Apple Coffee Cake

Apple coffee cake made with streusel and sour cream and cinnamon in a Bundt pan is a guaranteed crowd pleaser. Provided, natch, that you’re willing to share.

 Recipe

This apple coffee cake is swirled with a ribbon of crumbly streusel goodness and dotted with tender apples. The tender-crumbed cake is elegant enough for company, simple enough for every day, and versatile enough for breakfast and midnight snack and pretty much every moment in between. [Editor’s Note: Bonus! The coffee cake tastes even better the next day, though good luck having enough left to realize this firsthand.]Olwen Woodier

Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 30 M
  • 2 H
  • Serves 12 to 16

Ingredients

  • For the apple coffee cake
  • 3 medium apples (Golden Delicious, Gala, Braeburn, Empire, or a mix), peeled, cored, and finely chopped (3 to 4 cups or anywhere from 350 to 500 grams)
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon (1 to 2 tablespoons or 15 ml)
  • 1 teaspoon (3 grams) plus 1 tablespoon (8 grams) ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups (396 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (8 ounces or 227 grams) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for the pan
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup (225 ml) sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon (12 ml) vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups (300 grams) all purpose flour, plus more for the pan
  • 1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (6 grams) baking soda
  • 1/2 cup (107 grams) firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup (113 grams) chopped pecans
  • For the apple glaze (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons (5 grams) cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup (118 ml) apple juice or cider
  • 1/2 cup (118 ml) frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed
  • 1/2 teaspoon (1.5 grams) ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup (28 grams) confectioners’ sugar (optional)

Directions

  • Make the apple coffee cake
  • 1. Preheat the oven to 350oF (177oC).
  • 2. Generously butter and flour a 10-inch (25-cm) Bundt pan.
  • 3. Place the apples in a large bowl and toss with the lemon juice and the 1 teaspoon (3 grams) cinnamon.
  • 4. In a large bowl, beat the granulated sugar and butter until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Beat in the eggs, sour cream, and vanilla.
  • 5. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Fold into the sour cream mixture. Stir in the apples. Pour half the batter into the prepared pan
  • 6. In a small bowl, mix the 1 tablespoon cinnamon with the brown sugar and pecans. Sprinkle over the batter in the pan. (It may seem like a lot but go ahead and use it all. Trust us. You’ll be glad you did.) Cover with the rest of the batter and smooth the top.
  • 7. Bake for 65 to 80 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Keep an eye on the cake and if it begins to brown too much, cover the pan loosely with aluminum foil. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then finish cooling on a wire rack.
  • Make the apple glaze (optional)
  • 8. In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch with a little of the apple juice to make a smooth paste.
  • 9. Pour the remaining apple juice in a small saucepan over low heat. Gradually add the cornstarch paste and cook, stirring constantly, until thick and smooth. Stir in the apple juice concentrate and cinnamon. Remove from the heat. Let it cool slightly.
  • 10. Take a taste. If a sweeter glaze is desired, beat in the confectioners’ sugar.
  • Serve the apple coffee cake
  • 11. Place a plate or cake stand on top of the Bundt pan and carefully invert everything and gently loosen the pan from the cake. If desired, spoon the warm apple glaze over the cooled apple coffee cake or sprinkle with confectioners sugar. Slice and serve while still warm or, if you can wait, let it cool, cover, and keep it overnight for an even more marvelous flavor.
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Recipe Testers Reviews

Recipe Testers Reviews
Testers Choice
Elie Nassar

Nov 30, 2016

This apple coffee cake is pretty much a perfect specimen of coffee cake—not too dry, not too moist, a lovely crumb that’s just heavy enough, and extra special with the finely chopped apples. I really love cakes like this rather than elaborate layered cakes with buttercream and such. The layer of nuts, sugar, and spice is just the icing on—or rather in—the cake, adding lots of flavor and crunch. So, yes, I love this cake.

Testers Choice
Linda Christman

Nov 30, 2016

This apple coffee cake is definitely a company's coming cake. It was very moist, which I think can be attributed to the small dice of the apples, which seemed to melt into the cake. I used Gala, Red Delicious, and Empire apples. I thought that it seemed like a lot of apple but the apple flavor was perfect. The pecan filling added the perfect amount of sweetness and wasn’t overwhelming. I chose not to use the glaze and instead garnished it with a shower of confectioners sugar instead. As with most cakes, it tasted even better the next day and was a hit with my co-workers. What’s also nice is that the cake serves a crowd. It would be a great addition to a brunch menu.

Testers Choice
Heather Lang

Nov 30, 2016

I decided to kill two birds with one stone by making this cake for a retirement party potluck. I thought that apple desserts are such a neutral contribution that everyone would try a slice. Setting it on the table surrounded by store-bought (gasp) goodies and watching people take a sniff and gravitate towards MY dessert was a heartwarming thing to watch. And that apple cider glaze? So fragrant it was like drawing flies to honey. The only problem? The name coffee cake kept people asking why they didn't taste any coffee in the cake. I used Galas. The glaze was glorious and I omitted the sugar since I wanted it to be on the tart side.

Testers Choice
Linda M.

Nov 30, 2016

Although this apple coffee cake recipe requires some time to prepare, it’s delicious and yields a yummy cake to share or serve for a special breakfast or brunch. The ribbon of pecans and brown sugar flavors the entire cake and adds a sweet touch. I was surprised this recipe didn’t have any salt in the ingredients. I think a bit of salt would enhance the flavor of the cake portion that doesn't have any of the brown sugar filling. I used 2 fuji and 1 Granny Smith apples.

