Apple crumb cake

Apple Crumb Cake


Apple crumb cake

Apple Crumb Cake

Classic crumb coffee cake meets apples. 
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 24


for the cake:

  • 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • pinch salt
  • 2 cups grated apples I used Fuji, peel-on

for the streusel topping:

  • 8 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon mace


  • Preheat oven to 350. Butter and flour a 13 X 9 inch pan. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, mix together the brown sugar, oil, egg until smooth. Add buttermilk and vanilla and mix until smooth. Beat in baking soda, flour and spices until a batter forms. Fold in apples.
  • Pour into prepared pan, set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, stir together the topping ingredients until it looks like wet, coarse sand. Sprinkle evenly over batter.
  • Bake 45 minutes or until a thin knife inserted in the middle comes out with 1-2 moist crumbs.
  • Cool on wire rack.
Keyword breakfast, cake, dessert

I have made a lot of baked goods over the years and I am not exaggerating that this is one of the ones that got the biggest raves. Even my slightly reformed picky eater father immediately asked if I ever made it again, could I bring him a big chunk to freeze. He requested it for his birthday so he could do just that. That was high praise on its own but my husband who has eaten pretty much everything I’ve made since 2004, said it was the best crumb topping yet.

Honestly, I was just winging it so I wasn’t even planning to post the recipe. I had written down my ideas so luckily I had that! I think there was a few reasons why it was so good—First it was  the spices. You can’t beat mace, allspice and cardamom. You have to flavor the cake and the crumb and I think flavoring both differently yields a more interesting and complex tasting final cake.

Secondly, I used grated apples rather than diced so you really got a good spread of apples throughout the cake. Finally, I really went for it with the streusel crumb topping. A full 8 tablespoons of butter, a cup of sugar (total) and flour. These were big, crumbly, crunchy crumbs. I always want to skimp on the butter but I found using a smaller amount of oil in the cake and a healthy amount of butter in the crumbs made for the perfect cake. The oil based cake is much lighter than the crumbs which gives it a nice contrast and keeps it from being too rich.

I had this for dessert over several days but it would be a great coffee cake for a festive breakfast or brunch. It even freezes well, according to my dad.

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