I remember my grandma making coffee cakes and sweet muffins for breakfast, along with eggs, sausages, hot coffee and a big pitcher of milk on the table. The older generation really loved their coffee cakes. I’ve noticed that many Millennials and Gen Z’s think coffee cake contains coffee. Maybe some coffee cake does contain coffee, but in general, coffee cake is called that because it’s typically eaten with coffee. A classic coffee cake is usually a subtly sweet cake with cinnamon, crumb topping and maybe some icing. The Apple Crumb Cake recipe I’m sharing with you has the elements of a classic coffee cake, but so much better! The cake is fluffy and soft, the crumb topping is chunky and plentiful, and the apples are perfectly tender. And don’t get me started about the icing!
Why do most of our grandmothers cook and bake so well? Because they’ve had decades of trial and error to perfect their recipes, tweaking them here and there until they’re approved and loved by their families, neighbors and friends. This cake has had its share of trial and error. She has earned her place as a well-loved, delicious, beautiful queen of coffee cakes.
In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the apples, sugar and cinnamon.
Cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples are tender, about 10 minutes. Transfer the apples to a bowl and let cool to room temperature.
In a medium bowl, mix the flour, brown sugar, sugar, cinnamon and salt.
Work in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture looks like wet sand. Press together to make 1/2-inch chunks.
Preheat the oven to 325ºF. Line a 9-inch cake pan with a removable bottom*, or a 9-inch springform pan, with parchment paper. Wrap the bottom of the cake pan with aluminum foil and place pan on a baking sheet.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar, with an electric mixer on medium speed, until light and fluffy.
Beat the eggs and vanilla into the butter mixture in three separate addition, making sure each addition is incorporated before adding the next.
In a small bowl, whisk the milk and sour cream together.
On low speed, beat the flour mixture into batter in three separate additions, alternating with milk mixture. Mix just until combined.
Transfer the batter to the prepared baking pan. Smooth the top with a spatula.
Drain any excess liquid from the apples. Top the cake batter evenly with apples, then the topping mixture.
Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 50-60 minutes. Cool the cake in pan for 10 minutes. Remove the cake from pan and transfer it to a cooling rack to cool completely.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, melted butter, vanilla, salt and 2 tablespoons of cream. Add additional cream until desired consistency is reached. Drizzle over the cooled cake.