My Grandma’s Apple Coffee Cake Is the Holiday Treat I Fly Home For

It’s sweet, light, and full of holiday goodness.

Chef John
Chef John

When the holidays arrive, it’s open season for all the best baked goods. And no one makes a sweet treat quite like our grandmas. From thumbprint cookies to caramel rolls to white chocolate snack mix, grandmothers baked goods just hit like no others.

In my family, the recipe that's always on my grandma’s table each holiday season is her apple coffee cake. A sweet yet subtle treat topped with a simple walnut-coconut sprinkle, this cake is rich but not too rich, thanks in part to the small portion of butter used and the addition of shortening. I can't miss it—and it's worth every penny of the ticket to fly home for the holidays. And better yet, she's shared the recipe with me so now you can make it, too.

<p>Keaton Larson</p>

Keaton Larson

How to Make My Grandma's Apple Coffee Cake

This recipe is fairly simple: core and cut the apples, mix the sugars and wet ingredients, then add in the dry ingredients along with the chopped apples. The batter will then go into a 9x13-inch baking pan and baked.

The topping is a simple mixture of powdered sugar, finely chopped walnuts, and coconut, which is sprinkled atop the cake when it's about halfway through baking. However, the apple coffee cake batter does most of the delicious work, so feel free to add whatever topping you think you will enjoy. A scoop of your favorite ice cream makes this dessert one of the best, most comforting out there.

If you want a richer cake, use 1/2 cup of butter, instead of a combination of shortening and butter. You can also try substituting in crème fraîche for the sour cream, which has a higher fat content and more flavor, as a result.

In regards to what apples to use, choose whichever are your favorite to bake with. I like to use two different kinds of apples to bring both tartness and sweetness—like Honeycrisp and Granny Smith, for example—when making this recipe.

My Grandma's Apple Coffee Cake Recipe



  • 2 cups apples

  • 2 1/2 cups flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup white sugar

  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed

  • 1/4 cup butter

  • 1/4 cup shortening

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 cup sour cream

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  • 1/3 cup walnuts, finely chopped

  • 1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9x13-inch baking dish.

  2. Prepare the cake: Core apples and cut into small pieces. The apples should be cubed, a little larger than a small dice.

  3. Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a bowl. Set aside.

  4. Add white and brown sugar, butter, and shortening into another bowl or stand mixer and beat until the mixture is soft, uniform, and stays together when squeezed.

  5. Add in eggs one at a time, letting the first fully incorporate before adding the next. Add in sour cream and vanilla and mix to combine. Add flour mixture and stir until just combined. Lastly, fold in cubed apples and add the batter to your prepared baking dish.

  6. Bake in the preheated oven for about 40 minutes.

  7. While the cake is baking, make the topping: Finely chop walnuts, and mix with coconut and powdered sugar. About 25 minutes into baking, carefully pull the cake out of the oven, sprinkle on the topping, and place back in the oven.

  8. Continue baking until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool at least 20 minutes before slicing and serving.

Related: Get more coffee cake recipes here.

Read the original article on All Recipes.