First up – coffee cake is not coffee-flavoured cake (although coffee cake can be cake with coffee in it). Wiki says coffee cake is cake intended to eat with coffee or on coffee break, a single layer cake either round, square or ring (tube) shaped or maybe even in the shape of a loaf (like banana bread). Coffee cake can be spiced, and include nuts, seeds and/or fruit. Coffee cake is topped with a streusel topping or a glaze. Similar to teacakes….. but tea cakes are served with tea ;-). I like the idea of streusel topping – saves having to ice (frost) the cake. I am still not entirely sure what the difference between coffee cake and tea cake, or regular cake is though.
Anyway – this is a non-coffee flavoured coffee cake. I have about four pottles of cream cheese in the fridge begging to be consumed. A quick Pinterest search of apple, cake and cream cheese turns up some delicious looking cakes. It is hard to pick which recipe to play with.
This cake has a layer of sweetened cream cheese running through the middle – a bit like having the cream cheese icing (frosting) in the middle of the cake instead of the top. There is a crumbly streusel topping of walnuts, sugar & cinnamon. Streusel toppings are typically made with flour, butter & sugar (like our classic Apple Crumble dessert) however streusel simply means to scatter or sprinkle (thanks Wiki). I think the addition of a little butter to this streusel would help it stay on top of the cake.
Here in NZ, our cream cheese comes in 250g tubs/cartons – the recipe calls for 8 ounces (227g roughly) however I put the whole tub in (a difference of about 23g cream cheese) as I didn’t think there was much point having a tablespoon of cream cheese lurking around in the fridge to go hard and yuck. I also use regular or traditional cream cheese as low-fat is not something I subscribe to. And as I love to bake with yoghurt – I subbed out the sour cream and subbed in thick natural unsweetened yoghurt (thick as in not quite as thick as thick Greek yoghurt).
For the apples, I used some Royal Gala & Red Delicious apples purchased from our local flea market. They were a little past their best for eating but perfect for the cake. I didn’t bother peeling them. I notice the apples have discoloured and I am not sure if that is because;
- I didn’t peel them.
- I mixed them with the vanilla essence (I would beat the vanilla essence into the butter mixture instead of mixing with the apples).
- I didn’t flour the tin.
Any ideas on why apples discolour in baking will be gratefully received. The cake itself is beautifully soft and moist. I don’t think it will keep long but, on account of how tasty it is, I don’t think that will matter. I also am tempted to add some lemon juice to the apples – both in an attempt to stop the discolouration and to enhance the flavour of the apples. I will make the cake again (still have 3 pottles of cream cheese in the fridge) and try the changes (butter in the streusel, lemon with the apples) and see how that turns out.
A poll of the family (APMML) returned the following results: 4 likes to 2 don’t knows.
- The Anster: he liked the cake but it wasn’t his favourite, thinking this is a ‘don’t know’.
- Mopp: scarfed it so fast it never touched the sides so I’m guessing that is a ‘like’.
- The Mattster: didn’t say, just ate it…. but he was of few words today. He did eat all of it so that scores a ‘like’.
- Miss M: I can’t remember what she said but she was of many words today so they all kind of ran together from topic to topic as we struggled to keep up. At least she was cheerful. I’m voting ‘like’ on this one. I don’t recall any moaning about the cake being better without the walnuts. Still voting a ‘like’.
- Mr L: complained that his stomach hurt after he ate his piece of cake. I didn’t gauge the size of the piece he ate, but possibly it was bigger than his belly could take. Have to go with ‘don’t know’.
- Me: well, it was cake. What’s not to like.
Apple Cream Cheese
adapted from allrecipes.com
250g cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup icing sugar
115g butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 t vanilla essence
3 cups chopped apples
2 cups standard flour
1 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1 cup natural unsweetened yoghurt
3/4 cup walnuts
2 1/2 T white sugar
1/4 t ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350ºF/175ºC.
Grease a 22-23 cm (10″) ring tin.
Place the softened cream cheese and icing sugar in a small bowl and beat until smooth and creamy. Set aside.
Place the softened butter and sugar in the cake mixer bowl and beat until creamy. Add one egg at a time, beating well after each addition (scrape down the edges of the bowl if needed).
Beat in vanilla essence. Gently fold in apples then sift the dry ingredients into the bowl (flour, baking powder & soda). Mix together, then fold in the yoghurt.
Spread half the mixture in the prepared cake tin. Spread over the cream cheese mixture then add the remaining mixture.
Place the walnuts, sugar & cinnamon in the food processor and give a quick whiz to chop the walnuts. Sprinkle or scatter over the top of the cake.
Bake, for about 50 minutes, or until the cake tester comes out clean.
Cook in the tin for 10-20 minutes before turning carefully out onto a plate (carefully, so all the lovely streusel doesn’t fall off). Turn the cake upright again, then cool completely before storing in an airtight container.
Consume, with or without coffee, on your coffee or tea break or when ever you like.