It’s time to make this apple butter coffee cake, friends. Sweet yeast dough rolled together with apple butter filling, baked with streusel on top, and then drizzled with glaze, this is one coffee cake recipe you will want to make.

You can use store bought apple butter or try my chai spice apple butter or honey apple butter recipe in the filling.

If you prefer a more traditional sour cream cinnamon coffee cake, I think you’ll like my brown sugar cinnamon coffee cake as well.

For ease of browsing, all my sweet yeasted breads are here. Thanks for stopping by!

A slice of toasted yeast raised coffee cake on a glass plate along side a newspaper and a carafe of hot coffee.

Apple Butter Coffee Cake

When I decided to make a coffee cake with apple butter filling, I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to do it.

But I knew it would be great. And I was right. Apple butter and coffee cake fans, I’ve done the heavy lifting for you, so all you need to do is make this delicious sweet bread.

Recipe Inspiration

First up, I knew I wanted to make a yeasted coffee cake and not a quick bread type.

Pastry Chef Online Participates in Affiliate Programs. If you make a purchase through one of my links, I may earn a small commission. For more information click to read my disclosure policy

Don’t get me wrong, though. I love a good, old fashioned sour cream coffee cake, I just wanted to present something a little more dinner worthy than diner worthy.

I found a recipe on the (now defunct) The Carboholic, and made just a couple of changes to both the ingredient list and the procedure.

I love the finished dough–so soft, supple and sexy.

Thanks, Carboholic, for doing all the tests. I completely understand why you worked so hard to recreate the memory of your favorite coffee cake. This dough is very special.

I also searched for the obvious, “apple butter coffee cake.”

I found this recipe for a celebrated apple butter coffee cake made by the fine folks at The Inn at Vaucluse Spring

Their coffee cake is a quick bread type with a layer of apple butter in the middle and streusel on the top.

Keeping the Layers from Falling Apart After Baking

A large round loaf of apple butter coffee cake with white glaze on a cooling rack with apple butter and a bowl of glaze in the background.

From the inn’s recipe, I took the idea of mixing the apple butter with whipped egg white for the filling. I figured it would serve to hold my layers together. It worked like a charm!

I further increased my chances of Successful Lamination by stirring in some cornstarch as well.

If you’re interested in breads with a laminated filling (swirls of bread and filling that won’t separate when sliced) check out my post on making cinnamon bread.)

It’s kind of like using angel food batter to layer between bread dough.

How To Make Streusel

As for the streusel? I like streusel. A lot. So it wasn’t much of a stretch at all to add streusel to my coffee cake.

It’s so easy to make–equal parts:

  • flour
  • butter
  • sugar

The end. Of course you’ll need a pinch of salt, and you can add optional ingredients including:

  • spices
  • brown sugar instead of or in addition to white sugar
  • toasted nuts
  • oatmeal
  • extracts
  • citrus zest

PRO TIP: For basic streusel or crumb cake topping, mix equal parts of flour, butter, and sugar together with a pinch of salt.

What Makes This Recipe Work?

I must say this guy is even better than I’d expected it to be.

The dough (props again to The Carboholic) reminds me very much of a homemade, no-filler version of Entenmann’s dough. This is a good thing.

The meringue and cornstarch whipped into the apple butter do their job of holding everything nicely together.

Also, it toasts beautifully, making it an excellent choice for brunch. It makes a lot, so invite a crowd!

Adding Even More Apple Flavor

Close up of a slice of toasted apple butter coffee cake spread with even more apple butter on a glass plate with butter in the background.

If you want even more apple flavor in your coffee cake, I suggest spreading a thick layer of apple butter on the dough after it is already in the pan. Then spread the streusel on top of that layer.

You know, for Maximum Apple Awesomeness.

More Ways with Apples and Apple Butter

There are many recipes for apple butter out there, but not a lot of recipes for what to do with it once you’ve made it, aside from spreading it on toast.

For another great use, consider my caramel apple butter bread pudding recipe.

And for another great breakfast option, try this apple butter crumb cake recipe.

For some really intense apple-y goodness, consider making my spiced apple turnovers as well. You could absolutely swirl a couple of big spoonfuls of apple butter into the filling for a dreamy and even more apple-y flavor.

A Note About Measurements

Best for Home Use
Escali Primo Digital Food Scale

Don't let its small price and small size fool you. The Escali Primo is an accurate and easy-to-use food scale that I have used for years. It's easy to store, easy to use, has a tare function, and easily switches between grams and ounces/pounds for accurate measurements.

