Apple Cider & Salted Caramel Crème Fraîche Coffee Cake

Apple Cider & Salted Caramel Crème Fraîche Coffee Cake

So I know Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and pretty much all we can think about is what we forgot to get from the store. (I forgot chestnuts. Ugh.)

But look on the bright side: If, like me, you have to brave the madness that is last-minute Thanksgiving shopping, you can at least grab all the ingredients to make this coffee cake too. I know it might not really have a place amidst all the pies, but it deserves a place somewhere, because it’s ridiculously delicious. Whip it up on Friday morning so your family doesn’t eat turkey sandwiches for breakfast. Or file it away for a quieter occasion, when you can eat half of it with no relatives around to judge you. Just promise me that, at some point in time, you will make and eat this. Please.

Apple Cider & Salted Caramel Crème Fraîche Coffee Cake

Apple Cider & Salted Caramel Crème Fraîche Coffee Cake

This recipe is based off my most favorite coffee cake ever. I am a bit of a coffee cake addict, and many of the recipes I’d tried in the past left me feeling kind of meh. They were more than edible, but maybe a little too dense or a little too dry, or just not quite what I was looking for. Then I made Ree’s recipe a couple years ago and never looked back. It is THE coffee cake, you guys. I attribute much of that to whipping the egg whites (and leaving out the yolks), which gives the cake a hint of angel food lightness. In this recipe, I’ve added reduced apple cider for some fall flavor, along with crème fraîche and salted caramel to give it the punch of decadence I crave in the colder months. It hovers between a breakfast and a dessert, which I think is an admirable quality in a dessert. Or a breakfast.

Apple Cider & Salted Caramel Crème Fraîche Coffee Cake

Apple Cider & Salted Caramel Crème Fraîche Coffee Cake

I used Vermont Creamery’s Madagascar Vanilla Crème Fraîche, which you may remember me raving about earlier this year in this post. It is creamy, heavenly decadence. (It is possible that I may have mixed it together with some leftover salted caramel and dipped things in it……yolo.) And in case you missed it, the crème fraîche giveaway I’m hosting for Vermont Creamery is still going on! Head over here to enter before it closes on Sunday!

Also, be on the lookout for another great giveaway I’m hosting this weekend for Small Business Saturday! And cookies. There will be cookies.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Apple Cider & Salted Caramel Crème Fraîche Coffee Cake

Apple Cider & Salted Caramel Crème Fraîche Coffee Cake

Apple Cider & Salted Caramel Crème Fraîche Coffee Cake

(loosely adapted from The Pioneer Woman)

3 tbsp Vermont Creamery Unsalted Cultured Butter, softened
6 tbsp Vermont Creamery Madagascar Vanilla Crème Fraîche
1 cup sugar
1 cup apple cider
1 1/2 cups cake flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 egg whites

Salted Caramel
1/2 cup sugar
3 tbsp Vermont Creamery Unsalted Cultured Butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
3/4 tsp coarse sea salt

1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1/4 cup almonds, chopped
3/4 cup light brown sugar
6 tbsp flour
6 tbsp Vermont Creamery Unsalted Cultured Butter, chilled

To make the salted caramel:

Evenly distribute sugar over the bottom of a heavy saucepan and place over medium-high heat. Once the sugar begins to show signs of melting, start whisking it. It will clump a little, but continue to whisk and it will continue to melt. Once the sugar has dissolved entirely, set aside the whisk and swirl the sugar in the pan. As soon as it begins to darken and turn a deep amber color, carefully stir in the butter with a wooden spoon. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the heavy cream. Stir in the salt, then let the caramel cool for at least 10 minutes.

To make the coffee cake:

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 9” baking dish or skillet.

Heat apple cider in a small saucepan over medium heat. Let simmer until reduced by half. Once reduced, set aside and let cool.

In the meantime, sift together cake flour, salt, and baking powder. In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites until they reach soft peaks. Set both bowls aside.

Cream together butter, sugar, and crème fraîche in a large bowl. Alternately add apple cider and flour mixture, stirring each until just combined. Gently fold in egg whites.

