Culinary SOS: 1881 Coffee Cafe’s Dutch apple walnut loaf

Dear SOS: Every summer, we vacation at Twin Lakes near Bridgeport, Calif., in the Eastern Sierra. The 1881 Coffee Cafe, in a historic 1881 house, has the most incredible baked goods. We recently had an apple walnut loaf with a crusty cinnamon topping — absolutely delicious. Do you think you could obtain the recipe?

Nancy Dworzak


Dear Nancy: We were smitten with this loaf even before it came out of the oven, the scents of cinnamon and apple perfuming the kitchen as it baked. Cooled, the wonderfully crumbly topping revealed a light and fluffy loaf, almost cake-like in texture. It’s only slightly sweet with a gentle tang from buttermilk, and with little chunks of apple and walnut suspended throughout. Paired with a good cup of coffee, it makes a perfect start to the day.

1881 Coffee Cafe’s Dutch apple walnut loaf

Total time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Servings: 8 to 10

Note: Adapted from 1881 Coffee Cafe in Bridgeport, Calif. This recipe requires a 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf dish.


1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup flour

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) cold butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour and cinnamon. Cut in the cold butter until the mixture becomes crumbly. Set aside.

Loaf and assembly

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter softened

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon buttermilk

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups (8.5 ounces) flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups peeled and diced apples

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Prepared topping

1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-by-5-by-3-inch baking dish. Line the base of the dish with parchment paper, then grease the top of the parchment paper.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large bowl using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well until fully incorporated. Beat in the buttermilk and vanilla.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. With the mixer running, slowly beat in the dry ingredients just until fully combined. Stir in the diced apples and chopped walnuts by hand.

4. Pour the batter into the prepared dish, then sprinkle over the topping.

5. Place the dish in the oven and bake until puffed and a toothpick inserted comes out clean, about 55 minutes to an hour. Cool the dish on a rack for 15 minutes, then unmold and cool completely before slicing.

Each of 10 servings: 390 calories; 5 grams protein; 51 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams fiber; 19 grams fat; 10 grams saturated fat; 79 mg. cholesterol; 28 grams sugar, 267 mg. sodium.