“…until it smells just right.” What?!?!

Now, I don’t know about you but when I see the directions, “Add in seasonings until it smells just right,” I have absolutely no idea what that means.  What does “just right” smell like?

I was especially confused (and kinda screwed) because I’ve never baked with allspice and cloves.  Are they super strong spices like cinnamon, or more subtle?  How much do I add?  What if I add too much allspice or cloves or both?  Dear Lord, this is complicated!

With all of that said, I would highly recommend this recipe.  The combination of the extremely moist cake, apples, and crumble make for a sweet, creamy, and interesting texture.  I would however change the crumble to a cinnamon/nutmeg combination and lose the allspice and cloves.  Paul and I weren’t down with those flavors.

Regardless, the cake tastes and smells like fall.  Give it a go!

Just Bitten by a Dog Apple Coffee Cake with Spiced Crumb Topping (recipe care of bythecommoncook.com)



Crumb Topping:  ¾ cup flour, ⅓ cup brown sugar, ¼ cup sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, Allspice, Cloves, 6 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature

The cake: 1 ½ cups flour, ¾ cup sugar, 2 teaspoon baking powder, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ or 1 small very ripe (well-smashed banana), 4 tablespoons butter (melted), ½ cup milk, 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon almond extract, 3 granny smith apples (peeled and sliced or chopped)

For cake: In bowl mash banana very well with fork or masher. Mix in vanilla, almond, milk and butter. Add in dry ingredients until just combined.

For topping. Combine all ingredients in bowl. Add in seasoning until it smells just right. Mix until crumb like. Fingers work well for this process.

Grease an approximate 9” round or square dish. Pour in cake batter, smooth until even. Arrange apple slices on top. Sprinkle the crumb topping evenly over the top of cake.

Bake at about 350° for about 40 -45 minutes.  Cool and eat for breakfast or dessert. Or as any in between snack.

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