Friday, October 12, 2012

Apple Cinnamon Coffeecake

I’ve been making this cake for a couple of years. It’s really quite simple and very delicious, but I never got a photo of it, so I didn’t share it here. As it turns out, photos of this Apple Cinnamon Coffeecake do not do it justice. It mostly looks humble and, well, brown. The proof of this cake is definitely in the tasting. Well, the fact that it’s very easy to make does a lot to recommend it, too.

Since I like to have this for breakfast, I usually prepare as much of the recipe ahead of time as I can. I stir together the dry ingredients, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and set it aside at room temperature. I melt the butter, whisk it well with the egg, add the vanilla and store the mixture in the refrigerator. I prepare the streusel topping and keep that in the refrigerator as well. Then, when morning comes and I get myself geared up for cake-baking, I just have to peel and chop the apple, combine the wet and dry ingredients, stir in the apple, pour the batter into a greased baking dish and top it with the streusel while the oven is preheating.

Once the cake is baked, we eat it warm. It’s deliciously spiced and studded with apple and has a slightly grainy added flavor from the addition of some whole wheat pastry flour. The streusel kind of melts into the top of the cake to form a layer that’s not quite a glaze but is heading in that direction rather than resembling a crumb topping.

This cake is flavorful and comforting right out of the oven on a cold fall weekend morning. And it’s probably best that I tend to eat it first thing in the morning, because then I can balance the inevitable second (or third) piece by taking it a little easier the rest of the day. This coffeecake is also very good for a few days after it is baked, as long as you remember to refrain from eating all of it right away. A quick blast in the microwave restores its warm-cake mind powers. And you know warm cake, especially when it features fresh fall apples and cinnamon, has mind powers. Consume at your own risk.


Apple Cinnamon Coffeecake
Adapted from CookingLight magazine.

for the streusel topping
¼ cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons cold butter cut into small pieces
for the cake
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup sugar
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
1 large egg
2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
¾ cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup diced peeled apple

1. Preheat oven to 350 F.  To make the streusel topping, combine the brown sugar, 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour and ½ teaspoon cinnamon in a small bowl.  Whisk together to combine.  Add the cold butter pieces and work into the flour mixture with a fork or your hands until the butter is evenly distributed in small, crumbly pieces.  Set aside.  (Cover and refrigerate if making ahead.)

2. Combine 1 cup flour, whole wheat pastry flour, sugar, baking powder, 2 teaspoons cinnamon and salt in a medium-size bowl.  Whisk or sift to combine.  Set aside.  (Cover and store at room temperature if making ahead.)

3.  In another medium-size bowl beat the egg with a whisk.  Whisk in the melted butter.  Whisk in the milk and vanilla extract.  (Cover and refrigerate if making ahead.)

4. (Preheat oven to 350 F and peel and chop the apple before proceeding if the other ingredients have been prepared ahead.)  Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and stir until almost combined, but a few dry spots remain.  Stir in the apple.

5.  Grease an 8-inch square baking dish or spray it with cooking spray.   Pour the batter into the dish and spread it evenly.  Sprinkle the streusel mixture evenly over the top of the batter.

6.  Bake at 350 F for 40-45 minutes or until a wooden pick (or other cake-tester) inserted in the center comes out free of wet batter.  Cool in the pan on a wire rack 10 minutes.  Serve warm from the pan.  Cover leftovers, which will keep for a few days.  Rewarm in the microwave.

Makes 9 servings.


  1. I'm a long term reader of your blog and I have to tell you that this cake is fantastic. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Thanks a million! I was just thinking of making this cake as soon as possible to take advantage of all the fresh apples!