This warm and cozy cinnamon apple coffee cake, topped with a crunchy crumb topping, is the best way to kick off a crisp fall day. It’s soft and moist with the classic combination of apple and cinnamon.
Applesauce Coffee Cake
Coffee cake is my excuse to eat cake in the morning because, hello, coffee is a morning drink, so therefore, coffee cake is a breakfast treat. Having a slice of apple-kissed cake topped with a crunchy brown sugar butter topping alongside a hot cup of coffee is an excellent start to the day, and friends, I encourage you to do the same.
And speaking of apples, this recipe has applesauce instead of fresh apples, so you don’t need to worry about peeling and dicing. I’m not a fan of big chunks of fruit in cake, so the applesauce infuses the whole coffee cake with apple goodness while maintaining the tender cake crumb.
And while the moist and cinnamon-spiced apple cake can stand on its own, the topping takes it over the top. It’s a brown sugar crumble topping that adds the perfect lightly crunchy texture, complementing the soft apple coffee cake underneath.
There are three parts to this recipe: the coffee cake batter, the crumble topping, and the icing. Here are all of the ingredients you’ll need – some are used multiple times in the recipe.
- All-purpose flour
- Baking powder
- Ground cinnamon
- Unsalted butter
- Granulated sugar
- Large eggs
- Vanilla extract
- Whole milk
- Brown sugar
- Powdered sugar
How to Make the Batter
Whisk flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer for three minutes or until fluffy.
Add the eggs one at a time, and then mix in the vanilla and applesauce. Don’t worry if the batter looks a little weird at this point – once you add the dry ingredients, it will come together.
Alternate folding in the milk and flour mixture to the wet ingredients. Use a spatula to fold the ingredients just until the flour is absorbed. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
How to Make the Crumb Topping
Mix the melted butter, sugar, flour, and cinnamon in a bowl until the mixture is crumbly like coarse sand.
Sprinkle the topping over the top of the batter in the pan.
Bake the coffee cake for 45 minutes to an hour or until a toothpick comes out clean. Place the pan on a wire rack so the cake can cool.
While the coffee cake cools, make the icing. Mix the powdered sugar and vanilla in a small bowl. Add the milk one teaspoon at a time, mixing between each addition. Add enough so the icing is thick but still pourable.
Drizzle the icing over the top of the coffee cake and then slice and serve it. A little goes a long way, so I like to slice the cake into 16 small pieces.
Recipe Tips and Tricks
Preparing the baking pan: Lining the pan with parchment paper so it overhangs the edges makes it easy to lift the cake out in one piece so you can slice it. You don’t have to do this – you can coat the pan with cooking spray.
Measuring the flour: For the coffee cake batter, be sure to use the spoon and level method when you measure the flour. I like to stir the flour in the container first and then lightly spoon the flour into a dry measuring cup. Use a dinner knife to level off the flour. This ensures you don’t add too much flour, which will make your cake denser.
Mixing tips: Use an electric mixer to cream the butter and sugar for the cake. Once you add the flour mixture, switch to a spatula so you can gently fold it into the wet ingredients. This will help ensure you don’t overmix the batter, which will make your cake tough. Fold just until the flour is absorbed into the batter.
Storage: You can wrap the coffee cake in plastic wrap and store it at room temperature for a few days. You can also freeze coffee cake with a crumb topping – wrap it in a few layers of plastic wrap and place it in a freezer-safe bag or container. It will keep well for up to a month or so. Leave it at room temperature to thaw before serving it.
So get the coffee brewing and try this cinnamon apple coffee cake recipe. It’s the perfect way to fill your kitchen with a warm fall aroma of cinnamon and apples. And it’s a cake that we get to eat for breakfast. Yes, please.
📣 Do you love this recipe? I would love to know! Leave a comment below the recipe, along with your recipe star rating.Print
Cinnamon Apple Coffee Cake
This warm and cozy cinnamon apple coffee cake, topped with a crunchy cinnamon sugar topping is a great coffee companion.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
- Yield: 16 servings 1x
- Category: Breakfast
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: American
For the Coffee Cake
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ cup softened unsalted butter
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¼ cup whole milk
- 12 ounces applesauce
For the Topping
- ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 ½ cup all-purpose flour
For the Icing
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- Up to 4 teaspoons whole milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Make the Batter
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line an 8×8″ baking pan with parchment paper.
- Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a mixing bowl.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until the mixture is light in color and fluffy. This will take about three minutes or so.
- Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well until adding the next one. Mix in the vanilla and applesauce. At this point, the mixture might have a weird texture but will come together once you add the dry ingredients.
- Alternate folding in the milk and flour mixture to the wet ingredients. Use a spatula to fold only until the flour is absorbed. Don’t use the mixer for this step so you don’t overmix the batter. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Make the Topping
- Mix the melted butter, sugar, flour, and cinnamon in a bowl until it forms large crumbles.
- Sprinkle the topping over the top of the batter in the pan.
- Bake the coffee cake for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out clean. Check on the cake early so it doesn’t overbake. Place the pan on a baking rack so the cake can cool.
Make the Icing
- Combine the powdered sugar and vanilla in a small bowl. Add 1 teaspoon of milk and stir to combine. Add a little more milk (up to three teaspoons more) until the icing is thick but still pourable.
- Lift the cooled coffee cake out of the baking pan and then drizzle the icing over the top. Slice and serve!
Flour: When you measure the flour for the batter, use the spoon and level method. I like to stir the flour in the container first lightly and then lightly spoon it into the dry measuring cup. A dinner knife makes it easy to level off.
Milk: I think whole milk works best. It has a higher fat content that adds flavor and also helps create a tender crumb for the cake.
Icing: Be sure to add just one teaspoon of milk to the powdered sugar to start. Stir well, and if your glaze is too thick, add a little more at a time. Depending on how much milk you add, the color of the icing may vary. Regular vanilla can give it a darker tint – if you want a pure white glaze, use clear vanilla instead.
Slicing the Cake: I like to slice this cake into 16 small pieces. The cake is pretty decadent, so a little goes a long way.
Storage: The cake will keep at room temperature for a couple of days. Or you can freeze it in a freezer bag or container for up to a month.
- Serving Size: 1 slice
- Calories: 313
- Sugar: 24.7g
- Sodium: 89.2mg
- Fat: 12.6g
- Saturated Fat: 7.5g
- Unsaturated Fat: 4.3g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 46.7g
- Fiber: 1.2g
- Protein: 3.9g
- Cholesterol: 54.3mg
Keywords: cinnamon apple coffee cake, applesauce coffee cake
The nutrition is an estimate only. It was calculated using Nutrifox, an online nutrition calculator.
Post, recipe, and photos updated from the archives. First published in October 2016.