Tag Archives: apple

The Cake Slice: Caramel Apple Coffee Cake

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It’s the start of a new baking year for the Cake Slice…which means it’s time to reveal the new book we’ll all be baking from for the next 12 months. By “all” I mean my fellow Cake Slicers – a lovely group of ladies from all over the world who share a common love for baking and agree to bake one cake from the same cookbook each month for a year. We learn from our successes and failures and – most importantly – have lots of fun. We use a private Facebook group to compare notes, share pictures, and recount our latest baking adventures. As we were preparing for the launch of our new baking year, we ran a quick roll call to share where we all lived, and I was blown away by our diverse list of locations:

Cambridge, UK
Shedd, Oregon
Saginaw, Michigan
Weybridge, Surrey UK
Somerset, New Jersey
Modesto, California
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Singapore
Santa Rosa, California
Sydney, Australia
Montgomery Village, Maryland
Limerick, Ireland
San Fernando Valley, California

Wow…all of us connected through our affinity for flour, sugar, and butter!

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Each month, there are four cake recipes in which each baker may choose from, and then on the 20th of each month, we reveal the cake we chose on our blog and link all the blog posts together so all the world may see the pictures of our wonderful cakes.

The chosen book for our new baking year is called the Southern Cake Book by the editors of Southern Living Magazine. It’s loaded with beautiful, full-page pictures of each cake within the book and the recipes are easy to follow. I initially checked the book out from my local library so that I could give it a quick peruse before committing to another year’s worth of cake baking. I was pleasantly surprised.

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From the four options for November, I selected Caramel Apple Coffee Cake, and it was FAB-U-LOUS…and dangerous. Who knew homemade caramel was so easy to make and would taste so good?!? And better yet, the batch of caramel sauce was more than enough for the recipe, leaving an extra ½ cup for other purposes….like drizzled over homemade vanilla ice cream or slathered over fresh apple slices. I confess…I cut up an extra apple just to scrape the remaining caramel from the pan…into my mouth…at 8:00am…for breakfast. Don’t judge. No regrets.

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So here are the details on this cake. A fairly typical dense batter makes up the base. Then a layer of lightly sautéed apples is arranged on top on the batter, followed by a generous drizzle of caramel sauce. Finally, streusel crumbs are placed on top, and the whole thing is baked uncovered for 45 minutes, and then covered and baked for another 30 minutes. After it’s thoroughly cooled, more caramel is poured over the top.

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Now that you are most likely drooling all over your screen, you really should make this. Here’s the recipe: http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/caramel-apple-coffee-cake

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A few notes: Be sure to make the caramel sauce and streusel BEFORE you make the batter, so they have time to cool and are ready when you need them. Also, there is more butter in the batter/caramel/streusel combined recipes than a butterhead at the Minnesota State Fair…so don’t be afraid to cut it down a bit…I used half the butter called for in the batter and the streusel and it was just as decadent. Finally, I substituted ½ cup oats in place of the nuts in the streusel so my little coffee-cake loving kiddo with a nut allergy could enjoy this with the family.

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So, there you have it. And the kiddo gave it his seal of approval saying it’s the best coffee cake I’ve ever made. You know…because I bake coffee cakes all the time, right? Don’t we all?

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Check out what my fellow Cake Slicers baked this month:

The Cake Slice: Applesauce Spice Cake

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And so it begins…

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Last month I mentioned that I’ve joined a secret cake baking club called The Cake Slice Bakers. Little did I know then how much fun this would be… Continue reading

Warm Apple Pear Crisp with a Scoop of Vanilla

We made one last trip to our favorite apple orchard this weekend before they closed for the season. In the crisp, early November air, we greeted the chickens, petted the goats, and then headed inside the toasty, warm barn to scarf down a bag of sugary, apple donuts and load up on apples. Our fridge is now fully stocked with about 15 pounds of the most adorable, little round “lunchbox” size Haralson apples…all for the incredibly reasonable price of $10. That should keep us eating fresh, local apples hopefully through Christmas.

I say hopefully because…well, let’s just say if you could catch just one brief whiff of the apple crisp we just made, then you’d understand.

Pears and apples make the perfect pair. Sorry, had to say it. And, since we had a few ripe pears on hand, I modified my usual crisp recipe to incorporate them. One word of caution, though. Don’t try peeling and coring a ripe pair on an apple machine. Yep…turned to mush before my eyes.

Haralson apples are native to Minnesota. They are crisp, tart, and perfect for baking. That is…if you don’t eat them all first.

The best part about this recipe is that you can throw everything together in a few minutes time while you’re preparing dinner, and then set it in the oven to bake while you linger over family dinner. If your family doesn’t typically linger, believe me, this dessert is worth it.

