Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake

Sara's Tiny Kitchen
by Sara's Tiny Kitchen
1 hr 5 min

This apple cinnamon coffee cake is super simple, super delicious, and perfect for autumn. Moist and dense with a light almond flavor, and topped with sweet cinnamon apples, this cake is sure to become on of your go-to fall faves.

This cake is a fantastic one to add to your arsenal of easy fall cakes. It’s a simple, straightforward cake with big flavor and tons of versatility. If you want to serve it on its own, it would be fantastic. It’s also great warmed up with a little drizzle of maple syrup for breakfast or topped with vanilla ice cream as a simple dessert.


The recipe does call for some ingredients that you may not have on hand, but most of the ingredients list is pantry staples and the apple topping is so good you’ll want to eat it all before you can even get it on the cake.


  • Flour
  • Baking soda
  • Baking powder
  • Salt
  • Cream cheese
  • Butter
  • Sugar
  • Almond extract
  • Eggs
  • Evaporated milk
  • Cinnamon
  • Apples


Flavor: the cake is a simple mix, but the depth of flavor that you get from the mixture of cream cheese and butter and the almond extract is fantastic. It’s light and sweet without being cloying, and the apples are crisp and cinnamon-y.

Texture: the cake is moist and dense with a tender crumb. The apples on top remain crisp through baking, although they get less so as the cake sits.

Ease: if you’re an experienced baker, this cake is very easy. If baking isn’t your normal thing, there are a few steps. The butter and cream cheese both need to be room temperature (I’ll provide tips later in the post about bringing them to temperature quickly). The dry ingredients and evaporated milk need to be added in stages. But once that’s done, it’s all just pouring the batter into the pan and scattering the apples on top. Easy peasy.


  • Easy to make
  • Fresh apples
  • Delicious almond flavor
  • Great for fall
  • Can be eaten as dessert of breakfast!


What kind of apples should I use? I try to use a mix of apples any time I bake with apples. For this cake, I use a mix of granny smith and honey-crisp, both of which hold up very well to baking. You could definitely use all of one or the other, though.

What if I don’t like almonds? You can substitute pure vanilla extract for the almond extract if you wish.

Can I use regular milk in place of evaporated milk? The honest answer is not really. Evaporated milk has a higher fat content and lower water content than regular milk, and the cake will turn out differently. If you don’t have evaporated milk, the closest substitute would be half and half.

How should I store the leftovers? Leftover cake will keep for a day or two at room temperature, or 3-4 days in the fridge.


Don’t overmix the batter – as you add the dry and wet ingredients, mix only until the batter is just combined – overmixing will create a tougher cake.

This is a thick batter – you will need to spread it in the pan – it’s too thick to spread itself.

If you need to heat the butter quickly, follow these directions:

  • Boil a pot of water and place a wrapped stick of butter on a plate, standing up on its end.
  • Once the water is boiling, pour some of it in a water glass, and let the glass sit for 3-5 minutes to get really hot.
  • Pour the water out, and place the glass over the stick of butter, and let it sit for 5 minutes.
  • Repeat until the butter is fully softened. This will get you pretty softened butter in about 15 minutes total.

You can warm the cream cheese by placing it on a plate and microwaving it for 10 second intervals, flipping it over each time for a total of 40 seconds.

Start checking the cake for doneness after about 40 minutes. All ovens work differently, and yours may bake faster than mine. A toothpick inserted into the center of the cake should come out clean – if there’s any batter sticking to the toothpick, finish the baking time.

Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake
Recipe details
  • 12  PIECES
  • Prep time: 15 Minutes Cook time: 50 Minutes Total time: 1 hr 5 min
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Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake
  • 2 cups + 1 tablespoon all purpose flour, divided
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 8 ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick, or 4 ounces), at room temperature
  • 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 cups of apples; peeled, cored and sliced.
Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake
Preheat your oven to 350 and line a 9x13 baking dish with parchment - spray the parchment with non-stick spray.
In a medium bowl, combine 2 cups of the flour, the baking powder, baking soda and salt, and whisk to combine.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the cream cheese and butter, and mix well to combine. Add in 1 cup of the sugar and the almond extract.
Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. 
Add the dry ingredients and the evaporated milk, alternating and beginning and ending with the dry. It should look like this:
1/3 of flour mixture
1/2 of evaporated milk
1/3 of flour mixture.
2nd 1/2 of evaporated milk
Last 1/3 of flour mixture.
Spread the batter into the prepared pan.
In a medium bowl, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of flour, 1/3 cup of sugar, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and the sliced apples, and toss to combine.
Spread the apples over the batter in the baking dish. You can make pretty patterns, but I like to just scatter them around.
Bake for 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
Sara's Tiny Kitchen
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  • Dory Stewart Dory Stewart on Nov 25, 2021

    I'd like to try this recipe but the instructions are not clear. Is there a 2nd step using the rest of the evaporated milk? Do you mix 1/3 flour mixture with the milk? And step 3 is the T of flour mixed with sugar, cinnamon and apples...right? TYIA

    • See 1 previous
    • Sara's Tiny Kitchen Sara's Tiny Kitchen on Nov 26, 2021

      My apologies, all - the recipe card didn't translate over correctly! I've fixed and now you have a full recipe card with the instructions!

  • Nicki Nicki on Nov 26, 2021

    I assume you spread batter in a 9x13 pan?

    Missing first part of instructions?

    So I guess we don’t include any apples IN the batter? Hard to imagine you need 4 cups of sliced apples just on top of batter.

    What oven temperature for baking?

    • Sara's Tiny Kitchen Sara's Tiny Kitchen on Nov 26, 2021

      My apologies - the recipe card didn't translate over correctly! I've fixed and now you have a full recipe card with the instructions!