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Apple Pecan Yeast Cake Recipe & Video

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This Apple Pecan Yeast Cake is an Upside Down Cake. It starts with a layer of buttery toasted pecans. Underneath is a sprinkling of cinnamon laced brown sugar that is drizzled with honey. Then comes a layer of thinly sliced apples. All this covers a deliciously soft and fluffy cake that is made with yeast. It is reminiscent of a sticky bun, but a whole lot easier to make. Serve it warm from the oven, at room temperature, or even cold. This is sure to become a family favorite.

This cake recipe is unique in that it gets its rise, not from baking powder, but from yeast. This gives the cake that wonderful bread flavor and yet the texture is soft and fluffy. That is because we don't knead the dough like you would with most breads. All the cake ingredients are simply mixed together until smooth, which takes under one minute. This recipe is one I adapted from Beatrice Ojakangas' cookbook "The Great Holiday Baking Book". I love this book as it contains about 250 excellent recipes for the holidays. Actually I use this cookbook year round. If you aren't familiar with Beatrice Ojakangas, she has published 29 cookbooks. I own several. All of her recipes are very well written and explained and I've never tried one of her recipes that I haven't liked.

A few notes on ingredients. I have used active dry yeast in this recipe. You could use an equal amount of rapid rise yeast if you like. Just keep in mind that the rising time will be shorter. You could also use instant yeast, SAF red or gold. You would need to use 2 teaspoons, about 7 grams. While I didn't activate the active dry yeast in the liquid before adding it to the dough, you could do that if you like. Just heat the milk to lukewarm, stir in the yeast, and let sit about 5 to 10 minutes, or until foamy before adding to the batter.

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Apple Pecan Yeast Cake: Butter, or spray with a non stick vegetable spray, an 8 inch (20 cm) square baking pan, preferably non stick.

In a skillet, melt 1/4 cup (55 grams) of butter over medium heat. Add the pecans and cook until the butter and pecans are lightly browned. Remove from heat and evenly spread into your prepared pan.

In a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar and ground cinnamon. Evenly sprinkle the brown sugar mixture over the pecans. Drizzle with the honey and then evenly place the apple slices on top.

Next, in the bowl of your electric stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment (or with a hand mixer), combine the flour, yeast, granulated white sugar, and salt. Add the milk, melted butter, egg, and the vanilla extract and beat, on medium low speed, until the batter is smooth (about 1 minute). The batter will be sticky. With two spoons, place the batter evenly on top of the sliced apples. Cover with plastic wrap and let proof, in a warm place (about 75 degree F (24 degree C)), for about one hour. The batter will be puffy and soft.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). 

When ready to bake, remove the plastic wrap, and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until the cake has nicely browned and a wooden toothpick, inserted into the center of the cake, comes out clean. Immediately invert onto a wire rack that has been placed over a baking sheet to catch any drips. Serve warm, at room temperature, or cold.

Makes 1 - 8 inch (20 cm) cake.

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Apple Pecan Yeast Cake:

1/4 cup (55 grams) unsalted butter

1 cup (100 grams) chopped pecans (or walnuts)

1/2 cup (100 grams) light brown sugar (firmly packed)

1 teaspoon (2 grams) ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons (40 grams) honey

1 large firm textured apple (1/2 pound or 225 grams), peeled, cored, and thinly sliced (Granny Smith, Honey Crisp, Gala, etc.)

2 1/4 cups (290 grams) all purpose flour

one - 1/4 ounce package (7 grams) active dry yeast. (can also use 2 teaspoons (7 grams) SAF Red or Gold Instant Yeast)

1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated white sugar

3/4 teaspoon (3 grams) kosher salt

3/4 cup (180 ml/grams) very warm milk or water (125 degrees F (52 degrees C))

4 tablespoons (55 grams) warm melted unsalted butter

1 large egg (50 grams), at room temperature

1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) pure vanilla extract

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