Delicious Autumn Spiced Apple Coffee Cake

Here's a delicious brunch treat for the fall! This is from the Spiced Apple Coffee Cake recipe in "The Williams-Sonoma Cookbook The Essential Recipe Collection for Today's Home Cook". I have to say that it can only be truly perfect with autumn apples straight from the orchard, and all the more rewarding if you pick them yourself.
The original recipe calls for a cinnamon bun-like icing. I made the one they recommended but wasn't overly thrilled. It's moist and sweet enough to serve without it. And, if you really need something, vanilla ice cream makes a perfect topper. Enjoy!

Williams-Sonoma Spiced Apple Coffee Cake
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3 tart baking apples (approx. 1 lb.) peeled, cored, coarsely chopped
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 cup unsalted butter
8 oz. cream cheese (secret ingredient makes it super dense and moist!) at room temp.
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large eggs

Preheat oven to 350.
Grease and flour a 9" round or square springform pan.

In the first small bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
In a second small bowl, stir together the brown sugar, cardamom, and cinnamon.
In a third bowl, toss the apples with the lemon juice. Add the second bowl (brown sugar and spices) to the first and toss to coat.
In a fourth large bowl, mix the butter, cream cheese, granulated sugar, and vanilla using a mixer on medium-low. Add eggs one at a time mixing thoroughly. Add the dry ingredients a little at a time, mixing until smooth. Fold in apples using rubber spatula. Do not over mix.
Spread evenly into pan. Bake 60-70 minutes until top is toasty brown and toothpick or knife comes out clean.

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