Add 1/2 of the batter to your pan. Drizzle a healthy amount of salted caramel over top, then spoon the rest of the batter on top.

Pulse topping ingredients in a food processor or cut together with a pastry cutter until crumbly. Evenly distribute over the batter.

Bake for approximately 40 minutes, or until cake is just set in the center.

Apple Cider & Salted Caramel Crème Fraîche Coffee Cake

Apple Cider & Salted Caramel Crème Fraîche Coffee Cake


  1. says

    I can’t imagine making this the day after Thanksgiving (I don’t usually get hungry until at least 3 PM the day after) but we always make an elaborate breakfast on Christmas morning to munch on while opening gifts – I feel like this might be the perfect recipe for this year!!

    • says

      Hehe! Yeah, I figure not everyone lets Thanksgiving propel them into non-stop FEAST MODE. (I guarantee I’ll by picking at leftovers by 9am tomorrow.) ;) It’s an absolutely perfect Christmas morning breakfast too! I’ll definitely be making it for my family then too.

  2. says

    I…don’t give coffee cakes too much thought, but you present a well-articulated argument to do so. The egg whites thing is so genius. I find coffee cakes to be so dense, but that angel food lightness is enticing. And the flavors you use sound so good together! We have some apple cider that we need to use up and absolutely no intention to return to the grocery store until at least next Monday, so this may be on the agenda. I hope you get those chestnuts! Have fun with your big feast!

    • says

      Yes! The angel food-ness is so key. And the mega-fall flavors — oh man.

      I did get the chestnuts! It was a total madhouse there, even though I went before 9am. But I kept my sanity long enough to make it out of there in one piece, thanks goodness.

      Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you had Kevin have a great pie feast! :)

    • says

      Hehehe. I lose all control when it comes to Thanksgiving. I usually wind up with a large but not too crazy plate, but it’s the second, late-night dinner that really does me in. :)

  3. says

    I don’t know much about baking, but after reading through this recipe I’m positive coffee cake can’t get better than this. I am literally typing this as I walk out the door to go shop for these ingredients. Baking a few things with my wife today, so looks like I’ll just sneak this in between pies.

  4. says

    This looks AMAZE. I haven’t had coffee cake in a couple years and looking at this is making me so angry at myself for it. I’ve already gotten my sweets menu planned but this will make for a delicious holiday treat :)

    I used to do the black Friday thing in Oregon, but I’ve never done it here in LA because there’s literally like 10 million people here and that would be horrible. BUT, our mattress is such a piece of crap and we really need a new one (my back gets sore if I sleep in it too long :( so much for sleeping in!) and there’s some pretty sweet mattress sales happening at Sears so I *may* convince myself to brave the crowds and get one. I figure people probably wouldn’t be busting down the doors for mattresses so I’d go a little later in the day when it’d be less crazy….but who am I kidding it’s almost certainly going to be a shit show the entire time. Ugh. Mattresses why are you so expensive?? If they didn’t cost like $1000 normally I wouldn’t make myself go, but $500 in savings is hard to say no to…

    • says

      Oh man, I cannot imagine LA on Black Friday! But for a mattress…yes…I 100% understand. (That’s actually what I asked my parents to get me for Christmas this year.) I like to joke that a new mattress is the one necessary upgrade holding me back from being a legit adult, but the more I put it off, the more true it feels. Soon! I hope you guys get an awesome deal on one (with minimal craziness)! :)

  5. inga lukins says

    This just popped out of the oven and it is absolutely to die for! I do not like any level of coffee cake but your post and pictures intrigued me to give it a try. The combination of caramel, cake, and crunch make it a winner and it will be a regular ‘wow’ item for friends and family. And skillet cake means skillet cake not 9″ pie dish – what was I thinking?!

  6. says

    Just so stunning. And a mix of so many gorgeous flavors — apple cider, salted caramel, creme fraiche? I’m always amazed by your wonderful taste in putting together unique flavors into something that seems like it should have been a “thing” all along. Thanks so much for posting this!

  7. says

    All the flavors in this cake! I’m short of words to describe it… I’m just thinking that I am the only person in my house that actually likes coffee cakes (crazy, I know), but on the bright side there will be more for me right? :)


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