Nothing says fall like the smells of warm apples and cinnamon from this apple streusel cake. After a long hot summer, this warm spiced bread full of comforting flavors is the perfect way to enjoy the cooler weather. Make a loaf for breakfast or have it out on the counter as an easy snack that won’t last long.
I know apple season is almost over, but I’ve been sitting on this apple streusel cake recipe all summer and figured it’s better now than never! And it’s the perfect dessert for using all of those end of season apples!
Quick breads are one of my favorite things to make because there’s no kneading or rise times to deal with. It’s as simple as prep, mix, and bake. It’s a great way to make a fast breakfast when you are still figuring out those back to school mornings or as a lazy snack for any time of day. Plus it’ll make your house smell amazing!
This apple streusel cake is a combination of a quick apple bread and an apple coffee cake with a cinnamon streusel topping!
This moist cake with a sweet streusel topping is one the whole family will love, specially when topped with melted butter or a scoop of vanilla ice cream and paired with hot apple cider.
No need to rush to the grocery store – you’ll be surprised at how many the ingredients you already have on hand. Bonus, it’s a great way to use up those fresh apples that you always have left over in your fridge.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Easy ingredients – you probably have 90% of this on hand and any time you can save money at the grocery store is a win.
- Quick – this apple streusel coffee cake recipe can be mixed and in the oven in less than 15 minutes. Then you can forget about it until the timer goes off while you get everything else done you need to. The hardest part is cutting the apple slices!
- Easy to share – there always seems to be more reasons to get together in the fall (we love fall parties!) and this delicious apple cinnamon coffee cake is an easy go to that will impress everyone.
Not a fan of apples? Then you should try this delicious cinnamon streusel coffee cake instead. It has the same warm spices but without the warm apples. It’s one of my favorite coffee cake recipes!
Or if you are looking for a quick bread that isn’t another one of my coffee cake recipes try this cranberry orange bread instead! It’s one of my favorites for any time of year.
- Yellow cake mix - yellow is best but you could try white if you have it on hand.
- Milk - any type of milk will work, but I always prefer full fat for the richest cake batter!
- Cinnamon - mix it up by switching it out for pumpkin pie or apple pie spice after you try the original recipe.
- Apples – any fresh apples you have on hand will work but I find Granny Smith apples work the best for baking, especially in recipes like this apple crumb cake! I like how the tart apples pair with the sweet cake! Also, I like to use grated apples in this instead of chunks of apples for best results. I recommend skipping sweeter apples like Honeycrisp simply because it makes the bread overly sweet.
- Butter – you can use either salted or unsalted butter in this recipe!
How to make Apple Cake with Streusel Topping
This sweet cake is incredibly easy to make, the hardest part is not cutting your finger while you shred the apples.
Otherwise it’s just a matter of mixing the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients. You’ll find everything you need to know to make this apple crumb cake below, plus pretty pictures to keep you motivated.
1 – Make The Coffee Cake Batter
To start, heat oven to 350 degrees and prepare a loaf pan by spraying it with non stick cooking spray, you can also line it with parchment paper if you prefer.
Mix together the cake mix, milk, oil, eggs, and cinnamon in a large bowl.
I usually just use a wooden spoon or whisk to combine them, but you can use an electric mixer if you want.
You’ll want to stop mixing once all the ingredients combine, careful not to over mix the batter.
After all the ingredients are mixed together, add in the grated apples. Again taking care not to over mix once the apple filling has been added.
Pour cake batter into the prepared cake pan. Set aside while you make the brown sugar mixture to add for your streusel layer.
2 – Make The Crumb Topping
In a small bowl mix together the melted butter, sugar, brown sugar, and flour. Mix it all together with a fork to form large chunks.
Sprinkle the streusel mixture on top of the batter before you put the cake into the oven. This makes such a nice addition to the moist apple bread – honestly the top of the cake may be my favorite part!
3 – Bake And Serve
Next, bake the cake for about 50 minutes.
The best way to make sure the cake is done is by sticking a toothpick into the center of the cake and if it comes out clean then it’s done! If it’s still gooey, bake it for another five minutes and try again.
After the cake is done cooking, let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes then turn it out onto a wire rack and let the cake finish cooling until it is completely cool. This is a moist and tender cake so you really want to let it cool before slicing or the pieces will fall apart.
Serve it topped with softened butter and a warm drink. Then relax as you enjoy the crunchy crumbs and cinnamon sugar taste as you indulge in this warm apple coffee cake.
Add 1/2 cup of nuts to the batter if you want to add some more texture and flavor. I personally think walnuts pair great with apple desserts like this one.
Bake it in a square pan for 35-40 minutes instead of 50 to get more of the look of a cake if you want. Start checking to see if it’s done around 30 minutes.
Grate the apples right before using them or they will brown. Apple slices won’t turn out the same in this recipe. If you have to grate them ahead of time, sprinkle them with a little lemon juice to keep them from browning.
Store leftover apple streusel cake in an airtight container or cover with plastic wrap. Leave at room temperature for up to three days.
If the coffee cake is dense, it likely was over mixed or not enough wet ingredients were added.
Moisture comes from the added fat and liquid, if the coffee cake is dry try enjoying it with some melted butter or drizzled with coconut oil to add moisture.
This apple streusel cake freezes great! Wrap it up tightly in some plastic wrap than put that plastic wrapped cake into a zipper top freezer safe bag. Freeze for up to three months. Remove from the freezer and allow to come to room temperature before eating.
This apple streusel coffee cake requires fresh apples, not canned or apple pie filling. Adding apple pie filling will add too much liquid and change the texture and baking integrity of the cake.
More Easy Apple Recipes
If you like this apple coffee cake, make sure to check out these other delicious apple recipes!
- Caramel apple dip – the best way to eat apples is dipped in this delicious dessert dip!
- Apple pie cups – 2-ingredient breakfast treats topped with caramel sauce!
- Caramel apple dump cake – the easiest fall cake ever (other than this apple streusel one of course). Just dump and bake!
- Caramel apple bark – super simple recipe that makes making and eating caramel apples even better! You could even mix it up with of these caramel apple toppings!
- Apple pie caramel apples – the best ever caramel apples, and so easy to make too!
Apple Streusel Cake
- 1 (15.25oz) box yellow cake mix
- ¾ cup milk
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 3 eggs
- 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
- 2 apples coarsely grated
- 6 Tbsp butter melted
- ⅓ cup sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 ¼ cup flour
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare a loaf pan by spraying it with non stick spray.
- Mix together the cake mix, milk, oil, eggs, and cinnamon in a large bowl.1 (15.25oz) box yellow cake mix, 3/4 cup milk, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 3 eggs, 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
- After all the ingredients are mixed together, add in the grated apples.2 apples
- Pour the apple cake mixture into the prepared loaf pan.
- Sprinkle the streusel topping over the apple cake batter then place in the preheated oven.
- Bake the cake for about 50 minutes. When the cake is done insert a toothpick to make sure the cake is done.
- After the cake is done cooking, let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes then turn it out onto a cooling rack and let the cake finish cooling until it is completely cool.
- Serve immediately once cooled enough to slice.
- In another bowl mix together the melted butter, sugar, brown sugar, and flour. Mix it all together with a fork to form large chunks of streusel topping.6 Tbsp butter, 1/3 cup sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 1/4 cup flour