Apple bacon coffee cake

A perfect warm treat for a crisp autumn morning.

By , The Runaway Spoon

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    A moist morning cake topped with maple-sweetened apples and salty, crispy bacon.
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As October begins, I start to think about the farmers market season wrapping up. I’ve got a few weeks left, when I can buy beautiful apples, as well as pumpkins, winter squash, pears and greens, but I know things are moving into fall and winter. Smaller versions of the market continue, which is a boon, but not quite the same. My Saturday ritual is wrapping up for the hibernating season.

After a spring and summer of early morning marketing and weekends filled with putting my bounty by, I know the shorter days have a little less to keep me busy. One way I fill the Saturday morning void is with baking and preparing breakfast treats. And this is one of my fall favorites. A moist morning cake topped with maple-sweetened apples and salty, crispy bacon. It is a perfect warm treat for a crisp autumn morning.

You can easily make the apple and bacon topping up to a day before, and whip up the cake in the morning. A spicy cup of hot tea would be great with this kuchen. And I will say, I consider this a coffee cake, but it would also be nice as a dessert with some ice cream or sweetened whipped cream.

Apple and Bacon Kuchen
Serves 8 – 10

For the topping:

8 strips of bacon
2 Tablespoons butter
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon maple syrup (grade B amber)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 granny smith apples

For the Kuchen:

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten, room temperature
1 tablespoon maple syrup (grade B amber)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream

For the filling:

Cook the bacon in large skillet until nice and crispy. Remove to paper towels to drain. Pour the bacon fat out of the skillet and reserve. Wipe out the skillet to remove any bits and pieces. Add back 1 tablespoon of bacon grease and the butter and melt over medium heat. Stir in the brown sugar and maple syrup. While the buttery brown sugar is melting together, peel and core the apples and cut them into small chunks. Drop the apple pieces into the butter as soon as you chop them to prevent discoloration and stir to coat well. Sprinkle over the cinnamon and stir to combine. Cook until the apples are soft and the syrupy brown sugar is reduced and just coating the apples. Cut the bacon into small pieces and stir into the apples. Set aside to cool. The topping can be made a day ahead and stored covered in the fridge until ready to cook.

For the kuchen:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9- x 13-inch baking pan.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and beat until combined. Beat in the maple syrup. Mix in the flour, baking powder and baking soda alternately with the sour cream. Beat until well combined. Spread the batter into the prepared pan, spreading it out to the corners. Spread the apple-bacon topping over the batter to evenly cover the top. Press the filling in a little bit with a spatula.

Bake the kuchen for 25 – 30 minutes, until the kuchen is puffed and brown on the edges and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Serve warm cut into squares.

Related post: Fluffy Corn Cakes with Bacon and Maple Syrup

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