Applesauce Coffee Cake Recipes Easy

This Applesauce Coffee Cake is made with applesauce and sour cream to keep it super-moist, and the cinnamon nut streusel adds sugar and spice in the center and the top of the cake. This is an easy recipe for the perfect cake to enjoy with your morning coffee, gingerbread latte, or any time of day snack!

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Applesauce Coffee Cake

Do the words coffee cake make you think of breakfast? I suppose it would when it has the word coffee in it! But this treat is a little different than your classic morning carb like a nice toasted bagel, homemade croissant, or even the cherry crumb cake.

Not only does it seem a little indulgent to have cinnamon and sugar with your morning cup of joe, but it is actually like having cake for breakfast! Now, I’m all for a flaky breakfast danish or mesmerizing chocolate cinnamon roll, but anytime I can have cake for breakfast, I’m in!

What makes this applesauce coffee cake a little different is that I tried to make some healthier concessions since we are eating cake before noon. But, make no mistake, this breakfast is still full of all the gratifying things!

  • Applesauce to Replace Some of the Sugar and Fat – There is still sugar and butter in this coffee cake, but not as much as would traditionally be. Applesauce is a great substitute for both.
  • Sour Cream for Moisture and Texture – Sour cream has been added to make the cake extra tender and moist.
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Standard Portion Coffee Cake Recipe

Given this applesauce coffee cake is one of the first recipes on the blog, it happened before I embraced small batch baking. Along with the banana chocolate chip coffee cake. Both are made in a standard size 9×13 inch baking pan. So no need to worry about finding a small vessel to bake this cake in!

However, if you are interested in checking out a few of my small batch coffee cake recipes, try the gluten free mini mocha coffee cake – it actually has coffee in it! Or the mini cherry coffee cake, which is a delightful way to incorporate some fruit into the breakfast cake.

Breakfast cake cut into squares on a plate.

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What You Need To Make coffee cake with applesauce


  • All-Purpose Flour
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Dark Brown Sugar – For the streusel topping.
  • Baking Powder and Baking Soda – We use both for texture and rise. And since we are using sour cream, the baking soda balances the acidity and contributes to the rise.
  • Salt
  • Sour Cream – The sour cream aids in the moisture and texture of the coffee cake.
  • Eggs
  • Applesauce – I recommend unsweetened applesauce because we still add sugar to the cake, and we don’t want the result to be overly sweet.
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Ground Cinnamon – A little spice for the streusel topping.
  • Pecans – The pecans are going in the streusel topping, and any nut will work.
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Baking Equipment

  • 9×13-Inch Baking Pan
  • Mixing Bowls
Applesauce coffee cake squares on a platter.

Tips For Making Applesauce Coffee Cake with streusel topping

  • Bring the refrigerated ingredients to room temperature – For the coffee cake, mixing the batter with ingredients that are all the same temperature will make for even distribution and baking. The exception to this is the butter in the streusel topping – I like the butter to be cold so the streusel doesn’t just melt as soon as it starts baking.
  • Use full fat sour cream – I have not tested this recipe with anything other than full fat sour cream. The fat contributes to the desired texture and moisture of the cake.
  • Unsweetened applesauce is best – Because we are adding our own sugar, we don’t want the coffee cake to be excessively sweet. I recommend a simple, unsweetened and un-chunky applesauce.
  • Use a food processor to make the streusel topping – It makes it easy. That said, you can always mix the streusel by hand. Either using a pastry cutter or two forks to cut the butter in. Even your fingers will work to make the streusel.
  • Scrape the sides of the bowl while mixing – It is inevitable that some of the batter will stick to the sides of the mixing bowl while mixing. We want all of the ingredients to mix thoroughly!
  • Try the foil sling – Using foil makes removing the cake from the pan easy. However, you could always line the pan with parchment paper. As long as the sides are long enough so you can lift it out of the pan.
  • Use any nut for the streusel topping – I like pecans because they have a bit of a buttery flavor. Though, any nut will work!
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A plate of applesauce coffee cake squares set on a table.

faq’s For Making Applesauce Coffee Cake