Caramel Apple Coffee Cake

Perfect for Fall, this Caramel Apple Coffee Cake with Walnut Streusel is filled with apples, topped with a crunchy walnut streusel and for real decadence, finished with a rum caramel sauce.

Caramel Apple Cake with Walnut Streusel

Most of the food blogging world has gone bananas over pumpkin this time of year. Pumpkin will get a fair shake with me but not until November where it belongs! For me, I’m all about this Caramel Apple Coffee Cake.

I’m in love with honey crisp apples and I may have bought a few too many thinking I would be wanting to keep that doctor away. The idea of putting them into a coffee cake drizzled with caramel sauce seemed perfect on so many levels.

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  • I had apples (using things I have on hand is surely a strong thread in my culinary journey)
  • I wanted to experiment with making a rum caramel sauce; I’m always looking for ways to booze up my breakfasts and desserts. ๐Ÿ™‚
Caramel Apple Cake with Walnut Streusel

The inspiration for this recipe came from my friend Abby Dodge. I made a few revisions to Abby’s basic recipe but not a lot. I decided to limit some of the spiciness of the batter so there are no cloves in sight.

I also used Greek yogurt instead of sour cream. I often eat yogurt for breakfast with homemade granola and always have it on hand. Since it works just like sour cream in baked goods; it has become my go to instead of sour cream.

Some might wonder why I decided to top this cake with quickly sauteed apples when there were apples already pressed into the top. Oh how I hate this ‘woe is me’ part of my life but again, just chalk it up to altitude!

I made my standard substitutions but think I forgot to turn up the heat in my oven to compensate and both the center of the cake and I were a bit depressed.

I never remake a recipe; this is food we eat but I always try to find a solution…so that one lone apple had a purpose and as fate would have it; I liked having that addition to the end results, both in looks and flavor. If you’re at sea level; you won’t have the same problem but make the extra apple anyway!!

Caramel Apple Monkey Bread Topped with Apples.

Caramel Apple Coffee Cake

A Coffee Cake with apples, caramel and walnuts…what is there NOT to like?
5 from 50 or more votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 10 Servings
Calories 527 kcal


For the Streusel

  • โ…” cup dark brown sugar firmly packed
  • ยพ cup all purpose flour
  • 1 ยฝ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ยพ cup walnuts coarsely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons ubutter melted and cooled

For the Cake

  • 2 cups 9 ounces all purpose flour
  • 1 ยผ teaspoon baking soda
  • ยพ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ยฝ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • ยฝ teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons butter softened
  • 1 ยผ cups light brown sugar firmly backed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • 1 cup yogurt room temperature
  • 3 apples peeled, cored and sliced; divided
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • Caramel sauce homemade or purchased


To Make the Streusel

  • In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, flour and cinnamon.
  • Drizzle over the melted butter and, using a fork (or use your fingers), mix the ingredients are well blended and form small crumbs.
  • Add chopped walnuts and mix into topping.
  • Pop in the frig while you make the cake batter.

To Make the Cake

  • Position an oven rack in the center of the oven. Heat oven to 350ยฐF. Lightly grease and flour the sides and bottom of a 9″ round springform pan. Wrap the bottom and up 1″ of the pan tightly with aluminum foil to prevent dough from leaking while baking.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Whisk until well blended.
  • In a large bowl, beat butter, sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium speed until well blended, about 3 minutes.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stop to scrape the bowl and beaters as needed.
  • Add about half of the flour mixture and mix on low speed just until blended. Add the yogurt and continue mixing just until blended. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the remaining flour mixture.
  • Scrape half of the batter (about 1lb 2 ounces for those of you who use a scale) into the prepared pan and spread evenly.
  • Evenly scatter half of the streusel mixture over the batter.
  • Spoon the remaining batter evenly over the streusel and spread evenly.
  • Arrange slices from two of the apples around the top of the cake, pushing in slightly.
  • Scatter the remaining streusel evenly over the top.
  • Bake until the top is browned and a pick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, approximately 45-50 minutes. Cool the pan on a wire rack until warm or room temperature.
  • Cut remaining apple slices in half and saute in teaspoon of butter for two minutes. Drizzle with some caramel sauce, mix thoroughly and mound in center of coffee cake.
  • Drizzle entire cake with more caramel sauce.


Nutrition Facts
Caramel Apple Coffee Cake
Serving Size
1 Serving
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

I used my recipe for Rum Caramel Sauce you can find here or use your favorite purchased product.

