Recipe by Sarah Phillips; Food styling and photos by Kelly Hong © 2-26-2013 Sarah Phillips CraftyBaking.com
I am crazy about recipes baked in cast iron skillets; they are so homey, welcoming, and quintessentially American! This quick-to-mix recipe makes a bakery-style coffee cake, just like the Ultimate Buttery Streusel Crumb Coffee Cake, but includes a layer of fresh fruit under the crunchy streusel topping. Find out how we mix the cake batter to keep it moist and tender, as well as our tips for greasing the cast iron skillet to ensure the cake doesn't stick or get overly browned. This delightful cake is perfect for breakfast, a midday snack, or dessert, served warm with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream.
CAKE RECIPE HELP
Do not use butter when greasing your skillet; it will burn easily because the pan gets so hot and then the cake will stick like crazy. Make sure your skillet is well-prepared with oil before pouring in the cake batter.
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, spoon into measuring cup and level to rim
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick or 8 tablespoons) salted butter, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, spoon into measuring cup and level to rim
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick or 8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups ripe fruit, chopped such as peaches, apples, plums, or whole berries, or a mix; you can use canned fruit - just make sure it is well-drained
SARAH SAYS: I used a combination of chopped apples and whole blueberries.
1. Position an oven shelf to the middle of the oven.
Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Lightly oil the bottom and sides of a 10-inch cast-iron skillet; set aside. Do NOT use butter.
Make the topping:
1. Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, sugars, cinnamon and salt in a medium size bowl.
2. Drizzle the melted and cooled butter and the 1 teaspoon vanilla over the ingredients.
3. Mix well to make a crumbly dough; set aside.
Make the batter:
1. Place 1 1/4 cups flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a small bowl, stirring to combine. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, with a hand-held mixer, beat the butter until softened. Add the granulated sugar and beat together until smooth.
With a rubber spatula, scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.
3. Add the eggs and beat well on high until fluffy and aerated.
4. Add the sour cream and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract. Beat on high until well aerated.
5. Add the flour and dry ingredients to the batter all at once, folding together well with a large rubber spatula. The batter will be stiff.
Do NOT overmix it to get the batter perfectly smooth; it's ok to still see some wisps of flour.
SARAH SAYS: The reason for using the folding mixing technique here is to not overwork the gluten proteins in the wheat flour, when mixed with moisture, preventing the creation of tough gluten in the recipe, ensuring a moist cake.
1. Place the prepared skillet on a foil lined baking sheet with rims.
SARAH SAYS: I use an old baking sheet so as not to ruin a new one.
2. Smooth the batter into the prepared skillet.
3. Sprinkle the fruit evenly on top.
4. Crumble the topping mixture into big chunks and sprinkle on top of the fruit.
5. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs but not batter clinging to it, about 45 - 55 minutes.
Remove the skillet from the oven using oven mitts, and place on a thick hot pad or on the stovetop. (Do not turn on the stovetop burners.) Be careful, the skillet is really HOT!
Cool cake in its pan a few minutes before cutting into wedges.
Remove cake from the skillet before storing. Store at room temperature for a day, well wrapped, and then refrigerate if the room is humid.
The cake will remain quite moist because of the fruit.
The cake freezes well for a month or more. Defrost at room temperature in its wrappers, or in the refrigerator if the room is humid.