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Apple crumb coffee cake with caramel sauce

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Apple crumb coffee cake with caramel sauce, coffee cake recipe, homemade dulce de leche, cinnamon, apple recipes

This is a very basic everyday cake I’ve been making a lot lately.  Just a good simple apple crumb coffee cake.  I drizzle it with the caramel sauce (or dulce de leche), but it doesn’t have to be – it’s good on its own.  And, I want to clarify right away: there is no coffee in this cake (or any other coffee cake).  You’ll be surprised how many people think there is coffee in a “coffee cake” & some even avoid coffee cake recipes because of that!  This cake is just meant to be served with a cup of coffee or tea.  And, I am not even a coffee drinker (I quit drinking coffee 6 years ago), so I should call this cake a “tea cake” or, even more accurate, a “water cake”, since I usually drink just water with my desserts.

Apple crumb coffee cake with caramel sauce, coffee cake recipe, homemade dulce de leche, cinnamon, apple recipes

This cake has a lot of “crumb” on top, which makes it very special and delicious.  It also has lots of apples, which makes the cake very moist longer, and keeps this cake as fresh and moist a week later as on the first day!

Apple crumb coffee cake with caramel sauce, coffee cake recipe, homemade dulce de leche, cinnamon, apple recipes


If you’re looking for a simple and easy-to-make dessert – this cake is for you!  And, it’s so yummy and light, it will start disappearing really fast from your counter!

Apple crumb coffee cake with caramel sauce

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Yield: 16 servings. Use 9x13 inch baking pan or 9 inch springform pan

Apple crumb coffee cake with caramel sauce


  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, very soft, room temperature
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • a pinch of salt
  • 3-4 medium apples, cored and chopped
  • Crumb topping:
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup (or more) flour, sifted
  • 5 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
  • Optional:
  • caramel sauce or homemade dulce de leche


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. In a medium bowl, beat 6 tablespoons of very soft, room temperature butter, 1 cup brown sugar and 2 eggs on high speed for about a minute until fluffy and light in color. Add Greek yogurt and beat some more to combine.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine 2 cups flour, baking soda, baking powder, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and just a pinch of salt.
  4. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir to combine. Fold in chopped apples.
  5. To make crumb topping: In a small bowl, combine 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 2/3 cup brown sugar, 2/3 cup flour and mix to combine. Add 5 tablespoons of melted unsalted butter and mix until the mixture is very crumbly and has coarse texture. Add more flour if necessary.
  6. Grease 9x13 inch baking pan or 9 inch springform pan. Pour cake batter into the pan and top with the crumb topping. Bake for about 50 minutes until the toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
  7. Optional: Drizzle with caramel sauce or homemade dulce de leche


Important note about properly measuring flour using measuring cups:

The proper way to measure flour using measuring cups is to aerate it first. This is done either by sifting flour, or aerating it by fluffing it up and whisking it well, then spooning it into the measuring cup, then carefully removing any excess flour with a knife. If you just stick that measuring cup in the bag of flour and scoop some out, you will get a lot more flour than what the recipe calls for. Do aerate the flour, or you will end up with dry cake batter!

Adapted from Martha Stewart


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{ 32 comments… add one }
  • Ashley January 24, 2014, 4:00 pm

    I love cake that has a lot of crumb topping – that’s always my favorite part! This cake looks perfect Julia – simple and delicious.

  • Chris @ The Café Sucré Farine January 24, 2014, 7:15 pm

    This looks fabulous Julia. I’ll pick the apple dessert every time at a restaurant. This one definitely has my vote!

  • Matt @ Runner Savvy January 24, 2014, 7:54 pm


  • Barb January 24, 2014, 10:35 pm

    Just Yummm!

  • [email protected]'s Recipes January 25, 2014, 7:49 am

    Caramel sauce is a MUST! The cake looks super!

  • Erin @ Texanerin Baking January 25, 2014, 4:18 pm

    Yes to lots of topping! And haha. A water cake. That sounds awful but this is just glorious! 🙂

    • Julia January 28, 2014, 3:00 pm

      Erin, I know, a water cake sounds kind of gross. 🙂

  • Monique January 25, 2014, 4:20 pm

    Looks absolutely splendid Julia..Pinned!

  • Deb January 25, 2014, 6:14 pm

    Caramel and apples are just irresistible together! What a fantastic cake to make for the weekend!

  • Caroline @ Pass the Cocoa January 25, 2014, 6:29 pm

    This looks so delicious, Julia! Love the caramel drizzled on top.

