June 16, 2016

Apricot Buttermilk Coffee Cake

Another week of pregnancy gone by, another cake. At least we finally got around to getting everything set up for the baby's arrival? Easier said than done with a hyperactive toddler around (especially one who very much wants to make sure he's getting lots of attention before he has to compete for Mom and Dad).

I had some apricots sitting around that my kid rejected. I can't blame him - I swear they always look better than they taste. They were almost inedibly sour, but the magic of apricots is that they turn into pure sweetness when baked. So I really had no choice but to make a cake, right?

Sprouted Kitchen's "Buttermilk Berry Crumb Cake" popped into my head. I'd meant to make it last summer but never got around to it (also, berries never last long in this house). So I adapted it to fit what I had around and wanted to use, and came up with a not-too-sweet, nubbly-textured cake perfect for accompanying a cup of tea or coffee, or being served as a breakfast treat.

I will note that you definitely *can* taste the banana in this. I think next time I'd either replace it with an actual fat (probably flavorless oil, or maybe yogurt?) OR I'd accent the banana flavor more by leaving out the fruit, and subbing in either a caramel ribbon, chocolate chips, or perhaps just a few handfuls of chopped pecans. The original recipe never specified pan size. I didn't have a springform pan and so I used a 10" pan, which I thought made this just the right thickness, but use whatever you like (just adjust cooking time accordingly). Just make sure if the pan is smaller that it's fairly deep (ie thicker than regular 8" or 9" cake pans).

Apricot Buttermilk Coffee Cake:

3/4 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 medium ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 cup / half stick unsalted butter, melted
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
dashes of cinnamon and ginger, to taste
2 cups diced fresh apricots

1/4 cup / half stick unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup old-fashioned or quick oats
1/4 cup spelt or other whole-grain flour
1/4 c. almond meal
1/2 cup sugar (white or brown)
1/4 cup pecans
ground mace (several dashes)
pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a 10" deep pan with parchment or foil, and grease the bottom and sides.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the buttermilk, mashed bananas, and melted butter. Add the eggs one at a time, then add in the vanilla.

In another bowl, combine the whole wheat flour, all purpose flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices. Add one cup of the apricots to the dry mix and toss to coat. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and stir to combine in as few strokes as possible. Be careful not to overmix!

In another bowl, make the crumble. Mix the softened butter, oats, flours, sugar, spices, and salt together. I found it easiest to rub everything together with my fingers until pea-sized clumps formed.

Pour the batter into the pan and scatter the rest of the apricot pieces evenly on top. Sprinkle the crumble over all. Bake on the middle rack for 50-60 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Try not to overbake as the cake is low in fat and may come out very dry if you do. Cool on a wire rack, serve warm or at room-temp.

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