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.
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.
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.
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
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.