Cinnamon Apple Coffee Cake is full of warm Autumn flavors and while it’s baking your kitchen will smell like heaven!
You can also make scrumptious muffins with this recipe
This is my favorite quick coffee cake recipe because it’s loaded with sweet apples and lots of cinnamon, and then topped with golden streusel. It’s perfect paired with our homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte!
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Apples are at their best in the Fall and make a great addition to a traditional coffee cake recipe. Pears would also be wonderful in this cake. This recipe easily makes muffins, as well, as we’ll show you below how to do it.
Ingredients for Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake
- For the Streusel Topping:
- Sugar – we’ve used regular sugar but light brown sugar works too
- Butter – room temperature for easy mixing
- Cinnamon – the best part of streusel!
- For the Cake:
- Flour – regular all-purpose flour
- Cinnamon – our favorite Fall flavor
- Baking Soda and Baking Powder – both help keep this coffee cake light and fluffy
- Salt – a pinch of salt is important to balance sugar in baked goods
- Brown Sugar – use light brown sugar
- Buttermilk – buttermilk makes the cake very moist, but sour cream can be substituted
- Canola Oil – any neutral oil work
- Vanilla Extract – always perfect in cakes. We love to use Homemade Vanilla
- Apples – Honeycrisp, Granny Smith, or Fuji work well
How to make Cinnamon Coffee Cake from scratch:
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.
- Grease a 9″ x 13″ (or 8″ x 11″) pan, or line a 12-serving muffin tin
- Preheat the oven to 325˚F
- Mix streusel ingredients together and set aside
- Peel, core, and chop apples into 1-inch pieces
- 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
- Make sure all the apples are well-coated
- Add 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 the cake or muffins should come out clean
Tips for the perfect Cinnamon Coffee Cake:
Traditional coffee cakes are so popular because they are really easy to make. No frosting is needed and the recipes use common pantry ingredients. The results are a single delicious layer encrusted in a beautiful sugary streusel topping. This cinnamon coffee cake with apples recipe has all of those features!
- Buttermilk or sourcream helps make a tender crumb for the cake
- Cinnamon is always part of a streusel, and often part of the cake mix too
- Most fruits and nuts can easily be added for an extra pop of flavor
- No mixer is needed – everything can easily be mixed by hand
- Don’t overmix the batter or your cake will be less tender
- Most coffee cakes make perfect muffins. We made one dozen with this recipe with no adjustment to ingredients, but a shorter baking time
Why use Buttermilk in baked goods?
Quite simply because buttermilk is magic! This cake has buttermilk, but some recipes use sour cream, and either will work. 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 of buttermilk also helps add a depth of flavor. We think it makes the best Banana Bread!
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 Cinnamon Coffee Cake Muffins
This recipe makes the most amazing muffins with no changes in technique needed
- Grease the muffin tins. Use paper liners if desired
- Fill muffin tins 3/4 full
- Add the streusel topping to each muffin and bake for 18-20 minutes
- To make mini muffins use the same method but cut the baking time to 15-16 minutes
Leftovers and Storage:
Store the cake or the muffins at room temperature for up to 4 days, in a tightly sealed container.
Other delicious dessert recipes you may like:
- Irish Soda Bread
- Buttermilk Banana Bread
- Cinnamon Baked Pears (or Apples)
- Cinnamon Baked Churro Donuts
- Fresh Cherry Muffins with Almonds
Apple Coffee Cake (with Cinnamon)
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 Tablespoon butter, softened to room temperature
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 2 ½ cups flour
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ cups brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 cup buttermilk
- ⅓ cup canola oil
- 1 teaspoon 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
- To make mini muffins cut the cooking time to about 16 minutes
- Store at room temperature for up to 4 days, in a tightly sealed container