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apple crumble coffee cake square on white surface

Apple Crumble Coffee Cake

  • Author: Paula Montenegro
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 65 minutes
  • Yield: 10 servings 1x
  • Category: Cakes
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


A wonderful apple coffee cake topped with a crunchy walnut cinnamon crumble topping.



For the crumble:

  • 1 cup (100g) walnuts or pecans, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup (100g) brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons (30g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 Tablespoons (30g) butter, in small pieces

For the cake:

  • 1 pound (450g) baking apples, such as granny smith, peeled, cored and very coarsely chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon (15g) sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup (180g) sour cream, at room tº
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) whole milk, at room tº
  • 2 3/4 cups (370g) all-purpose or cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (225g) unsalted butter, at room t1
  • Zest of 1/2 lemon (orange works well too)
  • 1 cup (200g) sugar
  • 3/4 cup (150g) brown sugar
  • 3 eggs, at room t°
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


For the crumble:

  1. In a small bowl mix sugar, flour, and cinnamon.
  2. Add pieces of butter and mix with a fork until they are small and all is somewhat mixed.
  3. Add nuts and mix.

For the cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF / 180ºC.
  2. Butter or spray a 9x13-inch (23x33cm) rectangular pan and line bottom and two wider sides with a piece of parchment or waxed paper.
  3. In a large bowl mix apples, peeled and chopped, with the tablespoon of sugar cinnamon. Reserve.
  4. In a large bowl (stand or hand-held electric mixer) beat butter with zest until creamy, about 1 minute.
  5. Add sugars gradually and beat until light and creamy, about 3 minutes.
  6. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat well to incorporate each one.
  7. Add vanilla extract and mix.
  8. Have dry ingredients (flour, baking powder and soda, and salt) measured and add them in 3 parts, sifting them, to the butter mixture.
  9. Alternate between with the sour cream and milk in 2 parts, beginning and ending with flour.
  10. Mix well but don’t over beat. The mixture will be thick.
  11. Put half of this mixture in the prepared pan, spreading to cover it.
  12. Top it with the apples, distributing them over the surface.
  13. Top with half the crumble if you want, or add it all at the end.
  14. Cover with the remaining half of batter, spreading carefully to cover the apples.
  15. Top with the crumble topping and bake for 45 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. Don’t over bake it.
  16. Let cool on a wire rack.
  17. Unmold it with the aid of the parchment paper and eat at room temperature.
  18. Keep wrapped in film for a day or two at room tº. After that, keep refrigerated.


  • Expert tip: when adding the batter layer on top of apples (or crumble filling) the best way is to add the cake batter in mounds so they'll be easier to spread. And aid yourself with the back of a spoon barely dipped in water when spreading. You will find that the batter glides easily and the apples don't stick as much.

Apples - I swear by granny smith apples (the green ones, my absolute favorites for baking) for baking and I recommend you use them. The difference is that they bring some acid to the mix that complements the overall sweetness of the cake. And they hold their shape and don't turn mushy in the oven. If you have another favorite baking apple, by all means, use it.

You can substitute firm pears for the apples.

Icing - a simple icing (1 cup powdered sugar and a few teaspoons of lemon juice or milk) goes wonderfully with this cake,  and you can certainly add it on top of the walnut crumble topping after the cake is baked.

Keywords: apple cake, apple crumb cake, apple coffee cake