Purchase Now How & Why to Use a Kitchen Scale
This is an affiliate link which means I earn from qualifying purchases. Your price is unaffected.
03/07/2024 05:03 pm GMT
5 golden stars for rating recipes

Apple Butter Coffee Cake with Chai Spice

Jennifer Field
This apple butter coffee cake is all I hoped it would be: moist, tender and chewy at the same time, with a deeply fall-ish aroma from apples, chai spices and lemon zest.
Plus crumb topping, because if it doesn't have crumb topping, it isn't really a coffee cake!
This recipe makes 1 large Bundt pan of coffee cake. Unless you're feeding a crowd, feel free to halve the amounts here and make enough for one loaf pan. This would make a perfect addition to Thanksgiving brunch before the main event, too.
5 from 2 votes
Tried this recipe?Please give it a star rating!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Additional Time 4 hours
Total Time 5 hours 5 minutes
Course Sweet Yeast Bread Recipes
Cuisine American
Servings 1 loaf
Calories 338 kcal


For the Dough

  • 10 oz milk room temperature (I used whole milk)
  • 13 oz all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons dry yeast (I use active dry)
  • 3 oz granulated sugar (scant 1/2 cup)
  • 2 teaspoons fine salt
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon chai baking spice (I use Mt. Baker’s Chai Spice Seasoning from Savory Spice Shop)
  • 1 large egg
  • 3-4 oz all purpose flour
  • 3 oz unsalted butter very soft but not greasy

For the Filling

  • 2 egg whites
  • tiny pinch of fine salt
  • ½ cup apple butter (store bought, or use my recipe for chai spice apple butter)
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons 4 1/2 teaspoons corn starch)

For the Crumb Topping

  • 2 oz granulated sugar
  • 2 oz all purpose flour
  • 2 oz cubed butter cool
  • ½ teaspoon chai baking spice
  • pinch salt

For the Glaze (optional)

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • heavy pinch of chai baking spice
  • 1-2 Tablespoons milk


For the Dough

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the milk and the flour together. You’ll end up with a very stiff sort of dough. Not all the flour will be incorporated (possibly), but do the best you can. Cover and set aside while you gather up all the rest of your ingredients.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the sugar, salt, zest, vanilla and baking spice. Hold it close to your face and breathe deeply. Smile.
  • Crack the egg into a small bowl, scale out 4 oz of flour (but know you might not use it all) and cut up the butter into pieces.
  • Once you’ve gotten all your ingredients together, make sure the flour and milk have sat for about 20 minutes total, and then continue.
  • Put the mixer bowl on your mixer and fit the dough hook on there. Add the yeast and let that get pulled up into the dough.
  • Add the sugar mixture and mix until more or less incorporated.
  • Add the egg and continue mixing until more or less incorporated.
  • Stir in about 3/4 of the remaining flour (3 oz) and mix to incorporated. The dough should be very messy at this point but starting to come together around the dough hook. Lots may stick in the bottom. That’s okay for right now.
  • With the mixer on medium low speed, add in the butter, a bit at a time, over about 5 minutes. Knead for another 5 minutes on medium low speed. At this point, the dough should be mostly clearing the sides of the bowl with some sticking still in the bottom. If it still looks very messy to you, add some more of the remaining flour, but err on the side of too little flour rather than too much.
  • After another 5 minutes or so of kneading, the dough should be soft but very supple and extensible (stretchy).
  • Spray your hands with pan spray and gather the soft dough into a smooth ball. Plop it back in the mixer bowl, spray the top of it with pan spray, and cover.
  • Let rise in a cozy place until doubled in volume, about 1 1/2 hours.

To Shape, Fill and Bake

  • Plop the dough out onto a lightly greased work surface and cover with the bowl.
  • Whip the two egg whites along with a pinch of salt until foamy. Increase speed and whip to medium-stiff peaks.
  • While the whites are whipping, stir the cornstarch into the apple butter.
  • Fold the apple butter into the whites. Set aside for a moment.
  • Uncover your dough and press out the gases. Lightly spray the top of the dough with some pan spray to prevent sticking.
  • Roll into a large rectangle, about 20″ x 15-16″. This dough is extremely supple and is a dream to roll out.
  • Spread the apple butter mixture onto the rectangle of dough, leaving about 1″ plain on the far side of the rectangle.
  • Roll up. The filling is very soft, so just do the best you can and know that it will all turn out just fine.
  • Set the coil of dough into a lightly sprayed 12 cup Bundt pan. Just coil it in there. Tuck the ends down toward the bottom of the pan. If it looks kind of sloppy, worry not. That’s what crumb topping is for.
  • Sprinkle the crumb topping evenly over the dough, cover and let rise in a warm place until almost double again. About 1-1 1/2 hours.
  • While the filled and shaped dough is rising, preheat the oven to 350F. Let the oven preheat a good 30 minutes before baking.
  • Place the Bundt pan on a rack in the bottom third of your oven, close the door, and immediately turn up the heat to 400F. Set the timer for 5 minutes.This will encourage lovely ovenspring so you will have a tall and magestic coffee cake.
  • After 5 minutes, turn the oven back down to 350F and set the timer for 20 minutes.
  • When the timer goes off, check the bread. If spots are getting Plenty Brown, cover with foil, turn the heat down to 325F and bake an additional 5-10 minutes, or until the internal temperature is right around 200F (give or take 3 degrees).
  • If parts of the top of your loaf are looking anemic (I had some parts like that), broil for 2 minutes or until the top is at least light golden brown and the crumbs are hard and crunchy.
  • Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Turn the coffee cake out and place, crumb side up, on a rack to cool to under 140F before slicing. It’s better to let it cool completely, but I know you won’t.
  • If you’d like, glaze it with the optional glaze–you don’t need more than a drizzle or three

