Jump to RecipeJump to VideoLeave a ReviewPin Recipe

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this website.

You only need a few pantry ingredients and about 15 minutes to prepare this easy Apple Coffee Cake recipe! The apple cinnamon coffee cake with sour cream is moist, tender, loaded with fresh apples, and finished with a cinnamon sugar topping. Share a slice with friends and family for the perfect breakfast or snack on a cool fall morning!

Close up side shot of a plate of sour cream apple coffee cake

Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake

This apple coffee cake is a classic morning treat with fresh apples stirred right into the batter! Warm spices like cinnamon and nutmeg pair beautifully with the fresh fruit, while sour cream keeps the batter rich, moist and tender. It’s delicious on its own with a mug of mulled cider or hot coffee, perfect with ice cream for a cozy autumn dessert, and tasty alongside other brunch fare like eggs, candied bacon, ham steaks, and fruit salad.

Stirring together cinnamon sugar topping with a whisk in a small white bowl

Why is it called coffee cake?

What makes a coffee cake a coffee cake — especially if coffee isn’t one of the ingredients?! In America we often call this type of dish a coffee cake because the traditional sweet cake is an ideal complement to a cup of coffee or a foamy latte. When you’ve got a warm beverage and a slice of this decadent treat on your plate, it’s definitely not bad to eat cake for breakfast!

Process shot of mixing apple coffee cake batter

Ingredients for Apple Sour Cream Coffee Cake

This is a quick overview of the simple ingredients that you’ll need for an apple coffee cake with sour cream. As always, specific measurements and complete cooking instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • Cinnamon: for the topping.
  • Granulated sugar and brown sugar: sweetens the cake batter and the crumb topping.
  • Salted butter: keeps the cake moist and adds a rich flavor.
  • Egg: gives the cake structure.
  • Vanilla extract: for extra warmth and flavor.
  • All-purpose flour: the base of the cake.
  • Baking soda and baking powder: the leavening agents that help the cake rise, making it light and fluffy.
  • Nutmeg: a warm spice that’s a common ingredient in coffee cake recipes and pairs nicely with the apples.
  • Salt: to balance the sweetness and enhance the other flavors in the cake.
  • Sour cream: The acid in the sour cream reacts with the baking soda to help the cake rise. Thanks to its high fat content, sour cream adds moisture without thinning the batter, and yields a moist, rich, tender crumb.
  • Apple: peeled and diced into very small pieces.
  • Powdered sugar and milk: make the glaze for the top of the cake.

Adding peeled diced apples to a white mixing bowl

What is the best apple to use in a cake?

Look for softer baking apples for this recipe, since the softer apples break down more easily in the oven and blend into the cake batter. You get less of the firm chunky texture, and more of the fresh apple flavor. Good options include Golden Delicious, Cortland, Macoun, Jonathan and McIntosh. In a pinch, you can use any apple that you enjoy, though!

Close overhead shot of a bin of apples

How to Make Apple Coffee Cake

Mix together this flavorful apple streusel coffee cake in just minutes! You’ll love the cinnamon sugar topping and the bits of fresh apple throughout. It’s quick, simple, and decadently delicious!

  1. Whisk together the cinnamon sugar topping.
  2. Mix together the cake batter.
  3. Fold in the diced apples.
  4. Transfer the batter to a greased, parchment-lined 8-inch square baking dish.
  5. Top with cinnamon-sugar.
  6. Bake in a 350°F oven for about 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  7. Whisk together the icing and drizzle over top.
  8. Slice into squares and serve!

Sprinkling cinnamon sugar streusel topping over a pan of batter

Whisking together powdered sugar glaze in a white bowl

Hand holding a knife that's ready to slice a sour cream apple coffee cake

The best apple coffee cake recipe served on a table with fresh apples in the background

What to Serve with Apple Coffee Cake

This cake is perfect on its own with a hot cup of coffee, tea or mulled cider. For a more elaborate brunch spread, try pairing the cake with any of these other morning dishes:

The decadent Dutch apple coffee cake is also a great dessert option. Serve a slice with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream at the end of a long day!

Front shot of apple coffee cake with sour cream on a wooden cutting board

Storage

Store the coffee cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Wrapped tightly, the baked cake will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Close overhead image of apple crumb coffee cake slices on a wooden cutting board

Recipe Variations

  • This recipe yields one small 8-inch coffee cake. For a larger cake, double all of the ingredients and bake in a 9 x 13-inch dish for about 30 minutes.
  • To make a similar apple coffee cake in a Bundt pan, use this recipe, but fold 2 peeled, diced apples into the batter.
  • Use full-fat plain Greek yogurt instead of the sour cream.
  • Add finely chopped pecans or walnuts to the streusel for some extra crunch and toasted nutty flavor.
  • Fold raisins into the batter. For a real treat, soak the raisins in rum first!

Side shot of easy apple coffee cake squares on a wooden cutting board

Tips for the Best Apple Coffee Cake Recipe

  • Make sure that the ingredients are all at room temperature before preparing the batter. This helps them mix together smoothly and easily, without the need for over-mixing (which can ruin the texture of a cake).
  • Be careful not to over-mix the batter. You want it to come together so that everything is combined, but then stop! Mixing too much will activate the gluten in the flour, resulting in a dry, dense cake.
  • Use full-fat sour cream (not a lower-fat alternative) for a rich, flavorful, moist, and tender cake.
  • Peel the apples and dice into very small, uniform pieces. Peeled apples bake smoothly into the batter and eliminate any tough, unpleasant texture.

