Apple Walnut Coffee Cake

Deliciousness: 4 out of 5 slices
Difficulty: Easy
This coffee cake really hit this spot! It’s the perfect recipe to make using fresh fall apples. It’s sweet and nutty with a hint of cinnamon that really makes it delicious. Next time I’ll add a glaze to see if it makes it better, although it’s hard to think of how to improve this cake.

Can you feel the new crispness in the air?  It’s autumn and that means there are fresh apples are everywhere in upstate New York. This inspired me to bakes with local ingredients in this week’s cake recipe. Conveniently, I had some apples that I wanted to use up. I’ve been looking for an a reason to use them do that I would have an excuse to try some new varieties I am seeing at the farmers market. The recipe came from the one and only Paula Dean, so needless to say -it’s solid gold!

I don’t have many complaints about this weeks coffee cake. I made it with golden delicious apples and walnuts, which I will honestly admit that I did not take the time to toast. My only quip is that it takes a long time to bake. Be smarter than me and make sure that you don’t have plans to go anywhere before you put it in the oven, it took me nearly two hours!! Although the recipe is straight forward, I should also caution that it dirties more than a couple bowls, as you can see in my pictures. My biggest hiccup, besides timing, was that I missed a spot on the bundt cake pan and the cake got stuck to it, leaving an ugly pot hole when I removed it from the pan.

As I was baking this week I started thinking about coffee cakes, who came up with them anyways? An entire category of baked goods to compliment my favorite beverage! Sign me up. According to one source I found, coffee cakes evolved from sweet breads and became common in the 17th century when coffee was brand new to Europe. Picture great minds of the Enlightenment sipping hot bitter coffee and naturally pairing it with a slice of something sweet. Today’s quintessential coffee cakes, like the one I made, have a characteristic hole in their centers.

At this point, please allow me to go down the rabit hole, or in this case the cake hole. That hole is an innovation. Bundt cake pans were invented in 1950 by none other than the founder of Nordic Ware, Mr. Dalquist. I love Nordic ware! I was delighted to find out that hese brilliant pans were designed based on a traditional German design with that hole so that thick batters would be fully baked. There’s nothing more disappointing then discovering your cake is raw in the center. There is even a Bundt cake day, April 7th, so make your calendars.

Back to my cake, as far as the icing is concerned… I ran out of time and energy this week and I skipped it. Baking is a nice way unwind on Sunday evening, but this cake took so long in the oven that I got tired and might have short changed come parts of it. It was delicious without icing. I think it was rich and sweet enough without it.



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