Apple Coffee Cake With Cinnamon Brown Sugar Crumb

Monday, August 6, 2018
Apple Coffee Cake with Cinnamon Brown Sugar Crumb is a favorite Coffee Cake recipe for brunch or dessert. Tender yogurt or sour cream coffee cake is loaded with tart Granny Smith apples then swirled with a brown sugar cinnamon crumb. It's then topped with more brown sugar cinnamon crumb mixture.  

It's such an easy Apple Coffee Cake Recipe.

A slice of Apple Coffee Cake filled with Granny Smith Apples and a Brown Sugar Cinnamon Crumb and Swirl on a white plate.

Apple Coffeecake With Cinnamon Brown Sugar Crumb Swirl has been a regular on our fall must haves for years. I originally made it with the Krustez Cinnamon Crumb Coffeecake mix for years until I had perfected  this little gem..

It's perfectly moist and the cinnamon brown sugar crumb topping provides the perfect contrast to the tart Granny Smith Apples. I usually use whole wheat pastry flour to increase the fiber, but all-purpose flour works equally well I can never tell the difference in this recipe between the two flours.

The cinnamon crumb swirl ensures a taste of the cinnamon brown sugar crumb topping in every bite.

We love this Coffee Cake for brunch or dessert and it's always a hit.

Here's how to make Apple Coffee Cake:

Measured Brown Sugar, All-Purpose Flour, and Cinnamon in a mixing bowl fitted with a paddle attachment for Apple Coffee Cake.

Mix together:

  • 2 cups Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 All-Purpose Flour 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Cinnamon

This can be done by hand or in a mixer.

Cubed Butter added to brown sugar and flour mixture in a mixing bowl fitted with a paddle attachment.

Add 6 tablespoons Cold Butter, Cubed.

If using a mixer mix on low speed until crumbly, or cut in using a pastry cutter.

Brown Sugar Cinnamon Crumb for Apple Coffee Cake in a mixing bowl.

Mixture will form crumbs when pressed together. Set aside.

Butter and Sugar being creamed together in a stainless steel mixing bowl for Apple Coffee Cake.

Cream together until light, and fluffy:
  • 3/4 cup Cold Butter
  • 1 1/2 cups Sugar

The cold butter helps add volume to the batter making for a lighter coffeecake.

A whole egg added to creamed sugar mixture in stainless steel mixing bowl for Apple Coffee Cake.

Add 4 eggs one at a time, scarping sides of bowl between each addition.

Add 2 teaspoons Vanilla, and mix, until well combined.

Apple Coffee Cake batter with baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl.


  • 1 1/2 teaspoon teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt. 
Mix until well combined.

Flour being added to Apple Coffee Cake batter in a stainless steel mixing bowl.

Add 3 cups All-Purpose or Whole Wheat Pastry Flour 1 cup at a time, alternating with 1 1/2 cups Sour Cream or Greek Yogurt (1/2 cup at a time.)

Tip: Whole Wheat Pastry Flour is a healthier option and no one will be able to tell it's whole wheat. 

1/2 cup Sour Cream being mixed into Apple Coffee Cake batter.

Mix until just barely combined being careful not to over mix.

Peeled Granny Smith Apples being stirred into Coffee Cake batter.

Add 2 whole Granny Smith Apples peeled, cored and diced, about 3 cups.

I like the granny smith apples because they are tart, and hold up well to baking. If they are too tart Pinovas are a bit sweeter, and always a favorite in baked goods if you can find them.

Apple Coffee Cake batter spread in a rectangle cake pan.

Butter a 9"x13" pan and line with parchment paper, butter parchment paper. Spread 1/2 of the apple batter mixture over the bottom of the prepared pan.
Apple Coffee Cake in the bottom of a rectangular pan and then layered with brown sugar cinnamon crumb
Press 1/3 of the Cinnamon Brown Sugar Crumb between fingers, and sprinkle evenly over batter.

Using a knife to make swirls in Apple Coffee Cake batter.

Spread remaining batter over the top, and use a knife to swirl batter.

Apple Coffee Cake covered with Brown Sugar Cinnamon Crumb.

Press remaining crumb mixture between fingers, and spread evenly over the top of cake.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 55-65 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool before serving.

Apple Coffee Cake with a Brown Sugar Cinnamon swirl and covered with a Cinnamon Brown Sugar Crumb on a white plate.

Apple Coffeecake With Cinnamon Brown Sugar Crumb is all the things I love about the fall in each little bite.

