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Pennsylvania Dutch Apple-Muffin Cake
We like to bake this cake in a charlotte mold, one of those deep round pans with slanting sides, so that it looks like a giant muffin. Still, it will taste just as good baked in a souffle dish or tube pan-- full of the heady autumn flavors of apples, cinnamon, allspice, and cloves.
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 2-quart charlotte mold or souffle dish, or a 9-inch tube pan, and sprinkle with bread crumbs, tapping out the excess. Prepare the Crumb Topping: In a small bowl, combine the sugar, flour, and cinnamon. With a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs; set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, allspice, and cloves. In a small bowl, stir the butter, sour cream, and eggs until they are well combined.
Stir the butter mixture into the flour mixture just until the batter is smooth and satiny. Stir in the apples. Spread the batter into prepared mold. Sprinkle with crumb topping.
Bake the cake 1 hour, or until the crumbs are lightly browned and a cake tester comes out clean. (If you are using a tube pan, start testing for doneness after 45 minutes.)
Cool the cake in the mold on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Run a metal spatula or knife between cake and the side of the mold to loosen the cake, then gently invert it onto a work surface and remove the pan. Turn it over onto the wire rack and cool completely. Transfer the cake to a serving plate.
Makes: One 8-inch cake
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