A moist and delicious apple cake topped with a simple brown sugar crumb topping. This Apple Coffee Cake is the perfect breakfast or dessert for fall!
When it comes to baking, apples and pumpkin have to be two of my favorite ingredients. Not only do they taste delicious, but they add incredible moisture to baked goods too. When I put out a poll on Instagram, I had an overwhelming response to create an apple coffee cake recipe. And let me tell you, this one is delicious.
This coffee cake is made from scratch, but don’t let that intimidate you! This recipe requires a little extra work since it has a crumb topping, but it’s worth it. You can even throw in some additional spices or add walnuts to the cake batter.
Plus, any dessert that can double as breakfast is always a winner in my book.
To make this easy apple coffee cake, you’ll start out by mixing up the crumb topping which is just a simple mixture flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and cold cubed butter. I prefer to use cold butter when it comes to the crumb topping, so a pastry cutter really helps with this step.
If you don’t have a pastry cutter then you can use a fork or your hands to work the butter into the dry ingredients. Once the mixture starts to come together and is crumbly, place it in the refrigerator to keep it cold while you mix up the cake batter.
The apple cake batter starts out with a mixture of all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, and some spices. I added some cinnamon and nutmeg to this cake for a little extra flavor, but it’s not overpowering so feel free to add more to fit your personal taste.
For the wet ingredients, you’ll start with some butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar. For this step, you want to use room temperature butter and beat the sugar into it for about 4-5 minutes or until it’s light and fluffy. This step helps to incorporate more air into your cake batter which makes for a lighter, softer cake.
Then, mix in a couple of eggs and some vanilla extract. Once everything is well combined, you’ll alternate mixing in the dry ingredients in three additions along with some buttermilk. In other words, mix in 1/3 of the dry ingredients, half of the buttermilk, 1/3 of the dry ingredients, the remaining half of the buttermilk, and the last 1/3 of the dry ingredients. Alternating the dry ingredients with the buttermilk helps to prevent overmixing your cake batter and keeps your cake nice and soft.
Once the cake batter is mixed up, just pour it into a pan, sprinkle the crumb topping on top, and bake it. I also suggest using a springform pan for this cake because it’s much easier to remove it from the pan.
You can either leave this cake plain, dust it with some powdered sugar, or add a simple vanilla glaze.
Baking Tips For Apple Coffee Cake
- When measuring your flour, avoid scooping it from the container. Instead, stir the flour around, spoon it into your measuring cup, and level it off with the back of a knife.
- Make sure to cream the butter and sugars together for about 4-5 minutes until light in color and fluffy. This will create a lighter, softer cake.
- You can use any kind of baking apple for this cake, I love to use a large Granny Smith apple. I also prefer to peel my apple before chopping it to add to the cake batter.
Apple Coffee Cake
For the crumb topping:
- 3/4 cup (95 grams) all-purpose flour (spooned & leveled)
- 1/2 cup (100 grams) brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 6 tablespoons (85 grams) cold unsalted butter cubed
For the apple cake:
- 2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour spooned and leveled
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 cup (115 grams) unsalted butter softened to room temperature
- 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup (100 grams) brown sugar
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup (180 ml) buttermilk room temperature
- 1 and 1/4 cups (150 grams) chopped apple
To make the crumb topping:
- Add the flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon to a large mixing bowl and whisk until well combined. Add the cubed cold butter and cut it into the mixture with a pastry blender or a fork until the mixture starts to come together and is crumbly. Transfer to the refrigerator until ready to use.
To make the apple cake:
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9-inch springform pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large mixing bowl using a hand-held mixer, beat the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy (about 4-5 minutes). Mix in the eggs one at a time until fully incorporated, then mix in the vanilla extract, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients in three parts alternating with the buttermilk (starting and ending with the flour). Make sure to mix each addition until just combined.
- Gently fold in the chopped apples until well incorporated into the cake batter.
- Scoop the batter into the prepared springform pan and smooth it out evenly. Remove the crumb topping from the refrigerator and sprinkle it evenly over the top.
- Bake at 350°F for 45-55 minutes (mine is usually perfect at 50 minutes) or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. If needed, cover loosely with foil around the 40-minute mark to prevent excess browning.
- Remove the cake from the oven and cool on a wire rack for at least 20-30 minutes before releasing it from the springform pan. Allow to cool completely, then slice and enjoy!
More apple recipes to try!