Apple Coffee Cake Recipe with Whole Wheat Flour

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I have been making this Apple Coffee Cake Recipe with whole wheat flour for years and it is one of my favorites.

This recipe is moist and airy and perfect for an after dinner treat.

A lot of the sweetness comes from the apples and applesauce, so it feels like a lighter alternative to traditional coffee cake.

slice of apple coffee cake on plate with fork

What You Will Need

You won’t need too much kitchen equipment to make this recipe.

I use a 9 inch round cake pan as well as mixing bowls and silicone utensils.

No mixer is necessary.

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The Ingredients

There are two parts to this recipe – the cake itself and the cinnamon topping.

To make the cake, you will need:

For the topping you will need:

  • cold butter
  • both all purpose and whole wheat flours
  • brown sugar
  • and cinnamon

You can also dust the finished cake with some powdered sugar, if you would like.

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How to Make this Apple Coffee Cake Recipe

Making this apple coffee cake could not be any easier.

Simply toss all the dry ingredients together in a medium mixing bowl.

For this recipe I like to use a Granny Smith apple because it the cake a little tartness.

Chop the apple into a fine dice.

chopped apple on a cutting board
Cooking Tip: Use a garbage bowl to collect scraps when cutting produce.

In a large mixing bowl using a whisk, lightly beat the egg and toss it with the chopped apple.

Then stir in the sugar, oil, and applesauce.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Don’t overmix!

Pour the batter into a greased 9 inch round baking pan.

Sprinkle the batter in the pan with the cinnamon topping (see below) and pop the pan in the oven.

When the cake is done, serve it warm or let it cool.

You can use a shaker to sprinkle powdered sugar over the top of the finished and cooled cake if you would like.

Don’t sprinkle the powdered sugar on a warm cake or the sugar will dissolve and you won’t be able to see it.

Make the Cinnamon Topping

I like to make the cinnamon topping first so it is ready to sprinkle on top of the batter when you pour the batter into the pan.

chopped apples, sugar, and applesauce in a mixing bowl

To make the topping simply put all the topping ingredients into a small mixing bowl and cut the butter into the flour, cinnamon, and sugar mixture using a pastry blender or a fork.

Continue to cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture forms small, pea sized pieces.

This cinnamon topping is a little heavy on the butter so the it does not resemble a crumble. Rather it kind of melts into the surface of the cake.

My family really likes it this way so I haven’t experimented with it.

But if you prefer a crumblier texture to your topping you could try a few different things:

Storing Leftovers

I store any leftovers (if there are any, that is!) in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Because this recipe incorporates fresh fruit as well as the applesauce, it has a high moisture content and is best kept in the fridge.

When you are ready to eat, just pop a slice or two into the microwave for 30 seconds to get that fresh from the oven taste.

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A Delicious Treat

This Apple Coffee Cake Recipe is a delicious and healthy-er treat to have anytime.

My whole family loves it!

Print This Recipe

slice of apple coffee cake on plate with fork

Apple Coffee Cake Recipe

Yield: 8

This Apple Coffee Cake is made with both all purpose and whole wheat flour and it contains a very small amount of oil. It makes a great dessert or snack. A perfect accompaniment to a cup of coffee.


  • 2/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 medium Granny Smith apple, finely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 large egg, slightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce (1 3.9 oz cup works well for this)

Cinnamon Topping

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons butter, cold
  • 1 tablespoon whole wheat flour
  • 3 tablespoons unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Grease a 9 inch round baking pan, set aside.
  3. In a medium size mixing bowl, combine the unbleached all-purpose flour, the whole wheat flour, the baking soda, the baking powder, cinnamon, ground ginger, ground cloves, and salt. Mix well.
  4. In a large mixing bowl toss the finely chopped Granny Smith apples with the beaten egg.
  5. Add the sugar, canola oil, and unsweetened applesauce to the apple mixture.
  6. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.
  7. Stir to combine but do not over mix.
  8. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  9. Sprinkle with the cinnamon topping.
  10. Bake in oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes.
  11. Cool in pan or serve warm.
  12. Sprinkle cake with powdered sugar before serving. (optional)

Cinnamon Topping

  1. Put the flours, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a small mixing bowl and stir to combine.
  2. Cut in the cold butter with a pastry blender or a fork until mixture resembles small pea-like pieces.
  3. Set aside until the cake batter is ready and sprinkle on top before baking - as stated above.


I find that it works best to prepare the cinnamon topping FIRST - before making the cake batter. This way the topping is ready for you to sprinkle on top of the batter when you need it.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 223Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 33mgSodium: 279mgCarbohydrates: 39gFiber: 2gSugar: 22gProtein: 3g

Occasionally, you will find nutrition information provided with recipes on AlmostPractical.com - this information is created from online calculators and is an ESTIMATE only. I am not a nutritionist or registered dietician. Nutritional information can vary depending on the brands and the actual ingredients that you use. By using this site and it's contents, you agree to hold harmless AlmostPractical.com and its owners for any loss or damage you incur that results from your use of the nutritional information provided by this site.

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apple coffee cake slice on plate with fork

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    1. Hi Gina,
      I have to admit, the cake is pretty good – and it’s not as evil as it tastes. Meaning that it does have some healthy ingredients.
      As to the coffee – that is in another post. 😉
      Thanks for stopping it – hope the recipe came out well for you.

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