Because we are friends, I am going to admit something to you: for the longest time, I hated coffee cake. It wasn’t because of the taste or texture; it was because of the name. Coffee cake. When I hear coffee cake, I think of a cake, usually a bundt cake, flavored with a rich coffee flavor. And of course, the reality is that when people talk about coffee cake, they mean this crumb-topped cake you eat with your coffee. To me, that was deceitful and limiting. I didn’t like coffee (to this day, I can only tolerate only certain kinds of coffee drinks), did that mean I couldn’t enjoy it with my hot chocolate?
As I grew older, I realized that I was being a little silly about the whole thing and allowed myself to enjoy coffee cake without a side of bitterness and came to find myself adoring the dessert. Especially that crumb. Oh, that crumb is amazing.
Which is why there is a lot of crumb on this coffee cake. And when I say there is a lot of crumb, I mean, I doubled what normal coffee cakes ask for. This coffee cake is half cake half crumb. I’d make it 30% cake and 70% crumb if I knew you wouldn’t mind (would it be okay for me to do that next time, pretty please??)
This particular cake needs a decent amount of cake to hold in that delicious chai-spiced apple filling. I lurv myself some chai. Come autumn and winter, I am allllllll about the chai. I make chai e’rrythang. I also put some of that chai spice in the crumb topping. This chai-spiced apple coffee cake with chai crumb goes really well with a cardamom pistachio ice cream. Try it. It’s really the best. Yum… I need to make that ice cream for you.
This is the perfect after-dinner dessert for the fall. Tons of delicious apples and a wonderful hint of chai and that delicious crumb topping. It has a delicate crumb and not overly sweet. It’s great with coffee, tea, or even hot chocolate if you are a hot chocolate fiend such as myself.
- ⅔ cup sugar
- ⅔ cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon cardamom
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups flour
- ¾ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup buttermilk or sour cream
- 1 1.2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 medium apples (I used Fuji and Granny Smith), chopped
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon cardamom
- ½ teaspoon ground allspice
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and grease plus flour an 8x8 inch baking pan.
- Mix together the ingredients for the crumb topping with a fork. It should form large, coarse clumps. Set aside.
- Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together.
- Beat the butter until creamy, then add the sugar. Alternate adding in the flour and buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour. Add int he vanilla. Be careful not to overmix.
- Toss the apples with the cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and allspice. Gently fold into the batter.
- Pour the batter into the pan and then crumble the crumb topping over the batter, pressing gently to ensure it adheres to the batter.
- Bake for about 45 - 48 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out with only a few crumbs clinging to it. Allow the cake to cool and serve warm or room temperature.