I've always had a soft spot for recipes that effortlessly blend tradition with a dash of something new. That's exactly what this Spiced Apple Crumble Coffee Cake accomplishes: it marries the comforting, homey flavor of an old-fashioned coffee cake with the zesty sweetness of spiced apples, all crowned by a to-die-for crumbly topping. Imagine sinking your teeth into a cake that's soft, moist, and fragrant with cinnamon and nutmeg, punctuated by bites of juicy apple. This isn't just another coffee cake; it's a seasonal celebration in each bite.
What I love about this recipe is how straightforward it is, making it accessible to bakers of all levels. In under two hours, you can transform simple pantry ingredients into a delectable treat that's as perfect for an elegant brunch as it is for a casual afternoon snack. You don't need to be an expert in the kitchen to whip up this dessert; all you need is a love for flavorful, soul-warming food. With easy-to-follow steps and common ingredients, this Spiced Apple Crumble Coffee Cake is a joy to make and even more of a delight to eat.
Why You'll Love This Apple Crumble Coffee Cake Recipe
Seasonal and Fresh: The incorporation of fresh apples and autumn spices like cinnamon and nutmeg make it perfect for the fall season, but honestly, it's so good you'll want to make it all year round.
Coffee's Best Friend: As the name suggests, this cake pairs perfectly with coffee. But it's equally delightful with tea, milk, or even a glass of apple cider for an apple-on-apple experience!
Great for Leftovers: While it's best enjoyed fresh, this cake holds up well in an airtight container, letting you savor the goodness for days to come. A quick zap in the microwave and it tastes just like new.
How to Make Spiced Apple Crumble Coffee Cake
Making this delicious Spiced Apple Crumble Coffee Cake is a breeze. Here's how you can create this treat, broken down into easy-to-follow steps:
Prepare Your Pan and Preheat the Oven
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
- Line and grease a 9-inch springform pan. Place a sheet of baking paper on the bottom and lightly butter the sides.
Craft the Crumble Topping
- In a medium bowl, mix together 1 cup of all-purpose flour, ⅓ cup of brown sugar, ⅓ cup of granulated sugar, and 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon.
- Stir in ½ cup of melted unsalted butter until the mixture forms coarse crumbs.
- Set the crumble aside for later use.
Create the Cake Batter
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together 2 cups of all-purpose flour, 1 cup of granulated sugar, 2 teaspoons of baking powder, ½ teaspoon of baking soda, ¼ teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, and ½ teaspoon of ground nutmeg.
- Add ½ cup of softened unsalted butter, 2 large eggs, 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract, and ½ cup of whole milk to the dry ingredients.
- Blend the ingredients using a hand or stand mixer until the batter is smooth.
- Fold in 2 medium-sized, peeled, cored, and diced apples to distribute them evenly throughout the batter.
Assemble and Bake
- Pour the batter into your prepared springform pan, smoothing it out with a spatula.
- Sprinkle the crumble topping evenly over the batter, pressing it lightly into the surface.
- Bake the cake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Cool and Serve
- Once out of the oven, let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes.
- Remove the sides of the springform pan and allow the cake to cool completely on a wire rack.
- Slice and serve your Spiced Apple Crumble Coffee Cake with a cup of coffee or tea, and enjoy!
Tips and Tricks for the Perfect Spiced Apple Crumble Coffee Cake
Choose the Right Apples: The type of apple you use can make a big difference in the texture and flavor of your cake. Granny Smith apples are often recommended for their tartness, which balances the sweetness of the cake. Honeycrisp and Braeburn apples also work well because they hold their shape during baking. Whichever type you choose, make sure the apples are fresh and firm for the best results.
Room Temperature Ingredients: Using ingredients at room temperature is key to achieving a smooth, well-mixed batter. Cold butter won't blend well, and cold eggs can re-solidify the fats, making the batter uneven. To quickly bring eggs to room temperature, place them in a bowl of warm water for about 10 minutes. Butter can be softened by cutting it into small pieces and letting it sit out for about 30-45 minutes before you begin.
