Spiced Apple Coffee Cake

Spiced Apple Coffee Cake | www.lemon-sugar.com

SERIOUSLY, what is with the ridiculous winter this year?  If I hear the term “Polar Vortex”  one more time, I just might lose it.

Listen, I get that I live in the Midwest, and normally I am all about the changing seasons, but this winter has been particularly brutal and un-lovely. If it’s going to be minus umpteen million degrees, could we at least have a bit of snow?  And maybe ease up on the wind?   Please, Mother Nature?

{Speaking of winter, I took the girls to see Frozen last weekend.  Have you seen it? ADORABLE.  Go see it, and you’re welcome.}

This frigid weather is definitely motivation to turn on the oven and bake, and this is the perfect recipe to warm you right up.  There’s just something so warm and comforting about apples and cinnamon, isn’t there?  With a big old mug of coffee?  Perfect.

Wait until you see the batter for this cake.  It’s slightly tangy from the cream cheese, but it’s SO silky and smooth and velvety, you really won’t be able to wait for it to come out of the oven.  Your house will smell fantastic, and the only thing that will help you deal with the torture of waiting for it to finish baking is that your will be rewarded with a delicious piece of cake.

Oh, and don’t forget the glaze.  It gets a little bit crackly on top, but stays oozy and gooey underneath, which is almost too much to deal with.

I kind of love this cake.

Spiced Apple Coffee Cake | www.lemon-sugar.com

The apples are big enough that they don’t get lost in the cake, and it’s thanks to them that the cake stays super moist.  If you are an apple fan, you’ve GOTTA make this cake.

Hope you love it.  Enjoy!

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Spiced Apple Coffee Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Perfectly moist, spicy and flavorful, this apple coffee cake has a rich and tender crumb, perfect for breakfast, brunch, or dessert. The sweet vanilla glaze adds a touch of flavor, perfect with a big mug of coffee. Enjoy! Recipe source: Williams Sonoma Muffins Cookbook
Serves: Approximately 12 servings
  • 1 and ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 and ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3 tart cooking apples (Granny Smith, Braeburn, etc.) or 1lb total weight, peeled cored and coarsely chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ⅓ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom (don't have it? just double the cinnamon)
  • ½ cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 and ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
For glaze:
  • ¾ cup powdered/confectioners sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons milk or cream
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
For cake:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F).
  2. Prepare a 9x9 baking pan with cooking spray and parchment paper. Allow flaps of parchment to hang over the side of the pan to help with removal. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt.
  4. In another bowl, toss chopped apples with lemon juice.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together brown sugar, cardamom and cinnamon. Pour over apples and stir to thoroughly coat. Set aside.
  6. In a large bowl, combine butter, cream cheese and granulated sugar, and beat until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time and beat each until fully incorporated. Add vanilla, and beat to combine.
  7. Slowly add dry ingredients, beating until just incorporated. Don't overbeat.
  8. Use a spatula to fold the apples into the batter.
  9. Pour batter into prepared pan and spread evenly.
  10. Bake until the top is golden brown, about 60-70 minutes.
  11. Check done-ness with a cake tester or toothpick, it should come out clean. If cake gets too dark on top, you can cover it with foil for the last 15 minutes or so.
  12. Allow to cool on a wire rack in the pan for 10 minutes.
  13. Use parchment paper flaps to lift cake out of the pan, and place on a wire rack.
  14. Place the wire rack and cake over a baking sheet or a piece of parchment paper before icing to catch drips.
For glaze:
  1. Combine powdered sugar, milk and vanilla in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Add more milk a few drops at a time if necessary, to reach a smooth and pourable consistency.
  2. Pour over warm cake.
  3. Enjoy!

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  • Marilyn Smith

    Looks and sounds wonderful; put it on my to bake page on Pinterest. Anything with apples and cardamom has to be good. Thanks for sharing.

  • Dangira Venslovaite

    What a wonderful cake! I will definitely have to try it. Thanks for the recipe!

  • Jenny @ BAKE

    This cake looks amazing! I love the addition of apple! hope the weather warms up a bit for you

    • lemonsugar

      Hi Jenny! Hope all is well – it’s snowing here again today. SOOOO looking forward to spring time!

  • Kerri

    This was SO delicious! I brought it to Bible study today and a lot of the ladies wanted the recipe, I baked mine in a 9×13 pan though, and it baked for 45 minutes. I loved the tart apples and the sweet moist cake, yum!

    • lemonsugar

      Glad you liked it! Thanks for taking the time to stop by and let me know!