This Apple Raspberry Coffee Cake was what I made for the Great American Baking Show Cake Week signature challenge. Even though I didn't do as well as I had hoped, being a contestant made me a better baker. During the preparation for the competition I started experimenting more with different flavor combinations; and I will use the critique I received during the competition for future bakes.
The cake picture here is a little different than the one I prepared for the show. I increased the size from a 9-inch round cake to a 13x9-inch cake. I added more ginger and I was more careful about placing the apples on top. When I practiced the cake at at home I was careful not to put too many apples on top, but during the competition I was so nervous I put too many apples on top which weighed it down and made it slightly wet. But the judges still liked the flavor.
Competing on the show was one of the best experiences of my life. I never dreamed of competing on a baking show and was beyond excited and privileged to have been selected. I learned a lot from my fellow bakers and the critique that I received from the judges.
THE COFFEE CAKE RECIPE
I experimented with how many eggs to put in, whether to use baking powder or baking soda or both. In the end I went with 4-1/2 eggs and baking powder only. Baking soda produced a darker cake that had a slightly bitter taste, so left that out. You can use raspberry jam, but I like making my own jam because I can control the sweetness. I used a a chopstick to swirl the raspberry through the batter. I felt that it gave me better control than a butter knife. If you don't have a chopstick, use a wooden skewer or a butter knife.
Granny Smith apples are on one of my favorites for baking and I like the contrast between the tart apple and the sweet cake. The recipe produces a dense, moist cake. One way I test some cake recipes is to let the cake sit out uncovered for several hours to see if it is still moist. I'm glad to say that after sitting out most of the day, the cake still tasted great.
Since there is a thick layer of crumble on top it can be hard to tell when the cake is done. I measured the temperature of the cake to ensure it was done. The cake is done when the center is about 202 degrees F. The outer edges of the cake will be 206-208 degrees F. I use a Thermapen digital thermometer for a lot of my baking and cooking.
If you decide to try this cake, tag me on Instagram @bakes_by_brownsugar and use the hashtag #bakesbybrownsugar. I think it will make a great cake for Christmas morning. I plan to present more the recipes that I prepared for the Great American Baking Show, so please check back soon.
Apple Raspberry Coffee Cake
- 2 cups (227 grams) raspberries, fresh or frozen
- 1 cup (200 grams) white granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 medium Granny Smith apples
- 3 tablespoons (42 grams) unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
- 2 cups (260 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 cup (150 grams) light brown sugar, packed
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4 cup (170 grams, 12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
- 2 cups (284 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup (70 grams) whole wheat pastry flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1-1/2 cups (300 grams) packed light brown sugar
- 3/4 cup (170 grams, 12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 4 eggs, room temperature
- 1 egg yolk, room temperature
- 1 cup buttermilk
- Grease and flour a 13x9-inch pan. Line the pan with parchment paper so the paper overhangs the sides of the pan. Lightly grease the parchment paper.
- Place the raspberries, sugar and water in a saucepan, turn heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low and mash berries. Continue to cook until berries are thickened, stirring frequently. Pour the berries into a shallow dish and cool to room temperature.
- To prevent the berry juice from splattering on the wall behind my oven I take a large piece of wax paper and cut out the center. I place it over the top of the pot. Using the wax paper with the hole allows the steam to escape and keeps your oven slightly clean.
- Peel the apples and cut into small chunks. Heat a 12-inch nonstick skillet on high heat, add butter and melt the butter until it just turns brown. Add the apples to the skillet in a single layer, the sprinkle the brown sugar on top. Stir the three ingredients together and reduce the heat to medium. Allow the apples to brown slightly before turning them over to brown on the other side. Pour apples into pie plate or other shallow dish and cool to room temperature.
- For topping, melt 12 tablespoons of butter in a sauce pan. In a bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder and salt. Add the melted butter to the flour mixture and mix together with a spoon until it is crumbly. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- For the cake, combine the all-purpose flour, whole wheat pastry flour, salt, baking powder and ground ginger. Whisk together.
- In the mixer bowl, combine brown sugar and butter and beat on medium high until fluffy, 3-4 minutes. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl.
- Add eggs and egg yolk, one at a time, beating after each addition until well combined. Add the vanilla and mix. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
- Add 1/3 of the flour mixture and beat on low speed until flour is just mixed in. Do not over mix. Add half of the buttermilk, beat until combined. Add half of the remaining flour and mix on low until just combined. Add the remaining buttermilk, mix on low and then add the remaining flour and mix on low until combined. Scrape the bottom and the sides of the bowl and mix on low speed for another 10-20 seconds to make sure everything is well combined.
- Place the batter in the pan spread around until even. Place the raspberry jam in dollops on top of the batter and use a skewer to swirl the raspberry throughout the batter. You may or may not use all the raspberry jam depending on your tastes. Crumble the streusel topping evenly over the cake. Place apples on top.
- Place pan in the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes. The temperature of the cake in the center should be about 202 degrees F. Remove from the oven and cool for at least 20 minutes before slicing.