Apple Streusel Cake with Cream Cheese Glaze

Apple Streusel Cake Final 1

If you follow me on Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter, then you will know that I’ve been experimenting with the Cinnabon. Yes, I’m trying to clone it. Call my crazy, but I’m getting close! Obviously it’s not going to taste the exact same {because I don’t happen to have preservatives or that special Indonesian cinnamon in my pantry} but it’s going to be close. So, over the last few days, I’ve been sick of le cinnamon roll. So, what do I do to get rid of the cinnamon roll blues? Make cake, of course. Duh.

This cake was something I whipped up in a flash because we were invited over to dinner at a friends’ house. Can you believe it? We made friends in Portland! Groundbreaking news, right? I thought so…and let’s not let the cat out of the bag about me being slightly insane, ok? It’s too soon…

Anyways, I needed something to take and this is the dessert I came up with from what I had on hand. It’s a pretty simple cake, but looks much fancier then that, don’t you think? As I was photographing the finished product I was thinking to myself how easy this cake was to make, but how semi-upscale it looked! Then I deconstructed the cake in my head and established the reasons why this plain jane dessert takes the cake.

*nudge nudge*

get it?

takes the…..never mind.

{1} the glaze {2} the streusel {3} it’s on a cake plate {4} it’s round and not in it’s baking pan still {5} the glaze {6} the streusel. I’m all about the glaze and the streusel. Clearly.

So, moral of the story– if you have a very plain recipe for something, try adding a glaze and/or a streusel. That will jazz it right up and make people want you to be their live in chef.

Shall we make some cake?

PS-I didn’t cut into this cake because I had to take it to a dinner party. Pretend you’ve seen the inside and you want to make this.

PPS- Whenever I say cake, it makes me think of My Big Fat Greek Wedding when the mother says “there’s a hole in this cake” {you know the part I’m talking about…} except she says cake like “keh-ke”. It makes me want to say keh-ke all the live long day.

Here’s how you make it: start with some dry ingredients in a bowl. I had everything for this cake on hand! My favorite kind of cake 🙂dry ingredients

Whisk all the ingredients together and make a cute little well in the center. {PS- I love this bowl. I have 4 more of them in different colors that I {technically ‘we’ but does Gord use them? Ya right…} got as a wedding gift. They are seriously my favorites! My sister-in-law said they were from Costco. Keep your eyes peeled for these!}apple streusel cake 1

Pour your oil into the center of the well along with… streusel cake 3

these other four ingredients! Please note that they are all ‘wet’ ingredients. Also, if you don’t have buttermilk or sour cream, just use regular milk for both! wet ingredients apple cake

Stir the batter up and take a big whiff. That cinnamon and nutmeg get me every streusel cake 4

Find an apple in your fridge, peel it, core it and dice it up. I almost grated my apple because I despise huge chunks of fruit in my cakes, but then changed my mind at the last minute and cubed mine up into tiny little pieces…because I can. That’s streusel cake 2

Now pour in the apple cubes and stir it up. Voila! Cake streusel cake 5

Pour that bowl of goodness into a spring form pan and smooth the streusel cake 6

Now onto the streusel. Warning: I made a huge amount of streusel. I mean HUGE. I recommend halving the recipe. If you are abnormal  like myself and feel the need to make a huge crust o’ streusel on your cake then be my guest. But, for you normal folk, start with half! Now, streusel is super simple to make and makes everything it comes in contact with taste better. I heart streusel. To make this beautiful thing, pour in your ingredients into a small bowl…like so:streusel ingredients

Throw in a few hunks of butter…apple streusel cake 7

and mush it all together. Basically, you want to disperse the butter through the dry ingredients so that when it bakes, it becomes a crusty hot mess over the apple cake. Not a powdery hot mess. There is a huge difference between the two. apple streusel cake 8

Sprinkle the streusel over the top and streusel cake 9

Pull it out after 45 minutes or so, drool, wipe your face and drool again. Let this cool and pretend there are photos here of me showing you how to make the cream cheese glaze.baked cake

*Insert photos here*

Once you have your glaze all made, drizzle it over the top and you have yourself one purdy lookin’ and tastin’ cake.

Apple Streusel Cake Final 2

Happy baking 🙂


Apple Streusel Cake with Cream Cheese Glaze

Yield: 8 servings


  • for the cake-
  • 1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup peeled, diced apple (1/4 inch pieces)
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup low fat buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup low fat sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • for the streusel-
  • 3/4 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • for the glaze-
  • 3 oz. softened cream cheese
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons softened margarine or butter
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 tablespoons milk, or enough to make it a glazing consistency


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray 9-inch spring form pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk all dry ingredients together. Make a well in the center and pour all wet ingredients in. Slowly start mixing the wet ingredients into the dry and stir until just combined. Toss in apple pieces and stir. Pour batter into prepared pan. In a small bowl, stir all ingredients for streusel together until butter pieces are small chunks found throughout mixture. Sprinkle over top of cake and bake 45-55 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean when inserted. Remove from oven and cool.
  3. Before serving, whip cream cheese and margarine together until smooth. Stir in powdered sugar, vanilla and milk until smooth and runny. Add the milk slowly until desired drizzling consistency is reached. Un-hinge spring form pan and place cake on serving platter. Drizzle with glaze and serve.

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  1. This looks amazing but I am holding out hope that you can nail down a Cinnabon recipe!! 🙂 I will love you forever & ever!

  2. Lauren this looks so lovely and perfect. Cream cheese glaze and apples and streusel. Nice.

    Saw your last cookie pics all over Tastespotting, FG, etc..congrats. They are gorgeous!

