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.
The Apple Crumble Cake Recipe:
Apple Crumble Cake
- 1 cup (180g) soft light brown sugar
- 3/4 cup (150g) unsalted butter melted
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 3/4 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)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp demerara course sugar
- 2/3 cup (90g) icing/confectioner’s sugar
- 6 tbsp double/heavy cream
- 1/2 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 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 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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