Testers Choice
Heather Lang

Nov 30, 2016

This apple coffee cake was very well received and didn’t last long on the counter. It’s not too sweet like many coffee cakes are, and the apple flavor and moist crumb makes it seem like more of a snacking cake, though it definitely can be fancied up if desired. I used 2 Gala apples and a Fuji, a total of 4 cups chopped apples, or 450g. I pretty much followed the recipe exactly and the baking time was spot on. I didn’t make the glaze, as I thought the cake was sweet enough without it. I will for sure be making this cake again in the fall when I have an abundance of apples."

Testers Choice
L. Fraser

Nov 30, 2016

Everyone thoroughly enjoyed everything about the apple coffee cake. The cake was very moist and I loved the small pieces of apple throughout the cake. I used Gala apples. I baked the cake for exactly 1 hour and 20 minutes. It was perfect. I didn't make the optional apple glaze. The only thing I would change next time, and I'll definitely make it again, is to add more pecans and brown sugar to the middle. I had a little trouble with the top half of the cake sticking to the pan, but I think I should have loosened it before I flipped it over. My mistake didn't ruin the cake at all. I would recommend this cake to anyone who enjoys moist cakes with pecans. It wasn't difficult to make and it was well worth any effort at all. It was delicious! We served it to several friends and not a single bite was wasted. Get ready because it makes a lot of cake!

Testers Choice
Elsa M. Jacobson

Nov 30, 2016

“Oh my god! This is so good!” were the first words after one of my tasters took a bite. Someone else noted that the apple in the cake made them feel virtuous eating it. At first I thought this would be solely a brunch type of coffee cake, but it would certainly also be fine for tea time or breakfast time or snack time or late night nibbling time or really any time at all. And, although it is an apple cake, and therefore seems autumnal from a first read-through, it could absolutely be served and enjoyed year round. It was hard not to go back for seconds and thirds. I used two Granny Smith plus one Gala. It looked like there was way too much of the cinnamon, brown sugar, pecan mixture when the cake was being assembled, but this was not the case when the cake was being eaten. (Walnuts could be happily substituted for the pecans, if preferred.) Lastly, yes! You do want to drizzle with the optional apple glaze. There’s no question that the apple glaze adds to the deliciousness of the apple coffee cake, which, while wonderful unglazed, was even more wonderful glazed. It’s a quick and easy addition and adds to the impress-your-friends-and-family-and-guests nature of the cake. I used apple juice though if apple cider was in season, I would absolutely use that. I used the sugar, but it was not at all necessary and I would skip it in the future as the cake is happily rich but not too sweet, and that is part of what makes it a terrific cake—the sugar was superfluous though not so sweet as to be cloying. There was too much glaze for this cake. Besides making less in the future, the extra could be reserved and spooned atop or below the cake slices when presented, or could be reserved and served over ice cream or yogurt for an added treat.

Testers Choice
Michele F.

Nov 30, 2016

I knew this apple coffee cake would be delicious before it went into the oven. The cinnamon, lemon juice, and apples smelled like apple pie. And the tablespoon of vanilla extract made the batter smell so good I had to stop myself from eating it straight from the bowl. The finished cake definitely lived up to my expectations. I think we all take a sliver every time we walk into the kitchen. The brown sugar and cinnamon and pecan filling nicely complements the apple cake. This recipe is definitely a keeper. I made this recipe twice, as the first time the texture was a bit off. I believe it was because my 3 apples (1 golden delicious, 1 Gala, and 1 braeburn) came to 4 cups chopped. The second time I made it, I used 2 smaller apples (1 Gala and 1 golden delicious) that came to 2 cups chopped and the cake was perfect. The next time I make this (and there will be a next time!) I am going to try layering the filling so it’s 1/3 batter, 1/2 pecan filling, 1/3 batter, 1/2 pecan filling, and then the remaining 1/3 batter. This cake is amazing. Thanks for a great recipe!

Testers Choice
Sarah Heend

Nov 30, 2016

The apple cake was everything I want in a coffee cake. It was a moist, tender cake filled with plenty of bright-tasting apple cooked to just the right degree of doneness—not too crunchy and not too soft. The ribbon of streusel running through the middle was the perfect addition to the cake—the pecans tasted almost candied and the brown sugar added a nice sweetness to a not-too-sweet cake. I used Lady Alice apples. I didn’t use the optional apple glaze—the cake was perfect as it was. When I baked the cake, I thought I would top it with a sprinkle of confectioners’ sugar, but it needed nothing other than a cup of coffee or tea.

There were still lumps after beating in the sour cream and eggs for several minutes. These smoothed out after I added the flour and apples. I thought the cake tasted a tiny bit flat, with no added salt. Next time I will add 1/2 teaspoon salt to the batter. I don’t have a big “salt” tooth, but I do think a little bit of salt in baked goods helps to round out the flavors.

Testers Choice
Kim Venglar

Nov 30, 2016

I like this cake for the flavor. I love this cake because the recipe directions are clearly written and even a novice baker can turn out a fantastic cake. I used 3 different apples for this cake (Golden Delicious, Braeburn, and Gala) because they all cook down differently so you get different textures throughout the cake. The baking time was exact and the cake came out of the pan looking beautiful. I tried a slice before using the glaze. I feel the glaze added too much moisture to the cake and the texture changed.

Testers Choice
Teresa J.

Nov 30, 2016

This is a great recipe to make, particularly in the fall when fresh, crisp apples are at their peak. You'll also likely have all the other ingredients already in your pantry and freezer, making it a convenient and quick treat to bring into your co-workers. The sour cream lends a tender moistness to the cake that’s complemented by the fragrant cinnamon. Of course, anything baked in a Bundt pan is sure to impress! I used 3 Gala apples. Possible tweaks would be to add one more medium apple and increase cinnamon by 1/2 teaspoon.

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