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I’m taking some time off the next few weeks to spend with my family and our new baby girl. In the meantime, I’ve asked a few of my amazingly talented blogger friends — or in this case, family — to fill in with guest posts. I’m so excited and honored to have Avery’s aunt Natalie, who blogs at Good Girl Style, sharing one of her delicious baked goods with us. I mean… caramel apple crumb cake. Do you hear that choir of angels? Maybe it’s my sleep deprivation, but I sure do. Anywho, thanks to Natalie for visiting with us today!

Why hello there! I’m Natalie, and if you don’t know me, I write over at Good Girl Style, for Darling Magazine and other places on the interwebs, mainly about poetry, style, and recipes. But you guys, the most important thing is that Avery Kate is my niece and isn’t she the cutest little darling ever? I’m pretty partial. So it’s a pleasure to be able to share something yummy with you while my brother, Steph and Miss Avery take a breather and enjoy family time together. The only sad thing is I don’t live nearby anymore so I can’t share any cute photos of me snuggling the babe, unless I did some fancy photoshop work but that will have to wait because I have a recipe to share with you.

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Now I know you might be thinking: It’s Spring! What’s she doing getting all caramel-y and apple-y on me? Shouldn’t it be all rhubarb and strawberries? Well, yes and no. It’s still chilly here in New England, and the farmer’s markets are full of the remnants of winter…that is, the leftover apples until all of the summer fruits start coming in. So what better way to eat the last of the apples than with a thick crumb coating and a generous drizzle of caramel?

Crumb cake is one of the most satisfying baked goods, I think. The sturdy base and hefty crumbs hold up to coffee particularly well. The caramel makes this fit for even the heartiest sweet tooth, so a glass of milk is also a welcome companion. This is the sort of cake you leave on the butcher block island with a fresh pot of coffee. When you come in from raking the remnants of winter out of the garden (we certainly don’t plant anything up here until June 1 for fear of frost), the entire cake has mysteriously disappeared into the eager hands and mouths of anyone who might cross paths with its heavenly scent and glistening, crumb-topped glory. But now I’m just slipping into poetry-mode.

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Suffice to say: make this now. Your house will smell absolutely wonderful and I guarantee when fall comes around the smell will return to you and this cake will once again find its place on your butcher block island with a fresh pot of coffee.

Caramel Apple Crumb Cake
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Yields: 16 servings
 
Ingredients
For the crumb topping:
  • ⅓ cup white sugar
  • ⅓ cup packed brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted
  • 1 ¾ cups flour (to make this GF, I used Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free flour mix)
For the cake:
  • 1 ¼ cups flour (again, I used Bob’s Red Mill)
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ⅓ cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 ½ cups chopped apple
For topping, optional:
  • Caramel sauce
  • Cinnamon
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease an 8x8 inch pan and line with parchment paper.
  2. To make the crumb topping: Stir together the sugars, salt, and cinnamon. Add the melted butter and stir until combined. Add the flour, mixing well as it creates a dough of sorts. Let sit while you make the cake batter.
  3. To make the cake: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and baking soda. Cut in the butter until it becomes an even grainy texture. In a measuring cup, mix together the vanilla, buttermilk, egg and egg yolk. Add to the dry ingredients. Beat for 1 minute until smooth and light. Fold in the chopped apples. Spread the batter into the prepared pan. Now break the topping into medium-sized pieces and evenly distribute over the batter. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
  4. To top: Drizzle with warm caramel sauce and sprinkle with cinnamon. Cut into 16 squares to serve.
 

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