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Caramel Apple Coffee Cake with Crumb Topping

Caramel apple coffee cake is the perfect combination of flavors that is some of the best flavors that fall desserts have to offer. This delightful breakfast treat combines the moist, buttery layers of coffee cake with the tang of the tart taste of fresh apples and the rich texture of salted caramel. 

Baking this caramel apple coffee cake is a delightful way to start your mornings or enjoy it as a snack cake during the fall season.

A slice of caramel apple coffee cake being taken out of a 9 inch round coffee cake.

This apple coffee cake is topped with a sweet crunchy streusel topping that is drizzled with salted gooey caramel, making this the best coffee cake with granny smith apples for you and your loved ones to enjoy. 

Another granny smith dessert is this Rustic Apple Tart, it's another delicious fall treat.

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This coffee cake is especially enjoyed during the fall season and is a great breakfast, snack, or dessert option when served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. 

This recipe was inspired by my classic coffee cake recipe made with sour cream

A coffee cake made in a spingform cake pan that is cooling on a round wire rack.

Ingredients in this Caramel Apple Coffee Cake

  • Granny Smith apples, peeled and thinly sliced
  • Unsalted butter - for the apples and the coffee cake
  • All-purpose flour
  • Eggs
  • Baking Powder
  • Salt
  • Milk
  • Vanilla extract
  • Pecans - optional!
  • Light brown sugar
  • Granulated sugar
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Salted caramel sauce - the recipe for homemade can be found here.

What is Caramel Apple Coffee Cake?

Caramel Apple Coffee Cake is a delightful dessert that combines the flavors of buttery coffee cake, caramel, Granny Smith apples, and the warm flavors of brown sugar and vanilla all in one scrumptious cake.

Delicious streusel topping adds an extra flavor with the addition of cinnamon making it a delicious treat any time of day during the autumn time of year. Caramel Apple Coffee Cake is perfect for dessert and it also makes it a great breakfast option.

This caramel apple coffee cake recipe pairs wonderfully with a cup of coffee, tea, or a nice cold glass of orange juice. 

Coffee cake with a slice cut out of it resting on the bottom pan of the springform cake pan.

RELATED: Apple Crumb Coffee Cake

How to Make Caramel Apple Coffee Cake

To make a scrumptious Caramel Apple Coffee Cake, let's start by gathering our ingredients. It's easier to make this recipe if you have everything ready to go. 

Prepare the apples- Peel and thinly slice the apples and add them to a skillet that is heated with two tablespoons of butter. Saute the prepared apples in the skillet for two to three minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Make the streusel topping- Combine the all-purpose flour, light brown sugar, granulated sugar, ground cinnamon, and salt together in a bowl. Using a fork, cut in the softened butter until the mixture is moist and crumbly. Set aside for later use.

Prepare the salted caramel sauce - Prepare the homemade salted caramel sauce by following the directions found here. Alternatively, bottled salted caramel sauce can be purchased and used.

Make the coffee cake- Prepare a 9-inch springform pan by greasing and flouring it to prevent any sticking. I like to do this even though the pan is nonstick because of the use of the sauce.

In a large mixing bowl and with either the use of a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat the softened butter together with the granulated sugar. Once the ingredients are combined, add the eggs one at a time.

In a separate bowl, combine the baking powder, salt, and all-purpose flour together in a bowl. Combine half of the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix until combined. Add half of the milk and stir until just combined.

Repeat the mixing with the remaining dry ingredients and milk in that order. After the batter is made, gently fold three-quarters of the prepared apples into the batter.

Pour the coffee cake batter into the springform pan and then top with the remaining apples. Drizzle those apples with half of the salted caramel sauce. Sprinkle the streusel topping on top of the apples and sauce.

Bake the coffee cake- Bake for forty-five to fifty minutes.

Cover the springform pan with aluminum foil to prevent the top of the cake from browning too quickly and burning.

