Apple Coffee Cake

Breakfast and BrunchBakingComfort 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.

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

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

Ingredients

  • 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

Method

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

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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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89 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  • Ellie

    Just looked at the recipes they look soooo good. We are in a Hurricane and there is no grocery stores open so I cannot get all the ingredients that I need but is soon as I can I will make a couple things

  • Mary Hughes

    OMG….plums! Never would of thought of that…now have gotta try it….thanks!

  • Sara Lucero

    Tender and not too sweet. I’ve made it with a variety of fruit added to the apples.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Jeff

    Any comments on making this a day ahead of time? I would completely bake it a day early and serve it – probably at room temp. I think warm freshly baked would be best but I can’t make it that morning and there won’t be a oven available to warm it up.

  • Deborah

    I printed this recipe in November 2006. It’s 2017 and it’s still my go to vanilla cake recipe. Everyone loves it! Whether it’s the original coffee cake shown here or the base for any other cake, it’s the one I go to EVERY TIME!

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