Bacon Apple Coffee Cake

For those who are thinking of bailing at the very sight of the words bacon and coffee cake appearing together, stay with me. I swear, bacon apple coffee cake is good. In fact it's pretty amazing. Everyone who has tried it has raved. And the universe doesn't often align in this manner. You see, not only did I bake something, but I wrote down the measurement for the recipe! Wow.

My poor family. They just wanted something nice and sweet for a weekend breaky. I started off with a normal coffee cake in my head. But as I started assembling the ingredients, I feared the sugariness of it, ack blech yuck, sweet. So I veered off course. Methinks, I'd prefer bacon to yucky old sticky coffee cake. Bacon, bacon, bacon, BACON! Why not? Why not go there, put bacon in the coffee cake?

As it turns out, the resulting cake is stellar, not too sweet, but not overwhelmed by the bacon, either. Perfection with a cup of coffee to cut through the sweetness and pick up the hints of smoke.

Begin by frying up some bacon crumbles, at least 8-10 slices, but more isn't a bad thing. Once they're browned and crispy, remove them from the pan. Measure 2 1/2 Tbsp. of bacon grease into a bowl, and set it aside until it starts to become cloudy and somewhat solid (this happens pretty quickly if you pour it into a room temp glass or ceramic bowl).

In the meantime, grease an 8x8" baking dish, and cover the bottom with peeled and diced apples. Sprinkle the apples with cinnamon and brown sugar (to taste).

In a small bowl, combine the bacon crumbles with a little extra bacon grease, a spoonful of cornstarch, a tiny pinch of salt, and a few spoonfuls of brown sugar until the mixture resembles wet sand. Set aside your bacon streusel.

Cream together the 2 1/2 Tbsp. of bacon grease with 1/3 c. sugar, then beat in a large egg and a tsp of vanilla. Stir in 3/4 c. cornstarch, 1/2 Tbsp. baking powder, 1/4 tsp. salt, and a heaping 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum. Slowly stir in 1/3 - 1/2 c. milk to form a thin batter.

Pour the cake batter over the apples, then top with the bacon streusel. Bake in a 350 degree (F) oven for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

I'm sharing this recipe with the Hearth and Soul hop, and the 12 Days of Bloggie-mas.

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