A delicious vanilla cake filled with apples and topped with an oh-so-buttery cookie crumble. The perfect combination of cake and apple pie in a
The first time I made this cake was the year 2016. The year of cake. My good friend and I were baking a birthday cake and decided to get a bit creative. I had apples on the kitchen counter and we were struck with this idea of brilliance. An apple crumble cake...using our go-to vanilla cake recipe.
We tossed apples in the cake, topped it with a crumble and were blown away. It came out so well. Did I write this recipe down? Of course not. So I spent some time digging around in my memory, pulling together aspects of apple pie, apple crumble and voilà- we made an apple crumble cake.
This is not a New York Style Crumb Cake with apples - this is a plain, straight-up vanilla cake with apples and a crumble topping.
Ingredients for an Apple Crumble Cake
Butter adds flavour as well as structure and lightness during the creaming process.
Caster sugar for sweetness, and plays a role in the creaming of the butter. This can be substituted with granulated white sugar.
Flour - standard grade / plain or all-purpose flour.
Milk adds moisture. I suggest a full cream, standard, or whole milk.
Eggs - three eggs bind the cake together and also add moisture.
Salt and vanilla extract flavour the cake.
Cinnamon and nutmeg add flavour to the apple filling and crumble topping.
Baking powder to give rise. There are no acidic ingredients so baking soda would not be appropriate. A baking powder substitute would be 1 teaspoon of baking soda plus 4 teaspoon of lemon juice or vinegar mixed into the wet ingredients. Or 1 teaspoon of baking soda and ½ teaspoon of cream of tartar.
Apple - any apple you would use in an apple pie will find its home in this cake. I use Eve apples for this cake in particular, but would also recommend Granny Smith, Braeburn, Pink Lady, Honeycrisp, and Gala apples.
Making the Apple Crumble Cake
Before you start baking - take all your ingredients out of the fridge and allow them to come to room temperature for about an hour. This is specifically a requirement for the cake batter. But by the time you have made the filling and crumble - the ingredients for the cake.
Preparing the apple filling
Start with peeling and slicing or chopping your apples to the desired size. Toss with the sugar, spices and salt and set aside for 20 to 30 minutes. This allows the juices in the apples to be extracted.
On low heat, add the butter and simmer the apples to further release juices for around 20 to 30 minutes, and reduce the liquid. Once cooked, set aside and let cool while you make the crumble and cake.
Preparing the crumble
The crumble is made by rubbing the butter into the flour, sugar and spices until a short-bread type biscuit or cookie dough has formed. This will take about 5 minutes.
Preparing the cake
This cake is prepared using the typical butter-sugar creaming method. Take time to cream the butter and sugar until it is light and fluffy, this gives the cake a nice light texture.
If you are using a stand mixer, take the time to scrape down the bowl between steps to make sure all ingredients are well combined.
Assembling and baking the cake
The cake is assembled by pouring about half the batter into the cake tin, then placing the apple filling and topping off with the rest of the cake batter. The apples may sink to the bottom of the cake, but that's okay, as it moves through the batter it leaves behind a delightful apple pie flavour in the vanilla cake.
The crumble is then crumbled on the top and the cake is baked for about 50 minutes. If the cake is browning too quickly, loosely place tin foil or aluminium foil over the cake to slow down the browning.
The temperatures stated are for conventional ovens. For convection, fan-forced, fan-assisted, or air-fryers, the temperature must be reduced by 20°C/25°F.
For baking, make sure the oven is fully preheated, and that the rack is in the middle of the oven. Open the oven as little as possible. For best baking results use an oven thermometer.
Remember that all ovens work slightly differently and bake times may need to be adjusted for your specific oven.
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Apple Crumble Cake
- 3 - 4 medium-large apples
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 60 grams light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- 115 grams plain flour
- 60 grams light brown sugar
- 75 grams butter cool
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 125 grams butter
- 300 grams white sugar (caster/white sugar)
- 300 grams plain flour (standard-grade/all-purpose)
- 3 eggs (large)
- 250 grams milk
- 4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 75 grams icing sugar (confectioners/powdered sugar)
- 2 tablespoon milk
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Apple Filling
- Peel and slice apples into the desired size. Toss with lemon juice, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside for 20 - 30 minutes to extract juices.
- On low heat, cook down for 20-30 minutes, releasing the juices from the apples and reducing the sauce created.
- Set aside and allow to cool while you make the crumble and cake.
- Crumble Topping
- Whisk together the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg to break down any lumps that may be present.
- Cut the cool butter into chunks and add to the flour. Rub the butter into the flour and sugar mix until you have crumbly cookie dough. Set aside.
- Allow all the ingredients for the cake to come to room temperature. This will take about an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease and line a 9-inch springform cake tin.
- In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer, cream the butter until light and fluffy. This takes about 3-5 minutes when using a stand mixer or electric handheld mixer. Add in the sugar, vanilla and salt and cream until light and fluffy for about 5 minutes.
- Add in the eggs, and beat until the mix until well incorporated, light and fluffy.
- Whisk the baking powder through the flour. Add half the flour and half the milk to the butter egg mixture and mix through on a low speed until incorporated. Then add the rest of the flour and milk at a low speed. Do not over mix. And remember to scrape down the bowl of your stand mixer occasionally to ensure proper mixing.
- Icing Glaze
- Whisk the icing sugar, vanilla and milk together until you have a nice, smooth glaze. This can be done once the cake has completely cooled and is an optional extra.
- Apple Crumble Cake Assembly and Baking
- Pour approximately half the batter into your prepared cake tin. Place the apple filling on the cake batter, pouring in all the juices that have been cooked down.
- Pour the rest of the cake batter onto the apple filling, and smooth over gently using an offset spatula or the back of a spoon.
- Crumble the cookie crumble over the top of the cake nice and evenly.
- Bake the cake for approximately 50 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean from the centre. If you find the crumble and sides are browning too quickly, cover loosely with tin foil (aluminium foil).
- Allow the cake to cool for an hour in the tin before popping off the springform open. Let the cake cool completely for at least 4 hours or even overnight.
- Remove the cake from the tin, and drizzle with the icing cake. Slice, serve and enjoy.
Nutrition information is an estimate. If scaling the recipe remember to scale your cook and bakeware accordingly. As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs,I earn from qualifying purchases.
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