This Apple Crumble Cake is the cake of my dreams! A soft sponge base with a hint of cinnamon and chunks of juicy apple, topped off with a crunchy streusel and vanilla drizzle.
Now the big question is..
Should I eat it as it is?
Or with ice-cream?
Or some creamy, warm custard?
Mmmmm give me the custard!! Perhaps I'm breaching some etiquette rule by putting custard on it when it's already got a vanilla glaze but I don't care!
I can also be found licking the cake-mix spoon and double dipping my bread sticks in that pot of Nutella. Only when I'm with Chris and the kids of course. I'd never do that outside of my little family (shock horror!)
Of course this cake by itself is pretty amazing too. I may have had two slices for my lunch... It seemed a waste to start making something else when this had just come out of the oven and I wanted it so much!
The crumble topping is a mixture of butter, flour, sugar and cinnamon. Mix it all together until you get a lovely lumpy mixture. I like small lumps and big lumps in there for lots of crunchy texture.
Peel and chop your apples. I like to use a mixure of cooking apples (Bramley) and sweet eating apples such as the Jazz apple variety. Toss them with a little lemon juice to stop them turning brown, then sprinkle them with flour (this will help stop them sinking in the cake mixture as it's baking).
Next make the sponge by mixing melted butter, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and eggs. Then stir in flour and baking powder. Finally fold in those floured apples.
Transfer to a baking tin and sprinkle on the crumble mixture before baking in the oven.
Once cooked, remove from the oven, leave to cool, then drizzle on that creamy vanilla icing.
Now how about an extreme close-up of that crunchy crumble and those oh-so-sweet chunks of apple?
Can I make it ahead?
Yes, this cake should last 3-4 days in a sealed container at room temperature.
You can also freeze the cake by wrapping in clingfilm/plastic wrap, then foil. Defrost at room temperature. The crumb topping won't be as crispy after freezing, but you can warm the cake through in the oven at 160C/320F for 20-25 minutes (until warm in the centre) and this should help the topping become crispy again.
Can I replace the apples with a different fruit?
Yes, but it's best to replace the fruit with one that isn't too juicy. Plums or pears are a great option.
Can I make it gluten free?
I haven't tried making this gluten free yet, but if I did, I would use my gluten-free White Chocolate and Pistachio Blondies recipe as a base (adding the apples into the mixture). Then i'd top with the crumble mixture - but would replace the flour with half gluten-free plain/all-purpose flour, quarter ground almonds and quarter gluten free oats.
More Cake Ideas
Still hungry for more? I have got quite a selection of cakes and muffins in my Cakes and Treats Category such as:
Homemade Battenburg < Chris's favourite!
Pineapple Upside Down Cake < This is gluten free too!
Banana Bread with Caramelized Bananas
And loads more.....
The Apple Crumble Cake Recipe:
Apple Crumble Cake
- 1 cup (180g) soft light brown sugar
- ¾ cup (150g) unsalted butter - melted
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 ¾ cups (210g) plain/all purpose flour
- 19.5 oz (550g) cooking apples - such as Bramley apples - which is about 2 large apples
- 6 oz (175g) eating apples - which is about 1 apple - I like to use Jazz apples, but use your favourite - ideally something tangy and sweet
- 1 tbsp lemon juice - fresh or from a bottle
- 2 tbsp plain/all-purpose flour (for mixing with the apples)
- 1 cup (230g) unsalted butter - melted
- 2 cups (360g) golden caster sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 4 large eggs
- 3 cups minus 1 tbsp (350g) plain(all-purpose) flour
- 4 tsp baking powder - (I know, 4 tsp sounds like a lot, but it's correct. Just make sure it's 4 level tsp)
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 tbsp demerara course sugar
- ⅔ cup (90g) icing/confectioner’s sugar
- 6 tbsp double/heavy cream
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- First make your crumble by mixing the sugar, butter and cinnamon in a large bowl. Add in the flour and mix with a spoon until you have a crumbly mixture. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 180c/350f. Line a 24cmx24cm (9 ½ inch x 9 ½ inch) square baking tin with baking parchment. Note - the sides of the tin need to be at least 8cm/3.1 inches high as the cake will spill over if the sides aren't high enough.
- Peel and core the apples and chop into bite-sized chunks. Mix the apples with the lemon juice to stop them turning brown. Then mix with the 2 tbsp of flour.
- In a large bowl, mix the melted butter with the caster sugar, vanilla extract and cinnamon. Mix in the eggs and then fold in the flour, baking powder and salt. Gently stir the apples into the cake mixture.
- Spoon the mixture into the prepared baking tin.
