Apple Coffee Cake


Almost every Sunday morning growing up, my father would make a huge apple coffee cake for us after church. We would hungrily watch him pour the batter into the pyrex baking dish, insert apple slices, and sprinkle with streusel topping.

Oh the magic of baking to young eyes! A half hour later the coffee cake would emerge from the oven, perfectly risen and crusted with brown sugar.

Apple Coffee Cake

Several years ago I found a recipe for a similar coffee cake in the Boston Globe (can no longer find it), one that they had listed as an apple cake for the Jewish high holidays and posted it here.

However, the Globe recipe made a much thinner cake than the one I loved from my childhood, and several people over the years have had more success with this one by doubling the batter.

I agree, so I’ve adjusted the batter amounts. I’ve also reduced the sugar substantially from the original, and topped the cake with a streusel topping of brown sugar, flour, and butter.

Update: By the way, since several of you have asked, traditional “coffee cake” is the name that’s given to this type of cake, a simple one-layer cake often with a streusel topping, that one would eat with their morning coffee. There’s no coffee in it. Don’t ask me why, that’s just the way it is! Sort of like tea sandwiches that you would serve with afternoon tea, but you wouldn’t expect to find tea in the sandwich.

Apple Coffee Cake Recipe

  • Prep time: 25 minutes
  • Cook time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6


  • 2 cups (280 g) all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) of white granulated sugar plus 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 10 Tbsp unsalted butter (140 g), room temperature
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup (235 ml) whole milk
  • 1 medium tart green apple, cored, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch thick slices

Streusel topping:

  • 4 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 4 Tbsp flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp butter, cut into small cubes


1 Preheat oven, prepare pie dish: Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Grease a 9-inch pie pan (can use a springform pan or square baking pan)

2 Whisk flour, baking powder, salt: In a medium bowl, whisk vigorously together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

3 Make cinnamon sugar: In a separate small bowl, mix 2 Tbsp of the sugar with the cinnamon, set aside.

4 Beat butter and sugar, add eggs, add flour mixture and milk: Using an electric mixer, beat the butter with the remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Beat in the eggs until blended. Add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the milk, beating after each addition until just combined.

5 Pour batter into baking dish, top with apple slices, cinnamon sugar: Pour half of the batter in the bottom of the baking dish. Lay the apple slices on the batter so they just cover the batter (you may have to overlap some slices). Sprinkle the apples with the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Spread the rest of the batter over the apples.

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6 Top with streusel topping: In a small bowl mix together the brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon for the streusel topping. Sprinkle over the cake and dot with butter.

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7 Bake: Bake the cake at 375°F (190°C) for 30-35 minutes or until it is golden brown and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean.


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Apple Coffee Cake

Showing 4 of 77 Comments

  • Petra

    I made this today and it was a success!

  • Sylviane Santi

    easy to make and turned out great. thank you

  • Angela

    Am I missing something here? I can’t find any coffee in the recipe. It was the great combination that attracted me to this cake – was it a typo in the heading? Love your recipes and use a number of them and look forward to your emails.

  • Sandy S

    Oh boy this turned out great! Thanks for the detailed instructions and telling us about your dad making this for you when you were young. You brought back memories of me making ‘coffee cake’ with Bisquick for my parents to have with their Sunday Paper and coffee in bed. (I have no idea what it tasted like, it looked like the picture and that was good enough for me!)
    For the GF crowd, I used Bob’s Red Mill ‘1 to 1 baking flour’, 1/2 C buttermilk and 1/2 C coconut milk. Turned out ‘just like the pictures’ and I could hardly stop going back for’ just one more piece’ with my chai tea!!
    This recipe looks and tastes ripe for trying other fruits. Plums, peaches and rhubarb come to mind. And possibly even a savory version with tomatoes, peppers and cheese!?
    I like that you can whip it up with a hand mixer. This makes it so perfect for an easy, yet special morning treat.

  • Alida @My Little Italian Kitchen

    Super delicious this cake! Apple and toffee is just the perfect combo. It looks well risen too. Nice recipe,

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