Apple Cheddar Coffee Cake

I can’t think of a better pairing for apples. With my apple pie I prefer a slice of cheddar to any ice cream. And when making an apple pie myself, I incorporate the cheese in the crust.
Well, this is not the aforementioned pie, but no less delicious treat. The extra-sharp cheddar is in the filling, as well as in the streusel topping.

Happy Thanksgiving, Canada! (I doubt I’ll manage another post before Monday) And good luck with that turkey!

Makes one 8-inch round cake, about 12 servings

For the streusel topping:

  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp packed light brown sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp (1/2 stick; 55g) unsalted butter, cold
  • 1 oz extra-sharp cheddar, finely grated

For the filling:

  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 20 oz (about 4 medium) cooking apples, peeled, cored, quartered and sliced thinly crosswise
  • Zest of ½ lemon
  • 1/3 cup plumped raisins
  • 2 oz extra-sharp cheddar, coarsely grated or finely chopped

For the cake batter:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 1 ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 4 oz (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • Zest of ½ lemon
  • ½ cup chopped toasted walnuts (optional)

Make the streusel topping:

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, both sugars, and salt. Add the cubes of cold butter and work them into the flour using a pastry blender or your fingers until the mixture is crumbly. Mix in the cheese. Cover and refrigerate until needed, up to a couple of days.

Make the filling:

Melt the butter in a heavy large skillet over the medium-high heat. Add the brown sugar. Cook until a grainy sauce forms, about 1 minute. Mix in the apples. Cook until the apples are tender, translucent and the sauce is reduced to glaze, about 7-10 minutes, stirring often. Add the lemon zest and remove from the heat. Stir in the raisins. Cool completely, and then stir in the cheddar.

Make the cake batter, bake the cake:

Center an oven rack and preheat the oven to 375F. Generously butter an 8-inch 3-inch deep springform pan (you can use a 9-inch pan as well (there’re enough batter and filling), but reduce the baking time). Line the bottom of the pan with a circle of parchment paper. Dust with flour, knocking out the excess. Set aside.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, combine the buttermilk and vanilla extract.

In the bowl of the stand mixer or in a large bowl using a hand-held electric mixer, beat the butter until light and fluffy. Gradually add the sugar beating on medium-high speed until well combined, pale in color and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the lemon zest. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Reduce the speed to low and mix in the flour mixture and the buttermilk alternately in batches, beginning and ending with the flour, until just combined. Stir in the walnuts if using. Transfer about a half of the batter into the prepared pan. Arrange the apple filling on top of the batter leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edge. Top with the remaining batter (place the batter in dollops over the filling, starting near the edge to prevent the filling from the contact with the pan sides), then gently smooth the top. Crumble the refrigerated topping over the top of the cake. Place the pan onto a baking sheet and slide into the oven.

Bake the cake until nicely brown and a wooden skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 1hr-1hr 15 min (about 45 minutes if baking in 9-inch pan). If the top browns too quickly, cover it loosely with a piece of aluminum foil (it is usually required after 40 minutes or so of baking). Cool the cake on a cooling rack for 10 minutes, then unmold. Cool until slightly warm on a cooling rack before serving (it is great warm). The cake is also good at room temperature.

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37 Responses to “Apple Cheddar Coffee Cake”

  1. hi Vera,

    This cake looks mouthwatering (as any other recipe of yours :))
    could you please suggest something to replace eggs in this recipe?

  2. What a great cake! I love this combination too – Dorie Greenspan has a wonderful recipe for apple-cheddar scones that this reminds me of. Yum!

  3. A very unusual cake! Surely delicious!

    I always loved eating slices of apples with cheddar…



  4. Classic flavor pairing!

  5. i’ve loved every apple dessert recipe i’ve ever tasted EXCEPT those with cheddar involved. i’m not ready to give up on it though, and methinks this cake might do the trick. it’s awesome.

  6. oh my this is amazing!!! I love my apples with cheddar as well

  7. I love this pairing. Nice!!!

  8. apples and cheddar are one of my fave snacks!

