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The sweet-and-spicy cinnamon crumb topping is unquestionably the best part of any coffee cake. So naturally, we made it the star of this dessert. Here, the big, buttery crumbs sit atop an elegant crescent roll twist, which is more striking to serve (and simple to bake) than a traditional coffee cake. For the filling, you'll want to opt for Granny Smith or Pink Lady apples, which maintain some texture when cooked and don't get mushy. It's okay if your twist doesn't look perfect—an apple piece or two may poke through the dough—because you can cover up any imperfections with your oversized crumbs.


Read the full recipe after the video.

Recipe Summary

25 mins
55 mins
6 servings


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 375°F. In a large bowl, combine the apples, pecans, brown sugar, lemon juice, vanilla, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg.

  • Unroll the crescent roll dough on a lightly-floured piece of parchment paper. Pinch together any seams so that you have a smooth rectangle with no holes. Flip the dough over and repeat. Transfer the parchment with the dough to a baking sheet.

  • Brush the dough with 1 tablespoon melted butter and top with the apple mixture, leaving a ½-inch border. Starting with the short end nearest to you, gently roll the dough into a log and place seam side down, pinching together any small tears as you go. Make 8 cuts in the dough, slicing almost to the bottom but not cutting all the way through, creating 1-inch thick rolls.

  • Gently lay the far right roll flat on the parchment paper. Continue with the next few so that the rolls are overlapping each other, forming a semi-circle as you go. When you get to the center roll, lay it the opposite direction. Coil the log in a circular wreath, shaping as you go and tucking the end of the last roll under the first. Brush with remaining tablespoon of butter. Transfer to a baking sheet.

  • Make the crumbs: In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, salt, and melted butter until combined. Stir in flour until clumps form (the mixture should hold its shape when squeezed). Break into large crumbs with your fingers and scatter over twist.

  • Bake, rotating halfway through, until the twist is golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Cover with foil and continue baking until the apples are soft when pierced with a fork, about 10 more minutes. Serve warm.