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.
Chai-Spiced Apple Cake