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.
Apple crumble cake on a green plate. Apples in the background
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!)

apple crumble cake on a chopping board, sliced into squares

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.

2 images of making crumble mixture in a bowl

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).

Chopping board with chopped apple chunks

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.

Steps for making apple crumble cake. 4 bowl photos of the different stages.

Transfer to a baking tin and sprinkle on the crumble mixture before baking in the oven.

Apple crumble cake mix in a tray. One image without the crumble, one image with the crumble topping.

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?

apple crumble cake with vanilla icing on a green plate

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!

Cherry Crumble Cake

Pineapple Upside Down Cake < This is gluten free too!

Coconut Pineapple Bread

Chocolate Almond Bread

Carrot and orange tray bake

Sourdough Scones

Banana Bread with Caramelized Bananas

And loads more…..

The Apple Crumble Cake Recipe:

4.89 from 9 votes

Apple Crumble Cake

A soft sponge base with a hint of cinnamon and chunks of juicy apple, topped off with a crunchy streusel topping and vanilla drizzle.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 16 portions
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: British, German

Ingredients

Crumble:

  • 180 g (1 cup) soft light brown sugar
  • 150 g (3/4 cup) unsalted butter melted
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 210 g (1 3/4 cups) plain (all-purpose) flour

Apple Cake:

  • 550 g (19.5 oz) cooking apples such as Bramley apples - which is about 2 large apples
  • 175 g (6 oz) 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
  • 230 g (1 cup) unsalted butter melted
  • 2 cups (360g) golden caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 4 large eggs
  • 350 g (3 cups minus 1 tbsp) 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

Glaze:

  • 90 g (2/3 cup) icing/confectioner’s sugar
  • 6 tbsp double/heavy cream
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
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Instructions 

  • First, make your crumble by mixing the sugar, butter and cinnamon in a large bowl. Add the flour and mix with a spoon until you have a crumbly mixture. Set aside.
    180 g (1 cup) soft light brown sugar, 150 g (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, 1 tsp ground cinnamon, 210 g (1 3/4 cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • Preheat the oven to 180C/350F (fan). 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.
  • Peel and core the apples and chop them into bite-sized chunks. Mix the apples with the lemon juice to stop them turning brown. Then mix with the 2 tbsp of flour.
    550 g (19.5 oz) cooking apples, 175 g (6 oz) eating apples - which is about 1 apple, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 2 tbsp plain (all-purpose) 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.
    230 g (1 cup) unsalted butter, 2 cups (360g) golden caster sugar, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1 tsp cinnamon, 4 large eggs, 350 g (3 cups minus 1 tbsp) plain(all-purpose) flour, 4 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp salt
  • 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.
    2 tbsp demerara course 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.
    90 g (2/3 cup) icing/confectioner’s sugar, 6 tbsp double/heavy cream, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Cut into 16 pieces and serve.

Notes

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.

Nutrition

Calories: 519kcal | Carbohydrates: 74g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 99mg | Sodium: 126mg | Potassium: 187mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 45g | Vitamin A: 760IU | Vitamin C: 2.5mg | Calcium: 63mg | Iron: 1.2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

This post was first published in March 2015. Republished in October 2018 with new photos, step-by-step photos and additional tips.

Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links – which means if you buy the product I get a small commission (at no extra cost to you). If you do buy, then thank you! That’s what helps us to keep Kitchen Sanctuary running. The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary depending on several factors. For more information please see our Terms & Conditions.

 

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Hi, I'm Nicky and I love to cook! I want to share with you my favourite, delicious family friendly recipes. I want to inspire you to create fantastic food for your family every day.

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Comments

  1. Debbie Evans says:

    Hi there I’ve had this cake on 160 fan and it’s had an extra 30mins and still not cooked? I have a powerful oven why do you think this is happening?

  2. Sarah says:

    5 stars
    Really enjoyed making this and eating this!!!!!

    I just wanted to ask – is the weight of the apples before or after they are peeled and cored?
    Also, is the temperature 180 degrees centigrade and then 160 if it’s in a fan oven?

    Thank you!

  3. Sandy says:

    5 stars
    Love making this cake popular with my work mates

  4. B says:

    4 stars
    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!

    1. 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 🙂

  5. Sharron Barnes says:

    5 stars
    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!