Apple Streusel Cake

Apple Streusel Cake

My new book club met for the first time last Friday night. We appropriately read Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons, which is the story of a group of women who do, what else? They start a book club! Not only did everybody enjoy the book and the discussion they also enjoyed the refreshments. I wanted to serve something fall-ish, and I remembered that a friend and I were recently talking about the apple and cheddar pie conundrum. We call it such because to us it just seems ... odd. I know it's a popular pairing, but I have to admit I've never eaten apple pie with cheese in it. I do like to stretch my palate, however, so I decided to deconstruct the idea for our book club. I served a tray of pepper crackers with chunks of uber-sharp cheddar cheese (which was very popular - not a single morsel was left!) And I paired it with this gorgeous Apple Streusel Cake. Everything was well-received so I'm starting to think that an apple and cheddar pie is in my near future...

Apple Streusel Cake
Adapted from Creative Cook's Kitchen
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1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup chopped apples
1 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup apple juice

Glaze (I didn't use this):
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons apple juice

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare 9- or 10-inch tube pan.
2. Prepare streusel: In a medium bowl combine brown sugar, apples, pecans, flour and cinnamon. Stir in melted butter.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and baking soda.
4. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy on medium speed, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add vanilla.
5. Add flour to butter mixture, alternating with juice. Spoon half the batter into tube pan. Sprinkle half the streusel over batter. Spoon remaining batter over streusel, carefully spreading it to make an even layer. Swirl batter with a knife to make a marble pattern.
4. Bake 15 minutes. Remove cake from oven, and sprinkle top with remaining streusel. Return cake to oven, and bake until tester inserted into center comes out clean. (It took my cake about 20 minutes to get to this point, but yours may take up to 35. Watch carefully and don't let it overbake or the cake will be dry.) Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
5. Combine powdered sugar and apple juice. Mix well. Turn cake onto a serving plate; invert so streusel is on top. Drizzle glaze over cake and serve.