Warm Apple Pear Crisp

1 pear
3 small apples (I used Haralson – lunchbox size)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 1/2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp honey
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup butter, softened

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare an 8 inch square baking dish by spraying with cooking spray.

Peel, core, and slice the pear and apples, and put them in the baking dish. Sprinkle 1 Tbsp flour, lemon juice, and honey over the sliced fruit, and stir slightly to coat evenly.

In a bowl, mix 1/2 cup flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, rolled oats, and butter until the butter is incorporated. Sprinkle over the fruit in the baking dish.

Bake for 40 minutes or until fruit is bubbling and top is golden brown. Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Waffles with Apple Spirals

I got a new toy, and I can’t wait to tell you all about it!

Have you ever wondered how well those apple peeler/slicer/corer machines really worked? I’ve always been a little curious, although they look pretty complex. Well, now I have one, and all I can say is…where have you been all my life???

Last week, I went back to my hometown of Green Bay, Wisconsin to visit my folks. Whenever I visit, there are always a few essential stops that I absolutely must make (in no particular order):

Lambeau Field: because I bleed green and gold, like all Green Bay natives, of course.
Kroll’s Restaurant: best classic burger joint located right across the street from Lambeau – try the deep fried cauliflower buds with ranch…I’m drooling just thinking of them.
Seroogy’s: best chocolate shop anywhere, yes I’m biased, but once you try the meltaways, you’ll definitely agree.
Cook’s Corner: the largest kitchen store in the nation.

Every time I step into Cook’s Corner, I have to take a moment to gaze in awe at all they have to offer. I could live in this store. Just give me a pillow and blanket and I’d happily set up camp somewhere between the fudge counter and the bakeware aisle. I mean, where else can you by beer-mug shaped pasta, imported from Germany?

And, do I need to mention, they have a discount wine shop? If that’s not enough, they also have an 8,000 square foot kitchenware outlet room, as well.

Whenever I visit, I HAVE to buy something. The minute I got there this time, my eyes were instantly drawn to a huge display table of apple slicers. Even better, they were on sale for half off! SOLD!!!

I managed to get out of there with only the apple slicer and a candy thermometer. Although, I almost fell prey to the towering display of panini presses and high-powered blenders, which were also discounted…sigh. Gotta leave something for next time.

And so, I couldn’t wait to give my new toy a test run as soon as I got home. We had a whopping three apples in our house, leftover from our last orchard trip, and I used them all to make this tasty breakfast for the boys, who thought that apples shaped like slinkies were the coolest thing ever.

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Waffles with Apple Spirals

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 eggs
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
3 small apples – peeled, cored, and sliced

Preheat a greased waffle iron.

Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl.

In a separate bowl, melt butter and allow to cool. Add milk, eggs, and vanilla. Mix well.

Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients bowl and stir until just combined.

Cook waffles using 1/3 cup of batter per waffle. Garnish waffles with apples and a sprinkle of cinnamon and confectioner’s sugar.

Harvest Apple Honey Bundt Cake

The leaves are turning, and fall is definitely upon us. Despite the warm mid-day weather, there’s a hint of crispness in the air that you feel as soon as the sun begins to set. This is the perfect time of the year to open up the windows, take in the cool autumn breeze, and bake up some lovely, aromatic apple cake.

We enjoyed our traditional annual family visit to the apple orchard last weekend. It’s about a half hour drive out of town for us, and we literally drool all the way there as we envision the pillowy, sugary apple doughnuts that await us at the orchard.

There are horseback rides, goats and chickens, a corn maze, and a thrilling apple cannon. The boys never want to leave.

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But when we do eventually leave, stuffed to the gills with luscious apple pull-aparts, apple bratwurst, and apple doughnuts…oh and let me not forget to mention adorable little jugs of homemade apple cider…we always bring home a peck or two of crunchy, sweet honeycrisp apples and a loaf of apple fritter bread.

I still haven’t perfected a version of the apple fritter bread that can stand up to the orchard’s version yet; however, I do have a great harvest-inspired bundt cake recipe that I’m sharing with you today. Make it. Trust me. It’s THAT good.

Harvest Apple Honey Bundt Cake

5 small apples
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup honey
1 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon apple pie spice

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a large bundt pan with cooking spray. Peel and shred apples (I like to use my food processor, as it shreds in a flash). Combine the sugar, honey, and eggs. Add the remaining ingredients, saving the apples to add last. Pour batter into bundt pan and bake for 60 minutes or until toothpick tests done. Let cake cool in bundt pan for 30 minutes, then transfer to a cake platter. Slice and serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.