Spiced Apple Coffee Cake

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I have an over abundance of apples in my kitchen right now and I am certainly not complaining.  Most of them are enjoyed simply out of hand, but some are reserved for the good stuff, like applesauce, apple butter, apple galette, and this coffee cake.  

The cake batter is made with cream cheese, making for an incredibly moist cake.  You can certainly use full fat, but I use reduced fat to lighten things up.  It is a "spiced" cake, so instead of the orange juice or apple juice, I use apple cider, partly because I always have it on hand this time of year.  There is a bit of cinnamon, but the real flavor comes from the cardamom.  If you have never baked with cardamom, I highly urge you to try it.  It is intensely aromatic with sweet and spicy notes.  While still warm, the cake is covered in a simple vanilla glaze.  The coffee cake can be enjoyed at room temperature, but it is particularly nice slightly warm.  It is perfect for breakfast with a cup of coffee, brunch with family and friends, or a sweet pick-me-up for an after school snack.

Spiced Apple Coffee Cake
makes one 9-inch cake

For the Cake
1 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 pound tart cooking apples (about 3 apples), such as Granny Smith or Pink Lady, peeled, cored, and chopped
2 Tablespoons apple cider
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
8 Tablespoons (4-ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
8 ounces reduced fat cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 extra large eggs, at room temperature

For the Glaze
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
2-3 Tablespoons sweetened condensed milk (skim or low-fat is fine), warmed
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350º F.  Spray a 9-inch round springform pan with non-stick baking spray.

For the Cake
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.  In a separate bowl, toss the apples with the cider.  Add the brown sugar, cardamom, and cinnamon; toss to combine. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat again.  Add the flour in 3 additions and beat until smooth.  Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the apple mixture just until evenly distributed; do not over mix.  Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly.  Bake until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 60-70 minutes.  Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes.

For the Glaze
In a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners' sugar, warmed milk, and vanilla until smooth and pourable adding more milk if needed.

Remove the sides of the springform pan and place the cake on a wire rack set over a piece of waxed paper to catch drips.  While the cake is still warm, drizzle with the glaze.  Allow the cake to cool to room temperature.  Cut into wedges and serve.  Enjoy!

Source: Adapted from Williams-Sonoma


  1. MmMm this looks lovely! Your description hooked me :)

  2. Wow this looks wonderful. We are eating apples by the bucketful. I was sad to see the peaches and plums fading, but I forgot how wonderful apples can be! :)

  3. Nicole, this would be so........ dangerous to have around the house! It looks simply amazing but I'm sure I would be nibbling on it all day long!!

  4. I made this tonight and it came out amazing. The only thing I did different was used orange juice instead of cider since I didn't have any.

  5. Anon-
    I am pleased you enjoyed it! Thank you for taking the time to let me know:)

  6. This looks so good! Wouldn't this be the best way to start a day? Of course, I could make this and we could have it as dessert too. I'm making this soon!

  7. Batter is was a beautiful consistency! In the oven right now, thank you!

  8. Great cake! Very moist - a must try. Thank you for sharing the recipe with us!

  9. I really adore coffee cake. I remember my mom making them often when I still lived at home. What I loved was that the sugar, butter and spices would gently melt into the fluffy cake

  10. I'm not fond of cardamom. What would you recommend in its place?


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