Apple coffee cake

Apple coffee cake.

Apple Coffee Cake

Adapted from “The Best Quick Breads” by Beth Hensperger.

This is a longtime favorite recipe that I have tweaked over the years into my own version. In addition to the floral notes of the apples, the batter is scented with the zest and juice of an orange.


  • 1 tablespoon butter or neutral oil for greasing
  • 3 cups peeled, cored and coarsely chopped tart apples (from about 3 apples)
  • 1/3 cup light brown or Demerara sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the pan
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Grated zest of 1 large orange, plus the juice (about 1/2 cup)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup neutral oil


Preheat the oven to 375 F.

Grease and flour a 10-inch plain tube or Bundt pan: With a brush or paper towel, lightly but thoroughly grease the bottom and sides of the pan. Add some flour to the pan, tilting it until the flour is evenly distributed and coating the sides. Lightly tap the pan over the sink to remove any excess.

Place the apples, brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl, stirring together until well coated.

In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and orange zest.

Using a stand or hand-held mixer or a balloon whisk, mix the sugar and oil until very well blended and somewhat creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, plus the orange juice and blend until the mixture is thick and somewhat viscous.

Add the flour mixture in thirds, stirring with a rubber spatula until just blended. Be careful not to overmix, but there should be no dry spots.

As best as you can, pour one-third of the batter over the bottom of the prepared pan. Cover with half the apple mixture, then cover the apples with an additional one-third of the batter. Use a spatula to smooth the batter over the apples. Repeat with the remaining apples and batter, ending with a smooth layer.

Bake for 60 minutes. Cover loosely with aluminum foil and bake until a skewer inserted in the cake comes out clean, about 10 minutes. Cool in the pan on a rack for 1 hour; this is important as the cake can fall apart when hot.

Invert and serve. Freezes well.

Featured in: Our food writer samples 12 varieties of apples grown in Lancaster County.