- Sprinkle the crumble mixture over the top (I like to have a mix of small and large chunks) and then sprinkle over the demerara sugar.
- Place in the oven and cook for 45-55 minutes - until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Cover with foil for the last 10-15 minutes if it's starting to look too brown.
- Take out of the oven and leave to cool in the tray for 10 minutes, then remove from the tray and leave to cool completely on a cooling rack.
- Once cool, whisk together the icing sugar, half of the cream and the vanilla extract. If it looks drizzle-able stop there. If not, continue to add more cream until you get a thick but pourable mixture. Drizzle over the top of the cake using a spoon, or you can use a piping bag (like I did) to get the neat lines of drizzle.
- Cut into 16 pieces and serve.
Can I make it ahead?Yes, this cake should last 3-4 days in a sealed container at room temperature. You can also freeze the cake by wrapping in clingfilm/plastic wrap, then foil. Defrost at room temperature. The crumb topping won't be as crispy after freezing, but you can warm the cake through in the oven at 160C/320F for 20-25 minutes (until warm in the centre) and this should help the topping become crispy again. .
Can I replace the apples with a different fruit?Yes, but it's best to replace the fruit with one that isn't too juicy. Plums or pears are a great option. .
Can I make it gluten free?I haven't tried making this gluten free yet, but if I did, I would use my gluten-free White Chocolate and Pistachio Blondies recipe as a base (adding the apples into the mixture). Then i'd top with the crumble mixture - but would replace the flour with half gluten-free plain/all-purpose flour, quarter ground almonds and quarter gluten free oats. . Nutritional Information is per serving.
This post was first published in March 2015. Republished in October 2018 with new photos, step-by-step photos and additional tips.
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I’ve made this a few times and love it - but on the last few occasions it has sunk in the middle. What could be causing that? The oven temperature perhaps? Thanks!
Nicky Corbishley says
Hi B, Usually when a cake sinks in the middle, it can be because the oven was opened before the cake was quite done in the middle, or sometimes because too much baking powder was used (this recipe calls for 4 level teaspoons).
It can also be caused if the cake wasn't put in the oven right away. The baking agent starts doing it's work as soon as the cake is mixed, so if it's left out too long before baking, it can sometimes have expended all its energy already if you see what I mean 🙂
Sharron Barnes says
I have made this quite a few times now. It is absolutely fabulous and freezes very well, which is great because it makes a large bake.Cooking time in my oven is about 15 minutes extra with a different pan size (shorter and taller) than the one suggested. It is important to adjust. We'll worth the effort!
Turned out perfectly, love the flavour en the crispy crumble.
I do have a question, i made a bigger batch for a party i'm hosting this weekend, i'm storing it in sealed containers but i fear that the crumble will turn soft. Anyone tried to store it for 2 days and did it stay crispy?
Michelle Stets says
Awesome recipe! Have made this a bunch of times now and it always goes over well. I do double the crumble topping since I use a slightly larger pan and feel you can never have too much topping. 🙂
Perfect.just made this and is delicious thanks.
no size of tin or baking temperature
Chris Corbishley says
It's step 2 of the recipe. "Preheat the oven to 180c/350f. Line a 24cmx24cm (9 1/2 inch x 9 1/2 inch) square baking tin with baking parchment. Note - the sides of the tin need to be at least 8cm/3.1 inches high as the cake will spill over if the sides aren't high enough."
Sharon George says
Looks great looking to make it this evening.
Cathy Cowan says
Fabulous recipe! Had to bake a cake for a charity cake sale tomorrow and made this one, and a smaller loaf to keep for my family and wow, delicious!
CAROL RENNER GENTILE says
Nicky, I know from my British friends that you use self-rising cake flour in England; however, you say in the recipe to use self-rising cake flour and then you also have baking powder in the recipe. The self-rising flour already has the baking powder in it, no? I am confused. Thanks, Carol P.S . My husband wanted to make this tomorrow (Sunday) but will have to wait to see if the recipe is right or not.
Nicky Corbishley says
Thanks for your comment. I've now updated the recipe to use plain (all-purpose)flour instead of the UK self-raising flour, and it tastes great. Hopefully that should prevent any confusion 🙂
I made this traybake for a recent mum's coffee morning, it was a huge hit thank you:-)
Made this, so so good but please please pay attention to the 8cm tin height requirement, I didnt at first and it was a disaster
Nicky Corbishley says
So glad it turned out right the second time Becky. Sounds like you had some spillage with the first attempt! Thanks for coming back and letting me know how it went 🙂
Lexi @ Sempre Dolce says
Awesome! I would love a slice right. now. 😉
Nicky Corbishley says
me too. I think the 4 (5?) slices I already ate might be enough though 🙂