Apricot Coffee Cake with Whole Grain Crumble

I grew up to the aroma of my mom’s coffee cake, with its brown sugar and cinnamon streusel, and the sound of the coffee percolator. I’m always trying to re-create that memory. This recipe is one I’ve played around with a lot. Though it’s plenty decadent, it also uses a combination of all-purpose flour and whole wheat flour. Mix and match whatever dried fruits, nuts and whole grains you may have frittering away in the pantry.

Filling and topping
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots, or whole cherries or currants
1/2 cup rolled oats or 1/4 cup stone-ground cornmeal
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2/3 cup sliced almonds or chopped walnuts, pecans, or unsalted pistachios or cashews
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon brown sugar, lightly packed
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
Coffee cake
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt or sour cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (regular whole wheat flour is fine too)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

To make the filling and topping: Soak the apricots in hot water for 20-30 minutes or until soft, then drain thoroughly.

Combine the remaining filling and topping ingredients in a small bowl, squishing the butter with your fingers or a pastry blender until the ingredients are well combined. Set aside.

To make the coffee cake: Grease and flour a 10-inch Bundt pan and preheat the oven to 350°F.

Place the butter and sugar in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until creamy, 2-3 minutes. Add eggs, yogurt, and vanilla and almond extracts, then beat again until smooth.

Whisk or stir together the all-purpose flour, pastry flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl, then gradually add to the butter mixture while on low speed, until just combined.

Sprinkle half of the topping evenly over the bottom of the prepared pan. Pour one-third to one-half of the batter evenly on top, then sprinkle with the remaining topping and all of the apricots. Add the rest of the batter in large spoonfuls, then use a flexible spatula to gently spread the batter to an even thickness (it helps to grease the spatula first); it’s OK if some of the filling mixes in with the batter.

Bake until a toothpick inserted into the thick part of the cake comes out clean, 40-45 minutes. Let cool on a rack for 10 minutes, then use a thin knife to loosen the edges of the cake. Invert it onto a serving platter and let cool briefly before serving.

Serves 10-12

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