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  1. I put anothr spin on it. I have a fluted tube pan, so i pur sliced apples ans streusel in first, then half batter, more struesel, rest of batter. When i tipped it out, pretty design on top. Thank you for recipe

    1. Sounds lovely! I love hearing from others with their revisions…it’s part of the fun of baking to put our own spin on the work we do. Now I want a bite! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. I just came across for apple cake and this is so yummy recipe. I’ll exactly do it tomorrow . Thx for sharing.

    1. Mine too Sarah…I could make nothing but apple/caramel desserts in the fall. They are perfect aren’t they?

    1. I’ve been there Winnie…sometimes one of the biggest treats I have is just making something for my family or friends and ‘just’ eating it. No photos, no story, no post. Just dinner.

  3. HI. Your cake is lovely and I am pleased to hear that it is best the second day as I plan to make it a day in advance. I have 2 questions: First, does the cake need to be or stay refrigerated until ready to serve? I hope not as I plan to travel 6 hours in the car with it the second day. And my second question is can i use instant nescafe instead of instant expresso?

    1. No refrigeration required…I left mine sit out for a couple of days until it was gone! I think instant Nescafe would be acceptable; just increase the amount of dry powder to get a bit stronger brew to more closely mimic the espresso.

  4. Thank you for this recipe ! It’s the first one from your website that I used but surely not last ๐Ÿ™‚ I like to share my cooking experience with others and I’m happy that there are so many people all over the world who think the same ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thank you Anna for trying it…I was thrilled to see it on your blog…we both feel the same way. It’s now about owning a recipe, it’s about sharing it.

    1. Thanks Deb…I long ago gave it up on expecting a cake that didn’t fall a bit…the mystery of how to perfectly change ingredients is beyond me so I have to not let it bother me. Too much.

    1. You are the perfect addition to #baketogether…you might bake just a bit! And thanks…that sauce is to die for. Or at least to eat straight out of the jar for!

    1. Thank you…but now it’s gone and I sort of want to try yours but no one to eat it today but me. Oh well…won’t stop me!

  5. Oh wow, Barb! This looks amazing, and hits all the right flavour buttons for me. I’m guilty for always sneaking in espresso whenever possible, and I love that you tied it into the caramel sauce. It’s gorgeous all around!

    1. Thanks Rosie! It is so good; I mean dripping it on your finger for a taste good. This was a big success…cake was devoured and requests for pieces to take home followed. That’s my test!

    1. It was one of those moments of thinking I might want to try some that moved into what I’m making for holiday gifts. Isn’t everything better with espresso?

  6. Okay you had me apples & sour cream with this recipe, then you had to go and throw in the rum caramel sauce. Heaven help me I think I just gained 5lbs by reading this but I’m not complaining. Awesome recipe!

    1. I worried the caramel sauce would take it over the edge but it was perfect. Last year rum caramel, this year espresso caramel…who needs plain old salted right?

    1. Thanks Sylvie…as I spend more time on the photo side of things I see how some of those ‘effects’ can make all the difference. Wishing I had more time every time I do photos but certainly enjoying the learning process and finally seeing some results from those efforts.

  7. I absolutely love your take on this months’ #baketogether… Apples (yes please!!) plus caramel sauce is perfection but then your addition of espresso just takes it pleasantly over the top. I really will need to give this a try very soon. Lovely recipe!

    1. Thanks Kate. The espresso caramel sauce is divine. I made enough to fill a jar so if I can keep my spoon out of there I’ll have some for another dessert.

    1. Thank you An. It turned out to be very pretty and if my guests were any indication; a hit. A ‘could I take a little piece home with me’ type hit.

    2. 5 stars
      I’ve done barbecues while wearing a heavy coat and snow boots. I like to think of myself as a competent grill master. After preparing these Smoked Ribs with Espresso Barbecue Sauce, even someone who had never smoked before was completely hooked.

    1. Thanks Priscilla. I’ve had this happen before. Had a wonderful ricotta pound cake with a sinkhole…filled it with blackberries and I can’t imagine it now without berries.

    1. Thank you Angela; I have years and years of cake fixing experience! And I really don’t get depressed; it is what it is and it always tastes just fine; the most important factor.

    1. Here’s a napkin for your chin…and yes, a scoop of ice cream or whipped cream would take it to dessertville for sure!

  8. I knew there was a reason we were buds Barb – I am a complete and total apple fiend! Seriously, during the fall I eat at least 1- 2 apples a DAY and am mad for any dessert with apples. Throw in a little espresso caramel sauce … well, I’d do your dishes ANY day for a slice of that coffee cake!!!

    1. One day I will entice you enough that you actually will show at my door. At which time I will scare the you know what out of you. Let’s plan it so that doesn’t happen cause it has to happen!

    1. Thank you and now I see a link for Macadamia Rum Biscotti with Rum Glaze…oh my you are calling my name!

    1. Thank you Rachel…the addition of the apples on top was to cover a high altitude issue but I loved them so much it’s now going to be a standard part of this recipe. Hope you enjoy and if you do make it, please come share a photo of yours.

