Apple Coffee Cake
Apple Coffee Cake: moist sour cream cake layered with juicy apples & cinnamon-spiced streusel crumb topping. Makes such a nice breakfast, brunch, or snack!
It’s really starting to feel like fall!
Around here, the temperatures are starting to cool off, and I’m even starting to see some leaves changing!
It’s time to think about warm, cozy fall flavors like cinnamon, apple, and pumpkin. ‘Tis the season!
And at this time of year, I always like to share at least a few great make-ahead breakfast recipes. Whether it’s a steamy dish of baked French toast casserole, a slice of cheesy quiche Lorraine, or a couple of grab and go banana muffins, I feel so much better when I know my kids have had a nice breakfast before they head off to school!
Today’s recipe is one of my older son’s absolute favorites. He’s a huge fan of anything apple and cinnamon, so this apple coffee cake is right up his alley!
It’s a moist sour cream coffee cake, layered with fresh apples and a crumbly, buttery cinnamon streusel, and I think you’re going to love it just as much as he does! There’s tons of fall flavor in every luscious bite!
HOW TO MAKE APPLE COFFEE CAKE
This recipe consists of 3 main components: the cinnamon crumb mixture, the apple sour cream coffee cake, and the pretty garnishes.
I like to start with the cinnamon streusel.
THE CINNAMON CRUMB LAYER
For this easy streusel topping, you’ll need:
- Melted Butter
- Brown Sugar (I like to use light brown sugar, but dark brown will work just as well.)
Start by melting the butter, then just stir in the other ingredients with a fork.
The mixture will look really crumbly. If you need more info on how to make this crumb topping, click here: Basic Streusel Recipe.
Set this aside while you get going on the cake.
THE COFFEE CAKE
This coffee cake is super-easy to make, and it all happens in just one bowl.
- Baking Powder
- Baking Soda
- Sour Cream
- Lemon Juice
As well as a couple of fresh apples that have been peeled, cored and diced.
My favorite kind of apple to bake with is the Granny Smith, but this time I used Honeycrisps, and it came out fantastic! Use any kind of firm apple that’s good for baking.
Start by placing the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Give these dry ingredients a quick stir to combine them.
Then add in the softened butter. Mix this on medium-low speed, until the mixture starts to look like damp sand.
We are using the reverse creaming method here. I love this method because it’s practically fool-proof, and it allows everything to happen in just one bowl. Yay for less dirty dishes!
Next, add the eggs in, one at a time. Allow each egg to fully incorporate, before adding the next one. This way your batter will be nice and smooth.
The final step is to add the liquid ingredients. Sour cream, lemon juice, and vanilla extract get mixed into the batter.
Transfer a little more than half this batter into a greased, 9-inch diameter springform pan, then top with the diced apples.
Then sprinkle about half the streusel over the apples.
Layer on the remaining cake batter. It’s ok if the layers seem thin; it will puff up a lot in the oven as it bakes!
Then top with the rest of the crumb topping and bake! You’ll know it’s done when a toothpick inserted in the thickest part comes out clean.
Once your cake is cooled, you can remove the sides of the pan and dress it up with some pretty garnishes.
I love to dust anything crumb-topped with a sprinkling of powdered sugar. It just looks so gorgeous!
I also like to make a simple glaze with powdered sugar and milk. Stir these two ingredients together until smooth.
Drizzle the icing over the cake. It adds a little extra sweetness and really looks great.
CAN THIS BE MADE GLUTEN-FREE?
This apple coffee cake can be made gluten-free just by swapping out the flour for a gluten-free blend. Look for one that subs 1:1 for regular flour. Here are a few good options:
CAN YOU USE CANNED APPLE PIE FILLING INSTEAD OF FRESH APPLES?
I really love the subtle sweetness and slightly tart flavor of fresh apples. Plus they give a really nice texture to this cake.
But if you’re pressed for time you could probably substitute canned apple pie filling.
Just keep in mind that they will be a lot sweeter than fresh apples.
CAN THIS BE BAKED IN A DIFFERENT SIZED PAN?
If you prefer square slices of apple coffee cake, this recipe can be baked in a 9×9 pan.
You could also double the recipe, and bake it in a 9×13-inch pan. Just be aware that the bake time will most likely need to be increased. You’ll know your cake is done baking when a toothpick inserted in the thickest part comes out clean.
