A cross between snack cake and a rich yeast bread, this apple pie coffee cake is topped with warm spices, a honey graham cracker crumble and a dulce de leche glaze.

Disclosure: As a Become a Better Baker Blog Ambassador, this post was sponsored by ACH Foods. As always, my thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you so much for supporting the brands that keep me inspired in the kitchen!
apple pie coffee cake

As if we really needed an excuse to eat apple pie for breakfast.

I mean, I’m fine with just sitting at the table with a pie plate and a fork and going to town.

Morning, noon, night. Second breakfast time.

But I recognize that there are some people in this world (not the type that I associate with, but still) that need more justification than “there is pie, therefore I must eat it”.

That’s where this coffee cake comes in.

apple pie coffee cake

Because obviously coffee cake is meant to be eaten with coffee.

Hence, breakfast fare.

apple pie coffee cake

There are three types of coffee cakes in this world – those that are made with eggs and butter, those that are made with yeast, and those that are made with all of the above.

This is the latter.

It utilizes what in the baking world is called a rich dough, most often reserved for things like brioche or challah. The butter and eggs give the finished product more of a cake-y texture, so that it is more tender, soft, and dessert-perfect.

apple pie coffee cake

Yeast doughs very often send people running for the hills (proverbial, of course, because hill running is hard stuff), but this kind of reaction is totally unwarranted and vaguely irrational. Yeast doughs are easy! So long as you take some precautionary steps to make sure your yeast is ready to rise.

First, use fresh, good quality yeast! I always reach for Fleischmann’s ® ActiveDry Yeast, and it has never let me down. I use it so often that I buy it in jar form and store it in the fridge, but you could always get a strip of the single-use packets. I won’t judge.

Next, if you really are not convinced that your yeast is raring to go, you can test it to make sure it’s still alive. Mix it in a small bowl with 1/4 cup of whatever lukewarm liquid the recipe calls for and a pinch of sugar. Let it sit for 5 minutes. If it starts to foam, then you are good to go, just add that mixture into the recipe whenever the yeast is called for!

See, totally not scary stuff!

apple pie coffee cake 3

So for this coffee cake, you want to mix up your dough. I usually do it in my stand mixer, but if you knead by hand you will basically get the best arm workout of your life. Your biceps will thank you.

Let it rise in a springform pan for an hour and a half, and then top it with honey, graham cracker crumbs, apple slices, and a cinnamon sugar spice mixture that will knock your socks off.

(Spoiler: this is where the magic happens.)

apple pie coffee cake

Bake for forty-five minutes and try to exercise all the self control you can muster not to sneak sniffs of that dreamy apple pie smell from inside the oven.

A short cool and one dulce de leche drizzle later, and dessert-for-breakfast is served.

If you choose to face-plant yourself into the center and eat your way out, I would have to say, been there done that. It’s a good life plan. I pinky swear.

apple pie coffee cake

Now that you are basically dying to get in the kitchen and start baking ASAP, let me give you even more incentive by telling you how you can Bake A Difference! Fleischmann’s ® and Karo® Corn Syrup are working to raise awareness about Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign, the aim of which is to end childhood hunger in the US. I think we can all give three cheers to that! Every little bit makes a difference, so Fleischmann’s is challenging you, your friends, your family, and just about everyone to get involved in the Baking A Difference campaign by hosting a bake sale of your own! If you’re not sure how to go about doing this, then check out these tips. Collectively, we can all harness the power of baking recipes and bake a difference together to end child hunger in America. And that’s just a darn good thing.

Apple Pie Coffee Cake with Dulce de Leche Glaze
A cross between snack cake and a rich yeast bread, this apple pie coffee cake is topped with warm spices, a honey graham cracker crumble and a dulce de leche glaze.
Yield: 1 10-inch cake
For the dough
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup butter
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp Fleischmann’s ® ActiveDry Yeast
  • 4 to 4¼ cups all purpose flour
For the topping
  • 2-3 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into thin slices
  • 1½ tsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp lemon zest
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ tsp Spice Islands® ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp Spice Islands® ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp Spice Islands® ground ginger
  • 1-2 tbsp honey
  • ¼ cup graham cracker crumbs
  • ½ cup dulce de leche, warmed
  1. For the dough, heat the milk, water and butter in a small saucepan until the butter melts. Remove from heat and let cool until it reaches between 120F and 130F.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the bread hook attachment, combine the milk mixture, sugar, egg, egg yolks, salt, yeast, and 2 cups of flour. Mix on low speed until combined, about 2 minutes. Add enough of the remaining flour so that a soft dough forms. Mix on medium-high speed for 5 minutes or knead by hand for 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased 10-inch springform pan. Spread the dough in the pan so that it reaches the edges. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm, draft-free place for 1½ hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 350F.
  4. For the topping, toss the apple slices with lemon juice and lemon peel. In a separate, small bowl, whisk together the sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger.
  5. Drizzle the dough with the honey. Sprinkle with the graham cracker crumbs. Arrange the apple slices on top of the coffee cake. Sprinkle with sugar mixture.
  6. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until it feels firm in the center. Allow to cool for 30 minutes. Remove from springform pan and drizzle with the warm dulce de leche.
Adapted from Bread World
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 slice

apple pie coffee cake

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55 Responses to Apple Pie Coffee Cake with Dulce de Leche

  1. Beth says:

    Pie for breakfast. Joanne, you’ve just given me a new reason to live.

  2. Sune Moolman says:

    I’ll be baking two so I can share the face-planting experience!
    Looks delicious!

  3. I am actually drooling! This looks fabulous!

  4. Joanne, gorgeous gorgeous cake! I love Fleischmann’s ® ActiveDry Yeast. . I used to be scared working with yeast for breads but I’m happy to say I conquered that fear a couple of years ago. What a great cause! I love companies that give back in some sort of way. So wonderful and needed!

