I’m home for the holidays visiting my maternal family on the Central Coast of California. Before I left Los Angeles, I decided to bake a quick cake that I could take home with me (because when you’re a food blogger, people sort of expect you to come bearing food gifts!). I wanted to bake a moist loaf cake that would be easy to transport and last a couple of days without drying out. We had extra green apples in the kitchen which I wanted to use up, so my mind went to apple cake. Usually I use sour cream in my apple cakes, but lately I’ve taken to adding Greek yogurt to my cakes and quick breads. It adds moisture to the batter without a lot of unnecessary calories. It gave a lovely texture and flavor to this Apple Streusel Cake. I used lots of cinnamon and a little butter for added flavor. The resulting Greek Yogurt Apple Streusel Cake was a big hit at my maternal family’s Christmas celebration. It’s the perfect easy cake to bring to a family gathering, or to serve at a brunch buffet. It goes great with a cup of hot tea or coffee– sort of like the apple version of a sour cream coffee cake, made with a lower calorie Greek yogurt batter. Try it, you’ll love it!
I haven’t had time for many posts this week, but I look forward to getting back in the swing of things next week. Hope you’re all having a great holiday!
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- 3 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled (about 1 lb apples)
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 ½ cups + 2 tbsp sugar, divided
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3 eggs, room temperature
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 cup Greek yogurt
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 2 1/2 cups flour, divided
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 3/4 tsp cinnamon, divided
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- Dash of cloves
- 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
- Nonstick cooking oil spray
- 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- Pinch of salt
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 1/2 tbsp water, or more if needed
- 1 tsp melted butter
You will also need
- Electric mixer, large mixing bowl, medium mixing bowl, small mixing bowl, spatula, 2 medium loaf pans (8 ½ x 4 ½ inches each)
- Put peeled apples into a bowl of cold water mixed with lemon juice. Reserve. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees F. Cut the butter into small chunks and place in a large mixing bowl along with 1 1/2 cups sugar. Use an electric mixer to beat together the butter and sugar for a few minutes. Make sure the butter is fully integrated into the sugar and the mixture turns into small, even-sized crumbs.
- Add the eggs and oil to the bowl. Continue to mix until smooth.
- Add the Greek yogurt, vanilla and almond extract to the bowl. Use a spatula to stir the mixture till smooth.
- In a medium bowl, sift together 2 ¼ cups flour, baking soda, 1 ½ tsp cinnamon, ¼ tsp salt, nutmeg and cloves.
- Fold the dry ingredients into the wet to make a thick batter. Don’t overmix—a few lumps are okay.
- In the same medium bowl you used to sift the flour, sift together remaining ¼ cup flour, 2 tbsp sugar and ¼ tsp cinnamon.
- Drain the peeled apples and pat dry. Core the apples and dice them into small ¼ inch chunks.
- Add the apple chunks to the flour, sugar and cinnamon mixture. Toss the apple chunks with the flour till evenly coated.
- Fold the apple chunks and walnuts into the cake batter. Grease two loaf pans with nonstick cooking oil spray. Divide the batter evenly between the two loaf pans.
- Combine streusel ingredients in a food processor and pulse till a crumbly topping forms. If you don’t have a processor, chop the walnuts into very small pieces and mix them with the other streusel ingredients till the mixture is moist and crumbly.
- Sprinkle the tops of the two cakes evenly with streusel, half on each cake.
- Place the cakes into the oven. Bake for 60-70 minutes, turning once halfway through cooking, till the top is brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. If the top of the cake browns faster than it bakes, cover with foil for the remainder of baking time. It’s a very moist cake, so err on the side of cooking it a little longer if you’re unsure, using the foil to protect against burning.
- Let the cakes cool for 20 minutes in their pans, then gently release and place on a wire rack to cool completely. If the cakes will not release easily, you can also let them cool completely in the pan.
- To make the glaze icing, sift powdered sugar into a small mixing bowl. Use a whisk to mix the ingredients till a thick and creamy icing forms. You want the consistency of thick honey; if you need a little more moisture, add milk a few drops at a time. Just a drop can take it from a thick honey to a runny texture, so add with care. The thicker the frosting is, the more white it will dry... adding too much water will cause it to dry clearish, and it won't have that nice thick white look to it.
- Line a glass with a plastic bag, wrapping the edge of the bag around the outer rim of the glass. This will help you fill it with frosting. Use a spatula to scoop the frosting into the bag.
- Place cakes on top of a piece of parchment paper or paper towels to catch drips.
- Work the frosting into the corner of the bag and snip off a small corner with scissors. Gently squeeze and drizzle the frosting in a zig-zag pattern across the top of the cakes, using half of the icing for each cake.
- Let the icing dry for at least 30 minutes to set (it may take longer depending on the weather).
- Serve cake slices with a cup of tea or coffee. Sigh contentedly. Apple cake is good. Life is good.
Other Great Recipe Ideas
Joy the Baker: Cinnamon-Sugar Apple Skillet Cake
Brown Eyed Baker: Apple Hand Pies
Recipe Girl: Maple-Drizzled Apple Muffins
David Lebovitz: French Apple Cake
Healthful Pursuit: Apple Pie Cupcakes with Cream “Cheese” Frosting