Caramel Apple Coffee Cake

You’ve purchased a bag of shiny red fall apples at Trader Joe’s, and they’ve been staring at you on the counter for a week. So what are you going to do with them? Here in southern California, it’s still too hot to be baking apple pies. Pies are best made when the temperature is cool because you want to keep that pie crust dough really cold throughout the entire process. A great alternative would be to use them for a coffee cake.


The best apples for baking are ones that are on the sweet-tart side and won’t disintegrate easily (Honeycrisp, Jonagold, or Pink Lady varieties are good options.) After peeling and chopping your apples, place them in a container and toss with a little lemon juice to prevent discoloration.


  • Cake:
  • 1 stick plus 2 teaspoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large cage-free organic eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups peeled, cored and chopped apples, such as Honeycrisp
  • Crumble Topping:
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • Caramel Sauce:
  • 20 pieces of caramels, unwrapped
  • Half-and-half, as needed


Step 1

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 13 by 9-inch glass baking dish with 2 teaspoons of the butter.

Step 2

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the remaining stick of butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating after the addition of each. In a separate bowl or on a piece of parchment, sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Add to the wet ingredients, alternating with the sour cream and vanilla. Fold in the apples. Pour into the prepared baking dish, spreading out to the edges.

Step 3

To make the topping, in a bowl, combine the sugar, flour, cinnamon, and butter, and mix until it resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle the topping over the cake and bake until golden brown and set, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes.

Step 4

To make the caramel glaze, and the unwrapped caramels to a microwave-safe dish with a splash of half-and-half. Microwave 20 seconds at a time, stirring in between, until melted. Drizzle the cake with the caramel glaze. Serve warm.

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