Apple Coffee Cake

BakingComfort FoodCoffee Cake

Apple Coffee Cake that's quick, easy, and delicious! Perfect for a Sunday brunch or with your morning coffee.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

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.

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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.

For more information on which apple varieties are best for baking, check out our Guide to Apples.

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.

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.

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

Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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101 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Polly

    Delicious! “Someone” only wanted a small piece , then came back for seconds! LOL :) Will definitely make this again!


  2. Shaza

    I’ve been making this cake since my high school days in the kitchen with my best friend, and 14 years later it’s still my family’s favourite cake! Thanks for the recipe. Will make it again this weekend.


  3. Teresa

    Made this coffee cake and it was great. The family loved it. The only change I made was spraying a thin layer of olive oil on the very top layer of the apples to make it look shiny like a tart.


  4. Angi

    Yummy! The only thing I changed is that I tossed the apples in the cinnamon sugar mixture before putting them in the pan instead of sprinkling them. Paired this with scrambled eggs, hash browns and fruit salad. It’s a mildly sweet cake which works well for breakfast. I used a honeycrisp apple to add a bit more sweetness. It puffs up in the oven really nicely and was delicious served warm! Kids, hubby and brother all enjoyed this. Thanks!!


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  5. Nivedita

    Delicious, almost virtuous because of the sparing use of sugar. The texture/crumb was lovely. I would probably like the apples to be cooked to a more tender/soft degree. But as far as sweetness, this is exactly what I want in a treat to go with coffee or tea. I reduced the amount of cinnamon and subbed in some ground cardamom, to mollify the cinnamon averse in my family. Next time I might try sauteing the apples, or putting them on the bottom/top to encourage more softening.


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