Monday, October 31, 2011

Apple graham coffee cake

coffee cake

Boston is one of my favorite American cities. I love Boston's gorgeous architecture, cobblestone roads, the smell of the sea.... Having visited Boston a few times, I've also noticed that people in Boston are really nice. If you pull out a map from your pocket because you are lost, a stranger will probably stop to see if you need help. I am always a little surprised when this happens in a big city because usually city people have no time for tourists. I know this because I am a city person, and I often have no time for tourists who seem to always catch me at the wrong moment (sorry!).

Flour bakery

Montreal is a little like Boston in its old world charm, which could be why I love Boston so much. Boston is also home to Flour bakery, with its chalkboard menus, fantastic sandwiches, and comforting baked goods, all "made with love!". Flour bakery reminds me a lot of Montreal's Olive et Gourmando.

coffee cake

The old-fashioned sour cream coffee cake from Flour bakery is unbelievable. I have no idea what makes it so good (besides that it's made with love). It's moist, a little dense, with a fantastic crumb. It's unbelievably good. I'd eat it all day long if I could.

Abby Dodge's baketogether for this month conveniently was a coffee cake, feeding my hunger for a good coffeecake. Abby's coffee cake is much lighter and spongier than the coffee cake at Flour bakery. The cake batter is sweetened with light brown sugar, while the streusel is made with dark brown sugar for a much more pronounced molasses flavor.

The best part of coffee cake is the deliciously crumbly streusel topping. Of course, the problem with coffee cake is also the deliciously crumby streusel topping. One false move and there are crumbs everywhere. I made this coffee cake twice, and the first time, I spilled half the streusel topping on the floor while I was mixing it together. It was tragic, but kind of funny because there was streusel everywhere and I unfortunately had just vacuumed. And when I was eating a square of it the next day, my hunk of cake fell over on my plate, spraying streusel crumbs all over the sofa and carpet, and even down the sleeve of my sweater.  I suggest you make a coffee cake and indulge in a piece with a cup of tea before you vacuum the house, and if you can, consume it before you shower and do your laundry for the week! These are my words of wisdom.

coffee cake

This coffee cake is light, moist and comforting. I made the streusel topping from a graham flour mixture that is a little nutty from the wheat germ and whole wheat flour, so it goes perfectly with the thin layer of sliced tart apples just below it.

Okay, this cake is not quite like the coffee cake at Flour bakery. Guess I'll just have to go visit Boston again sometime soon...

Apple graham coffee cake

coffee cake    Makes one 9x9-inch coffee cake
Streusel ingredients:
  • 50 grams all-purpose flour
  • 30 grams whole wheat flour
  • 10 grams wheat germ
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 130 grams dark brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
Cake ingredients
  • 250 grams all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 115 grams (8 tbsp) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 250 grams light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 250 mL (1 cup) sour cream (full-fat)
  • 1 apple (such as Cortland), peeled, cored and sliced thin
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Prepare a 9x9x2-inch pan by greasing and flouring it. Set aside for later.
  1. With a fork, stir together all the streusel ingredients in a small bowl. Continue mixing until the streusel clumps a little and all the dry ingredients are moistened. Set aside.
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside for later.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and the light brown sugar. Add the vanilla, followed by the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl as needed between each addition.
  3. With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients alternately with the sour cream, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Give the cake batter a couple stirs with your spatula to be sure all the ingredients have been evenly incorporated and the batter is smooth.
Assembly and baking
  1. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared cake pan.
  2. Top with a layer of the thinly sliced apple. Press them down gently.
  3. Sprinkle the prepared streusel topping over the apples. Press the streusel down gently.
  4. Bake the coffee cake for 40–50 minutes, checking it with a cake tester to be sure it is done.
  5. Let the coffee cake cool completely in the pan on a wire rack before serving.


  1. Oooh, I love graham crackers in my cakes! And with apple? Sounds absolutely amazing. I love the pattern on the plate, too, gorgeous photography.

  2. Graham crackers and apple-what a terrific combination! How I would love to have this with my morning coffee-yum! Your picture here is pretty tempting-well done.

  3. Graham crackers and apple are a lovely combination! Your cake looks absolutely divine!

  4. Mmm.. it looks really yummy! Perfect cake for tea time.

  5. Love the idea of graham flour; I can only imagine how good this is. The little bit that actually made it into your tummy. :)

  6. Nothing better than old fashioned comfort food. Looks amazing!!

  7. I was just thinking to myself that I have not made a coffee cake in years! They are fairly easy (albeit a little messy too), so why haven't I? Thanks for inspiring me to make an old favorite.

  8. apple, graham flour and streusel - sounds good if you ask me. and looking at your photos looks so tempting too!

  9. what an amazing combination. Your pictures are making me really hungry.

  10. This looks like the perfect cake to accompany a hot cup of coffee or tea...