  5. Oh crazy! I wasn’t expecting this to have yeast in it, and am even more intrigued now! Awesome looking cake, friend!

  6. Girl I need this right now. Bring a slice? Thank you very much 🙂

  7. Yea I would definitely eat that for breakfast, without any shame.

  8. Courtney says:

    Yum! Can you make this without a spring foam (?) pan? Would a pie dish work?

    • joanne says:

      I think a pie dish might not be deep enough unless it’s a really deep deep dish pie pan. I think a regular cake pan would work, or you could just make it free form without a pan. Since it’s a yeast-based dough, it should be able to stand on it’s own.

  9. One word….fabulous!
    Have any leftovers to share? 🙂

    Enjoy the beautiful weekend!

  10. Yes – I am one of those people who need no justification – I believe if “there is pie (or cake), therefore I must eat it”! This coffee cake is fabulous – all those spices and apples and dulce de leche …yum!

  11. Lori R. says:

    I’m really glad you save these kinds of posts for the weekend when I have a long run planned! My favorite yeast as well. I always have a jar in the fridge.

  12. This yeast apple cake looks incredible!

  13. Pie/cake for breakfast is totally acceptable in my world. I also welcome extra dollops of extra dulce de leche.

  14. Heather says:

    This sounds positively heavenly – my mouth is watering.

  15. OMG this is totally gorgeous and decadent! It totally has loads of apples, so this is totally healthy right?! 😉

  16. SallyBR says:

    Scrumptious! My department would love me forever if I baked one and shared on a Monday morning… can you imagine?

    I am pinning….

  17. Tina says:

    That’s gorgeous…seriously…worthy of a magazine cover. Hey, apples are healthy so I don’t see why you couldn’t eat it for breakfast 🙂

  18. cheri says:

    Hi Joanne, love this apple pie/coffee cake, and the glaze brings it totally off the charts. Delicious!

  19. Beautiful pie Joanne!! looks absolutely delicious!! and the dulce de leche glaze is just brilliant!! Yummyy!! 🙂

  20. Sarah says:

    This pie looks so luxurious, and I love the addition of dulce de leche glaze. It’s my favorite ice cream flavor, and I’m so excited it’s on this pie/cake!

  21. this has to be the best combination of things into a pie/cake..

  22. Danguole says:

    Yeasted cakes. Lawd have mercy–I like those much better, to be honest. I would eat this for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!

  23. Kate says:

    Hoo rah for apple season!

  24. Yes I would like a giant slice and it WOULD be perfect for breakfast (or any meal…)

  25. So happening for breakfast! We Russians eat dessert ALL the time, especially with tea 🙂

  26. You had me at pie. I need no reason. And I make no apologies. Gimme.

  27. Tash says:

    This is amazing Joanne!

  28. HOLY LORD! This coffee cake is INSAAAANE. It’s SO pure comfort and that dulce de leche glaze is KILLIN ME!

  29. Mary Frances says:

    Yeasted coffee cake – as if coffeecake needed to be more addictive. I think I love you, but I’m not sure if my waistline agrees 🙂
    No seriously, I cannot wait to try this! I adore yeasted breads for second breakfasts. And the smell of apples baking makes me weak in the knees. Pinning! Happy weekend Joanne!

  30. Haha, whenever me and my boyfriend go camping, we buy pies to eat for breakfast. We totally consider it breakfast food. Because of the fruits. But I am loving this cake!

  31. I really like cakes that have a touch of bread. To me, it makes it perfectly acceptable to eat them at any time of day. I also love apple baked goods, so this is hugely appealing 🙂

  32. grace says:

    this is beautiful, joanne! killer combination.

  33. This looks wonderful. I love making yeast breads and baking with apples. So sounds like my kind of recipe.

  34. Wow this
    Sounds so
    Good !! I hope you are sending some over here! Have a great weekend Joanne!

  35. I can’t really express how wonderful this looks. To be honest I really feel like a little evening snack right now and this cake would really hit the spot.
    I love brioche and the addition of the apples and caramel would send me right to food heaven, I suspect 🙂

  36. Yum, my mouth is now watering! Delicious!!

  37. Kelly says:

    Wow, this is one gorgeous coffee cake! I am absolutely in love with everything in here – yeasted coffee cake? Baked apples and dulce de leche? Sounds like the best thing ever and all I will be dreaming about for a long time! Pinning!

  38. I love that thick dulce de leche drizzle over the cake. I have never seen this type of cake made with a yeast dough. How original!

  39. Julia says:

    OOF this CAKE! It has fall written all over it, and I just want to face plant right into the thing! So I’ve never made a cake with yeast and I LOVE the idea of doing so…I bet it turns out so fluffy and I love the smell and the flavor of yeast in baked goods. This cake is making me do some serious drool action, girl! 😀

  40. Rivki Locker says:

    I need no excuses to eat apple pie for breakfast, but now that you’ve given it your blessing, it’s definitely fair game. Love that you added yeast to this recipe. LOVELY.

  41. What a stunner of a coffee cake, it looks so inviting 😀

    Choc Chip Uru

  42. This cake is gorgeous! That dulce de leche is making me swoon!

  43. Reeni says:

    This is a thing of beauty! A pie, a cake and all that lovely caramel rolled into one! Kind of swoon worthy.

  44. Natalie says:

    um yes. going apple picking this weekend so scouring the web for recipes and this is a major yes!

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  46. elly says:

    Oohhhh man. I want to marry this cake.

  47. Yeast coffee cakes are the best! The graham cracker crumbs are an interesting and inspired addition!

  48. This looks just scrumptious! You definitely had me at dulce de leche!

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