated apple and aroma of the dry ingredients so this is where I started snapping.  Post its on my printed out recipe and all.  Lists are my strength and my weakness :)

If you've been reading my blog for a while you may notice how pretty my countertops are now.  Or maybe you didn't but please look at them.  Our kitchen got a face lift!

Here she is before:

And after!!!!

Yeah, I'm pretty in love.  I loved being in the kitchen before, but now it's kind of fun to wash dishes.  There, I said it.

We kept the cabinets and the stove (for now) because it works and we have a baby on the way so we have to prioritize!  We just knew we wanted to updated our kitchen and we renovations are often on the list of "Things we wish we did before having kids."  (Another one obvious one is "Travel" so we managed to squeeze in France and Italy in the less than 12 months, woo hoo!)

With this renovation we:

  • Replaced the countertops with quartz
  • Added a subway tile backsplash
  • Replaced the tiny, awful kitchen sink with a sink tub stainless steel under mount sink (Yipppeeee!  Our wok and 10 qt stock pot can fit at the same time, WHAT?!)
  • Upgraded the terribly low, sort-of-broken kitchen faucet with a Kohler Sensate Touchless Kitchen Faucet that we're both deeply obsessed with, I highly recommend splurging on this
  • Tossed the microwave that we never used and replaced it with a 400 CFM Zephyr hood.  We can now cook bacon without smelling up the whole house - some may argue this is a bad thing ;)
  • Installed under cabinet LED dimmable lighting.  Some mood lighting if you will.  They make night time kitchen photography possible.

Which brings me back to this Apple Spiced Coffee Cake, which I made and photographed at night.

I used fuji apples, which are my favorite and apparently oxidize way faster than the White on Rice Couple's tart apples.  Butter, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla, greek yogurt and grated apples...

Topped with a butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and pecan crumble...

"My pans are too full"  I thought, as I was filling them up and just brushed off my hesitation.  And they definitely baked over!  So I scooped up the overflow in the middle of the bake time and put it in the middle of the cake.  Not the prettiest decision but that crispy overflow was out of this world, caramel-y, chewy, sweet and nutty...yum!

Apple Spiced Coffee Cake
(Just slightly) adapted from White on Rice Couple

Topping Ingredients:

1/3 c flour
1/2 c brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
a pinch of kosher salt
6 tbsp cold, unsalted butter, cubed
1 c pecans (or other nuts)

Cake Ingredients:

1 1/2 c flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground clove
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 c unsalted butter
1 c brown sugar
2 eggs
3/4 c plain greek yogurt
2 c peeled and grated apples, drained (about 3 medium apples)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and prepare spring form baking pans with unflavored cooking spray (one 9" pan or 4 minis).

In a food processor, add the first 5 ingredients for the topping.  Pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Add your nuts and pulse until nuts are mostly chopped.  Don't over mix, you don't want a paste!

In a medium size bowl, whisk together the first 7 ingredients for the batter (the dry ingredients) and set aside.  In an electric mixer, beat the butter and brown sugar on medium high until light and fluffy, you'll see some bubbles.  Beat in the eggs until combined.  Add vanilla and greek yogurt and stir for a few rounds, then mix in your drained grated apples until just combined (or do this part by hand).

Mix in the flour mixture into the wet mixture until just combined.  Add to your spring form pans.  I would hold back on using all the mixture if it is too much, don't fill your pans more than half way, reserve the last bit for a second round to bake later.  (A fifth spring form pan would come in REALLY handy - I actually might need to buy one soon!)

Tap your pans down so the batter smooths out and top with the crust mixture - don't hold back on this part!  Bake for about 1 hour or until toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the cake.  Allow to mostly cool (I like to eat when it is still warm!) and remove from the pan.

Enjoy your festive coffee cake with a glass of milk or cup of tea, ahhh you're going to love it!!!