This easy apple butter coffee cake is the perfect cozy addition to your fall breakfast or brunch menu! With homemade apple butter, fresh apples, and a quick cinnamon and brown sugar crumble topping.
This apple coffee cake tastes like fall reached out and punched you in the face (but in the best possible way).
It’s packed with seasonal goodies like cinnamon, cloves, fresh apples, and a generous dose of our favorite homemade apple butter: perfect for a cozy Sunday morning or a holiday brunch!
We’re also adding a quick crumb topping (just butter, cinnamon, brown sugar, and flour) to this apple crumb cake for a bit of extra texture on top.
First up: Grab your apple butter.
This recipe works with refrigerated or previously frozen apple butter as well (so if you still have a jar stashed in your freezer, you can definitely defrost it and use it here!)
If you don’t have homemade apple butter on hand, you can also use store-bought apple butter or applesauce.
Mix the coffee cake batter
This apple streusel coffee cake has three main steps:
- Make the crumble topping. Mix room temperature butter with brown sugar, cinnamon, and flour to form your crumble topping. Set this aside until you’re ready to bake!
- Mix the dry ingredients. In a large mixing bowl, mix all of your dry ingredients and spices together.
- Add the wet ingredients and apples. Whisk some melted butter and apple butter together in a small bowl, then stir this mixture into your dry ingredients. Fold in some diced apples and you’re ready to assemble!
Pro tip: Use a kitchen scale!
Measuring flour by volume (with cups) is notoriously unreliable: each person measures a cup of flour a little bit differently, so it’s easy to accidentally use too much (which results in a dry, dense coffee cake!)
But when you measure flour with a kitchen scale (using gram measurements) you measure flour perfectly every time, ensuring a light, moist coffee cake. So if you have a kitchen scale, please use it!
No kitchen scale? Measure your flour with the scoop and level method for best results!
Swaps and Substitutions
- Use store bought apple butter or applesauce in place of our homemade apple butter in this recipe if you like! We’ve tested this recipe with both our stovetop and slow cooker apple butter recipes, as well as with Eden Organic Apple Butter and store-bought applesauce.
- Add a cream cheese glaze for extra sweetness and flavor! Whisk a bit of softened cream cheese with powdered sugar, vanilla extract or lemon juice, and a few teaspoons of milk to form a thin glaze that you can drizzle over the coffee cake.
- For extra texture, fold chopped walnuts or pecans into the batter before baking!
- No apples? Pears and peaches are also delicious in this coffee cake.
A few FAQs
Yes! This coffee cake freezes quite well. Let it cool completely, then place individual slices in a Stasher Bag or airtight container (or wrap with plastic wrap) and freeze for 2-3 months. Reheat in the oven at 325° F for 10-15 minutes until warmed through. If you’re planning to freeze this recipe but don’t love the texture of previously frozen apples, we recommend leaving the apple pieces out (it will still taste great!)
If you have extra slices of coffee cake, we recommend freezing them! Because there are apple pieces in the batter, we don’t recommend storing this coffee cake on the counter. But since storing baked goods in the fridge can dry them out very quickly, just pop extra coffee cake in the freezer and reheat as needed!
Yes – you can absolutely make this coffee cake without butter! Just swap the butter for coconut oil (use solid coconut oil for the crumble topping, and melted coconut oil in the batter).
More ways to use extra apple butterPrint
This easy apple butter coffee cake is perfect for fall!
For the crumb topping:
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
- ½ cup flour (60g)
- ¼ cup butter (½ stick), softened at room temperature
For the coffee cake:
- 210 grams all purpose flour (about 1 ¾ cups when measured correctly by scooping and leveling)
- 1 cup sugar (201 grams )
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt (6 grams)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda (5 grams)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder (5 grams)
- 2 Tablespoons ground cinnamon (10 grams)
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¾ cup apple butter (200 grams)
- ½ cup butter, melted
- 2 eggs
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract (2 grams)
- 1 large apple, cored and diced
Optional garnishes and toppings:
- 2–3 Tablespoons powdered sugar, for dusting
- ¼ cup cream cheese glaze
- Heat oven to 425° Fahrenheit. NOTE: you will reduce this temperature part way through baking.
- Grease and flour a 9-inch baking pan.
Make the crumb topping:
- Use a fork to mix the brown sugar, cinnamon, flour, and softened butter in a small bowl until you have a coarse, lumpy mixture. Set aside while you make the batter.
Make the batter:
- In a large bowl, stir together sugar, flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and ground cloves.
- In a separate small bowl, stir together apple butter and melted butter.
- Add apple butter mixture, eggs, and vanilla to dry ingredients and mix until no lumps remain.
- Add chopped apples and stir to fold them into the batter.
- Spread batter into your prepared pan.
- Spread the crumb topping evenly over the top.
- Bake for 5 minutes at 425° F, then reduce the temperature to 375° F and bake an additional 25-30 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center of the coffee cake comes out clean.
- Serve warm or let coffee cake cool to room temperature. Top with a drizzle of cream cheese glaze or a dusting of powdered sugar if you like (optional).
What kind of apple butter should I use? We developed this recipe to work with both our Stovetop Apple Butter and our Slow Cooker Apple Butter! We have also tested this coffee cake with Eden Organic apple butter and store-bought applesauce. Keep in mind that the sweetness, flavor, and liquid content of apple butter can vary from brand to brand (and from recipe to recipe!)
Let your apple butter come to room temperature before using it if you can: when the apple butter is too cold, it makes the butter seize up a bit and you end up with a thicker batter that’s a little more difficult to stir. Not the end of the world, but it saves a little bit of time and effort if the apple butter isn’t extra cold!
Substitutions and Additions. Use melted coconut oil, vegetable oil, or canola oil in place of the melted butter in the cake batter. Add walnuts or pecans (we like to toast them first!) to the batter for extra texture. Drizzle a quick cream cheese glaze over the top of the coffee cake when it’s cooled (use this in place of or in addition to the crumb topping). Use pears or peaches in place of the diced apples if you like.
What kind of pan should I use? We recommend a 9” cake pan (round or square) or a 9″ springform pan for best results here. You can use an 8-inch cake pan, but you may need to add an extra 3-5 minutes of bake time.
If you have a kitchen scale, please use it here! Measuring flour by volume (with cups) is notoriously unreliable – for best results, grab your scale and use the gram measurements provided! If you need to measure the flour here with cups, use the scoop and level method for best results. Flour is the most unreliable ingredient to measure by weight, which is why we’ve listed the gram measurement for the flour first in the ingredients list above. The rest of the ingredients here are fairly consistent when measured by volume, so you can follow the volume measurements for those if you prefer – but we’ve also included gram measurements if you’d like to measure everything by weight! For small amounts (1 teaspoon and less) we recommend just using a volume (teaspoon) measurement because many kitchen scales aren’t reliable in such small amounts.
Keywords: fall, autumn, brunch
The photos for this recipe were taken by Casey at The Mindful Hapa!