  3. Looks great. I guess you could use whatever fruit you had to hand as long as it wasn’t too juicy – pears, bananas, maybe even kiwi fruit or stone fruit. That would make it very convenient to make when you didn’t want to go shopping. Thanks for this.

  4. Look at that glaze! Look at that crumbly topping! Look at the cake! All so delicious! I bet you made friends for life with this cake!

    • Thanks! I use a Canon Rebel Xti and a 50mm 1.8f lens. And, I edit with iphoto.

  5. I am also holding out hope for that Cinnabon recipe!! I have faith in you! Congrats on the new friends in Portland. There are many more out there 😉 I was born and raised a Northwest girl, you’ll grow to love it. . . really! This cake looks amazing, btw.

  6. you had some lucky friends at that dinner party! the cake looks so delicious and i love anything apple with streusel!! 🙂

  7. It is TOTALLY all about the glaze and streusel. I could go with just the streusel most times, but that cake does look very yummy!

  8. I know it’s titled cake, but can I have that for breakfast???
    Pretty please?

  9. Looks great! Definitely need to try this one! Also, I enjoy reading your blog and the great photos that come with. Always puts a smile on my face! Thanks!

  10. My kind of cake! Love it!

  11. A) That looks delicious!
    B) That cake is the exact thing I’m trying to avoid.
    C) I live just over the river from PDX. 🙂

    • Laurel, we’re just over the river from Portland, too… I think we’d all make very good friends for someone who would bring such a delicious cake over… {not-so-subtle hint, Lauren!} 😉

  12. Sorry to sound so stupid, but are you saying that if I don’t want a huge amount of streusel I should half your recipe (in other words 1/4 cup walnuts, etc.) or did you half the recipe already? I guess I am asking because the amount in the recipe doesn’t seem like a huge amount to me.

    • The streusel part of the recipe you should halve. It was a pretty thick layer over a 9-inch cake, but I really like it that way…it might be too much for some.

  13. looks delicious! i love cinnabon, I’ve tried replicating it many times at home, but I’m working on a reduced fat recipe. I’ve failed twice so far. 🙂

  14. Oh…mah gosh. Can we be real-life friends and not other-side-of-the-country-blog-friends so you can bring this to my house?!

  15. I made this today! We can’t wait till dessert tonight 🙂

  16. this looks absolutely wonderful! i’ve made a similar cake that has cream cheese in the batter and i imagine it tastes similar–yum!

  17. I love all things cinnamon and apple! This looks amazing. Oh and I also love all this streusel and glaze. I bet your new friends were impressed ; )

  18. Girl, don’t waste your time cloning cinnabon! Have you had one recently? I ate one last month, and I swear it tasted just like the Pillsbury ones from the tube. There are so many better cinnamon rolls out there! (i.e. PW’s. Have you had hers? Puts cinnabon to shame.)

    • I have tried hers! They’re good, but I didn’t love the maple frosting. I guess I could make them again with cream cheese frosting or something. The cinnamon rolls I make are going to be comparable to the cinnabon but mine will be better because they won’t be full of preservatives.

  19. P.S. I really want some of that cake.

  20. This recipe makes me smile … the cake is amazing – – the streusel takes it over the moon and then if that’s not good enough – – the glaze!! Fantastic recipe.. I’m sure your friends loved the cake 🙂

  21. You had me at streusel. This whole thing is awesome, love it!

  22. I really love everything about this cake… apple… streusel.. cream cheese glaze… I need this immediately.

  23. Oooh, this sounds fabulous! I bet the cream cheese glaze really brought it to the next level! Mmmm….

  24. Put streusel on anything, and I’m a happy girl!!

  25. I asked my best friend last week what she kind of birthday cake she wanted and she said “something like coffee cake, with apples in it”. I remembered this recipe and decided this would fit the bill. I made this over the weekend and it got rave reviews from everyone (especially the brithday girl!). I substituted pecans for walnuts (due to food allergies) and used the full streussel amount! The recipe makes a LOT of cream cheese icing, so we let everyone apply their own. Thanks for the recipe…

  26. Hi Lauren. I made your Apple Streusel Cake Gluten Free…Wow – I was so impressed with the flavors! Thank you for the inspiration, my family was very happy with this lovely dessert! Ina

  27. Oh, I forgot – I did do a link back to your original recipe! 🙂 Ina


  29. Hi there, I made this cake today and my husband said that its the best cake he’s ever had. He loves coffee cake and the apples just keep it so moist.
    Thank you! This recipe is a keeper.

  30. Excited to make this recipe! Do you think I could substitute 1/2 cup greek yogurt for the sour cream and buttermilk?

    • I don’t see why not! It might make it a little more heavy, but should bake just fine.

  31. First of all — This looks like MAJOR YUM! I can’t wait to try this one too! I do love your recipes and your blog 🙂

    Now for the question: Is there something that I can substitute for nuts and still give it that great struesel texture? My family doesn’t like nuts — at all — not even a hint (I would think ONE of my children would, but no). I happen to adore them (nuts and children!), but I’m thinking baking this cheesecake and eating it all by myself would not be a good thing for my waste — I mean — waist line. I would love to hear your suggestions.


    • cake, not cheesecake. Oy vey.

    • Just add in more oats for the nuts. No biggie! Should come out just fine either way you do it 🙂

  32. Hi Lauren,

    I made this cake one time before and I LOVED it! I was just wondering if you think it would be OK to make it a day ahead? If so, would it need to be refrigerated? I would like to make it the day before Thanksgiving but only if it is still going to be as yummy the day after it is baked…

  33. I made your cake this week, my family loved it! I just finished eating a piece leftover from last night and its still moist and delicious! thanks for the recipe, its a keeper!

  34. This looks so delish. And I love that I can justify having it for breakfast too (it’s like a coffee cake….no?!?!?!)



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