December 7, 2023

My husband Tony is a big fan of apple desserts and since he hates pumpkin ones (I do know…wild) I attempt to make him slightly one thing particular with apple annually. His favourite dutch apple pie simply so occurs to be an AK reader favourite, too, so after I dreamed up this epic apple espresso cake a pair years again I knew it was going to be a winner.

Espresso cake is a kind of desserts or brunch treats that may be actually good or finally ends up being dry and bland. You understand I’d by no means offer you a dry cake recipe! This apple espresso cake is completely moist because of applesauce (for intense apple taste!) and the key ingredient, brown butter.

Oh yeah child, we’re mixing wealthy, nutty, wonderful brown butter proper into the espresso cake batter.

The result’s a cake that actually melts in your mouth. The workforce and I saved sneaking bites of all of it day whereas we have been recipe testing final fall, and the crumb alone is scrumptious sufficient to put in writing dwelling about. Pair this espresso cake with pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving and also you’ve obtained your self one of the best dessert desk ever! Or go conventional and revel in it on Thanksgiving morning with a scorching cup of espresso. Sure, we’re already speaking about Thanksgiving, however this espresso cake is scrumptious all season lengthy. Hope you adore it!

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apple coffee cake cut on parchment paper

What’s espresso cake?

I do know the title makes it sound like we’re baking a cake that has espresso within the batter, however conventional espresso cake is a single layer cake that has a cinnamon-sugar streusel topping as an alternative of a frosting. It’s typically served with tea or espresso, therefore the identify!

ingredients for easy apple coffee cake in bowls

Components on this apple espresso cake

This selfmade apple espresso cake makes use of loads of pantry staples to make a cake that’s deliciously tender, crammed with cozy flavors and has the proper quantity of moisture. Nobody likes a dry espresso cake! Right here’s what you’ll have to make it:

  • For the topping & streusel: you’ll want all purpose flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and butter to create a scrumptious center layer and crumb topping.
  • Moist components: the espresso cake will get its moisture from butter, unsweetened applesauce & eggs. You’ll additionally want pure maple syrup and vanilla to sweeten! Some espresso cake recipes name for bitter cream or greek yogurt so as to add extra moisture, however this one is completely moist with out it.
  • Flour: we’re utilizing all goal flour as the bottom of the cake as effectively.
  • Spices: we’re filling this warming apple espresso cake with cinnamon, allspice, ginger & nutmeg. SO good.
  • Baking staples: don’t overlook baking powder, baking soda (sure, each) and salt.
  • Combine-ins: gotta have these candy, crunchy apple items in each chew! You’ll simply chop a medium, peeled honeycrisp apple. Many individuals use granny smith apples, however I choose the juicy sweetness of honeycrisp.
  • For the glaze: this straightforward, scrumptious glaze is made with butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and milk.

mixing batter for brown butter apple coffee cake

A observe on ingredient swaps

I like to recommend sticking to the recipe one of the best that you may to make sure success! Just a few notes on frequent substitutions:

  • For the butter: be happy to make use of vegan butter to maintain this cake dairy free. Don’t brown the vegan butter, simply use it as-is within the recipe.
  • For the brown sugar: when you’re out of brown sugar you’ll be able to truly make it your self proper at dwelling! Try our full tutorial and let me know when you strive it.
  • For the flour: I believe that an all goal gluten free flour will work on this recipe, however please observe that I’ve not examined it out to make sure. Let me know when you do!
  • For the eggs: equally to the flour, observe that I’ve not examined this recipe with flax eggs (however let me know when you do).

Jazz up your apple espresso cake

If you wish to jazz this cake up and get slightly formidable: add in ½ cup of butterscotch chips or peanut butter chips to the batter. YUM. Mixing in chopped nuts like walnuts or pecans would even be scrumptious!

making brown butter in a saucepan

The right way to brown butter

The brown butter provides such an unbelievable taste to this espresso cake and is less complicated to make than you suppose! Get all of my ideas and methods for browning butter on this publish and prepare so as to add it to actually the whole lot.

unbaked apple coffee cake in a pan

The right way to make one of the best apple espresso cake

  1. Make the streusel. You’ll begin by mixing collectively the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt, then stirring within the melted butter till the combination resembles clumps of moist sand. Place it within the fridge till you’re prepared to make use of it (even a day forward of time!)
  2. Brown your butter. Subsequent, brown your butter and set it apart to chill earlier than utilizing it within the recipe.
  3. Combine the moist components. You’ll then combine collectively the entire moist components till they’re good and clean.
  4. Whisk the dry. In a separate bowl, whisk collectively all your dry components.
  5. Make the batter. Add the dry components to the moist and blend till simply mixed. No want to make use of a stand mixer or a hand mixer! Fold in these chopped apples.
  6. Layer the cake. As a result of we wish that yummy streusel heart, you’ll pour half of the batter into the square baking pan, sprinkle on half of the crumble topping, then repeat with the opposite halves earlier than baking for about 45 minutes till a toothpick comes out clear.
  7. Glaze & serve. Whereas the cake is cooling on a wire rack you’ll be able to combine your glaze up. Drizzle it over the cooled cake, slice and revel in! It’s even scrumptious with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on prime.

sliced apple coffee cake with glaze on parchment paper

Don’t overlook these cake-baking ideas

With just a few of my important cake-baking ideas, you’ll make the proper apple crumb cake time and time once more.

