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Apricot Walnut Coffee Cake

This dense, sweet, rich, moist cake makes a satisfying breakfast during the holidays, so bake it as a present for your host or hostess or for your own household.

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup plain yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
3/4 cup dried apricots, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, lightly toasted

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Butter an 8-inch springform pan and set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and white sugar until light. Stir in the eggs, then the yogurt and vanilla. In another bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Fold the dry ingredients into the moist to blend them.

Spoon half the batter into the prepared pan, leveling it. In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar, spices, apricots, and walnuts. Strew half of the mixture over the batter. Repeat with the remaining batter and the apricot mixture. Marbleize the layers by inserting a round-tipped knife into the batter and swirling it through. Put the cake in the oven and bake until it tests done, about 1 hour. When it has cooled, unhinge the spring, remove the rim, and cut the cake into wedges.

Makes about 12 servings.

By Elizabeth Riely, Globe Correspondent

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