This easy Apple Pie Coffee Cake starts with boxed cake mix and ends with homemade apple pie filling and a sweet vanilla glaze! This coffee cake recipe is so easy, but it tastes like a million bucks! The perfect breakfast, brunch, or dessert recipe!
It’s summer!! Eeek! (Well, almost–but we’re practically there!)
Spring and fall are probably my favorite seasons, but how you can not love summer?! Flip flops (though, regardless of season, you can pretty much always find me wearing flip flips–I’m from SoCal, our season changes are minimal at best), iced coffees, long summer evenings, baseball games, S’mores Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches, beach bonfires, s’mores—the list goes on and on.
Of course, as a kid, summer was exciting because it meant school was out and I could play all day, and even though I can’t play all day now as an adult, summer still brings me that excited feeling I used to get near the end of the year.
You know what else gives me that excited feeling? Apple Pie Coffee Cake.
Flashback to summertime five years ago, I made a variation of this cake for my sister’s bridal shower. I found this recipe in Kraft Food’s magazine (which is amazing by the way–I’m still a subscriber!). I went a little overboard with the food side of things, but in my defense there were too many perfect recipes that I couldn’t cut from the menu. And, I’ve always been food-obsessed so it really wasn’t any surprise that I would go crazy on the food side of things.
Anyway, I made so many items for the shower I didn’t really remember any of them in particular standing out from the rest. But, my dad did. This apple pie coffee cake left a long-standing impression on him. And recently, he’s been persistently hinting (and I’ve been deflecting) at a repeat of this recipe. So, for Father’s Day, I surprised him with this coffee cake.
He had built this cake up in his mind for the last five years, and I didn’t have much particular memory of how the cake tasted so I wasn’t sure if it was going to be quite as good as he remembered.
Let me tell you something–this cake didn’t disappoint. I was in apple pie heaven. I can’t believe it took me five years to try this again. Five years wasted without apple coffee cake. So, that gives me perfect incentive to eat as much of it as I can, right?
Apart from this recipe being insanely delicious (which, let me say again, it is), it’s one of the easiest recipes you could ever whip up. It uses boxed cake mix, and if you wanted to make it even easier, you could go for canned apple pie filling. I wanted to make sure this cake shouted from the rooftops that it was full of apple flavor, so I went the homemade route. If you have the extra ten minutes, I’d say make the homemade filling because you control the flavors.
When making homemade fruit pie filling, you need to add something to the mixture to thicken up the fruit juices. Usually, if I’m baking a pie, I add in minute Tapioca. It’s easy and it dissolves while the pie cooks in the oven. But, in this case, I made a slurry, which is equal parts cornstarch and liquid. A slurry is used to thicken up sauces, and it’s important to use a slurry to ensure your sauce will be smooth. Adding cornstarch directly to a sauce will result in cornstarch lumps.
I used yellow cake mix, which is why the cake has the yellow hue to it. White cake mix would work fine, and would have a white hue.
Apple Heaven right here.
- 1 box yellow or white cake mix
- 1 cup sour cream
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 large apples, diced (I used Gala, but Granny Smith or any flavorful apple would work great)
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1/8 cup brown sugar
- 1/8 cup white sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp allspice
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- pinch of salt
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1 Tbsp water
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1-2 Tbsp milk
Preheat oven to 350.
In a saucepan over medium heat, place in all ingredients for the apple filling. Allow to cook down, about ten minutes, or until the apples are soft.
Next, mix cornstarch and water together to make the slurry. Add into the apple filling, and stir until the apple liquid thickens. Take off heat.
In a mixing bowl, add dry cake mix, sour cream, eggs, vanilla, cinnamon and water. Mix well.
In a greased 9x13 pan, pour in half the cake batter, smoothing it to fill the bottom of the pan.
Pour apple pie filling evenly over the cake batter.
Pour the rest of the cake batter evenly over the top.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
To make the icing, mix powdered sugar and vanilla extract with 1 Tbsp of milk. If the mix is too thick, add in more milk; if it's too runny, add in more powdered sugar.
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