Close overhead shot of a slice of apple coffee cake on a red and white vintage plate

More Apple Recipes to Enjoy this Season

Close up side shot of a plate of sour cream apple coffee cake

Mom's Easy Apple Coffee Cake

5 from 3 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 40 minutes
Servings 9 people
Calories 242 kcal
You only need a few pantry ingredients and about 15 minutes to prepare this easy Apple Coffee Cake recipe with a cinnamon-sugar topping!

Ingredients
  

For the Cinnamon-Sugar Topping:

  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar (light or dark will both work)

For the Cake:

  • ¼ cup (½ stick) salted butter, softened at room temperature
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup (6 ounces) sour cream, at room temperature
  • 1 medium apple, peeled and finely diced

For the Glaze:

  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1-2 teaspoons milk (or more as needed to thin)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8-inch square baking dish, line with parchment paper so that the parchment overhangs the side of the dish, then grease the parchment as well. Set aside.

Make the Topping:

  • In a small bowl, stir together the topping ingredients. Set aside.

Make the Cake:

  • In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to cream together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla extract; mix until well combined.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, nutmeg, and salt.
  • Add half of the flour mixture to the butter mixture; mix on medium-low speed until just combined. Add the sour cream and mix to combine. Add the remaining flour mixture and mix just until combined.
  • Fold in the diced apples.
  • Transfer the batter to the prepared baking dish.
  • Sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar topping on top.
  • Bake for about 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for at least 30 minutes, then lift the cake out of the pan with the overhanging parchment paper.

Glaze the Cake:

  • In a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar and milk until smooth. Add more milk to thin the glaze, or add extra powdered sugar to thicken. Drizzle over the top of the cake.
  • Slice the cake into squares and serve!

Notes

  • Make sure that the ingredients are all at room temperature before preparing the batter. This helps them mix together smoothly and easily, without the need for over-mixing (which can ruin the texture of a cake).
  • Be careful not to over-mix the batter. You want it to come together so that everything is combined, but then stop! Mixing too much will result in a dry, dense cake.
  • Use full-fat sour cream (not a lower-fat alternative) for a rich, flavorful, moist, and tender cake.
  • Peel the apples and dice into very small, uniform pieces. Peeled apples bake smoothly into the batter and eliminate any tough, unpleasant texture.
  • This recipe yields one small 8-inch coffee cake. For a larger cake, double all of the ingredients and bake in a 9 x 13-inch dish for about 30 minutes.
  • To make a similar apple coffee cake in a Bundt pan, use this recipe, but fold 2 peeled, diced apples into the batter.
  • Use full-fat plain Greek yogurt instead of the sour cream.
  • Add finely chopped pecans or walnuts to the streusel for some extra crunch and toasted nutty flavor.
  • Fold raisins into the batter. For a real treat, soak the raisins in rum first!

Nutrition

Serving: 1sliceCalories: 242kcalCarbohydrates: 37gProtein: 3gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 42mgSodium: 194mgPotassium: 100mgFiber: 1gSugar: 26gVitamin A: 315IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 43mgIron: 1mg
Keyword: apple cake, coffee cake recipe
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Blair Lonergan

This recipe was originally published in September, 2016. It was updated in September, 2021.

blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

Read More

Square overhead shot of hands serving a chicken pot pie recipe with biscuits
Overhead image of a bowl of chili mac on a dinner table with cornbread
Hands serving a platter of sheet pan sausage and potatoes

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Comments

  1. I could practically live off of coffee cakes, so I’m loving this easy version, Blair! And the apples in here look SO good! What a perfect breakfast to wake up to during the fall!

  2. I’m dying over that topping, Blair! The streusel looks divine! I love a good coffee cake recipe, and a quick/simple one = even better. Thanks for sharing!

  3. This is the perfect fall cake! One of the first things we make each year after apple picking is apple coffee cake!

  4. 5 stars
    I had dessert for breakfast this morning – a pecan tart, lol. I rarely have those kind of sweets around but a neighbour brought them by and they were gobbled up pretty quickly!

    I love this delicious cake and it’s perfect for Thanksgiving when you have a house full of guests!
    Sharing. Have a great weekend, Blair!

  5. So happy to see this recipe! My mother made this for us growing up and I plan to make it for her. She is 86 now and I know it will bring back good memories. Thank you!

    1. Hi, Angela! That’s wonderful! I’m so glad that you found the recipe and that your mom can still enjoy it. 🙂 It makes me wonder where MY mom got the recipe…from her mom? Love family recipes that have been passed down like this. They’re always the best when they stand the test of time! Enjoy!

  6. Thank you. It’s in the oven now! My 94 yr old mom will love this treat for breakfast. Made it with Truvia for baking so no sugar, and added walnuts for protein & crunch!

  7. Hi Blair, this coffee cake looks absolutely delicious! Do you think gluten free Bisquick can be substituted for regular Bisquick. If so, would other changes be needed to be made to the recipe? Thanks.

    1. Hi, Sharon! I believe so! I’ve never baked with the gluten-free mix, but I believe it’s an equal substitute for the regular Bisquick mix (which means you shouldn’t need to make any other adjustments). Enjoy! 🙂