  • Observe the recipe. The easiest way to make sure that this espresso cake seems effectively is to comply with the components and directions precisely.
  • Use room temp components. Remember to use room temp eggs and to chill down the brown butter earlier than including it to the recipe. This may forestall the 2 from coagulating.
  • Don’t overmix. When combining the moist and dry components you’ll want to combine till the batter is simply mixed. Overmixing will create a dense, gummy texture.
  • Cool, then glaze. Let the cake cool for a minimum of half-hour earlier than including the glaze, in any other case, the glaze will soak proper into the cake.

two slices of apple coffee cake stacked

Make it forward of time

Be happy to both bake the whole cake 1 day forward of serving and retailer it coated at room temp, or you’ll be able to put together the entire streusel topping and retailer it within the fridge 1 day earlier than baking the remainder of the cake.

Storing & freezing ideas

  • To retailer: be happy to maintain the apple espresso cake coated at room temperature for 1-2 days, then place it within the fridge coated for as much as 1 week.
  • To freeze: let the cake cool after which wrap it effectively in plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Place the complete cake in an hermetic container or zip-top freezer bag. To serve it, thaw the cake within the fridge in a single day, then let the cake come to room temp earlier than including the cinnamon glaze and serving it.

slice of brown butter apple coffee cake on a plate with a fork

Extra fall treats you’ll love

Get all of our dessert recipes right here, and Thanksgiving recipes right here!

I hope you’re keen on this wonderful brown butter apple espresso cake! In the event you make it you’ll want to depart a remark and a score so I understand how you favored it. Get pleasure from, xo!

Brown Butter Apple Espresso Cake

apple coffee cake sliced on parchment paper

Prep Time 30 minutes

Prepare dinner Time 45 minutes

Complete Time 1 hour 15 minutes

Serves12 slices

Unbelievable brown butter apple espresso cake with a scrumptious streusel heart and topping. This apple espresso cake recipe is completely moist, crammed with warming spices, and has hints of caramel-like taste because of the brown butter. Drizzle with the selfmade cinnamon glaze for the last word deal with that is nice for the vacations!


  • For the topping & streusel:
  • 1 cup all goal flour
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoon floor cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • cup salted butter, melted
  • Moist components:
  • cup salted butter* (unsalted is okay too!)
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Dry components:
  • 1 ¾ cup all goal flour (or sub gf all goal flour)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon allspice
  • ½ teaspoon ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Combine-ins:
  • 1 medium honeycrisp apple, peeled, cored and roughly chopped into ¼ inch items (about 1 cup chopped apple)
  • For the glaze:
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk of alternative, to skinny glaze to your liking


  • Preheat the oven to 350 levels F. Line an 8×8 inch pan with parchment paper and spray with nonstick cooking spray.

  • First make your streusel: in a medium bowl, combine collectively the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Add within the melted butter and stir along with a fork till it begins to type into crumbles and resembles clumps of moist sand. It’s possible you’ll want to make use of your fingers/fingers to type into good thick ‘crumbs’. Cowl the bowl with plastic wrap and place within the fridge till prepared to make use of.

  • Make your brown butter: add ⅓ cup butter to a big saucepan or skillet and place over medium warmth. The butter will start to soften, crackle, after which ultimately foam. Be sure you stir continually throughout this course of. After a few minutes, the butter will start to brown and switch a pleasant golden amber shade on the underside of the saucepan, this often occurs proper when it foams. Proceed to whisk and take away from warmth as quickly because the butter begins to brown and provides off a nutty aroma. Put aside to chill for 5-10 minutes.

  • In a big bowl, combine collectively the moist components till effectively mixed: applesauce, eggs, maple syrup, vanilla extract and cooled brown butter.

  • In a separate medium bowl: whisk collectively the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, nutmeg and salt. Add the dry components to the moist components and blend till simply mixed; don’t overmix. Fold within the chopped apples.

  • Pour HALF of the batter into the ready pan; sprinkle with HALF of the streusel combination. Then prime with half of the remaining batter and prime with remaining streusel combination.

  • Bake for 40-50 minutes or till a tester comes out clear with only a few crumbs connected. Permit the cake to chill for half-hour earlier than glazing.

  • To make the glaze: In a small bowl, combine collectively the melted butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and milk. Begin with slightly little bit of milk to skinny the glaze, figuring out you’ll be able to at all times add extra to skinny if essential. Drizzle the glaze backwards and forwards over the cake. It does make quantity of glaze, so you’ll be able to at all times minimize it in half or omit it from the recipe (however I extremely advocate the drizzle!). Lower into 12 slices. Retailer coated at room temp for 1-2 days, then switch to the fridge for as much as 1 week.

Recipe Notes

To make dairy free: I like to recommend utilizing vegan butter on this recipe as an alternative of dairy butter. Don’t brown the vegan butter, simply use it within the recipe as is (simply melted).
To make gluten free: I counsel a 1:1 gluten free all goal flour.
If you wish to jazz this cake up and get slightly formidable: add in ½ cup of butterscotch chips or peanut butter chips to the batter.
See the complete publish for tips about making it forward of time and freezing it for later!

Recipe by: Monique Volz // Bold Kitchen | Images by: Eat Love Eats

This publish was initially revealed on November sixteenth, 2021, republished on September twenty seventh, 2022, and republished on October 1st, 2023.