Cinnamon Coffee Cake with Apples

Cinnamon Coffee Cake with Apples

The scent of Cinnamon Coffee Cake with Apples baking in your kitchen is heaven! This is my new favorite quick coffee cake recipe because it has apples and lots of cinnamon thanks to its streusel topping!

Apples are at their best in the Fall, but available anytime, and make a great addition. This recipe easily makes muffins, as well.

Cinnamon Apple coffee cake ingredients
Cinnamon Apple Coffee Cake ingredients

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.

Cinnamon Apple Coffee Cake
Cinnamon Apple Coffee Cake with a streusel topping

Tips for the perfect quick coffee cake:

Traditional coffee cakes are so popular because they are easy to make and aren’t at all fussy. No frosting, just a single layer encrusted in a beautiful sugary streusel topping.

  • Buttermilk or sourcream helps make a tender crumb in the cake.
  • Cinnamon is always part of the streusel, and usually part of the cake.
  • Most fruits and nuts are easily added for an extra punch of flavor. We chose to add apples to ours and it was magic!
  • No mixer needed – everything can be mixed quickly by hand,
  • Don’t overmix the batter
  • 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 to the depth of flavor and cut the sweet a bit.

Need a buttermilk substitute?

In case you don’t have it 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. Bake for about 20 minutes. I use paper muffin liners but if you grease a non-stick muffin tin that will work too.

Other buttermilk and dessert recipes to try:

Cinnamon Apple Coffee Cake
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5 from 5 votes

Cinnamon Coffee Cake with Apples

Cinnamon Coffee Cake with Apples can be made as a quick cake or muffins with a streusel topping.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 320kcal
Author: Cyndy Ufkes – The Art of Food and Wine


Streusel Topping:

  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 tsp cinnamon

Cake Ingredients

  • 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
  • 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 OK
    Cool 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

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