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Apple Streusel Cake Tested Recipe

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Apple Streusel Cake Recipe

Through the ages apples were not merely a fruit to be eaten as food, they were also thought to be magical, with their powers extending from curing diseases, ensuring fertility, to giving immortality. Even today the apple provides both good and bad symbolism. As Boria Sax tells us in 'Rooted in America' there is "linkage of apples to health, to rural and domestic industry, to sin and sex, to purity and danger, and to all-American identity." But most of us usually focus on apples as a food and the fact is is that they are an important cultivated fruit in most temperate parts of the world. Apple varieties now number well into the thousands with each having its own unique color, shape, texture and flavor. Their colors can range from red, green, yellow to brown; its flavors can be sweet, tart, mellow, or spicy; and its textures can be soft and mealy, to hard, to crisp so there is an apple to suit everyone's tastes.

This Apple Streusel Cake is a great way to showcase the apple's delicious flavor and texture. It falls into the 'coffee cake' category and it combines a light and buttery cake with sliced apples and a streusel topping. I like to use the tart flavored Granny Smith apple in this cake, but other excellent choices are the sweeter tasting Golden Delicious, Braeburn, McIntosh, Rome, or Mutsu. The crunchy streusel is made with brown sugar, butter, flour, ground cinnamon and chopped hazelnuts. If you cannot find hazelnuts in your area, substitute with walnuts, pecans, or even almonds. This cake is delicious warm from the oven or at room temperature. Of course, no apple dessert is complete without a dollop of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
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Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C).  Butter an 8 inch (20 cm) spring form pan and line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.

Streusel Topping: In a large bowl, mix together the flour and ground cinnamon. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or fork until it resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the brown sugar and chopped hazelnuts. Set aside while you make the cake batter.

Cake Batter: In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

In the bowl of your electric mixer, with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until creamy and smooth. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat until incorporated. Add the flour mixture, alternately with the milk, and beat only until combined. Spread the batter into the bottom of the prepared pan, smoothing the top with an offset spatula. 

Evenly arrange the apple slices on top of the cake batter and then sprinkle with the streusel topping.

Bake for about 45 - 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool slightly. 

Serve warm or at room temperature with vanilla ice cream or softly whipped cream.

Makes 8 - 10 servings.

Note: To toast hazelnuts place in a 350 degree F (180 degree C) oven for 15 minutes or until fragrant and the skins begin to flake. Remove from oven and place the hot nuts in a dish towel. Roll up the towel and let the nuts sit (steam) for a few minutes then rub the nuts in the towel briskly to remove the skins. Let cool before using. Toasting the nuts not only removes the bitter skins but also enhances the sweet, rich, buttery flavor of the nut. 

Streusel Topping:

1/2 cup (65 grams) all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3 tablespoons (40 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1/4 cup (70 grams) brown sugar

1/4 cup (20 grams) toasted and coarsely chopped hazelnuts (can use walnuts or pecans)

Cake Batter:

1 cup (130 grams) all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup (56 grams) (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated white sugar

1 large egg

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/3 cup (80 ml) milk

2 large Granny Smith Apples, peeled, cored, and cut into thin (1/8 inch) slices

 
 
     
 

 

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