Applesauce Coffee Cake

Posted on October 16, 2012


I saw this recipe on one of my favorite food blogs, and I knew I had to make it. It looked delicious. I was a bit confused as to how the crumb topping ended up being on the bottom. But as long as there was a crumbly sugary part, really who cares if it ends up on the top or bottom!

I jokingly said that I would attempt it as soon as I went apple picking, never thinking I would find the time…. But I did actually go to a farm an pick apples off a tree. I just so happened to have a day off while two of my sisters also didn’t have any other obligations, so we packed up and drove out to the country. I forgot how nice it was to get apples right off the tree. I also forgot how damn expensive it is to pick your own apples. The whole place is a racket. You pay the farm to feed their animals food they were going to feed them anyways. Amazing. But, t’s all about the charm or the experience, I suppose.

We went to the farm right down the street from my parent’s house that we used to go to years and years ago, and had almost perfect weather while picking. It was such good weather in fact that the place was MOBBED. Like overwhelming amounts of people. I don’t recall ever seeing this many people at this farm before. Madness.

Once you got out into the trees though, it was not nearly as busy. We picked a variety of apples, trying one here and there to make sure that it was the type we wanted. We didn’t get anything too tart, or tough. I think we were picking a lot of Macgouns, and Macintosh apples, I think. I can’t be certain.

Directly after we were done picking apples and got back on the road, the skies opened up and it began to rain really hard. We just made it in and out in the nick of time. I felt bad for all the folks in line to get into the teeny store that was already VERY full of people you couldn’t even mill about and look at anything cause everywhere you looked or stepped, there was a person already there. After the rain the sun was setting and since the leaves had begun to turn out there it almost looked like the back fields were on fire.

While most people alter recipes “to taste” I have more of a tendency to alter things “to my pantry” and that is also what I did with this one. I went to the grocery store twice without buying apple cider. It was as if I had a mental block when it came to that section of the store. It’s also something that doesn’t really get used frequently in our house – I’m not even sure I can recall the last time I bought it…? I made the applesauce a day before when I had extra time to prep for the coffee cake with water and dark brown sugar.

I found it hard not to eat the entire topping, straight out of the bowl, but with much restraint, I made it, put it aside, and focused all of my attention on making the rest of the cake while trying to forget that the topping was sitting on the counter next to me.

Applesauce Coffee Cake
adapted from Suzanne

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup dark brown sugar packed
1/4 -1/3 cup old fashioned rolled oats
3/4 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt

Mix together in a medium prep bowl and set aside.

Cake Batter

2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons cinnamon
pinch of allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar packed
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 cup applesauce
2 small juicy apples, peeled and sliced (set aside to top)

In a medium/large bowl, sift the flour and spices, soda and salt together. In your stand mixer cream butter with granulated and brown sugars. Add eggs one at a time, add in flour mixture – mix on low until combined.

Preheat oven to 350F and pour batter into your well greased bunt pan. Layer the top with the sliced up bits of those two 2 small apples, pushing some of the slices into the batter. Layer topping over the slices of apples and bake for about 50-65 minutes (check with skewer to make sure it’s cooked through) mine were fully cooked at 55 minutes, the second time, 65 minutes.

I was forewarned that this wouldn’t fall with ease out of the bunt pan, and with that in mind, I did a very good job of making sure that it was VERY well greased. When it had cooled almost completely (no heat coming off it and the tin was about room temperature) I flipped it onto a cake storage/carrier, and tapped it a few times and voiala! It fell right out! What a nice surprise!

Both my sister, my boyfriend and I agree that this cake has just the proper amount of apple slices in it for us. Pie can have too much of the slightly slimy texture of large apple slices for our taste. This was a pleasantly moist cake, with a few slices mixed in. Not too gooey, or wet but definitely not dense at all. Delicious! It has already been requested for the holidays this year.

This picture is from the first time that I made it, and I didn’t take all the peels off the sliced apples that I shoved in the top layer. They are barely noticeable when chowing down of this coffee cake. But the next time I made it, I peeled all the apples.

When you go to eat it, it needs nothing added to it at all. No butter, nothing. I am going to try to see how it would taste with the butter taken out and yogurt and applesauce added instead to make it a bit healthier -cause I have a bunch of old guys I force-feed sweets/baked goods to try out new recipes on, and if they aren’t willing to look out for their own health, I might as well do it for them….