Cinnamon Coffee Cake with Apples baking in your kitchen is heaven!
This is my favorite quick coffee cake recipe because it’s loaded with sweet apples, lots of cinnamon, and a golden streusel topping. We love to have it with our homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte!
Apples are at their best in the Fall, but delicious anytime, and make a great addition. Pears are also wonderful in this cake. This recipe easily makes muffins, as well, as we’ll show you how below.
Ingredients for Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake
- For the Streusel Topping:
- For the Cake:
- Baking Soda and Baking Powder
- Brown Sugar
- Canola Oil
- Vanilla Extract
- Apples – Honeycrisp, Granny Smith or Fuji
Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake origins:
The best coffee cakes are quick to make, just one layer, and have a streusel topping. Originating from Germany, these cakes were meant to be eaten early in the day with your coffee but I think they are perfect any time of day.
How to make Cinnamon Coffee Cake from scratch:
- Grease a 9″ x 13″ or 8″ x 11″ pan, or line a 12-serving muffin tin
- Mix streusel ingredients together and set aside
- In a small bowl whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt
- In a large bowl mix together brown sugar, egg, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla. Add the chopped apples and blend gently
- Add reserved flour mixture and mix until completely blended, but don’t over mix
- For the cake: Add mixture to prepared pan and evenly spread streusel topping over cake. Bake for 40-50 minutes.
- For the muffins: Fill each muffin tin about 3/4 full and sprinkle with streusel topping. Bake 18-20 minutes
- A toothpick inserted into the center of cake or muffins should come out clean
Tips for the perfect coffee cake:
Traditional coffee cakes are so popular because they are really easy to make. No frosting, common pantry ingredients, and just a single layer encrusted in beautiful sugary streusel topping. This cinnamon coffee cake recipe is no exception.
- Buttermilk or sourcream helps make a tender crumb for the cake
- Cinnamon is always part of streusel, and usually part of the cake
- Most fruits and nuts are easily added for an extra punch of flavor
- No mixer needed – everything can be mixed quickly by hand
- Don’t overmix the batter or your cake will be less tender
- Most coffee cakes make perfect muffins. We made a dozen with this recipe with no adjustment to ingredients, but a shorter baking time
Buttermilk in baked goods is magic
This cake has buttermilk, but some recipes use sour cream. Both have lactic acid which softens and tenderizes baked goods. The slightly acidic batter helps keep baked goods moist by breaking down long, tough strands of gluten. The tangy flavor also helps add a depth of flavor and cut the sweet a little.
How to make a buttermilk substitute?
In case you don’t have buttermilk on hand it’s easy to make a substitution:
- The ratio: 1 Tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice to every 1 cup of regular milk.
- Mix together and let stand for a few minutes before using
Making Coffee Cake into Muffins
This recipe makes the most amazing muffins! Just fill muffin tins 3/4 full and add the streusel topping to each muffin and bake for 18-20 minutes. I use paper muffin liners but if you grease a non-stick muffin tin that will work too.
If you make mini muffins cut the baking time to 15-16 minutes.
Other buttermilk and dessert recipes to try:
- Irish Soda Bread
- Buttermilk Banana Bread
- Cinnamon Baked Pears (or Apples)
- Cinnamon Baked Churro Donuts
- Our Pear and Walnut Cake Recipe is also a quick cake
Cinnamon Coffee Cake with Apples
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 Tbsp butter, softened to room temperature
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 ½ cups flour
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- ¾ tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 ½ cups brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 cup buttermilk
- ⅓ cup canola oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 medium apples, peeled,cored and cut into 1"pieces, Honeycrisp, Granny Smith, or Fuji
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease 9" x 13" or 8" x 11" glass baking dish, or 12 serving muffin tin
Make the Streusel:
- Mix all strudel ingredients together is a small bowl and set aside
Making the Cake:
- In a small bowl whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
- In a large bowl whisk together brown sugar, egg, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla.
- Add chopped apples and stir to coat.
- Add reserved flour mixture and gently stir until completely combined.
Baking instructions for Cake:
- Add cake mixture to prepared pan. Evenly sprinkle streusel topping over entire cake. Bake for 40-50 minutes, until top is golden brown, and cake is set. Insert toothpick or skewer into the center of the cake, it should come out clean, with no streaks of the batter. A few small crumbs are OKCool completely before cutting
Baking instructions for Muffins:
- Line each muffin pan cup with a liner, or grease well.Fill each muffin cup to about 3/4 full. Do not overfill or your muffins will overflow. Evenly sprinkle streusel topping over each muffin.Bake about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let rest of about 5 minutes in muffin pan and remove to a wire rack to cool completely.Note: If making mini muffins cut cooking time to about 16 minutes