A bunch has happened since my last post, including my birthday last week, which was accompanied by a giant donut cake, my favorite pizza twice in a week, a hot dog delivery, and a beer. Safe to say it was a fantastic weekend, and I was sad to see it go. I was also spoiled by Andrew with gifts these past couple of weeks, including these stinking cute prints for our bare walls and a couple of new pans. Both of which he gave early because I was on the verge of buying these things on my own and he panicked. But it just gave me extra time to start baking with them, so I can't complain.
When I started this blog, I would go out of my way to buy a lot of ridiculous things that I wouldn't normally house in my pantry or fridge. I bought expensive jams and curds, would spend money on fruits I would not normally eat. Looking back, I'm amused at my past imaginative self, thankful for the creativity but embarrassed of my spending habits. It's funny how time has changed this. I think it is in part, because this is not my every day job. I love this blog, but it's one of many passions in life, and over time I have learned where my priorities lie. I need to stretch my dollar and baking is a huge part of my life, but it's not my main source of income and I don't need to be investing in crazy ass ingredients to do the type of baking I like (read: low key). As a result, nowadays my baking stems from odds and ends we have leftover in the kitchen, from the last few wilting herbs to whatever we find in our Imperfect Produce box. Like leftover apples! And now we will discuss this coffee cake.
Oh dear, has coffee cake been quite the struggle. I started messing around with a few recipes last month, and while they yielded beautifully tender cakes with nommy crumbles, they would always have something that made me say, not yet. The cake would be too sunken in the middle. The crumb topping would sink into the batter. Delicious, yes. Blog worthy? Nope. So I went a little off the beaten path with this one, largely because I was just frustrated from all my previous fails and honestly having a "fuck it" attitude the day I baked this thing. Adding apples because they were just sitting there in the fridge and topping with straight turbinado sugar because I ran out of brown sugar while making the cake. A little rye flour because that's what you do when you're bored of all purpose. Sticking it in a 9x13 cake pan because I was having such mega sunken cake fails with my 10 inch springform pan. And it worked. So I will say, in all seriousness, I got really lucky with this one. And the crazy thing is that usually with these kinds of random successes I re-test them because I get preeettty skeptical that it'll work a second time, but this one checks the boxes.
So there's no real moral of this story other than here's a coffee cake I made and it's damn tasty, a random success in my sea of failures. I guess if I were to get all philosophical I would say that if you don't succeed keep trying, but don't keep doing the same things over and over again and expect major changes (as obvious as this sounds, I feel like this happens more often than we'd like to admit). Mix it up a little. You never know.
Apple rye coffee cake
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 cup rye flour
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 4 medium apples, peeled and sliced into 1/2 inch cubes
- Turbinado sugar, for sprinkling on top
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line and grease a 9 x 13 inch cake pan. It is important to use this kind of pan because it is more likely to sink with smaller pans and won't cook evenly through.
- In a large mixing bowl or a bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes on medium speed. Add the eggs and vanilla extract and beat until combined.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, rye flour, and all purpose flour in a bowl until combined.
- Add half of dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix on medium-low speed until combined. Add the buttermilk and again mix (on low speed at first, unless you want buttermilk flying everywhere) until combined. Add the remaining flour and mix on medium-low speed until a few flour streaks remain. Fold in the apples with a spatula until evenly dispersed and the batter is mixed but not overbeaten.
- Pour into your 9 x 13 inch cake pan and cover the top with turbinado sugar. I added about 1 cup to the top. Place in the oven and bake for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick placed in the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool for 20 minutes before slicing. Serve with coffee. Or milk. Or whatever you fancy.