The scent of Cinnamon Coffee Cake with Apples baking in your kitchen is heaven! This is my new favorite quick cake recipe because it has apples and lots of cinnamon! Apples are at their best in the Fall, and make a great addition. This recipe easily makes muffins, as well.
The best coffee cakes are quick to make, just one layer and have a strusel 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.
Tips for perfect quick cakes:
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 strusel topping.
- Buttermilk or sourcream help make a tender crumb in the cake.
- Cinnamon is always part of the strudel, 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.
The magic of buttermilk in baked goods
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.
Making Coffee Cake into Muffins
This recipe makes the most amazing muffins! Just fill muffin tins 3/4 full and add the strusel 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.
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 Strudel:
- 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 strudel 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 strudel 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