  9. Shut the front door. I just licked my screen. I desperately need a piece of that cake… and I’m not even really that much of a cooked apples fan. Gorgeous!

    1. That’s the attitude you have to have at altitude. You have to punt and in this case…it was a great addition that I’m glad I needed!

  10. This looks inviting. I will take your invitation seriously! I really should get out of the doldrums and join you all for baketogether! You are an inspiration.

    1. Yes you should join us. It’s a nice group of people and it’s a relaxed, fun effort. Maybe what you need!

    1. Jump in anytime Maris…it’s very low key and no real deadlines; that’s one thing I love about it. And thanks…I so love caramel with apples too.

  11. this looks PERFECT to me, I love the addition of the apples on top, and I hope it helped elevate your mood ๐Ÿ™‚

    I would love to join the fun next time – I’ll watch more closely for the announcement… ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. That it did. I’m so used to this happening that I always have a backup plan; I don’t trial recipes here…I make them, we eat them, I post them!

    1. Did you get my tweet about #baketogether? has info on last post for the sour cream coffee cake. It’s so easy…use her recipe as inspiration…strict or loose; up to you. Make something anytime in the month, leave her a link and she’ll put them all into a month end roundup. You could still do October even!

    1. That’s why I HAVE to have company over or I would spend the day in that closet doing nothing but eating cake. Why the closet? Can’t let my dog know what I’m doing1

  12. Barbie, I like how you think on your feet. Love the Greek yogurt substituition.. I tried it for first time two weekend ago with pancakes that asked for plain yogurt which I didn’t have in sight. & caramel coffee?! Brillian that snap shot of the slice looks so divine!!

    1. Thanks Shulie…the slice gave me a bit of trouble cause that’s where it fell. Hello…just take a bite Barb…all better!

    1. Thank you Michele, on both counts. That espresso caramel…have to admit it has a nice yum factor to it. A ‘I could just eat it off the spoon’ yum factor!

  13. I’m rather glad that you had an altitude issue with this irresistible looking coffee cake. You probably would have never used the apple topping and it is the piรจce de resistance for me! It is mouthwatering and I could eat it off with a spoon. Your espresso caramel sauce sounds delicious.

    1. You know what…I loved it…I just cooked them briefly so still a bit firm and that touch was REALLY caramel apple for sure! The sauce…oh my goodness. Spoonworthy.

    1. Thanks Karen…I do get frustrated sometimes but truth is I always seem to have the backup plan ready. High altitude cooking is a never ending challenge so we just have to roll with it don’t we?

  14. Oh Barb! You have outdone yourself!! Gorgeous photo and I want to be locked in with you in the snow..eating this right up ๐Ÿ™‚ I made mine with Honey Crisp too, they are perfect this time of year. Fabulous job, love this, am going to print and try on my own. Thank you so much for introducing me to the fabulous Abby Dodge Baketogether, really enjoying this community!

    1. Come on down. Or up. Or over…or a combination of all. ๐Ÿ™‚ Glad you joined us; a great group it is!

    1. It sort of seemed like over the top but when it worked all together so well…well, sometimes over the top is OK right? Thanks Lana.

  15. YumMEE Barb! Can I come over….now?! First email of the morning and I can’t think of a more seasonal way to start the day. Boulder is supposedly expecting 6-10 inches of snow in the next 36 hours. Could think of worse fates to be locked indoors with this coffee cake for a few days! Stay warm. Great recipe.

    1. I’m late to replies and it’s funny to read ‘supposed to’ cause we know today it’s ‘actual’ huh? I am not warm; I think it’s become that time of year when socks are now a must and mine are not on my tootsies!

  16. Oh Barb, this cake is perfect no matter what you say! And I love the double apple whammy! What a stunning, gorgeous cake! It makes mine seem so hum-drum! But this was such a fabulous recipe and we are all loving this cake. And I loved loved baking mine with you watching and chatting away to me! Now THAT is baking together!!! We can do it again next month! Now, pass me a slice, please!

    1. One day we should all schedule a time to truly baketogether via skype; wouldn’t that be fun? Have a most amazing trip and experience with P2P.

  17. I agree. Apples do not seem to get their proper attention once fall rolls around. It becomes pumpkin time and everything is all about pumpkin! You have done apples proud with this beautiful coffee cake. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. I love apples more than pumpkin and my traditions are certainly from having apple trees in my yard and not because I think it’s the ‘right’ time to blog about something!

  18. This is a beauty and I do follow Abby’s wisdom. So I hope you and Abby will love me long time. ;-p

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