A few other favorite Coffee Cake recipes you might enjoy are:

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Apple Coffee Cake
Apple Coffee Cake with Cinnamon Brown Sugar Crumb has a tender yogurt or sour cream cake it is a favorite Coffee Cake recipe for brunch or dessert.
Yield: 16
Author: Serena Bakes Simply From Scratch
Apple Coffee Cake with Cinnamon Brown Sugar Crumb

Apple Coffee Cake with Cinnamon Brown Sugar Crumb

Apple Coffee Cake with Cinnamon Brown Sugar Crumb has a tender yogurt or sour cream cake it is a favorite Coffee Cake recipe for brunch or dessert.
Prep time: 25 MinCook time: 1 H & 5 Minactive time: 25 MinTotal time: 1 H & 55 M


Brown Sugar Cinnamon Crumb
  • 2 cups Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 cup All-Purpose Flour Or Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Cinnamon, Ground
  • 6 tablespoons Cold Butter, Cubed
Apple Coffee Cake
  • 3/4 cup Cold Butter, Cubed
  • 1 1/2 cups Granulated Sugar
  • 4 whole Eggs
  • 2 teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Baking Soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 3 cups All-Purpose Flour Or Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
  • 1 1/2 cups Sour Cream Or Greek Yogurt
  • 2 whole Large Granny Smith Apples, Peeled, Cored and Diced (About 3 cups)


Apple Coffee Cake with Cinnamon Brown Sugar Crumb
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Butter a 9"x13" pan and line with parchment paper, butter parchment paper.
Brown Sugar Cinnamon Crumb
  1. Mix together brown sugar, flour and cinnamon. 
  2. Mix using a mixer or cut in using a pastry cutter 6 tablespoons cubed butter until crumbly.
Apple Coffee Cake
  1. Add 3/4 cup cold butter to mixing bowl and beat until smooth and creamy. Slowly add sugar while beating at medium speed until light and fluffy.
  2. Add eggs one at a time beating well between each addition. Scrape sides of bowl between each egg. Then add vanilla and mix well. Batter should be light and fluffy.
  3. Add baking soda, baking powder, and sea salt. Beat on medium-high speed until well combined. Scrape sides of bowl.
  4. Add flour 1 cup at a time alternating with 1/2 cup sour cream mixing on low speed until just combined being careful not to over mix. Repeat until all of the flour and sour cream has been added.
  5. Mix in diced apples until evenly distributed.
  6. Spread half of the cake batter into the bottom of prepared pan and spread to the edge.
  7. Spread 1/3 of of the Brown Sugar Cinnamon Crumb over the batter and cover with remaining apple coffeecake batter and use a knife to swirl in cinnamon crumb topping.
  8. Press brown sugar crumb topping between fingers to form crumbs and distribute evenly over the top of the cake.
  9. Bake for 55-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of cake comes out clean.
  10. Allow cake to cool before serving.



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Apple Coffee Cake with Brown Sugar Crumb with white text at the top The BEST Apple Coffee Cake.


  1. Wow, you always have the most amazing, delicious-looking coffeecake recipes!! This one sounds perfect for fall - I'm planning to go to an apple orchard soon, and then I'll have to try this. Apples and cinnamon are a classic flavor combination for a's irresistible!

  2. Such a perfect fall breakfast! Love the cinnamon brown sugar crumb!

  3. Love how you swirled some of the crumb in! Yum! Looks like a great fall treat.

  4. I love this cake recipe! Thank you!

  5. This cake sounds delicious!! I love the combination of apple and cinnamon and it looks beautifully moist too :)

  6. This looks so good!!! Perfect for our upcoming apple harvest! ;)

  7. That looks delicious! There's nothing like fall apples. I can't wait to try this!

  8. YUM!! Thanks for a new recipe to use up apples! We got so from our trees :)

  9. I would love to have this for breakfast this weekend! It looks fabulous!

  10. G'day What a great cake from scratch! Great photos!
    Cheers! Joanne

  11. Mmmm, there's nothing I love more than a big slice of apple coffee cake!

  12. This looks divine! I love how you added the crumb into the middle of the cake...YUM!

  13. I love a great coffeecake and this looks so good, would love a square right now!!

  14. Awesome fall flavors in a delectable treat! Perfect combo!!

  15. This cake looks amazing! I love coffeecakes :) Thanks for sharing! Pinning

  16. Oh, yes!!! This is right up my alley too! I have company coming next weekend, on the list!

  17. Nothing says the holiday season like cinnamon and coffee. This recipe is going on the menu for Thanksgiving.

  18. Oh yeah... I could handle a piece of this right now!

  19. Why can't all these people wait until they actually make the recipe before commenting on how good it looks and sounds? We would much rather hear how good it was in reality and comments on the recipe from real live experience. Way to many sounds good and not enough was really good.

    1. I'm sorry you feel this way. Let me know if you have any questions I can help you with!

    2. I agree. We want to know how it comes out and how you like the recipe!

  20. I made this today! It is excellent! I used no fat Greek yogurt. I highly recommend this recipe if you like apples and cinnamon!

