Sourdough Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake

When I started a sourdough culture last year, I had flashbacks to earlier times, when the Herman Starter and the Amish Friendship bread were making the rounds. Seems like everyone I knew wound up with a cup of starter and some bread at one point in time. These sourdough cultures usually came with complicated, day by day instructions that involved a lot of feeding, and then either giving away or throwing away the excess starter. Either that or you did a lot of baking!

But I have discovered that keeping and using a sourdough culture doesn’t have to be complicated at all. Once I get a good, strong culture going, I put it in the refrigerator. To keep it going, I feed it once a week, more or less. It can actually go at least two weeks without feeding if I’m not baking or I forget to feed it. If I know I am going to use the starter, I get it out a day ahead and feed it with equal parts of flour and water, making sure I have plenty for the recipe I’m making plus some to hold back for the next time. Then on the morning I’m going to bake I get the starter out and let it come to room temperature.

coffee cake ingredients (click on any image to enlarge)

This coffee cake is my new favorite thing to do with sourdough. And it’s a great way to use apples when they are in season and tasty. The diced apples help keep this coffee cake moist, while the sourdough starter helps give it lift and a tangy taste. And the cinnamon – which is my favorite spice – it keeps me wanting to make this cake over and over again!

gently stirring the batter

This coffee cake actually tastes better on the second day. And it’s just as good on the third day, if it lasts that long! The honey helps to not only sweeten the cake, but also aids its keeping qualities. I usually use a sourdough starter made with spelt or whole wheat flour, but you can certainly use one made with white flour. I love using spelt because of its sweet, nutty flavor and for the extra nutrition it adds. You can easily convert a starter from one type of flour to another. If you’re interested, the instructions are right here in this article.

Sourdough Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake

Sourdough Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake Print This Recipe Print This Recipe
adapted from several recipes

1 cup ‘fed’ sourdough starter
1/4 cup oil
1 egg
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2/3 cup honey
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1-1/2 cups apples, peeled cored and diced

2 tbsp butter, softened
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup oats
1/2 tsp cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease an 8-inch round cake pan (or an 8 or 9-inch square pan).
2. Place starter in a large mixing bowl.  Add all remaining ingredients for the cake and stir gently until well blended.
3. Pour batter into prepared pan.
4. Mix all topping ingredients in a small bowl until they form crumbs.  Sprinkle crumbs over top of cake.
5. Cook in a 375°F oven for about 35-40 minutes until center is set and toothpick comes out clean.

Servings: 16

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per serving): 179 calories, 59 calories from fat, 6.8g total fat, 17mg cholesterol, 158.3mg sodium, 67.9mg potassium, 28.3g carbohydrates, 1.6g fiber, 16.2g sugar, 2.6g protein, 14mg calcium, 1.7g saturated fat.




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28 Responses to Sourdough Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake

  1. Daphne says:

    That sounds so delicious. I love apple cakes for all sorts.

  2. Wilderness says:

    That sounds delicious. I should get back into making sour dough again. Thanks for sharing.

  3. kitsapFG says:

    Now I am wishing I had some starter in the fridge so I could just whip up a batch of this coffee cake. 😀 Now that the nights are getting longer and the temps cooler, I will likely get back to a more regular bread baking routine. Fallen out of the weekly practice this summer.

  4. TS says:

    I wish I had a slice of this next to my coffee right now! Looks delicious!

  5. LynnS says:

    Isn’t that a beautiful cake! I will try your recipe soon — love that you use coconut oil (my favorite!).
    Now that the tomato supply is waning, I have green beans to pick and can. After that, I’ll get a new starter going — I’m looking forward to the slower pace of Fall.

    • Dave says:

      I love using the coconut oil for baking. That lovely flavor really adds a nice touch to so many things, including one of our favorite snacks – popcorn!

  6. Robin says:

    Dave, that cake looks heavenly!! How does your wife keep her figure??

    • Lynda says:

      Robin, It is a real challenge. I like him to bake this (or any of this sweet stuff) for Tuesdays so he can take it all in to his fellow volunteers but that doesn’t always happen. And it’s real hard for me to pass any of this stuff up!

    • Dave says:

      I was gonna say that the calories don’t seem to stick on her, but all go to my waistline instead!

  7. elizabeth says:

    Are you using a 100% hydration starter here?

  8. elizabeth says:

    Great! I use a 100% hydration starter also. Just made some bread today. I’ll give this cake a try. Thanks!

  9. This looks so delicious! I’ve always been intimidated by real sour dough, glad to know there is no need for that. Thanks for sharing at Simple Lives Thursday; hope to see you again this week.

  10. Julie says:

    My family enjoyed this recipe – delicious! I substituted coconut for the walnuts and coconut oil for the butter due to allergies and used fresh milled whole wheat for the flour. The results were great, but there was no opportunity to see if the flavor improved the second day… Thank you!

  11. Pingback: Sourdough Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake | Cook 10 Rats

  12. CaraDean says:

    This looks great; i’m excited to try it. I have a question about what you mean by the ingredient “fed” sourdough. Does this mean after the starter has eaten the wheat for a few days and is bubbly or does this mean you’ve barely fed it by adding a cup of wheat to the starter, etc? Thanks!

    • Dave says:

      I like to feed the starter either the night before I use it, or early in the morning of the day I plan on using it. It should be bubbly when you use it in the cake.

  13. sonya says:

    I made this today and it is delicious. I added 1 tbsp chia seeds and 1 tbsp poppy seeds and 1 cup 30% sour cream. I did add 2/3 cup old fashioned oats to the batter as well as a bit more flour and i put the walnuts in the cake vs the topping.

  14. P. Lazar says:

    This was delicious!! I wasn’t sure how it would get that crumb, but it did!! This recipe is a keeper. Thanks

  15. Pam Kehrbeg says:

    I made it this afternoon. Yum! I substituted coconut flakes for the nuts, and it tastes very good.

  16. Sarah says:

    This recipe was a hit. I made them into mini muffins for a work meeting. I work with a few vegans, so I substituted coconut oil for the butter, maple syrup for the honey, and flax/water for the egg. They were delish. Thank you!

  17. Rhianna says:

    Very good recipe. I also made it dairy free and added dried cranberries and extra spice. Definitely a keeper.

  18. elizabeth clegg says:

    Do you ever use a loaf pan for this?
    Great recipe! I’ve made the square pan a couple of times.

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