Bake for an additional 25 minutes. Check the center of the cake with a toothpick, it should come out dry. If it is wet, continue baking for a few minutes at a time. Oven times vary and this can cause a longer or shorter bake time.

Remove the apple caramel coffee cake from the oven and allow it to cool completely before removing the springform pan from the sides of the cake and drizzling the coffee cake with the remaining caramel sauce.

Coffee cake resting on a round wire cooling rack with Granny Smith apples in the background.

What are the best apples for baking?

When it comes to baking a delicious caramel apple coffee cake, the type of apple you choose can alter the sweet or tangy flavor of the overall cake. The ideal apple is firm enough to hold its shape and not break down during baking. You want a nice balance of sweetness and tartness for your coffee cake for the best flavors possible. 

One popular choice for apples in baking is the Granny Smith apple and that's what I use in most of my baking recipes that use apples. Its firm texture and tart flavor make it the perfect option for baking and it's very easy to find in grocery stores. It's naturally tart and pairs wonderfully with the caramel sauce, just like an old-fashioned caramel apple.

Another great choice for baking is the Honeycrisp apple because it holes up well during baking and it also has a good balance of sweetness and tartness just like the Granny Smith apple. 

Other apple varieties that work well in caramel apple coffee cakes include Jonagold, Fuji, Gala, and Cortland apples. The flavor profile of these apples differs from the Honey Crisp and Granny Smith apples but works well in baking.

Variations in Apple Coffee Cake

In terms of apples, selecting the right ones can affect your cake's flavor and texture.  Granny Smith apples and Honey Crisp apples are the most popular choices for baking recipes. Honeycrisp apples are sweeter than Granny Smith apples but they are both great choices for this caramel apple crumb cake

There's a classic streusel topping on this coffee cake but nuts such as chopped pecans or walnuts, and even dried fruit can be added to the crumb topping for this recipe.  consists of flour, sugar, and butter, mixed together until crumbly. 

In place of the salted caramel sauce, you can drizzle regular caramel sauce over the coffee cake for a more sweet flavor. 

Tools and Equipment Needed

With the proper tools and equipment for baking this easy coffee cake recipe, that cake will come together easily and quickly. 

9-inch springform pan is used for easy removal once the cake is baked.  The removable outer ring will release the sides of the cake easily with the risk of messing up the sides of the coffee cake.  Alternatively, you can use a 9-inch square pan. 

You will also need these tools to measure the ingredients properly and for mixing the cake batter. 

Finally, a wire rack for cooling the cake prevents the cake from baking longer than it needs. The cooling rack will allow air to flow around the cake ensuring that it stays tender and moist. 

Salted caramel sauce being drizzled with a spoon on top of a slice of coffee cake.

RELATED: Apple Crumb Coffee Cake

How to Store Coffee Cake

After baking your coffee cake, allow it to cool completely on a wire rack to prevent it from overbaking. Once at room temperature, either wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or place it in an airtight container such as a cake carrier.

When stored at room temperature, the caramel apple coffee cake should stay fresh for up to 3 days. To make it last longer, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. 

This coffee cake can also be frozen to enjoy later. Slice and wrap the cake tightly in plastic wrap, followed by a layer of aluminum foil.  Then, label and store the cake in a freezer-safe container. This will prevent freezer burn and lock in freshness. When stored properly, coffee cake can be frozen for up to 3 months. When you're ready to eat it, simply allow it to thaw at room temperature while still wrapped to keep the cake's moisture and integrity as the day it was baked.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you make salted caramel sauce?

To make salted caramel sauce, bring butter, brown sugar, and heavy cream to a low boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Boil for about 3 minutes while continuing to stir.

Scrape down the sides of the saucepan to break down the sugar crystals forming on the sides of the saucepan.  Remove it from the heat source and stir in the vanilla extract and salt.  Let the caramel sauce cool for about 15 minutes before drizzling it over the completely cooled caramel apple coffee cake. This recipe for salted caramel sauce recipe that I use.

