Sunday, October 30, 2016

Yeasted apple coffee cake

What do you get when you mix a cinnamon roll with an apple crumble? This impossibly soft and fluffy yeasted apple coffee cake!

Hooray for apple season! Are you just as pumped as I am? While pumpkin continues to be a popular ingredient during the fall, apples are just as important to me during this time of year.

My family and I were pumped to receive this month's issue of Bon Appetit. I always look for the desserts first and was salivating when I saw the yeasted apple coffee cake. I'd never heard of a yeasted coffee cake before, so the concept was new to me.

I asked my husband what recipe he wanted to try from the magazine and he mentioned the apple cake without any hesitation. I made this one weekend when we had a few pockets of time in between our activities. Remember, because this is a yeasted cake, it will require time to rise (it actually needs 2 rises, so plan accordingly).

This coffee cake was incredible. It tasted like a combination between a classic cinnamon roll and an apple crumble. The cake layer was soft and fluffy like the cinnamon roll and the top layer was reminiscent of an apple crumble - from the crisp apples to the crumble. I found myself wanting to eat another slice but had to restrain myself.

One adjustment that I made to the original recipe was to halve the streusel layer. While I am a big fan of streusel, I felt like there was way too much here. I made the adjustments in the recipe below.

Yeasted apple coffee cake
Cake
  • 2 and 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast (1 packet)
  • 2/3 cup (packed) light brown sugar, divided 
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • zest and juice of 1 large orange
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
Streusel
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/6 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • pinch salt
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 3 large apples, peeled, cored and sliced thinly
Glaze
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon orange juice
Directions
Make the cake: Generously grease a standard 9"x13" baking pan and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl if mixing by hand, mix the yeast, 2 Tablespoons of the brown sugar and the warm water and allow it to sit undisturbed until foamy, about 5 minutes.

Add in the egg, remaining brown sugar and 1 cup of the flour. Mix with a spatula or wooden spoon. Sprinkle the remaining 2 cups of flour on top of the batter but do not mix it. Cover with a wet towel and place in a warm spot for about 60-90 minutes.

Add in the Greek yogurt, orange zest and juice, baking powder and salt and mix slightly with your spatula or wooden spoon. Using the dough hook attachment, knead the dough on medium speed until the dough is smooth but slightly sticky, about 2-3 minutes. You can also knead by hand. Add in the butter in 2 additions and mix on medium speed until the dough becomes smooth and shiny, about 4 minutes. It will be slightly sticky at this point.

Transfer the dough to your prepared baking pan and pat it down. Spread it out into the pan, making sure to cover all the corners. Cover and allow to sit in a warm spot for 60-70 minutes.

Make the streusel: As your dough is rising, pulse the flour, oats, sugars, cinnamon and salt in a food processor until well combined. Add the butter and continue pulsing until the mixture resembles wet sand. Set aside.

Assemble and bake the cake: Fan the thin apple slices across the dough in whatever pattern you like. Sprinkle the streusel on top of the cake and bake in your preheated oven for about 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool.

While the cake is cooling, make the glaze. Mix the powdered sugar and orange juice together until you achieve a glaze consistency. If it is too watery, add more powdered sugar. If it is too thick, add more orange juice. Drizzle the glaze on top of the cake.

Cake should be stored, covered, in an airtight container in the refrigerator and will last several days.

Yield: One 9"x13" pan; about 24-30 servings (or more, depending upon how big you cut your slices)

Source: Slightly adapted from Bon Appetit, October 2016 issue, page 100

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