One of my most favorite fall activities is apple picking. It makes me feel like a kid again even though I never went apple picking as a kid. Maybe I like it because I’ve finally figured out what the heck the word peck means. Pick a peck of pickled peppers. Never understood that nursery rhyme. Until now. Makes me feel like a kid again.

Along with Peter Piper, I too have picked a peck of apples. I could probably make a gallon of applesauce with all these apples, but instead, I’ve chosen to spread them out over a couple recipes. Who am I kidding? There will still be applesauce involved. I hope you’re ready for the apple extravaganza over the next couple of posts.

First up—Apple Coffee Cake. Sure, this recipe may require all the mixing bowls in your house, but it’s worth the mess. It’s super moist (even when you sneak in some wheat flour). It tastes like fall. And it has a crumb topping. Need I say more? In case you’re not convinced, I have a couple testimonials to share. Last year, I sent one of these to work with my husband. His coworkers sent back a napkin of reviews. And I saved it. On the refrigerator. It goes a little something like this—”I think I love your wife.” “Bring her to us.” “She really likes us.” And, “Oh my gosh, there’s stuff in the middle!”



Apple Coffee Cake

  • Yield: one 9-inch tube cake 1x


  • Apple Filling
  • 1 1/2 Granny Smith apples
  • 2 McIntosh apples
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. flour
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • dash of sea salt
  • dash of nutmeg
  • dash of cloves
  • dash of ginger
  • Cake
  • 1/2 c. unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
  • 1 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 c. whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 c. sour cream
  • Streusel
  • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 c. flour
  • 1/4 c. light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • dash of sea salt
  • Glaze
  • 1 c. confectioners sugar
  • 2 tbsp. milk


  1. Apple Filling. Peel, core, and dice apples. Add the rest of ingredients. Stir and set aside.
  2. Cake. Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly butter a 9-inch tube pan; set aside. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the sour cream and beginning and ending with the flour. Beat until just combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  4. Spoon about half the batter into the prepared pan. Arrange the apples in a single layer on top of the batter; avoid placing any apples against the pan’s edge, as they may stick or burn if not fully encased in batter. (You may not use all the apples.) Top with the remaining batter, making sure it is evenly distributed, and smooth with an offset spatula.
  5. Streusel. Place ingredients in a small bowl. Cut butter into the mixture until evenly moistened. Sprinkle streusel evenly over the top of the batter.
  6. Bake until cake is golden brown and springs back when touched, 40 to 45 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack and allow to cool completely before handling. Loosen the cake from the pan using an offset spatula or knife. Using two spatulas to lift the cake, transfer to cake platter.
  7. Glaze. Stir together confectioners sugar and milk until smooth. Spoon glaze over the cake, letting it drip down sides. Let cake sit until glaze is set, about 5 minutes, before serving. Cake can be kept at room temperature, covered, for up to 4 days.


• If you’re looking to add whole wheat flour into your baking, try replacing a quarter to a half, at most, of all-purpose flour with wheat flour.

• Leftover apples? Sometimes I eat them as is. They’re so good with the sugar coating. Or, I throw them in a batch of applesauce. Recipe coming soon.

• If you get the urge to remove the cake from the pan before it’s cooled, be prepared for it to crack. Just saying.

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Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart.

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