This Apple Crumble Coffee Cake is wildly craveable as the weather starts to turn. There is something about the leaves changing colours and the temperature dropping that just makes me crave the flavours of apples and cinnamon. The texture of this moist sour cream cake, the crumble, and the soft apples are total pleasure. This is the kind of cake that makes you want to find a quiet spot in your home with a cup of coffee, turn on Carol King, and just indulge.

For me, the crumb is the hero of this whole cake. The texture and the buttery goodness just steals the show. It’s also really simple to make! Don’t panic when you read the recipe for the crumb, there is a lot that goes into making it. For example, there is the same amount of flour in the crumble as there is in the cake! This isn’t a typo and just trust the process!

Apple Crumble Coffee Cake

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Prep Time 25 minutes
Ready in 2 hours



  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup melted butter
  • 2 1/2 cups flour


  • cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¾ cup room temperature butter
  • cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup full fat sour cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla

Apple topping

  • 3 apples, diced
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp lemon juice


  • Preheat the oven to 350 and grease a 13X9 inch baking pan.
  • Let's get cracking with the crumble! In a bowl mix together the sugars, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, salt, and melted butter. Using a fork stir everything together. Once all of the sugar clumps are gone, pour in flour and mix. Once the flour is incorporated, set aside.
  • Now, cake time. First the dry ingredients. In a bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment beat the butter and sugar together on high speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add the eggs, sour cream, and vanilla. Beat on medium-high speed until combined. The mixture may look curdled; that’s okay. With the mixer on low speed, mix in the dry ingredients until smooth. Do not overmix. The batter will be thick.
  • Mix the diced apples, lemon juice, and the cinnamon together.
  • Spread the batter evenly into the prepared baking pan. Top with the cinnamon apples. Now pour on the crumb topping and press it down with the back of a spatula. Really push it down so the crumb sticks to the cake itself.
  • Place in the oven to cook for 45-55 minutes. Keep an eye on the cake as there is a lot of sugar in the crumb so it could brown quickly. If that starts to happen I would suggest covering the cake with a piece of foil.
  • After 40 minutes, check the doneness of the cake using a toothpick. If any batter sticks to the toothpick when you pull it out of the cake, it's not ready. Once the toothpick comes out clean remove from oven and let fully cool for 1 hour.
  • You made it! This isn't an easy recipe and if you made it this far congrats! You earned the corner piece of this soul-warming cake! Enjoy!

Andy’s Notes

Ingredients needed for the Apple Crumble Coffee Cake

  • Flour: All-purpose flour is the structure of this cake. It’s sturdy enough to support the thick batter and multiple layers of this crumb cake. This is a fairly dense cake which I just love. Think almost cake donut density.
  • Baking Soda + Baking Powder: Baking soda and baking powder help the cake rise.
  • Granulated Sugar: Granulated sugar sweetens the cake.
  • Butter: Butter adds flavor and provides structure in the creaming process. Be sure to properly cream the butter with the sugar to ensure the sugar dissolves.
  • Sour Cream: Sour cream gives us an extremely moist crumb cake that’s a little denser than, say, a fluffy vanilla cake.  You are going to want to use a high-fat content sour cream, so go for it! If we are going to bake a cake, let’s bake a cake!
  • Eggs: Three eggs add moisture and bind the cake together.
  • Salt + Vanilla Extract: Use both for flavor.
  • Cinnamon: It’s fall time and all I want to eat is cinnamon
  • Apples: The star of apple crumb cake, of course. More to come on those!

Best apples to use?

I am a big fan of using seasonal ingredients. We recently went apple picking and the Gravensteins were spectacular so I used those. Really, use whatever is fresh and local to you!

How to Make Apple Crumb Cake

So how do we make this cake? Follow these basic steps and always take the time before you start to premeasure all of the ingredients .
  1. First things first: get started on the crumble. Mix everything together and set aside.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients for the cake together.
  3. In a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together. Once smooth add in the sour cream, eggs, and vanilla.
  4. Slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet batter. Mix slowly until smooth. DO NOT OVERMIX or the cake will get very very dense.
  5. Dice the apples and coat them in cinnamon.
  6. Pour the batter into the baking pan and smooth out with a spatula.
  7. Top the cake with the diced apples.
  8. Pour on the crumble and push down with the back of a spatula.
  9. Pop into the oven for 45-55 minutes. Use a cake tester to check doneness after 40 minutes.
  10. Let cool and enjoy the smell!
  11. Slice and serve!
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