I am so ready for fall to arrive! We’ve been dealing with record-breaking heat in Northern California and I am dreaming of cooler days when I can pull out my sweaters and light a fire in the fireplace again. Today’s Apple Crumb Coffee Cake has all the flavors of autumn that I have been craving.
When this cake is baking, your house fills with the warm aromas of cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg blending with the apples, creating an enticing welcome to everyone. I dare anyone to stay grumpy when they know they have this coffee cake to look forward to!
Tart apples are the best choice for this recipe to offset the sweetness of the cake. Granny Smith, an Australian variety, are readily available across the nation, but if you have others in your area, feel free to swap them in. I also love Winesap, Northern Spy, Pippin, and Mutsu/Crispin apples. If you don’t know which ones to buy, ask your produce manager and they will point you to the best options in your area.
I chose to put half the apple chunks in the batter and the rest on top. That way you get apple bits in every single bite! I love the combo of cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg, but you can use whichever spices you prefer. Feel free to customize the recipe to exactly what you love.
Served with a cup of coffee, tea or a cold glass of milk, this makes a lovely breakfast or afternoon snack. It can even be served for dessert – it is delicious any time of the day!
Enjoy this Apple Crumb Coffee Cake throughout the autumn and winter, warming each day with the welcoming scent of spices and apples.
Jane’s Tips and Hints:
Line up all your ingredients on one side of your mixing bowl. As you add them, move them to the opposite side of the counter. At a glance you will know what has already been added and what you still need to use!
Use a gluten-free flour blend in both the cake and topping, using a kitchen scale to weigh the ingredients. Weighing always gives you the most consistent and accurate results when baking. Adding the xanthan or psyllium husk powder will help keep the cake from being crumbly.
- 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp (45 g) all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour blend
- 6 tbsp firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick, 4 tbsp, 57g) butter, softened
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 1 cup (120 g) all-purpose flour or or gluten-free flour blend
- 1/4 tsp xanthan gum or 1/2 tsp psyllium husk powder, add only if using gluten-free flours
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ginger
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp kosher or fine sea salt
- 1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup (50 g) firmly packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick; 57 g) butter, melted and slightly cooled
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract or vanilla paste
- 1 large Granny Smith or other tart apple, peeled, cored, and finely diced
- Heat oven to 350°F. Butter an 8x8-inch or 9x9-inch square baking pan.
- Prepare the Topping: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Add the butter and mix with a fork until crumbly and all the dry ingredients have been moistened by the butter. Mix in the pecans. Set aside.
- Make the Cake: Whisk together the flour, leaveners, spices, and and sugars in a large bowl. (Whisk in the xanthan or psyllium if using a gluten-free flour blend.) Stir in the melted butter, sour cream, eggs, and vanilla until smooth. Add half the chopped apples to the batter. Pour into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the remaining apple pieces evenly on top of the batter. Cover the apples with the crumble topping.
- Bake the Cake: Place the pan in the oven and bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.
- Yield: 6 to 8 servings
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