April 23, 2013 by Meg G.
Quick breads are pretty much my baking go-to. They usually involve things that are already in your fridge and pantry, they often utilize the “dump and stir” method, they are equally delicious for breakfast or dessert, and they act as the perfect host gift.
So, when we were invited to a friend’s home for dinner and were informed that all we could bring were some origami paper cranes (a suggestion made in jest), I figured I would whip up a quick bread for the hosts. Naturally, we also brought some origami cranes.
This coffee cake recipe exhibits a serious love for crumbly streusel. Not having read the directions completely (a recurring problem of mine), I missed the part where you layer the batter, then streusel, then batter, then streusel. Instead, I wound up with a HUGE amount of streusel on top and then used a fork to swirl it around. It worked, but I recommend trying it the proper way first. For the record, the original recipe is not called a “layered” coffee cake, but I thought I’d include that for those of us who might need a reminder… Here goes!
Layered Streusel Coffee Cake – adapted from Just a Taste
For the streusel:
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 4 Tablespoons butter, slightly softened and cut into pieces
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
For the coffee cake:
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 cup dried apples
- 1/3 cup (about 5 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
- 1/3 cup apple sauce (homemade or all natural)
- 1 cup sugar in the raw
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup (8 oz.) sour cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease loaf pan, muffin tins, or 9×9 baking dish with butter or cooking spray.
- Prepare the streusel topping by combining all ingredients in a small bowl, using your hands to crumble the butter evenly into the dry ingredients until well incorporated. (It should be the consistency of wet sand.) Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and dried apples. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, apple sauce, and sugar on medium speed until well mixed. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Reduce mixer speed to low, and then gradually beat in the flour mixture, sour cream, and vanilla until just combined. (Do not over-mix.)
- Layer the batter and streusel in the prepared loaf pan or muffin tins by spooning half of the batter, then half of the streusel, topped by the remaining batter and, finally, the remaining streusel on top.
- Bake for about 45-50 minutes, testing every few minutes after the 40 minute mark. (Muffins will obviously take much less time; start at 15 or 20 minutes.) Test for a cooked center with a toothpick. Remove from oven and let cool in tin for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
I made a few significant changes to the original recipe. As usual, I replaced half of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour. I also used sugar in the raw in place of white sugar. You can always do a one-to-one replacement of raw for white and there isn’t usually much of a difference in taste or texture. Sugar in the raw has a slight molasses flavor, so perhaps you don’t want to replace it in something very delicate, but here it works like a charm.
I also decided to replace the original recipe’s vegetable oil with apple sauce and while I was at it, I added the dried apples. Despite that, I found there to be practically no apple flavor in the finished product. Probably too much sugar and butter happening (oh darn!) for the apple to really shine. But it added some nutritional value, so that’s a bonus.
We made two smaller loaves in addition to the large loaf, so that we could make sure that we weren’t poisoning our hosts! Turns out, there wasn’t much difference between the stirred up version and the non-stirred version. But I do think that layering would improve the overall incorporation and yumminess.