Any-Fruit Coffee Cake

My mom made this all the time when I was growing up; it was great as a not so sweet dessert, after school snack, or a breakfast treat on the weekend. When I left for college this was one of the stand-by recipes I took with me since it was quick and always went over well. Now I make it during the week when we’re craving baked goods, but don’t have a lot of time to get fancy.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different fruit fillings. I’m always trying different combinations and flavors with whatever I have on hand. Often times I’ll make this cake to use up fruit in the fridge that doesn’t deserve to be tossed, but isn’t exactly something you would want to eat raw either. Bottom line, I’ve never had bad luck with this coffee cake, and don’t think you will either.


{Practically} Any-Fruit Coffee Cake

Adapted from Better-Homes and Gardens Cookbook
Makes 9 servings 
Feel free to experiment with the fruit – this is extremely adaptable! I’ve even used leftover cranberry sauce from Thanksgiving, and leftover homemade chunky applesauce. If using leftover cranberry sauce or apple sauce, re-heat in the microwave for a few seconds, just to warm it up, so it will spread easier over batter. The coffee cake pictured is made with blackberries and 1/4 cup of warmed lemon curd.     
If  you don’t have buttermilk, clabbered or soured milk can be substituted. To make sour milk mix 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice with 1/2 cup of milk and let sit for 10 minutes. White vinegar can also be substituted for lemon juice, but I find lemon juice tastes better. 
1 1/2 to 2 cups sliced, peeled apricots or peaches; chopped, peeled apples; chopped pineapple; pitted cherries; blueberries, blackberries or red raspberries
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) salted butter
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup buttermilk or sour milk *
1/2 teaspoon vanilla 
Crumb Topping
1/4 cup all-purpose flour 
1/4 cup sugar 
2 tablespoons salted butter 

For apricot/peach/apple/pineapple/cherry/blueberry filling – combine prepared fruit and water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer for 5 minutes or until fruit is tender. Combine sugar and cornstarch; stir into fruit. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture is thicken and bubbly, about 3 to 5 minutes. Set filling aside.

For blackberry/red raspberry filling – Combine fruit, water, sugar and cornstarch. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture is thicken and bubbly, about 5 to 7 minutes. Set filling aside.

For cake, pre-heat oven to 350-degrees.

In a medium bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder and baking soda. Cut in butter, until mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Make a well in center of flour mixture; set aside. In another small bowl, mix egg, buttermilk and vanilla; pour into flour mixture. stir with wooden spoon until just moistened – the batter will be slightly lumpy. Spread half the batter into an un-greased 8x8x2-inch square baking pan. Spread fruit filling over batter. Drop remaining batter in small mounds on top of fruit filling. Set aside.

For crumb topping, mix flour and sugar in a small bowl. Cut in butter until mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over coffee cake.

Bake in 350-degree oven for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown. If using a glass pan, I recommend dropping your oven temperature down to 325-degrees.

Serve warm. Store covered tightly with plastic wrap for up to two days.


  1. says

    I’ve made this coffee cake with numerous fruits . Apple , pear , peach , cherries , apricots , pineapple , plums , blueberries strawberries , blackberries and others . It works beautifully with whatever you want to use .This is a go to recipe for any occasion !

    • Edie Ann says

      Yes! My family’s favorite treat from the checkered cookbook! I’ve made it gluten free many times. Adjust the amount of milk (I’ll freely admit to often using just water) as needed to get the correct consistency.

      I’ve also had success grinding raw oats to flour for quick gluten free coffee cake. Family still gets oatmeal goodness without a bowl of oatmeal in front of them.

      Also easy to veganize by substituting vegan butter/coconut oil, plant milk, and a flax egg.

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