This Apple Crumb Coffee Cake is delightful and packed with fresh apples and a crispy crumble topping. It is perfect any time you have family or guests visiting and an especially wonderful way to begin or end any day.
I am loving the cooler days, pulling on my sweaters and lighting a fire in the fireplace, and cuddling up with a good book. Today’s coffee cake has all the flavors 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 market.
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 whatever spices you prefer. Allspice, cardamom, or mace would all be delightful alternatives. 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 winter, filling each day with the welcoming scent of spices and apples.
Did you enjoy this recipe? Let me know in the comments, I love hearing from you!
Key Ingredients for Apple Crumb Coffee Cake:
- Topping: flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, butter, pecans
- Cake: flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, salt, sugar, brown sugar, butter, sour cream, eggs, vanilla, diced tart apples
Line up all your ingredients on one side of your mixing bowl before you begin baking. As you add each one, move it to the opposite side of the counter. If the phone rings or you get distracted, at a glance you will know what has already been added and what you still need to include. This way you won’t forget to add the sugar or baking powder, etc.!
How to make Apple Crumb Coffee Cake:
- Butter a 9-inch square baking pan
- Make the Topping: Whisk together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt; add butter and mix in with a fork until crumbly then mix in the pecans and set aside
- Make the Cake: Whisk the flour leaveners, spices and sugars in a large bowl and add in xanthan if needed; stir in the melted butter, sour cream, eggs, and vanilla, mixing until smooth
- Add half the apples to the batter and pour into prepared pan; sprinkle remaining apples over the top and cover the whole thing with the Topping mixture
- Bake the Cake: Bake in preheated 350°F oven for 40 to 50 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean; serve warm or at room temperature
If you are working in a kitchen that has both regular and gluten-free flour, be sure to use the gluten-free flour in both the topping and cake if you are baking for someone who is gluten free! Sometimes we get distracted and reach for the wrong flour!
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You can make this cake entirely by hand or use a hand mixer or even a stand mixer if you prefer. A two-bowl recipe, this is a great one to have your littles help with – they will love mixing everything together and watching it magically transform into a cake!
Use a gluten-free flour blend in both the cake and topping, using a scale to weigh the ingredients. Weighing always gives you the most consistent and accurate results when baking. Adding the xanthan gum will help keep the cake from being crumbly.
You can adjust any recipe to gluten-free by using 120 grams per cup of my favorite gluten-free flour blend. If you are using another brand of gluten-free flour, whisk the mix, spoon it lightly into a measuring cup until mounded, level off the top with a straight edge, and weigh the flour. Use that weight as your standard per cup of that specific flour. Commercial blends such as Pamela’s, Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1, or King Arthur Measure for Measure are all good choices.
- 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp (45 grams) all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour blend
- 6 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick, 4 tbsp, 57g) butter, softened
- 1/2 cup (57g) chopped pecans
- 1 cup (120g) all-purpose flour or my gluten-free flour blend (see Gluten Free Tips above)
- 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum … add only if your gluten-free flour doesn't already contain it
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
- 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup (50 grams) firmly packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick; 57 grams) butter, melted and slightly cooled
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon 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 a 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 sugars in a large bowl. Whisk in the xanthan if using a gluten-free flour blend that doesn't already contain it. 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.
Recipe Source: The Heritage Cook
Adapted from Spicy Southern Kitchen
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 517Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 61mgSodium: 426mgCarbohydrates: 99gFiber: 4gSugar: 22gProtein: 12g
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