Wake Up & Smell the Coffee Cake

“One of the greatest things about coffee cake is that its name gives tacit permission to eat cake first thing in the morning,” says Claud Mann, chef instructor for the Orfalea Foundation’s School Food Initiative in Santa Barbara and former publisher of Edible Ojai & Ventura County. “The following coffee cake recipe is unconventional in that it includes chopped apple, which when combined with buttermilk ensures a cake that is moist and tender. Don’t omit the streusel. (You can even double the amount if you want.)”
By | January 01, 2014


Butter a 10-inch tube pan or 9- by 13-inch cake pan. Preheat oven to 350°.

Combine the streusel topping ingredients in a bowl and cut together with a pastry blender, fork or fingers until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside.

Cream sugar and butter with the paddle attachment of an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes (or by hand with a wooden spoon if you’re feeling strong). Stir in the eggs 1 at a time until blended and then add the vanilla, buttermilk, sour cream and citrus zest.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt onto a piece of parchment paper and then fold the dry mixture into the batter until just combined.

Spoon half of the batter into the prepared pan; sprinkle with the apples, half of the streusel topping mixture and swirl with a spoon. Add the remaining batter and then top with the remaining streusel topping.

Bake 45 minutes to an hour, or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.


  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup packed golden brown sugar
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons cold butter (½ stick), cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup chopped pecans, walnuts or a mixture
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1¼ cups granulated sugar
  • 1½ sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • Zest of 1 small orange or tangerine
  • 2½ cups cake flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt (reduce this amount if using salted butter)
  • ½ cup peeled, diced apple
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