March 06, 2012

Jam Sessions: No Good Excuse Coffee Cake (with Apple Butter)

I wasn't going to admit this on the old-blog-o, but my friends: I am a terrible baker. You'll protest--everyone does--and say "that's impossible!" But it is absolutely true.  Everything that I bake that actually turns out is truly by the grace of God, because I make every single possible mistake in the book.

Last night, for example, I decided to make a hearty, healthy coffee-cake, with an apple butter base (I need to clean out my jam-pantry before spring). And I carefully wrote out the recipe, made my small adaptations (apple butter instead of apple sauce).  Everything seemed to be going so well.  I even had butter softened on the counter to use for greasing the pan. Plus I got to make a streusel topping, which is basically my favorite thing to do with flour and sugar and butter.

And then, two minutes after putting it in the oven, which I had faithfully pre-heated, I realized I forgot to add--you'll not believe it--the eggs and the sugar.  EGGS AND SUGAR. Clearly, I wanted to make a apple-butter based hockey puck.

But, Lo!  This cake you cannot mess up. I grabbed the cake, scooped out the streusel, mixed in two beaten eggs and the brown sugar, added the slightly soggy streusel back onto the cake, and popped it in the oven.

I call it No Good Excuse Coffee Cake because there really is no good excuse not to make it or eat it.  It is hearty, with white whole wheat and whole wheat flours; it has flax, which we all know is terribly good for you; it only takes two eggs, and is low on butter, too--which I assume means it is low on fat.  You can certainly reduce the sugar content, too, if you like.

And I promise you, you cannot mess this cake up.  Because, in case you skipped the previous paragraphs, I'd like to mention once again: I left out the eggs and sugar.  Until it was already in the oven. And it still turned out delicious.

No Good Excuse Coffee Cake
adapted from Aaron's Father's Recipe

1 1/2 cups white-whole wheat flour
2 tbl ground or whole flax seed
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp soda
2/3 cup apple butter (or apple sauce)
1 cup buttermilk or sour milk (if no sour milk is on hand, add 1 tsp vinegar to 1 c. milk)
2 eggs
4 tbl cold butter

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease your pans with softened butter.

Mix 3/4 cup of the white-whole wheat flour, flax seed, 1/2 cup of the brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside 1/2 cup for streusel.

To the remaining mixture, add remaining dry ingredients (including remaining brown sugar and white-whole wheat flour). Then beat in the apple butter, eggs and buttermilk, and stir till thoroughly combined.

Make the streusel by cutting in 2 or 3 tbl cold butter (add the remaining tbl. if necessary), and using your fingers to incorporate into a sandy consistency. 

Pour batter into one greased 9" square pan, or two greased loaf pans. Bake at 375 till the top is golden brown and a knife inserted into the cake comes out clean.  (For the 9" square pan this took 40 minutes. For loaf pans it ought to take around 30.  Just keep an eye on it.)

This is part of the recipe series JAM SESSIONS which uses jams, butters, and marmalades in daily cooking. For more Jam Sessions Recipes click here. Photo, mine, from iPhone.

1 comment:

  1. This is indeed a forgiving recipe. Glad you enjoyed!