Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake

This Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake has all the moist, crumbly goodness of a coffee cake, with a sweet layer of soft, jammy apples that reminds me of apple pie. 

If you have a couple apples that have gone a little past their prime or picked a few more last weekend than you bargained for, I think you’ve found their calling! 

Tracing This Cake’s Origins

I first blogged this recipe in December 2013, when I was living with my parents in Beijing. I did a lot of baking when we lived in China, trying to create comforting flavors that reminded me of home. 

Well, few things are more comforting than apple pie, right? This apple cinnamon coffee cake has all that comfort––WITH crumb topping!

About a year and a half ago, I rediscovered this gem from 2013, and I re-photographed and shared it with all of you.

And…you went nuts for it! (Even though I re-posted in April, which is decidedly not apple season.)

So many of you made this cake and loved it, I knew I had to bubble it up again now that it IS apple season!

It’s the perfect recipe for these cooler days, as autumn gets into full swing, our weekends are filled with apple picking, and this year’s apples come into their prime.

Apple cinnamon coffee cake with cup of coffeeApple cinnamon coffee cake with cup of coffee

My Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake’s Structure

Between the cake and the crumb, there is a thin layer of sliced apples. It magically melts to a consistency of apple pie filling during baking, and the top layer of cake stays just slightly gooey from the apples’ moisture.

Some would say this is a bad thing. I can see the face of Great British Baking Show judge Paul Hollywood, narrowing his eyes at me with the word, “under-baked.”

I would argue, PAUL, that this effect is intentional. The tender, moist, and flavorful cake, with a layer of soft apples and ever-so-slightly gooey cake, and the sweet, buttery crumb topping is a trifecta of taste and texture. 

Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake slice with forkApple Cinnamon Coffee Cake slice with fork

Note: This Is An Egg-Free Cake Recipe!

You may have noticed that this recipe does not have eggs in it. If you have an egg allergy, this cake is fair game!

For those of you questioning the lack of eggs in the recipe, just know that the apples in the cake itself, along with the baking powder, gave the cake a great texture and rise. Additional moisture comes from the yogurt and oil in the recipe. 

Trust me, you don’t need the egg! 

Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake: Recipe Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350°F/175°C. Grease and flour an 8-inch/20cm square cake pan.

Make the crumb topping. In a medium bowl, toss together the sugars, cinnamon, and salt.

Bowl of sugar, brown sugar, and cinnamonBowl of sugar, brown sugar, and cinnamon

Stir in the melted butter with a fork.

Adding melted butter to crumb mixtureAdding melted butter to crumb mixture

It will look like this when it’s all mixed up. (A few lumps of brown sugar is totally fine.)

Brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, butter mixture, thewoksoflife.comBrown sugar, cinnamon, salt, butter mixture,

Add the flour and stir together until just moist (don’t overmix). Set aside. 

Crumb mixture for coffee cakeCrumb mixture for coffee cake

To make the cake, whisk together the dry ingredients in a large bowl (flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon).

flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamonflour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon

In another medium bowl, whisk together the yogurt, brown sugar, oil, and maple syrup.

(For the yogurt, any plain or vanilla flavored yogurt or Greek yogurt will do. You can also substitute buttermilk or sour cream.)

Take 1 apple and finely chop it (you can also grate it if you like). Fold it into the wet ingredients.

Apple cinnamon coffee cake wet ingredientsApple cinnamon coffee cake wet ingredients

Take the other apple, and cut it into thin slices. Toss in lemon juice and set aside. 

Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined––do not overmix. The batter will be thick.

Apple cinnamon coffee cake batterApple cinnamon coffee cake batter

Pour batter into the prepared pan and smooth it out.

Coffee cake batter in baking panCoffee cake batter in baking pan

Line the surface of the cake with the apple slices.

Apple slices on coffee cakeApple slices on coffee cake

Spread the crumb topping on top of the apples. 

Apple cinnamon coffee cake before bakingApple cinnamon coffee cake before baking

Bake for 50 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for at least 10 minutes before cutting and serving (serve warm or at room temperature).

Slice of apple cinnamon coffee cakeSlice of apple cinnamon coffee cake
Sliced apple cinnamon coffee cake with cake server and coffeeSliced apple cinnamon coffee cake with cake server and coffee


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