  9. How “hard” is the cheddar taste in there?

  10. This looks fabulous, even though I’m partial to ice cream on my pie!

  11. Un gâteau qui donne envie d’un gros pull, d’une bonne tasse de thé chaud et d’un feu dans la cheminée ! ;o)

  12. I’m in love with the look of this! I love apples and cheese but shame on me, never had it together in a pie or a cake. I’m sure it’s awesome!

  13. what a treat

  14. Youe have really intregied me with this. I ahve heard of adding cheese to apple in a pie but never a cake. Would love to try it. Your cake looks perfect

  15. Your cake looks delicious.

  16. This looks absolutely gorgeous. I’ve not tried a combination of apple and cheddar in a cake but I would assume it taste great. Pictures are to die for as usual …

  17. That looks absolutely delicious!!! What a great mix: coffee, cheese and apples… never thought of it until now :)

  18. I love the idea of the cheddar & apple together. Could have never dreamt of it, even though I love nibbling both. Just a gorgeous cake Vera, which pictures to match! xo

  19. Your cake looks absolutely divine!! Have always loved the combination of apples and cheddar. Beautiful job—will have to try this one!

  20. Just discovered your blog and I LOVE it! It’s being added to my blog list. Your pictures are absolutely beautiful. Can I ask what camera and lens you use? I’m just learning photography.

  21. Il est absolument magnifique et m’ouvre la gourmandise!!!

  22. This cake looks divine! I can’t take my eyes from that last picture, so mouth watering. I’m so intrigued by its filling as I’ve never tried to combine apple, raisins and cheddar before. I’ve made apple cakes before but adding cheddar is totally new to me. Thanks for the recipe.

  23. Thank you very much for all comments!

    Anubhuti, I’m not experienced in vegan baking, so I’m afraid I can’t help you here.

    Dolce, it’s still the apple cake with cheddar, and not vice versa if you know what I mean. The cheddar flavor is recognizable but not overpowering.

    Ken’s Oven, there’s no coffee among the other flavors :) That would be a very interesting combination indeed :)

    Treats, I use Canon 400D; lenses 50mm/100mm mostly. Thanks for adding me to your blog list.

  24. Love apple in cake. I make a spiced apple cake and shall try this cheddar version next time.

  25. Fun flavor combo! My boyfriend and I only just heard of the apple pie and cheddar combination maybe last year. We headed directly to the store to buy a mini apple pie and some cheddar to give it a shot :) It was a success in my book!

  26. MMMMMMM, had to try it! TFS…Gian

  27. Delicious looking cake!
    Ever since I was a little girl I have loved eathing apples with a slice of cheese. Nice to know there is someone else who appreciates the combination :)

  28. this is such a gorgeous cake! i love the apple layer!

  29. Vera, just a delicious sounding cake. I’m with you on the apple and cheese pairing. I actually love snacking on a crisp apple and cheese in the afternoon. So I think I would love this cake!

  30. Thank you for the kind comments! I do appreciate it greatly!

  31. Yum! I’ve never had apple and cheddar in a dessert, but have been wanting to try. This cake looks stunning, and I’m going to have to make this soon!

  32. Applesauce is a good egg substitute.

  33. This cake is amazing! My cake batter came out very thick and there was not enough to cover the top of the 9 inch springfoem pan I had on hand. Not sure if I did something wrong. Followed the recipe exacty and have double checked it. Next time I would make 2 batches of the cake. Still tasted great!!!

  34. Siobhan, I’m glad you liked the cake. I think you should have put less cake batter at the bottom of the pan. The cake on the photo was baked in 8-inch pan, but I made it in a 9-inch pan as well, the cake just wasn’t as tall.

  35. Dear Vera, I baked this cake the first time and I liked it very much. Delicious combination of apples and cheddar. Thank you for posting this receipe and for beautiful inspiring photos.

  36. Dalia, I’m happy you liked it! Thank you very much for letting me know.

  37. I just ‘found’ your blog this week and am busily reading through all your wonderful recipes. I couldn’t wait to try this one out and made it earlier today, it is a great success. It is a wet, miserable day here in the UK so this is just the type of cake to cheer us up, my husband really enjoyed it. We ate it warm, on its own but I think it would be wonderful with a dollop of double cream on the side too. I will be making this again, definitely!

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