I just made the best homemade Apple Cinnamon Cake with Streusel Topping! Just like my Apple Crisp and Apple Crostata, this recipe is loaded with chunks of apples and topped with a layer of deliciously crunchy cinnamon streusel. As the weather is starting to cool down a bit, I am craving those wonderfully warm fall flavors of cinnamon, sugar and apples. This cake delivers all three beautifully!
I am almost embarrassed to say that I have now made this deliciously moist apple cake 3 times this week! I know it seems like overkill but but when you make this cinnamony confection you will understand the obsession. It is perfect for dessert, breakfast, in the afternoon with a cup of tea or a midnight snack!
Another fall favorite that is cinnamony and delicious is this No Bake Pumpkin Pie with Graham Cracker Crust and Pecan Topping.
Ingredients and notes
Apples: I used Honeycrisp apples in this cake but you can choose any apple variety that will hold it’s shape while baking. You want to get chunks of apple in the cake. Some other varieties that will work well are Granny smith, Jonagold, Braeburn or Pink Lady.
Lemon juice keeps the apples from turning brown before you add them to the batter.
Sour Cream is used to add moisture to the cake. You can substitute Greek yogurt if you don’t have sour cream.
How to make apple cinnamon cake:
Prepare the apples:
Start by peeling and coring 3-4 apples. You can decide how small you want to dice your apples. I like to keep the chunks in the cake fairly small, about ½” pieces. This allows them to cook completely in the time it takes to bake the cake, but you still have nice chunks in each bite.
How to make the cake batter:
- Mix the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon together in a bowl and set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat the butter sugar and brown sugar until creamy. Add the eggs one at a time and mix thoroughly between additions.
- With the mixer on medium speed, add the sour cream and vanilla. Make sure that you scrape down the sides often to make sure that all your ingredients are mixed well.
- Turn the mixer down to low and gradually add the flour mixture to the batter. Mix until the flour is fully integrated.
- Stir the apples into the batter using a wooden spoon or spatula, until they are evenly dispersed.
Spoon the batter into a prepared 9×13 inch baking pan and spread it evenly across the pan.
How to make the streusel topping:
- To make the topping, add the flour, sugars, cinnamon, and butter in a bowl. Using a fork or a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour and sugars. Continue to use a cutting motion until the mixture resembles coarse meal or forms pea size clumps.
- Sprinkle the topping evenly over the cake batter. This makes enough topping to give you thick even layer covering the whole cake.
Bake the cake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Tips for making this apple cake
- Tossing the apples with a tablespoon or two of lemon juice keeps the apples from browning before you add them to the batter. It also adds a little bit of tartness to balance the sweetness of the apples and sugars.
- Starting with butter and eggs that are at room temperature will help create a softer, fluffier cake. I would take the eggs and butter out of the refrigerator about an hour before you are going to start baking.
- Spoon the flour into your measuring cup and level it off with the flat edge of a knife to ensure that you do not add more flour then necessary to the cake.
- I like to peel my apples but it is not necessary.
- Checking for doneness may be a bit tricky because the cake is so moist. A toothpick inserted in the center of the cake should come out clean and dry.
Apple cake Serving Suggestions
This homemade cake is delicious with a dollop of whipped cream or alongside your favorite ice cream.
This is also delicious warm or at room temperature.
There are a number of things that will help you make a moist fluffy cake. Here are a few tips:
1. Use room temperature ingredients so they mix into a smooth batter.
2. Don’t over cream or over mix the batter. Over mixing can add too much air into the batter which gets released during baking and results in a dense cake.
3. Add a little Oil or sour cream (as in this recipe) to your batter for extra moistness.
Selecting the right apples for baking is really important to getting the best taste and texture for your recipe. I found this article from Bon Appetit helpful when deciding on which apple variety I wanted to use.
For this recipe you can use your favorite apples as long as they won’t break down too much while baking. Afterall, you want to bite into chunks of apple as you enjoy the cake. I also like an apple that is sweet to sweet-tart in this cake. My choice was Honey Crisp. They are ultra-crispy and sweet and bake to a beautiful texture.
This cake does not need to be refrigerated. It cake can be stored at room temperature for several days as long as it is covered or placed in a container such as a cake carrier.
To freeze the cake wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and then put it in a freezer bag or an plastic container with a tight fitting lid. It can be frozen for up to 2 months. Remove it from the freezer and thaw at room temperature, several hours before serving.
Some of our other cake recipes that you might like to try:
I love to get your feedback so if you tried this Apple Cinnamon Cake with Streusel Topping or any other recipes on this website, please leave me a comment below. I hope you enjoy our recipes and look forward to hearing from you!
Apple Cinnamon Cake with Streusel Topping
- 3 Apples Peeled and diced, about 4 cups
- 1 tbsp Lemon juice
- 3 cups Flour
- 2 tsp. Baking Powder
- 2 ½ tsp. Cinnamon
- ½ tsp. Salt
- 1 cup Butter unsalted, softened
- 1 cup Sugar
- 1 cup Brown Sugar
- 3 Eggs
- ½ cup Sour Cream
- 1½ tsp. Vanilla
- ⅔ cups Sugar
- ⅓ cup Brown Sugar
- ¾ cup Flour
- ½ tsp. Cinnamon
- ½ tsp. Salt
- ½ cup Butter Unsalted, room temperature
- Preheat your oven to 375°. Grease and flour a 9"x13" baking pan.
- Peel and dice the apples, then toss with lemon juice and set aside.
- Combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl.
- In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugars together until creamy, about 2 minutes.
- With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs one at a time, mixing well between additions.
- Mix in the sour cream and vanilla.
- Slowly add the flour mixture and beat scraping down the sides until well combined.
- Stir in the apples. Spoon the batter into the prepared baking pan, spread it evenly in the pan.
- Sprinkle the streusel topping evenly over the cake.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Using a fork or a dough blender/cutter, work the dough until it is course and resembles pea sized meal.