Apple–Brown Sugar Coffee Cake

Growing up all over the world, one thing was constant—my Mom Penny’s apple coffee cake. It was one of her standard rotating treats, along with chocolate chip cookies and crostata, an Italian jam tart. My brother Bernardo and I used to fight for the last slice.


Not all apple cakes taste the same. This one is a really good cake—a perfect mix of sweet apple and spiced chocolate crumb. I layer cake batter, apples and crumble—twice—so you get sugary bits of crumble in every bite. Best of all? It’s fast and easy! The recipe is also incredibly flexible: Here are some of my favorite ingredient swaps and changes:

Swap pears for the apples
Use pine nuts for the walnuts
Leave out the chocolate chips
Swap in melted butter or buttery sticks for the oil

Penny’s Apple–Brown Sugar Coffee Cake

  • 1 cup plus 2 teaspoons Silvana’s Kitchen Multi-Purpose Flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup packed light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup mini chocolate chips
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 large eggs (at room temperature)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large apples (—peeled, cored and cut into ½-inch (1-cm) pieces)
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease a 9-inch springform pan or round cake pan. In a large bowl, whisk together 1 cup flour, the baking powder and salt.
  2. In a small bowl, toss together the remaining 2 teaspoons flour, ½ cup brown sugar, chocolate chips, walnuts and cinnamon.
  3. In another small bowl, whisk together the eggs, granulated sugar and remaining ¼ cup brown sugar until smooth. Whisk in the oil and vanilla. Stir into the flour mixture until just combined. Pour half the batter into the prepared pan, and top with half the apples and half the chocolate chip mixture; repeat with the remaining batter, apples and chocolate chip mixture. Bake the cake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Let cool in the pan set on a wire rack.

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