Apple Crisp Coffee Cake

My husband and I try to eat healthy and we often have oat cereal for breakfast. But oat cereal can get boring, so I try to vary our breakfasts. We are also raising our twin grandchildren and, as I keep telling them, "Good food is brain food." A healthy breakfast is a way to jump-start the day.

You name it and I've served it for breakfast: scrambled egg substitute with light cheese, whole grain pancakes and 50% lower fat sausage, and a variety of whole grain cereals. While the kids also love coffee cake, it is often high in sugar and fat. Besides, they like my homemade coffee cake best. Maybe it's a grandmother thing.

This morning I made Apple Crisp Coffee Cake. The recipe for this coffee cake comes from a worn Bisquick cook book I purchased decades ago. Light Bisquick was not available when the book was published. Now I can buy Heart Smart Bisquick and I used it for this coffee cake. I also made some healthier changes to the recipe.

Instead of 100% sugar I used Splenda Blend. I added skim milk to the recipe instead of whole. The original recipe calls for three tablespoons of butter or margarine, but I substituted sugar-free applesauce. To reduce the preparation time I used dehydrated apples, though you may use fresh. And instead of making my own crumb topping I used an apple crisp topping mix.

Kids will love this healthier version of coffee cake and I think you will as well. You may want to make two coffee cakes while you're at it. Eat one and freeze the other for another breakfast. Serve the coffee cake with fat-free yogurt and fresh fruit or refrigerated pink and white grapefruit. Apple Crisp Coffee Cake will bring a smile to your day.


1 1/3 cups Heart Smart Bisquick
1/2 cup Splenda Blend
1/2 cup dried apples, cut into half-inch pieces
1 large egg
3/4 cups skim milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons sugar-free applesauce
8 1/2-ounce packet of apple crisp topping mix
4 tablespoons extra light olive oil

Measure Bisquick, Splenda Blend and dried apples in a batter bowl. Whisk dry ingredients together. In a small bowl combine egg, skim milk, vanilla and applesauce. Beat well with fork. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, stirring just until blended.

Pour batter into a 10-inch, oven-proof glass pie plate coated with baking spray. Put apple crisp topping mix into a wide bowl or pan. Work 4 tablespoons of extra light olive oil into mix with fork. Sprinkle topping evenly over coffee cake. Bake in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. Makes 8 servings.

Copyright 2008 by Harriet Hodgson

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About The Author, Harriet Hodgson

Harriet Hodgson has been an independent journalist for 30 years. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists and the Association for Death Education and Counseling. Her 14th book, "Smiling Through Your Tears: Anticipating Grief," written with Lois Krahn, MD, is available from

Centering Corporation -- North America's oldest and largest grief resource center, is publishing her 26th book, "Writing to Recove: The Journey from Loss and Grief to a New Life." In addition, the company is publishing two companion products, the "Writing to Recover Journal," which contain 100 affirmations, and the "Writing to Recover Afformations Calendar."

Please visit Harriet's website for more information on this busy author and grandmother.