Don't Overmix: One of the secrets to a tender coffee cake is in the mixing. Overmixing can lead to a tough, dense texture as it overdevelops the gluten in the flour. Use a light hand and stop mixing as soon as the dry and wet ingredients are combined. It's okay if a few streaks of flour remain; they'll get incorporated when you fold in the apples.
Cool Completely: Although the aroma will tempt you, it's important to let the cake cool completely before slicing. This not only makes it easier to cut, but the cooling time allows the flavors to meld and the texture to firm up, giving you the perfect slice. After removing the cake from the oven, let it cool in the pan for about 10 minutes. Then, remove the sides of the springform pan and allow it to cool completely on a wire rack. This could take another 30 minutes to an hour, but it's worth the wait!
Storing, Freezing, and Reheating
If you find yourself with leftover cake, don't worry—it's easy to store! Place the cake in an airtight container and keep it at room temperature for up to 3 days. Storing the cake in an airtight container helps preserve its moisture and flavor. If you prefer, you can also store the cake in the refrigerator, but be aware that this may slightly alter its texture.
This Spiced Apple Crumble Coffee Cake freezes beautifully, making it perfect for planning ahead or saving leftovers for a future treat. To freeze, first allow the cake to cool completely. Then, slice the cake into individual portions. Wrap each slice tightly in plastic wrap, followed by a layer of aluminum foil. Place the wrapped slices in a zip-top freezer bag, removing as much air as possible before sealing. Label the bag with the date and contents, and store it in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Thawing at Room Temperature: Remove the desired number of slices from the freezer and let them thaw at room temperature in their wrapping for several hours or overnight.
Microwave: If you're short on time, you can also reheat individual slices in the microwave. Remove the plastic wrap and aluminum foil, place the slice on a microwave-safe plate, and heat for about 20-30 seconds, or until warmed through.
Oven: For a larger portion or the entire cake, preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Remove the cake slices from their wrapping and place them on an oven-safe dish. Cover loosely with aluminum foil to prevent drying out and bake for about 10-15 minutes, or until heated through.
Spiced Apple Crumble Coffee Cake
- 9-inch springform pan
- Medium mixing bowl
- Hand or stand mixer
- Vegetable peeler
- Kitchen knife
- Baking paper
- Wire rack for cooling
For the Cake
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ cup unsalted butter softened
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup whole milk
- 2 medium-sized apples peeled, cored, and diced
For the Crumble Topping
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ cup unsalted butter melted
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and line the bottom of the springform pan with baking paper. Grease the sides lightly with butter.
- Start by preparing the crumble topping. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, and cinnamon. Stir in the melted butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
- Add the softened butter, eggs, vanilla extract, and milk to the dry ingredients. Use a hand or stand mixer to blend until the batter is smooth and well combined.
- Fold in the diced apples until evenly distributed throughout the batter.
- Pour the batter into the prepared springform pan, spreading it out evenly with a spatula.
- Evenly sprinkle the crumble topping over the batter, pressing it lightly into the batter.
- Bake the cake in the preheated oven for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes. After that, remove the sides of the springform pan and allow the cake to cool completely on a wire rack.
- Once cooled, slice the Spiced Apple Crumble Coffee Cake into pieces and serve. Enjoy with a cup of coffee or tea for a delightful breakfast or dessert.
Spiced Apple Crumble Coffee Cake - FAQ
Yes, this cake can be made a day ahead. However, for the best texture and flavor, it's advisable to make and consume it the same day. If you're planning to serve it later, see our section on storing, freezing, and reheating.
The consistency of the crumble topping can be affected by the temperature of the butter, or by how well the dry ingredients are mixed. Ensure that the butter is completely melted and that you mix the ingredients until they form coarse crumbs.
If the top of the cake is browning too quickly while the center is still not done, you can loosely cover the cake with a piece of aluminum foil and continue baking. This will prevent the top from getting too brown while the middle finishes baking.
Yes, this recipe can be adapted to make muffins. Divide the batter and crumble topping among muffin cups and adjust the baking time to about 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.