To Make the Crumb Topping

  • Mix all the topping ingredients together in a bowl until pebbly and no longer sandy. I do this by hand–it’s the most efficient way to do it, I think.

To Make the Glaze

  • Whisk together powdered sugar, salt, spice and milk until you have a nice drizzling consistency. Drizzle over the cooled coffee cake and allow to set up and harden before slicing.

Did You Make Any Changes?


You can also bake this in a round cake pan. Just coil the shaped log of dough into the pan and go from there.

To Freeze

This coffee cake freezes really well. Cool completely then wrap in 2 layers of plastic wrap and 1 layer of heavy duty foil. Freeze whole and let thaw at room temperature or slice and freeze and defrost pieces as you need them.
For best results, consider waiting to glaze the cake until after thawing.

To Defrost

If freezing whole, thaw at room temperature overnight. Unwrap to heat in the oven or slice to toast individual slices.


Serving: 1/16Calories: 338kcalCarbohydrates: 58gProtein: 7gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 32mgSodium: 338mgFiber: 2gSugar: 19g
Keyword apple butter coffee cake, coffee cake
Did you make this recipe?Please tell us what you loved!

And there you have it. A delicious yeasted coffee cake bursting with apple butter flavor and warm chai spices.

Thanks for spending some time with me today. Take care, and have a lovely day.

Join in Today!

My Top 5 Secrets to Becoming Fearless in the Kitchen

Plus weekly new recipes, how-tos, tips, tricks, and everything in between


    1. Hey, Maura. 🙂 You can wrap it really well in both plastic and foil and freeze it for 3-4 weeks. Let it come to room temperature still wrapped up and then warm it in a low oven to serve. It will stale too quickly in the fridge, so freezer it is. Enjoy!

  1. 5 stars
    With the richness of the spice and the apple butter, it looks to me like this could do with muscovado sugar in place of granulated. Or would that overpower the flavors?

    1. I rather love that idea, Rick. The chai spicing is actually fairly mild, but I don’t see why you couldn’t up it so the muscovado would enhance and not overpower. If you give it a shot, please let me know how you like it!

    1. Heather, this guy is so good that I’ve already made it three times! And I had to go buy more apples because the apple butter is now gone. It is a vicious cycle–and yes, perfect for Thanksgiving brunch. I’m sure it would be magical with pumpkin butter, too!

  2. Goodness! That cake has my name written all over it, yet I can’t eat a slice unless I make one! Love the apple butter on top on that slice! Perfection!

    1. Thanks, Maureen! It does get a blue ribbon, I think. I already made it again, and that rarely, rarely happens around here! Wish I could share a slice with you and a cup of coffee! xo

  3. Wow. First, I’ve lost count of the times I enter the name of a dish I plan to make for a group blogging thingy and have absolutely no idea how I’ll make it. It’s part of the fun of cooking, and frankly of blogging. It’s how it stretches me into unknown territory. And what gorgeous territory yours pulled us all into. OMG, it looks fantastic. I should have eaten before opening it up, because now it’s all I want, and I’m not sure Entenmann’s is going to do it. Pinning, Yumming, and all the rest for this wonderful recipe!!!

    1. I so agree–where I end up is actually rarely where I plan on ending up when I start! I really do hope you make this–the dough alone is swoony! I’m actually making more of that dough right now for my friend’s church to use as their communion bread this Sunday! No streusel for them! lol I’m so glad you dig this, Susan. xo

  4. I was already drooling when you said the dough reminded you of homemade Entenmann’s – stop it, you’re killing me. And with filling and streusel, I can hardly imagine anything better for dessert or tea time. I hereby apply for the job of being your taste tester the next time you whip up this cake – my qualifications are my undying love for all things carb, apple and Entenmann’s. Please let me know when I may appear for an interview.

    1. Can you be here tomorrow, because I’m making another little guy for a friend. I will expect you at 8am sharp. Laura, I’m telling you, I felt like I was eating bakery coffee cake, and I mean that in the best way. So good!

  5. Now yer talkin’ my language! Yay, yeasted coffee cake and autumn spices and apples!

    I was going to make an apple sharlotka this Friday, but now I’ll be making this beauty instead. It’s got everything I love in an autumn sweet. I’ll check back in and let you know how it went. Thanks, Jenni, great idea.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.