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Apple Crumb Coffee Cake

Ease into fall with this buttery coffee cake studded with apples and finished with a crunchy cinnamon crumb topping.

This Apple Crumb Coffee Cake is the perfect breakfast to ease into fall.

This morning when I walked out the door the air felt…different. I was wearing shorts and a T-shirt and while I wasn’t uncomfortably cold, something made me run back inside and grab a sweatshirt. Slipping into a fleecy hooded sweatshirt just felt right.

It’s that time, friends. And I think I’m finally ready.

Lightly spiced Apple Crumb Coffee Cake is a perfect fall breakfast.

As proof, I broke out the first apple baked goods of the season. While the days are still rather hot around these parts, the mornings are cool and crisp. It’s the kind of weather that begs for something a little cozier than a bowl of cereal, something like this Apple Crumb Coffee Cake.

Warm, sweet, and gently spiced this is just the thing to ease you into fall. It’s not super in-your-face with the Autumn-ness. There’s no brazen pumpkin spice, no overpowering scent of cloves, and definitely no hint at Halloween. Instead there’s the subtle scent of cinnamon, a hint of nutmeg, and the just-barely-there crunch of apples. It’s Autumn goodness, but in a super chill, non-confrontational way.

Buttery cake studded with apples and covered in a cinnamon crumb topping.

I’m going to cut to the chase here. This Apple Crumb Cake is an excuse to eat dessert for breakfast. This is nothing new, of course. We’ve been coming up with ways to eat cake for breakfast for centuries. Pancakes, waffles, muffins. They’re all cake, people.

But of all the cake-for-breakfast incarnations out there, the coffee cake did the worst job at hiding it’s dessert-ness. I can just imagine the recipe development meeting now.

Guy #1: Hmmmmm….pancakes seem to be a hit and we managed to slip muffins through, but we really need another way to eat cake for breakfast. 

Guy #2: I know! Let’s see…What if we made a cake, topped it with a buttery crumble and then drizzled it with sugar syrup! That totally makes it breakfast, right?

Guy #1: By golly, I think you’re on to something. Sounds like the perfect accompaniment to a cup of coffee. In fact, I think we’ll call it Coffee Cake!

And that’s how we’ve been enjoying cake for breakfast all these years.

You can enjoy this Apple Crumb Coffee Cake for breakfast or dessert!

I’m not even going to try to convince you that this is healthy. It’s not. It’s buttery cake topped with buttery crumble topped with cider-spiked glaze….with a little bit of fruit in the middle. In other words, it’s darn delicious.

So trade in your swimsuit for some stretchy pants, grab a blanket, and cozy up with some Apple Crumb Coffee Cake. It’s fall, and it’s totally allowed. I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to get to work on my sweater body.

Apple Crumb Coffee Cake

Cook Time 35 mins 2017-06-25T00:35:00+00:00Prep Time
Preparation 30 mins 2017-06-25T00:30:00+00:00Cook Time
Total Time
Serves 8-10     adjust servings

Ingredients

For the crumb

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 large (or 3 small) tart apples (such as honeycrisp, granny smith, or pink lady), peeled and chopped

For the cake

  • 8 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

For the glaze

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1-2 Tablespoons apple cider
  • 1-2 Tablespoons milk
  • Pinch salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13 inch baking pan.

For the crumb:

  1. In a mixing bowl, whisk together 3 cups flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add the melted butter and vanilla extracts and stir until the mixture is evenly moist. Set aside.

For the batter:

  1. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and sour cream. Meanwhile, in another bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, salt, and baking powder. Add this to the butter mixture, stirring until the ingredients are just combined.

To assemble:

  1. Spread half the batter into a thin layer at the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle the apple chunks evenly over the batter. Top with about 1 cup of the crumble mixture. Spread the remaining batter over top followed by the rest of the crumble.
  2. Bake the mixture for 35-40 minutes or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. If the top gets too brown, cover with foil for the last 10-15 minutes.
  3. While the coffee cake bakes, whisk together the powdered sugar, cider, milk, and salt. Serve the cake warm with the cider drizzle. This recipe can be made up to two days in advance. Store in an airtight container or in the pan with saran wrap on top.

by

Recipe Notes

The batter is quite thick and will have to be spread thin to fit the 9 x 13 inch pan. It will rise in the oven.

Recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion 

{ 43 comments… add one }

Leave a Comment

  • julieseatsandtreats September 11, 2014, 3:08 PM

    Oh dear look at that crumb topping! Amazing! And I’m all for eating dessert for breakfast 🙂

  • Ala Shih September 12, 2014, 1:22 AM

    Okay, you found my Achilles heel, Courtney–I adore this recipe SO much! Apples are probably my favorite excuse for fall, and coffee cake and crumb. Just ermigawsh. Please Willy Wonka-style send me these, ASAP!

  • Shashi @ RunninSrilankan September 12, 2014, 1:31 PM

    oh heavens – that crumb topping is gorgeous!

  • Nancy September 12, 2014, 2:40 PM

    Lmao – ain’t nothin’ wrong with cake for breakfast, Courtney. You’re preaching to the choir here! Tony will freaking LOVE this. He adores apple desserts. Your apple crumb cake looks like delicious perfection, as do these gorgeous photos! We had an amazing summer in Vancouver and it looks like fall will be just as lovely – we’ve had nothing but sunshine and blue skies. The temperature’s dropping but that’s ok. I’m happy to climb into my sweaters and boots, just as long as it doesn’t rain!

    • Courtney @ Neighborfood September 15, 2014, 8:48 AM

      We had a really lovely summer too…that might be why it was so hard for me to let it go! But so far fall has been beautiful. Trying not to let my dread of winter ruin my enjoyment of fall!

  • Joanne (eats well with others) September 14, 2014, 9:12 AM

    YES to eating cake for breakfast. And yes to eating THIS CAKE for breakfast! An apple a day does keep the doctor away, after all….

  • Karen September 15, 2014, 1:06 PM

    Sounds delicious, just one question though. The crumb topping calls for 3 cups of flour divided.
    The instructions call for 2 1/2 cups. What happens to the remaining 1/2 cup?

    • Courtney @ Neighborfood September 15, 2014, 4:32 PM

      You are exactly right! I’m so sorry about that. It should just be 3 cups, not divided. I’ve changed the recipe to reflect the correct measurements.

    • Alicia September 24, 2014, 1:30 PM

      This recipe is a WASTE of time and ingredients. The pan size is way to huge for such little batter and then you end up with 9 cups of the crumb topping. I didnt even bother popping in the oven cause the batter was so thick you it barely fit the 9×13 pan. Fix your measurements

      • Courtney @ Neighborfood September 24, 2014, 7:04 PM

        Hi Alicia, I’m really sorry you had a bad experience with this recipe. I’ve gone back and checked all the measurements and they are correct. You’re right the batter is very thick and it gets spread into a thin layer in the 9 x 13 inch pan. I remember when I made the recipe I thought the batter to crumb ratio was off, but the recipe is correct. The cake rises in the oven and it ends up having a nice thick layer of crumbs like you see in the recipe. Again, I’m sorry this didn’t work for you. I will make a note in the recipe that the cake batter is very thick and will be spread thin into the pan.

      • Ali September 25, 2014, 2:14 PM

        Made this yesterday… I admit I was a little skeptical about the measurements / pan ratio at first too because the batter did come out really thick and very hard to spread… .but once you bake it it fills the entire 9X13 inch pan and the batter does rise so you do get a good ratio…. Only thing that went wrong with mine is I think I took it out a little too soon. The tester came out clean in all parts of the cake (longer than 40 minutes though probably about 50 min with my oven) but the bottom of the cake did not come out as brown as the picture…it came out a shade darker than the cake itself. It wasn’t raw or anything, just could have used a few extra minutes I think. Still tasted good though! Great recipe!

        I wonder… do you think it will brown/bake a little more if i put it in the oven before serving (a day later)? Or does that really defy the rules of baking lol?

        • Courtney @ Neighborfood September 25, 2014, 3:22 PM

          Hi Ali! So glad it turned out for you! You can definitely put it back in the oven for 15-20 minutes before serving. I would probably do it at 350 degrees–the crumbs will brown too though, so if you don’t want them any browner, I would cover it with foil.

  • Ali September 24, 2014, 12:14 PM

    This looks delicious! I am planning on making it for the jewish holidays… how many days after baking do you think it will stay fresh and safe to eat? And any storage recommendations?

    • Courtney @ Neighborfood September 24, 2014, 7:07 PM

      I know it lasts at least 3 days, but it’s never made it past that in our house. 🙂 I recommend storing it unglazed in the pan covered in saran wrap. Before serving, warm it up in 200 degree oven for 10-15 minutes then glaze right before serving!

