Monday, June 23, 2014

Caramel Apple Coffee Cake

My sister aside, I don't think I've ever met someone who didn't at least like coffee cake once in a while. Personally, I was always in the "more crumb is more" camp, gladly downing my weight (and more) in my favourite Farmer's Market Cinnamon Coffee Cake whenever I got a chance as a kid. However, my mom and stepdad are more attuned to the simpler "snacking" cakes - those that highlight the notes of fruit and spices rather than butter and sugar. My dad is a fruit lover too (far more than chocolate), and has a passion for caramel and butterscotch greater than anyone else I know - often inspiring me to make recipes with a combination of the two if at all possible!

Since I had the dregs of a carton of Amoré Almonds + Dairy and a jar of homemade apple butter in the fridge to use, I was on the hunt for something to make with them. Lo and behold, in my baker's pantry sat the last of a bag of chewy caramels (probably from Christmas' Caramel Peanut Butter Fudge) and a handful of my all time favourite hard caramels too! What is more classic than caramel apples? I scouted around and found a spicy apple butter cake recipe that looked perfect as a base and got to work.

If you look at the original compared to this recipe, you'll know I took a lot of liberties with the ingredients, but the result was completely worth it! The chewy candy melted into a rich, buttery undernote that perfectly accented the spices, apples and light almond flavour, while the crunchy caramels became a textured topping far better than any crumb layer could be here. I took it to work and left it in the staff room (also known as the "binge area" - all the leftover snack and pizza day stuff winds up there) and by the time my lunch break rolled around there was only a single piece left!

Caramel Apple Coffee Cake

If by chance you don't have a workplace with such hungry (and adventurous) staff, no worries - just pack yourself a square with lunch, serve alongside strong coffee on a lazy Sunday morning or dish up with some vanilla yoghurt as an informal, weeknight dessert!

Caramel Apple Coffee Cake
Makes one 9" pan, 12 pieces
⅔ cup Amoré Almonds + Dairy beverage (or sweetened almond milk)
¼ cup canola oil
10 chewy caramel candies (i.e. Werther's), unwrapped
1 cup unsweetened apple butter
⅔ cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tbsp vanilla
1 cup flour
1 cup oat flour
1 tsp fresh grated ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp allspice
¼ tsp cardamom
Pinch white pepper
2 tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
4 hard caramel candies (i.e. Werther's), crushed coarsely
  1. Heat the oven to 350F and grease a 9” square pan.
  2. Melt together the Amoré, oil and caramels in the microwave, stirring often.
  3. Stir mixture into the apple butter, followed by the brown sugar, egg and vanilla.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients, mixing until just combined.
  5. Spread evenly in the prepared pan and sprinkle with crushed caramels.
  6. Bake 40-45 minutes.
  7. Cool completely in the pan.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 253.7
Total Fat: 7.0 g
Cholesterol: 16.4 mg
Sodium: 93.2 mg
Total Carbs: 49.5 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.1 g
Protein: 3.8 g