With a crazy demanding group of kids in my classroom this year, I haven’t had nearly as much time as I’d like for cooking and baking. To cope, I’ve been making an even more concentrated effort to choose recipes I’m sure will be a knockout. Of course, some are better than others. (Hello pretzel-chocolate chip muffins!) Then are those that are so, so much better than I could’ve even imagined. This cake. It falls in the latter category.
Oh. My. Autumn.
Moist, buttery, fluffy pumpkin cake would be amazing enough, but when it’s topped with what is essentially an apple crisp, you’ve got one heck of a decadent dessert. Just one bite was all it took for me to see visions of enjoying a slice of this, once again, when it’s cool enough to haul out the fluffy socks, make a cup of tea, and snuggle up under a blanket. Good gracious…doesn’t that sound like fall heaven?
Pumpkin-Apple Streusel Cake
adapted from epicurious
For the apples:
2 TBSP unsalted butter
4 c. diced, peeled, cored firm apples (such as Fuji or Granny Smith)
3 TBSP dark brown sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 c. chopped pecans (optional)
For the cake:
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 c. (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, room temperature
1/ tsp. salt
3/4 c. canned pumpkin purée
1/3 c. plain yogurt
2 TBSP dark brown sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. baking soda
2 large eggs, room temperature
1. To prepare the apples, melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add apples and sauté until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add sugar and cinnamon and sauté 3 minutes longer. Set aside to cool.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 9-in. springform pan.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat flour, brown sugar, butter, and salt until it resembles coarse meal. Remove 2/3 c. of the mixture from the bowl, stir in pecans (if using), and set aside for streusel topping.
4. Beat pumpkin, yogurt, brown sugar, spices, and baking soda into the remaining flour mixture until just smooth. Add in eggs one a a time.
5. Pour batter into prepared pan. Scatter apples and cinnamon-sugar syrup evenly on top, then sprinkle with reserved streusel topping. Bake until topping is golden brown and tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 55-70 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool, in the pan, on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Run a knife around the sides of the pan to loosen the cake and release pan sides. Transfer cake to a platter or cake stand and let cool completely.
Yields: 8 servings