The members of The Home Bakers hosted by Joyce from Kitchen Flavours each take turns to choose a recipe from Coffee Cakes: Simple, Sweet and Savory by Lou Seibert Pappas, and be the host of that recipe. It’s finally my turn and my choice was the Apple-Walnut Mosaic Coffee Cake.
As I flipped through the book, this recipe caught my eye because the list of ingredients fits my bill of a healthier cake – it uses wholemeal flour, yoghurt, oil (rather than butter), fruits and nuts. I was also drawn to the promise of it being a “particularly moist cake which keeps well for 4 to 5 days when refrigerated.”
The first time I baked this cake, I used a cake tin and I was not happy with the results. While it was moist and delicious, the cake has a rather crumbly texture. I could not even cut a decent piece for photos as it fell to bits when I removed it from the tin. When I made these the second time round, I turned them into cupcakes as I figured that the muffin cup will help it to hold its shape. It worked! I also reduced the amount of apples as there seems to be too much apples for the small amount of cake batter.
I also made a walnut streusel topping for the cupcakes. The cake is slightly tangy from the apples and cranberries, and has a wonderful lingering flavour from the spices. The crunchy walnut streusel made it extra delicious.
1 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar (I reduced to 1 cup)
2/3 cup canola oil, or 1/3 cup walnut oil and 1/3 cup canola oil
1 tsp vanilla essence
5 large granny smith or other tart apples, peeled cored and diced (about 6 cups) – I used 3 apples
1 1/4 cup dried cranberries
1 1/4 cup walnuts or pecans, coarsely chopped
Streusel topping (optional)
1 cup walnuts or pecans
2 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (170 degrees C), and prepare the muffin cups.
Place the nuts (total of 2 1/4 cups if you are making the streusel) on a baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes or until slightly toasted; let cool.
In a small bowl, combine the whole-wheat flour and all purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and all spice. Stir well to blend.
In another bowl, combine the eggs, brown sugar, oil and vanilla and beat with a whisk or electric mixer until smooth. Stir in the flour mixture till just blended. Stir in the apples, cranberries and toasted nuts (1 1/4 cup). Spoon the mixture into the muffin cups. The mixture will be stiff and thick.
To make the streusel topping, combine the butter, flour, brown sugar and cinnamon. Using a food processor or your fingers, cut the butter till it resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the walnuts (1 cup) and mix well.
Sprinkle the streusel topping over the cupcakes and bake for 20-25 minutes till evenly browned and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes and remove from the pan. Serve warm or at room temperature.