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Penny’s Apple Brown Sugar Coffee Cake

Not all apple cakes are the same. This one is the perfect mix of sweet apple and spiced chocolate crumb. —Silvana Nardone, Brooklyn, New York
  • Total Time
    Prep: 25 min. Bake: 30 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    8 servings


  • 1 cup plus 2 teaspoons gluten-free all-purpose flour, divided
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar, divided
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips (1-1/2 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large apples, cored, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces


  • Preheat the oven to 375°. Lightly grease a 9-in. round baking or springform pan. In a large bowl, whisk together 1 cup flour, baking powder and salt. In a small bowl, stir together the remaining 2 teaspoons flour, 1/2 cup brown sugar, chocolate chips, walnuts and cinnamon.
  • In another small bowl, whisk together the eggs, granulated sugar and remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar until smooth. Whisk in the oil and vanilla. Stir into the flour mixture until just combined. Pour half the batter into prepared pan, top with half the apples and half the crumb mixture; repeat with the remaining batter, apples and crumb mixture. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 30-35 minutes.
Editor's Note: Read all ingredient labels for possible gluten and dairy content prior to use. Ingredient formulas can change, and production facilities vary among brands. If you’re concerned that your brand may contain gluten or dairy, contact the company.
Nutrition Facts
1 slice: 419 calories, 22g fat (3g saturated fat), 53mg cholesterol, 200mg sodium, 55g carbohydrate (41g sugars, 3g fiber), 5g protein.

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  • liz43230
    Feb 18, 2018

    Made it in a 9" springform pan. There was not a lot of batter for either layer - but it worked. Added extra chopped apples and used pumpkin spiced chips - more than recipe called for. The final product was dense and moist - but everyone loved it and asked for me. YUMMMM!

  • suefalk
    Feb 20, 2017

    Delicious! I did not use Gluten-free flour, just all purpose flour. It smelled amazing while baking, and was very moist. Would definitely make again.

  • NancyKenASTON
    Jan 21, 2016

    Subbing FLAX EGG did NOT work, at all. Never did fully set up, even at the high temp, with extra time. Plus there was hardly ANY dough. I had to stir the apples into the dough, as there wasn't enough dough to split in half, and cover the pan and have enough left over for a 2nd layer. Don't think I'll even try to experiment to try again. The ONLY good thing was, even as a doughy mess, it tasted yummy, sort of like apple fritters from the bakery. Cinnamon & brown sugar made it possible.

  • carmar0530
    Dec 5, 2015

    I'm not sure what I did wrong, but I noticed the recipe listed 1/2 cup granulated sugar besides of 3/4 brown sugar that it is not clear where you need it to add. The apples are so much for 1 cup flour. I couldn't separate the batter in 2 bcuz not enought amount, i put it all in a 9x5 loaf pan but I tried and it didn't work for me :(I will recant my review, didn't read the granulated sugar will be together with eggs, maybe this was the difference in amount of batter, I'll tried one more time in other day.

  • Ceege
    Sep 22, 2014

    Family loved this apple coffee cake. Will keep in my folder for [email protected] Mousemom2000 - go to search on TOH and type in crumb coffee cake. You will get about a dozen different recipes for it without using apples.

  • Mousemom2000
    Jun 11, 2014

    How can I omit the apples? I want it to be more of a crumb cake without apples. Would I have to add in something to make up for the moisture of the apples?

  • transcona
    May 20, 2014

    Hi, New to this type of baking, but do you not have to add Xanthan gum to the recipe or is it in the flour already?

  • aug2295
    Nov 23, 2013

    Amazing fall flavor. Cake came together easily and tasted great.

  • homemadewithlove
    Sep 30, 2013

    My husband who is doing a gluten free diet LOVED this coffee cake as a breakfast/mid morn snack. I used Silvana's awesome flour blend recipe from her book, Cooking for Isaiah, which I highly recommend for those with gluten or dairy allergies or sensitivities. All purpose gluten free flour does not contain xanthan gum and must be added to recipes for stability.

  • 1275
    May 9, 2012

    Very yummy! I made this yesterday and my family cleaned it up in two meals! I did make a few changes however. I used regular flour (no one in my family needs gluten-free), I used only 1/4 cup regular sugar and 1/4 cup brown sugar. I left out the walnuts and instead of the 1/2 cup canola oil I used 1/4 cup melted butter. Instead of the two eggs, I used 1/4 cup water because I had no eggs on hand. I was not sure if this substitution would work, but it did! I also did not have apples on hand, so I used 1 cup applesauce instead. With these changes, it baked up in about 25 minutes. Yes, I made a ton of changes and it is hardly the original recipe, but this is a great idea and great for a snack or quick dessert. So moist! I will be making this again!