How do you make the streusel topping for an apple cake?

To make a streusel topping for apple cake, combine flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and cold butter chunks in a medium mixing bowl. Use a pastry cutter or fork to cut the butter into the mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs.

If you would like to add chopped nuts, you can then incorporate chopped pecans or walnuts at this time. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the apple cake batter before baking pressing the streusel topping gently down into the coffee cake.

What is the impact of adding pecans to a caramel apple coffee cake?

Adding pecans to a caramel apple coffee cake adds a nice crunch and nutty flavor. The flavors complement each other well and provide texture of this buttery cake.

Can I freeze coffee cake?

Yes, you can freeze coffee cake to preserve its freshness. After the cake has cooled completely, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and again in aluminum foil. Store it in a labeled and freezer-safe container for up to three months. 

📖 Recipe

Yield: 10

Caramel Apple Coffee Cake

A slice of caramel apple coffee cake pulled away from a platter.

Caramel Apple Coffee Cake made with tender and buttery Granny Smith apples that are topped with a crunchy brown sugar crumb topping. Salted caramel sauce is drizzled on top of the streusel topping and the tart apples.


Caramel Apple Coffee Cake

  • 2 tablespoon butter, unsalted (for the apples)
  • 3 cups peeled and thinly sliced Granny Smith Apples
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour - spooned and leveled
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Streusel Topping

  • ¾ cup all purpose flour - spooned and leveled
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup Salted Caramel Sauce


    Prepare the streusel and salted caramel sauce

    1. Preheat the oven to 350°
    2. Melt 2 tablespoon butter in a skillet and add the sliced apples.
    3. Sauté over medium heat for a few minutes or until softened.
    4. Set aside and allow to cool.
    5. Stir together the streusel topping ingredients with the melted butter.
    6. Combine well and set aside.
    7. Prepare the salted caramel sauce per the directions of the recipe. Set aside.

Prepare the coffee cake

    1. Prepare a 9-inch springform pan by greasing and flouring to prevent sticking.
    2. Beat the softened butter together with the granulated sugar until smooth.
    3. Add the eggs one at a time until light and fluffy.
    4. Sift together the baking powder, salt, and all-purpose flour together in a bowl.
    5. Beat half of the flour into the wet ingredients followed by half of the milk.
    6. Beat the remaining flour mixture with the milk and mix until just combined.
    7. Gently fold in ¾ of the prepared apples.
    8. Pour into a 9-inch springform pan.
    9. Top with the remaining apples.
    10. Drizzle the apples with half of the caramel sauce and top with the streusel topping.
    11. Bake for 45-50 minutes in the preheated oven.
    12. Cover with aluminum foil to prevent browning and bake for another 25 minutes.
    13. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes before removing the springform pan.
    14. Remove the sides of the pan and allow to cool completely before drizzling with the remaining salted caramel sauce.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 568Total Fat: 30gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 93mgSodium: 384mgCarbohydrates: 70gFiber: 3gSugar: 41gProtein: 7g

Nutrition calculation is a rough estimate and can vary depending on the cooking technique and the exact ingredients used. For informational purposes only.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Facebook

Farrukh Aziz

Monday 4th of October 2021

This cake was amazing! That streusel topping was fantastic, and the flavors were delicious! Thanks for sharing!


Saturday 2nd of October 2021

I love everything about this coffee cake. Caramel really blends in every bite and that topping is outstanding!

Gail Montero

Friday 17th of September 2021

That scrumptious topping! Need to add this to my must-make fall baking list!


Friday 17th of September 2021

This apple cake looks amazing. It will be such a nice addition to my dinner table this weekend. Thanks for recipe! I'm excited to try the cake. Thanks!

Claudia Lamascolo

Thursday 16th of September 2021

One of the best combination with apples is caramel my family was over the moon with this recipe delicious! thanks

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