  • yelena January 25, 2014, 9:31 pm

    Oh my word Julia! These look beyond amazing! Im ashamed to say I actually thought coffee cake had coffee in it. lol Must be because I’ve never tried it. But I definitely will be trying yours soon. 🙂

  • Ari @ Ari's Menu January 26, 2014, 12:27 pm

    OMG Julia this looks AMAZING!! I want to reach through the screen and dive in!

  • [email protected] Riffs January 26, 2014, 12:53 pm

    Terrific food styling and photos. And a terrific recipe, too. I’m pretty much a water person, too, with this sort of treat! Really good stuff — thanks.

  • Ronda Tatum January 26, 2014, 3:03 pm

    Julia is coffee cake sounds wonderful. I can’t wait to make it for my family. And lots of topping is a good thing!

    • Julia January 28, 2014, 2:48 pm

      Ronda, thank you for stopping by! So good to see you here! 😉 Hope you make it and like it! 🙂

  • Consuelo @ Honey & Figs January 26, 2014, 4:33 pm

    Did you say crumb topping?? Caramel sauce?? I need this in my life as soon as possible! It looks utterly delicious : )

    • Julia January 28, 2014, 2:48 pm

      Consuelo, you’re so funny! Thank you for stopping by and being so sweet and entertaining, as always! 🙂

  • Celeste January 26, 2014, 6:15 pm

    Julia: I made yesterday this coffee cake and turned out great, everybody loves it. Thanks for sharing.

    • Julia January 28, 2014, 2:41 pm

      Celeste, so happy to hear that everybody loved the cake! 🙂 It’s my new “favorite” and I bake it quite a lot lately.

  • WhatJessicaBakedNext... January 27, 2014, 12:19 pm

    Julia, this looks absolutely divine! I’m loving that dulce de leche too! 🙂

    • Julia January 28, 2014, 2:41 pm

      Jessica, thank you! Love dulce de leche – I could eat it every day! 🙂

  • Shashi @ RunninSrilankan January 27, 2014, 8:40 pm

    YUM – this coffee cake is all sorts of delicious – your pictures just make me drool even though I am stuffed!

    • Julia January 28, 2014, 2:42 pm

      Shashi, thank you! This is my favorite cake lately – I make it all the time! 🙂

  • laurasmess January 27, 2014, 8:56 pm

    This looks so gorgeous Julia! That gorgeous moist interior, the caramel drizzle… YUM. Definitely my kind of sweet treat, whether it be a coffee cake or a tea cake (haha! I had a bit of a conversation with someone once about whether a ‘coffee cake’ actually has coffee in it or if it’s just eaten WITH coffee… could argue that for hours!) x

    • Julia January 28, 2014, 2:44 pm

      Ha-ha, Laura! A lot of people are sort of “suspicious” of coffee cake. 🙂 The name definitely creates confusion for some! 🙂

  • Stacy | Wicked Good Kitchen January 27, 2014, 9:32 pm

    Oh, girl…this cake! Apple cake is one of our favorites. Both my husband and I enjoy it…any time of year! Cannot wait to try this one. In fact, our stores still have Honeycrisp apples available. I repinned from you, but didn’t get a chance to stop by to comment. I’m behind in my feed and giving the ol’ blog love. 😉 I love crumble topping and think it is a must with coffee cakes. And, that Dulce de Leche always lures us in! Oh, I’m with you on the water thing with desserts. Thanks for sharing and I will pin some more. 🙂 Have a great week, my friend!

    • Julia January 28, 2014, 2:46 pm

      Stacy, I am also so behind on commenting and everything social-media-related! Hopefully, this week I’ll catch up! Thanks for pinning, as always! 🙂 I love apple cakes – apples are just so great in desserts! Have a wonderful week! 🙂

  • Krista January 28, 2014, 1:17 am

    Ohhh, this delights me no end! 🙂 What tender, moist cake. 🙂 Can’t wait to make it one weekend soon.

    • Julia January 28, 2014, 2:47 pm

      Thank you, Krista! 🙂

  • [email protected] January 28, 2014, 10:03 am

    Wow! Your pictures always make me drool! Love the combo of apples and caramel.

    • Julia January 28, 2014, 2:47 pm

      Christin, thank you! I love apple cakes and caramel sauce (I prefer dulce de leche caramel sauce). 🙂

  • Monica January 30, 2014, 9:14 pm

    Yumm I love the sound of this coffee cake, especially with apples baked into it and the beautiful crumb topping. And I’m glad you clarified that coffee cake doesn’t actually have coffee in it because when I first heard of the term I definitely thought it involved coffee haha. Bookmarked this recipe! (:

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