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Cinnamon Apple Coffee Cake

a slice of cake on a white plate with a fork.

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This warm and cozy cinnamon apple coffee cake, topped with a crunchy cinnamon sugar topping is a great coffee companion.

Ingredients

Scale

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

Instructions

Make the Batter

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line an 8×8″ baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a mixing bowl.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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

  1. Mix the melted butter, sugar, flour, and cinnamon in a bowl until it forms large crumbles.
  2. Sprinkle the topping over the top of the batter in the pan. 
  3. 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

  1. 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.
  2. Lift the cooled coffee cake out of the baking pan and then drizzle the icing over the top. Slice and serve!

Notes

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.

Nutrition

Keywords: cinnamon apple coffee cake, applesauce coffee cake