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Apple Coffee Cake

From the moist cake and the crumble topping to the brown sugar glaze, this Apple Coffee Cake is everything you could possibly want in a fall dessert. Serve this cake for dessert or with an afternoon cup of coffee – either way, you can’t go wrong.

Caramel sauce being poured over a sliced of apple coffee cake topped with ice cream

I feel like every season there are recipes that I try that are so good they automatically make it to the top of my favorites list. This Apple Coffee Cake is one of those recipes.

At this time of year, I love a good coffee cake recipe that can be served for breakfast, a snack, and of course – dessert. I’ve made this Apple Coffee Cake several times already and I’m pretty certain I’ll be making it over and over again every fall.

Serve it topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce for total caramel apple vibes!

Ingredients for apple coffee cake arranged on a wooden countertop

WHAT EXACTLY IS COFFEE CAKE?

I think a lot of people have probably had a slice of coffee cake before, but have you ever wondered what coffee cake actually is?

Here in the States, coffee cake doesn’t usually have any coffee in it. The name “coffee cake” refers to a sweet cake that is intended to be eaten with a cup of coffee or tea!

Most of the time, coffee cakes have a crumb or streusel topping, like in Cinnamon Coffee Cake, Make-Ahead Banana Bread Coffee Cake, and this Apple Coffee Cake.

Apple coffee cake batter in a white mixing bowl on a wooden countertop

But this Apple Coffee Cake doesn’t just have a crumb topping. The cake itself is packed with diced granny smith apples and plenty of homemade apple pie spice, topped with the crumble and then finished with a brown sugar glaze.

The glaze gets poured over the cake while it is still warm, so it soaks into the cake slightly. The cake is moist and sweet and totally perfect for fall.

Crumble for apple coffee cake in a glass mixing bowl

HOW TO MAKE APPLE COFFEE CAKE

This cake has three different components to it:

  • Apple cake
  • Crumble topping
  • Brown sugar glaze
Apple coffee cake batter in a baking dish, ready to be baked

Don’t worry, though. Even though it sounds like a lot of steps, it’s well worth it!

Start by making the cake batter. Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. This will take about 3 minutes – don’t skimp on this step! 

Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. 

Whisk together the dry ingredients, then alternate adding the dry ingredients with the sour cream. At the end, fold in the vanilla and apples before spreading the batter into a greased 13×9-inch pan.

Whisk combining brown sugar glaze in a small white bowl

I like to use granny smith apples in this cake. This recipe has a lot of sugar in it, so the tartness of the granny smith apples helps balance out the sweetness of the brown sugar in the recipe. 

Before baking the cake, mix together the crumble ingredients with a fork and sprinkle the crumble over the cake batter. Bake the cake for 35-40 minutes, then let it cool for 10 minutes while you mix together the glaze.

Combine the glaze ingredients until smooth and drizzle it over the still-warm cake. Let it set for a few minutes before serving the Apple Coffee Cake warm with vanilla ice cream or homemade whipped cream. You could even add a drizzle of salted caramel sauce!

Spoon topping apple coffee cake with a brown sugar glaze

STORAGE TIPS

Because this cake is so moist, I recommend storing it in the refrigerator if you don’t plan to eat leftovers within a day or so. Pop any leftover slices in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to 3-4 days.

For longer-term storage, wrap the cooled slices individually in plastic wrap, then place them in a zip-top freezer bag and freeze for up to a month. When you’d like a slice of cake, unwrap it and microwave for 30-60 seconds.

Cake server holding a slice of apple coffee cake over a pan of coffee cake
Cake server holding a slice of apple coffee cake over a pan of coffee cake

Apple Coffee Cake

Yield: 16 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

From the moist cake and the crumble topping to the brown sugar glaze, this Apple Coffee Cake is everything you could possibly want in a fall dessert. Serve this cake for dessert or with an afternoon cup of coffee – either way, you can’t go wrong.

Ingredients

FOR THE CAKE:

  • 1 stick plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons apple pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups peeled, cored and chopped Granny Smith apples

FOR THE CRUMBLE TOPPING:

  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon apple pie spice
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

FOR THE BROWN SUGAR GLAZE:

  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon apple pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons warm water

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 13 by 9-inch baking dish with butter or nonstick cooking spray.

FOR THE CAKE

  1. In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy; about 3 minutes. Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating after the addition of each.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, apple pie spice, and salt. Add to the wet ingredients, alternating with the sour cream. Stir in the vanilla and fold in the apples until evenly incorporated into the batter. 
  3. Pour into the prepared baking dish and spread into an even layer. 

FOR THE CRUMBLE TOPPING

  1. In a bowl, combine the sugar, flour, apple pie spice, and butter, and combine with a fork until it resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle the topping over the cake and bake until golden brown and set, 35 to 40 minutes. 
  2. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes.

FOR THE GLAZE

  1. In a bowl, combine the sugar, apple pie spice, vanilla, and water and mix until smooth. Drizzle the cake with the glaze and let harden slightly. Serve warm with vanilla bean ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream.

Notes

Slightly adapted from Emeril Lagasse

Nutrition Information
Yield 16 Serving Size 1 slice
Amount Per Serving Calories 267Total Fat 8gSaturated Fat 4gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 3gCholesterol 43mgSodium 142mgCarbohydrates 46gFiber 1gSugar 30gProtein 3g

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