    1. Thanks Pixie! I'm glad you enjoyed it as much as we do!

  21. Did you simply omit the Greek yoghurt or sub it?

    1. Hi Sumayya, Don't omit the Greek Yogurt the cake needs it. You can either use sour cream or greek yogurt. You can find greek yogurt in no fat, low fat or full fat and any of them will work. I've made this recipe with all the above and it's always a family favorite! Please let me know if you have anymore questions! -Serena

  22. After 42 years making Dutch applecake.I love to try tomorrow this cake.It looks great.Thank you Lenie.

  23. What weight would six tablespoons of cold butter be? X

    1. 3 ounces Butter, each tablespoons is .5 ounces. I hope that helps! -Serena

  24. Hi! Went apple picking a few days ago. Would love to make this before the apples start turning. Can this cake be frozen?

    1. Hi Fran, I haven't tried freezing this but I think it should freeze well. If you do please let me know the outcome! Have a great weekend! -Serena

  25. Hi Serena, I'm a newbie baker and came across this recipe on Pinterest. Thought I'd give it a try. Easy enough, but so greatfull for your explicit instructions and photos! And also for the fact that I own the old version of the Kitchen Aid stand mixer, a true work horse. The end result was nothing short of amazing! I don't eat sweets, but my husband gave it a 9.9 out of 10. Hoping this freezes well because it makes a big cake. Thanks for the recipe!!

  26. Do you think some oats in the crumb would be a good idea, wondering if you anyone has tried it?

    1. I haven't tried it with this recipe but it should work. Thanks, Serena

  27. Made this for brunch this morning; it filled the house with a wonderful aroma while baking. Took about 60 minutes in my oven. It was delicious; I love that even with that amount of brown sugar swirled throughout and on top, it wasn't overly sweet. It was great with a cup of coffee; thank you for sharing!

  28. I could totally eat this whole pan!

  29. I can't wait for my next excuse to bake up a coffeecake as THIS will be it! It looks terrific, Serena!

  30. Coffeecake is my weakness!

  31. I made this today for Christmas brunch. I made it exactly according to the recipe. The topping completely melted into the top of the cake. :(

  32. You need to put a warning in the recipe! Only make if you own a very good stand mixer! Almost impossible to make without one. To say 20 minutes for prep without one is outrageous!

  33. Made this for a family dinner and it was a huge hit! I used nonfat Greek yogurt and it didn't take away from the taste at all. Patches of the topping did melt into the cake, but overall it held up. It was delicious, and I kept getting compliments...even via text the next day when it was time for leftovers :)

  34. Wondering if using a bunt pan would work and what adjustments I would have to make for it to work? Any suggestions?

    1. Hi! I'm sure it would work. I don't know what the adjustments would be for size and cooking time without trying it. If you have extra batter you could always drop it into a muffin pan! Thanks, Serena

  35. I just made this cake because it looked easy to make however it wasn’t, I have a small manual mixer so it was lot of work to get the cake batter. I put one extra apple because when it comes to good bakes with fruit I don’t like to be shy. I must say that it was worth the work, this cakes is amazing, a fluffy texture and the apples add an amazing flavour, it is just a little sweet but nothing that my palad can’t handle :-)
    This recipe definitely goes to my exclusive repertoire, I only wish the amounts of butter would’ve been in grams and not in tbs as it is was a little difficult to know if I was using the right amount, other than that it was easy to follow. Btw I used vanilla ice cream on the side of my cake and it was a hit. My friends where asking me for the recipe so, I’m sorry Serena but I had to promote this delicious cake with few more people, don’t worry I didn’t take credit for it, I just gave them the link of this site so they can check the original recipe ;-)

  36. My new favorite recipe!! I had some frozen cinnamon apples that needed to be used up and this cake was perfect. The sour cream makes it super moist and it goes great with morning tea.

  37. Came out delicious and moist! Everyone loved it!! Thank you!

  38. What's the purpose of buttering the pan, then parchment, then butter that too? What kind of pan did you use? I usually use non-stick or glass and spray or butter it. Just curious since I bought the ingredients today to make it.

    1. I like to butter the pan so the parchment sticks tight to the corners and prevents it from slipping around while I'm spreading batter. I butter the parchment just as an extra precaution for a clean release mainly from the corners. I like the parchment because it makes it easy to lift the cake out of the pan to cut clean slices. I used a metal pan that was not non stick coated. If clean slices aren't a big deal you could always just butter your pan and call it good. I hope that helps. Thanks, Serena

  39. I made this today because I had apples that were close to going bad and needed to use them. I searched out a recipe and found this. It did not disappoint!!! It is delicious. It’s so moist, light, and fluffy. I used half whole wheat flour and half all purpose flour as well as non-fat Greek yogurt instead of sour cream. So good. I think I may add pecans next time to half of it to see how it would taste. Thank so much for the recipe. My family loves it!


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