Apple Coffee Cake

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Enjoy this moist and sweet Apple Coffee Cake with a brown sugar streusel and an apple cider glaze. The best fall breakfast or dessert!

We love using applesauce in baked goods; try this applesauce cake or applesauce muffins next!

 

Image of a slice of Apple Coffee Cake on a plate.

Apple Coffee Cake

Apple Coffee Cake is my new excuse to have cake for breakfast as many fall mornings as I can; anyone with me?!

I say it every year, but fall time is my absolute favorite time of the year, and I’m so excited for all the fun apple and pumpkin recipes I’ll be sharing this season. Starting with a favorite — this very coffee cake. I sent in a few test versions with my husband to take to work and it was described as “deadly.” In a good way, he says 🙂

Apple Coffee Cake is packed with flavor. It’s dense and moist and rich as a good coffee cake should be! The streusel topping is crisp and sweet, and the glaze is bursting with apple flavor.

Process shots-- images of the wet and dry ingredients being prepped and then mixed together.

Does coffee cake have coffee in it?

I shared a bit of fun historical background in this pumpkin coffee cake, but basically, Europeans were thought to have come up with idea of eating sweet cakes while having their coffee, not because there is actual coffee in the cake. Coffee cakes are known today as simple, one-flavor cakes, often with a streusel and/or simple glaze topping. 

And Apple Coffee Cake is a total winner because it has streusel and a glaze topping! The glaze pulls all the flavors together with a zip of strong apple flavor, thanks to the apple cider and apple pie spice.

What is apple pie spice?

A lot of the ingredients for this recipe overlap from cake to streusel to the glaze. One of those ingredients is apple pie spice. Apple pie spice is a mixture that combines cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, allspice, and cloves to create a comforting blend that can be used in so many recipes!

I have a homemade apple pie spice recipe, or you can buy it in the grocery store. You’ll find it with all the other spices in the grocery store; sometimes it’s on baking displays during the fall months.

Process shots-- images of the batter in a pan; the crumble topping being made and added on top of the batter; the glaze being made. Image of the glaze being poured over the cake

Apple Coffee Cake Storage

  • To maximize the shelf life of this apple coffee cake, only glaze the pieces you’ll be eating right away. Then, store the bars and glaze separately. Cover the cake with plastic wrap to prevent drying out and keep the glaze in an airtight container in the fridge. You will likely need to microwave the glaze for 10 seconds and stir it briskly after it’s been stored in the fridge.
  • Covered coffee cake will last about 1-2 days at normal room temperature but will stay good for about 1 week in the fridge (in airtight containers). Warm leftover pieces in the microwave and glaze warm.
  • Freeze leftover Apple Coffee Cake by wrapping each piece tightly with plastic freezer wrap and then placing individual pieces in a freezer bag. There is some loss of texture and flavor when frozen and thawed, especially if the cake has been glazed. Coffee cake can be frozen for 2-3 months; thaw the bars at room temperature or in the fridge overnight.

Overhead image of Apple Coffee Cake on a plate with a bite being taken out of it.

Apple Coffee Cake tips

  • Let the melted butter cool. The streusel calls for melted butter, but it’s important to use the butter when it has returned to room temperature. Hot melted butter will melt the sugar and cause a greasy streusel. 
  • Be careful substituting ingredients. Apple Coffee Cake is very thick and dense, which is important for the end texture of this coffee cake. A thick base also keeps the streusel from sinking into the cake during baking. So even logical substitutions, may not work well in this recipe. I don’t recommend swapping out the heavy cream for milk or the maple syrup for a different sweetener. While both seem like they’d work, the cake won’t turn out the same.

QUICK TIP

Don’t want to get apple cider just for the glaze? While it does add a lot of flavor, if you won’t drink the rest, opt for a different liquid. Use apple juice instead, or even heavy cream or milk. Whatever liquid you choose to use, add very slowly — a little goes a long way! If the glaze gets too wet, add more powdered sugar to compensate.

More apple treats

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Apple Coffee Cake

0 from 0 votes
Moist and sweet Apple Coffee Cake with a brown sugar streusel and an apple cider glaze. The best fall breakfast or dessert!
Print Recipe

Apple Coffee Cake

0 from 0 votes
Moist and sweet Apple Coffee Cake with a brown sugar streusel and an apple cider glaze. The best fall breakfast or dessert!
Course Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword apple coffee cake
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 18 bars
Calories 352kcal
Cost $5.71

Ingredients

Coffee Cake

  • 3 cups (370g) white, all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons apple pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon EACH: fine sea salt and baking powder
  • 3/4 cup (144g) vegetable oil or canola oil
  • 3/4 cup (150g) packed dark brown sugar (light brown works, dark makes for richer flavor)
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (108g) pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (83g) heavy cream
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (355g) sweetened applesauce

Streusel

  • 1 and 1/4 cups (123g) white all-purpose flour, divided
  • 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (150g) light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon apple pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Glaze

  • 1 cup (106g) powdered sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons apple cider
  • tiny pinch fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon apple pie spice

Instructions

  • PREP: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9x13-inch metal baking pan with nonstick cooking spray (or you can line with parchment or foil and then grease for easy cleanup).
  • DRY INGREDIENTS: In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, apple pie spice, nutmeg, baking soda, fine sea salt, and baking powder; set aside.
  • WET INGREDIENTS: In a medium bowl, add the oil, packed dark brown sugar, maple syrup, and heavy cream. Add in the vanilla and applesauce. Whisk until smooth.
  • COMBINE: Pour wet ingredients into the dry. Mix until just combined, being careful not to overmix the batter. The batter is very thick. Spread and then smooth the batter evenly in the prepared pan.
  • STREUSEL: Melt the butter in the microwave and then let stand at room temperature until cooled (don't add hot butter to the streusel -- it will make it greasy). In a separate medium bowl, whisk together one cup of flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, apple pie spice, and salt. Add the cooled melted butter and mix until the streusel is evenly combined and forms small clumps. Gradually add in the remaining 1/4 cup flour until larger clumps form. Sprinkle the streusel mixture evenly over the apple batter. Do not press the streusel into the cake. Use all of the streusel.
  • BAKE: Bake until the edges begin to pull away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (or with a few moist crumbs attached) about 35 to 40 minutes (My oven always takes 35 minutes). Cool completely in the pan before frosting.
  • GLAZE: Combine all the glaze ingredients in a small bowl. Start with 1 tablespoon apple cider and add more as needed until a thick glaze forms. Whisk with a fork until smooth. Drizzle over the individual pieces and serve.

Video

Recipe Notes

To maximize the shelf life of this Apple Coffee Cake, only glaze the pieces you'll be eating right away. Then, store the bars and glaze separately at serving time. Cover cake with plastic wrap to prevent drying out and keep the glaze in an airtight container in the fridge. You will likely need to microwave the glaze for 10 seconds and stir it briskly after it's been stored in the fridge.
Covered coffee cake will last about 1-2 days at normal room temperature, but will stay good for about 1 week in the fridge (in airtight containers). Warm leftover pieces in the microwave and glaze warm.
Freeze leftover cake by wrapping each piece tightly with plastic freezer wrap and then placing individual pieces in a freezer bag. There is some loss of texture and flavor when frozen and thawed, especially if the cake has been glazed. Coffee cake can be frozen for 2-3 months; thaw the bars at room temperature or in the fridge overnight.

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1bar | Calories: 352kcal | Carbohydrates: 52.3g | Protein: 3.3g | Fat: 15.1g | Cholesterol: 15.4mg | Sodium: 5.4mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 28.2g

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