HOW TO STORE APPLE COFFEE CAKE
Keep this coffee cake tightly wrapped so it doesn’t dry out or become stale.
It should keep at room temperature for a day or two; in the fridge for about a week.
CAN YOU FREEZE APPLE COFFEE CAKE?
This cake freezes very well! Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and it should last in the freezer for at least 2 months.
Thaw it at room temperature or in the fridge.
It can be warmed gently in the microwave for 10 to 15 seconds per slice, or wrap it in foil and pop it in a 170-degree F oven until warmed through.
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Apple Coffee Cake
For the cinnamon crumb topping
- 1/2 cup (113.5 g) unsalted butter, (1 stick)
- 1 1/2 cups (187.5 g) all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup (165 g) light brown sugar,, lightly packed
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
For the sour cream cake
- 1 1/2 cups (187.5 g) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 6 tablespoons (88.72 g) unsalted butter,, softened
- 2 eggs , (large)
- 2/3 cup (153.33 g) sour cream*
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice , (juice of half a lemon)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 apples, , peeled, cored, and diced
For the toppings
- 3/4 cup (90 g) powdered sugar, (plus extra for garnish)
- 2 tablespoons milk
To make the cinnamon crumb topping
- Place the butter in a small pot and melt over low heat.
- Add the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt, and toss to combine.
To make the sour cream cake
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, and mist a 9-inch springform pan with non-stick spray.
- Place the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl, and stir to combine.
- Add the butter, and mix on medium-low speed until the mixture resembles damp sand (about 2 minutes).
- Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing on low speed until smooth.
- Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl with a silicone spatula, then add the sour cream, lemon juice, and vanilla.
- Beat on medium speed for about 1 1/2 minutes, to aerate the cake batter and build its structure.
- Transfer about 2/3 of the batter to the prepared pan.
- Top with the diced apples, sprinkle with half of the crumb topping, then spread the remaining batter on top (layers of cake batter may seem thin, but they will puff up as they bake).
- Sprinkle the remaining cinnamon crumb mixture on top, then bake the cake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the thickest part of the cake comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs.
To top the apple coffee cake
- Stir the powdered sugar and milk together in a small bowl until smooth, then drizzle over the cake.
- Dust the cake with additional powdered sugar, for garnish.
I am dying to make this coffee cake, but don’t have sour cream. Can buttermilk be substituted, and if so, how much. Btw, I love your recipes. I learned how to perfect my cookie baking by using your recipes and tips. I am so grateful to have found your blog/website. Keep ‘em coming!
I can’t wait to try this recipe and her Coffee
Cake Muffin recipe!
Oooh, This was so delicious. Everything I love, apples, and a generous amount of cinnamon. I was out of powdered sugar, so didnt glaze it, but it was perfect as is. Our 5 year old grand daughter gave me two thumbs and both big toes up. A real winner.
Aw, how sweet! I’m so happy you and your granddaughter enjoyed. Thank you so much for the positive feedback!
This recipe is amazing!! Probably the best streusel for topping I’ve ever made. The cake is rich & delicious. The confectioners sugar & “icing” takes it over the top. My new go-to for making an impression.
So happy you liked it Lynn! Thanks so much for the great feedback!
I can’t wait to make this. But can I ask…How many grams are the butter?
Just click the “Metric” button just below the list of ingredients.
i am loving all the apple recipes these days. how delicious!!!!!
So happy you like Sheenam!
This looks yummy! I love streusel/coffee cakes, and since pumpkin isn’t my thing, apple is my favorite fall flavor! And for those who are wondering why this cake doesn’t contain coffee, it’s because coffee cake (here in North America, at least) is just a kind of cake people typically serve with coffee 🙂 It doesn’t necessarily have to contain actual coffee.
Why is this called Apple Coffee Cake if there’s no coffee in it? I’ve noticed this in other recipes in several cookbooks I have and it always leaves me wondering what makes a cake ‘coffee’ cake if it does not contain coffee…?
Hey Sarah! Here in the US, the term “coffee cake” typically refers to a streusel-topped cake that’s often enjoyed on a coffee break. Hope that clears it up for you!
Where’s the coffee in this recipe it is coffee apple cake.
Here in the US, the term “coffee cake” typically refers to a streusel-topped cake that’s often enjoyed on a coffee break. Hope that clears it up for you!