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Apple Coffee Layer Cake
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Apple Coffee Layer Cake

I’ve often wondered why I’ve never seen a layered coffee cake. It just seems like stacking coffee cakes on top of each other would make the presentation so much more festive! I recently couldn’t help but try out this idea when I was baking a birthday treat for us to enjoy during one of our weekly morning lab meetings.

I felt it was important to cram as many apples as possible into the cake since it’s apple season. I also thought it would ideal to have the apples at the top of each cake layer, so I baked the cakes in two different pans. For the bottom layer, I made an upside down apple cake, similar to this one (but I was somehow out of butter so I used some oil in this version, along with less cardamom and a cup of buttermilk that I needed to use up instead of sour cream – feel free to use either cake variation!), so there was a layer of apples at the bottom of a 9-inch round pan and batter on top. Then when I flipped the pan over, the apples were nicely baked into the top of the cake. I spread a bit of cream cheese frosting on this apple layer. Next, I whipped up the top layer of the cake in a 9-inch springform pan, so first I put in the batter, then a layer of apples, and finally the perfect amount of streusel. I even got the top cake layer out of the pan nicely without having to use my dental floss trick! I don’t usually gravitate towards sweets for breakfast, but who can resist apples, streusel, and cream cheese frosting?

Apple Coffee Layer Cake
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:

Apple Layer for Bottom Cake:
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 tart apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced

Cake Layers:
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt

Apple and Streusel Layer for Top Cake:
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/3 cup almond meal
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 tart apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced

Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 1/3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 tablespoon butter, at room temperature
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:
To make the apple layer for the bottom cake, mix butter and brown sugar together in a small bowl. Spread mixture evenly in greased 9-inch round cake pan. Fan apple slices in two concentric circles on top of the sugar mixture.

To make the cake layers, heat oven to 350˚F. Grease and flour a 9-inch springform pan for the top cake layer. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Stir in the canola oil, buttermilk, vanilla extract, and eggs until well combined. In a medium bowl, mix the flour, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, cloves, baking soda, and salt. Slowly stir the dry ingredients into the large bowl with the wet ingredients until smooth.

To make the top layer cake streusel layer, mix the melted butter, brown sugar, almond meal, and flour in a small bowl.

To prepare the cakes, pour half the batter into the bottom layer cake pan with the apples. Pour the other half into the prepared 9-inch springform top layer pan. Fan apple slices in two concentric circles on top of batter and top evenly with streusel layer. Bake cakes at 350˚F for 35-40 minutes or a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes or until the cake comes away from the edges of the pan, then run a knife around the outside of the pan, and immediately invert the bottom layer cake on a serving platter. Remove the sides of the springform pan for the top layer cake and allow to cool completely.

To make the cream cheese frosting, place the powdered sugar, cream cheese, butter, lemon juice, and vanilla extract in a large bowl and beat with a mixer until smooth, scraping down sides of the bowl as needed.

To assemble the cake, spread frosting evenly over the bottom layer cake on the serving platter. Place top layer cake on top. Makes 16 servings.

Nutrition: 420 calories, 19.5g fat, 1.7g fiber, 4.4g protein per serving
Cost: $0.80 per serving

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