That right there IS the very definition of fall. At least it should be.
It's also the very definition of decadence. Oh my goodness y'all. I started out this morning all healthy with my whole wheat toast and banana...then 3/4 pound of creamy butter later I'm stuffing my face with this mess.
*Happily stuffing my face with this mess.
I don't regret one single bite.
I know the recipe is a little labor intensive, but just imagine the happy, caramel-covered faces of your friends and family. Heck, imagine your own happy, caramel-covered face. Definitely worth a go.
Caramel Apple Coffee Cake
Via Southern Living
For the Apples:
2 tablespoons butter
3 medium apples, peeled & sliced (like Granny Smith or Jonathan)
For the Caramel Sauce:
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup whipping cream or evaporated milk
1/4 cup honey or real maple syrup
For the Streusel Topping:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup melted butter
For the Cake:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup milk (skim, 1%, whole, whatever you have)
1) Prepare the Apples: Melt 2 tablespons butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add apples; sautee 5 minutes or until softened. Remove from heat; cool completely (about 30 minutes).
2) Prepare the Caramel Sauce: While the apples are cooling, combine all the ingredients for the caramel sauce in a medium saucepan over medium high heat, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes, still stirring constantly. Remove from heat and cool at least 15 minutes before serving. (You will use 1 cup of the caramel and will have 1/2 cup leftover for another use).
3) Prepare the Streusel Topping: mix together all of the streusel topping ingredients. Let stand about 30 minutes or until firm enough to crumble into small pieces.
4) Prepare the Cake: Grease and flour a 9-inch spring form pan. Preheat your oven to 350 F.
5) Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add sugar and vanilla, beating well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until blended after each addition.
6) Combine flour, baking powder, and salt; add to butter mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed until blended after each addition. Pour batter into pan. Top with sauteed apples, drizzle with 1/2 cup caramel sauce, and sprinkle with streusel topping.
7) Cover loosely with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove foil and continue to bake about 15-20 minutes more until center is set (toothpick inserted in center will not come out clean). Cool in pan for at least 30 minutes. With a butter knife, run around the edge of the pan and then remove sides of pan. Drizzle top with another 1/2 cup of the caramel sauce. Serve.