Apple Coffee Cake: moist sour cream cake layered with juicy apples & cinnamon-spiced streusel crumb topping. Makes such a nice breakfast, brunch, or snack!

Slice of apple coffee cake on a red patterned plate, with fresh apples in the background.

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!

Triangular slice of apple coffee cake on a plate with fresh apples in the background.

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
  • Flour
  • Brown Sugar (I like to use light brown sugar, but dark brown will work just as well.)
  • Cinnamon
  • Salt

Start by melting the butter, then just stir in the other ingredients with a fork.

A handful of cinnamon streusel crumb topping.

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.

You’ll need:

  • Flour
  • Sugar
  • Baking Powder
  • Baking Soda
  • Salt
  • Butter
  • Eggs
  • Sour Cream
  • Lemon Juice
  • Vanilla

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.

Stirring dry ingredients together in a stand mixer.

Then add in the softened butter. Mix this on medium-low speed, until the mixture starts to look like damp sand.

Mixing softened butter into dry ingredients.

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!

Adding egg to sour cream cake batter.

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.

Adding sour cream, lemon juice, and vanilla to coffee cake batter.

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.

Diced apple layer of apple coffee cake.

Then sprinkle about half the streusel over the apples.

Topping fresh apples with cinnamon streusel.

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!

Layering cake batter over apples and cinnamon.

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.

THE GARNISHES

Once your cake is cooled, you can remove the sides of the pan and dress it up with some pretty garnishes.

Dusting apple coffee cake with powdered sugar.

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.

Small enamel bowl of powdered sugar glaze running off a spoon.

Drizzle the icing over the cake. It adds a little extra sweetness and really looks great.

Drizzling icing over a slice of fresh apple coffee cake.

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:

Slices of apple cinnamon coffee cake on plates with fresh apples.

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.

Overhead image of a slice of apple sour cream coffee cake, with the whole cake off to one side.

A few more of my son’s favorite cinnamon-apple desserts:

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5 from 2 votes
Slice of apple coffee cake on a red patterned plate, with fresh apples in the background.
Apple Coffee Cake
Prep Time
35 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Total Time
1 hr 20 mins
 

Apple Coffee Cake: moist sour cream cake layered with juicy apples & cinnamon-spiced streusel crumb topping. Makes such a nice breakfast, brunch, or snack!

Course: Breakfast, Brunch, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: apple cinnamon coffee cake, apple coffee cake, apple coffee cake recipe, apple sour cream coffee cake, sour cream apple coffee cake
Servings: 10
Calories: 481 kcal
Ingredients
For the cinnamon crumb topping
For the sour cream cake
For the toppings
Instructions
To make the cinnamon crumb topping
  1. Place the butter in a small pot and melt over low heat.

  2. Add the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt, and toss to combine.

To make the sour cream cake
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, and mist a 9-inch springform pan with non-stick spray.

  2. Place the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl, and stir to combine.

  3. Add the butter, and mix on medium-low speed until the mixture resembles damp sand (about 2 minutes).

  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing on low speed until smooth.

  5. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl with a silicone spatula, then add the sour cream, lemon juice, and vanilla.

  6. Beat on medium speed for about 1 1/2 minutes, to aerate the cake batter and build its structure.

  7. Transfer about 2/3 of the batter to the prepared pan.

  8. 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).

  9. 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
  1. Stir the powdered sugar and milk together in a small bowl until smooth, then drizzle over the cake.

  2. Dust the cake with additional powdered sugar, for garnish.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

*Plain Greek yogurt can be substituted.

Nutrition Facts
Apple Coffee Cake
Amount Per Serving
Calories 481 Calories from Fat 180
% Daily Value*
Fat 20g31%
Saturated Fat 12g75%
Cholesterol 83mg28%
Sodium 206mg9%
Potassium 169mg5%
Carbohydrates 70g23%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 39g43%
Protein 6g12%
Vitamin A 656IU13%
Vitamin C 2mg2%
Calcium 72mg7%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Wedge of homemade apple coffee cake on a vintage red plate with a silver fork and a text overlay above reading "Apple Coffee Cake."

Wedge of homemade apple coffee cake on a vintage red plate with a silver fork and a text overlay above reading "Apple Coffee Cake."

Wedge of homemade apple coffee cake on a vintage red plate with a silver fork and a text overlay above reading "Apple Coffee Cake."