  • ourgrandmothersrecipebox September 28, 2014, 4:44 PM

    It looks delicious!

  • carol October 12, 2014, 12:52 PM

    Ok so the drizzle wasn’t happening. It was so much powdered sugar and only 2 tbsp of milk & apple cider it wasn’t even mixing together. Are they suppose to go on separately?

    • Courtney @ Neighborfood October 12, 2014, 2:25 PM

      Yes, the powdered sugar and milk and cider should all get whisked together. If it’s too dry you can continue to add cider or milk until it thins enough to whisk together.

  • Jayashiangel October 8, 2015, 10:57 AM

    Thanks for sharing the recipe. However I had to make a few substitutions
    due to what I had. I used coconut oil in the crumb layer vs butter. (the crumb
    mix was too much for my cake) next time I will use less crumb maybe 2 cups vs 3…And I used Yogurt Butter for the batter since DD is lactose intolerant as well as yogurt vs sour cream.
    Used both whole wheat/white flour/fresh ground oatmeal as the flour mixture called
    for as I was out of everything needed…Cooked a little longer close to 1 hour..
    Super Yummy but make this recipe that I subbed again worked great!!!!

  • Sarah October 18, 2015, 1:58 PM

    This was so great! We went apple picking this weekend, and before we knew it, we were toting almost 20 pounds of Fuji and Staymen apples home with us! I’ve never made a coffee cake, but I’m a big fan, so I checked on Pinterest and found this recipe. I was a little worried because the batter was SO thick, and also because I was a few tablespoons short on the butter for the crumb layers. But it totally worked out, and was delicious and filling! I’m going to try to see if I can pre-cut some squares and freeze them for easy breakfast treats during the week. Hopefully it works out!

    Thank you!

    • Courtney @ Neighborfood October 20, 2015, 11:31 AM

      I totally feel you on the excess of appless. I always get so caught up in the moment and end up with way more than I know what to do with! I’m so glad this worked out for you. I know the batter looks way too thick. It’s one of those recipes that makes you nervous as you put it in the oven but it always turns out lovely! Thanks so much for coming back to share!

  • Sarah November 8, 2015, 4:57 PM

    I made this recipe today after finding it on Pinterest. I had all the ingredients on hand and it was simple to make. I didn’t make the glaze, mostly because I forgot, but it was amazing without it, just as I am sure it would be even better with it! I’m so glad I found this recipe and gave it a try Definitely a new go-to. I wonder if it can be made in muffin tins and frozen?

    • Courtney @ Neighborfood November 19, 2015, 4:05 PM

      I am so glad you enjoyed this! I’m not sure how this would be in muffins. I think it might be hard to get the batter evenly distributed since it’s so thick. I would maybe just make it in the pan, cut into squares and then freeze. 🙂

  • Mary October 11, 2016, 11:09 AM

    I halved the ingredients and baked in an 8″ springform pan. Absolutely wonderful, thank you!

    • Courtney October 14, 2016, 11:24 AM

      I’m so glad you liked it Mary! Thanks for coming back to let me know!

  • Kristie October 11, 2016, 5:43 PM

    I have this in the oven right now. I followed the directions to the T. I am hoping it turns out well! I agree there is too much crumb for the cake. I used a lot and still had about a cup left, which I froze and will use another time. I am not a baker by any means! I started dialysis about a year ago and lost my job (long story) so on my off days I scan Pinterest, Just A Pinch and Betty Crocker web sites for new recipes to try on my family! I am really hoping this one is a keeper!

    • Courtney @ NeighborFood October 14, 2016, 11:26 AM

      I hope the cake turned out wonderfully for you! This is definitely a cake for crumb lovers. 🙂 I’m sure the crumb will be wonderful for another treat though. Good idea to freeze the leftovers!

  • Carrie November 4, 2016, 3:51 PM

    This looks amazing!! I was wondering, have you ever tried replacing the apples with apple pie filling? Do you think it would add too much moisture? Just a thought! 🙂

    • Courtney November 12, 2016, 1:44 PM

      Thank you! I haven’t tried that before, but I think it might be a little too wet!

  • Inna December 15, 2016, 3:58 PM

    This looks so delicious! I want to make this in a bundt pan, so do I just put the mixtures into the pan in the opposite order and how long would I bake it for?

    Thanks!

    • Courtney @ NeighborFood December 15, 2016, 8:11 PM

      I’ve never tried this in a bundt pan and I’m honestly not sure it would turn out! Sorry I can’t help you on that one.

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