Apple Crumb Cake

This delicious Apple Crumb Cake is so fluffy and delicious. Loaded with apples and topped with a Streusel Crumb and a sweet Apple Cider Cinnamon Glaze.

Apple crumb cake with glaze on top.

This soft buttery cake is so easy to make, it comes together beautifully, and it’s such a great dessert for Fall season. It’s one of my favorite apple desserts, better than apple pie. The cake tastes like apple crisp, but even better because it’s in cake form.

I will show you step-by-step how to make this delicious and easy Apple Crumb Cake.

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apple crumb cake with glaze on top.

Apple Crumb Cake Recipe

This Apple Crumb Cake features a buttery vanilla cake, loaded with fresh chopped and spiced apples, with a streusel crumb on top, and cinnamon glaze.

The cake is soft, and easy to make. And anyone who tries it will be super impressed!

It has such a wonderful texture, that melts in your mouth, with juicy spiced apples in the middle. The top tastes like an amazing sugar cookie crumble, with more gooey apples, and a sweet glaze.

apple crumb cake with glaze on top.

Streusel Topping

First we will start by making the crumb topping for the cake.

Mix the flour, granulated and brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a mixing bowl. Technically you can use light brown sugar or dark brown sugar. I used light brown sugar.

Add the butter, and cut the butter into the dry ingredients with the fork, until the mixture is crumbly and all incorporated.

You can also use your hands to mix the crumb and bring it together. When you pinch a portion of the crumb it should come together like a dough.

Place it in the fridge until ready to use.

making streusel crumb with flour and butter.

While the crumb topping is in the fridge, prepare the apples.

Peel and chop the apples. They should be about 3/8″ thick.

Add the cinnamon and nutmeg, mix the apple chunks with the spices. Set it aside.

You can use Gala apples, Pink Lady, Fuji, Honeycrisp, or Granny Smith.

My favorite apples to use are Fuji and Honeycrisp.

Cake batter

To make the cake batter start by beating the butter, add the sugar and beat until fluffy and light.

Add the eggs one at a time, waiting for one egg to incorporate before adding the next one.

Then, add the vanilla and mix.

making cake batter by beating the butter, adding sugar, and egg, and vanilla.

Add the buttermilk to the bowl, mix until combined.

Follow by the dry ingredients: flour, nutmeg, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. Mix until incorporated. You can continue to fold with a spatula instead of the mixer, to prevent over mixing.

Over mixing the cake batter can lead to a dry cake after baked.

The batter will be thick and smooth. It’s time to assemble the cake and prepare it for baking.

adding the milk to the bowl, then adding the flour ingredients, and mixing to combine.

To assemble the cake

Line the bottom of a springform or cheesecake pan with parchment paper. You can cut a few slits around the paper so it will fit on the bottom of the pan.

I used a deep 8″ springform pan. You can also use a 9″ springform pan.

To assemble the cake, spread about 2/3 of the batter on the bottom of the cake pan.

Sprinkle half of the apples on top. Make sure to arrange them on an even layer.

Pour the remaining batter over the apples. Use an offset spatula to spread it out and smooth it out.

It’s ok if the apples aren’t completely covered with batter. They will sink a bit when the cake bakes.

first picture: apples in a bowl. second picture: spreading batter on the bottom of a pan, third picture: spreading chopped apples on top of the batter. fourth picture: spreading the batter in the cake pan.

Sprinkle the remaining apples on top of the batter.

Top with the crumble topping.

Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 1 hour. It should bake until the top is set, and a toothpick comes out clean once inserted in the cake.

Baking time will vary depending on the pan or type of oven you are using.

Convection ovens need a lower temperature for baking. They also tend to bake things faster, so you want to pay attention not to over bake the cake.

Another instance where the cake might bake faster is if you use a 9″ pan instead of an 8″ pan.

topping the cake with apples, and with crumb topping.

It’s important not to over bake the cake.

Time baking will depend on the size of pan you use. If you use a 9″ pan, it might cook faster, since the cake’s height will be thinner.

And if you use a 8″ cake pan, make sure it’s a deep one, to fit all the batter.

Apple crumb cake with glaze on top.

Cinnamon Apple Cider Glaze

To make the glaze, simply beat the cream cheese, butter, cinnamon, powdered sugar, and apple cider.

Make sure the cream cheese and butter are at room temperature.

The glaze should be runny and smooth.

If the glaze is not thick enough, add a bit more powdered sugar, and if the glaze is too thick, you can add some more apple cider to thin it out.

Drizzle it over the cake once it cools down, before serving.

Use a sharp knife to cut the cake into slices.

mixing ingredients to make cinnamon apple cider glaze.

Storing the cake

Once you drizzle the glaze over the cake, it has to be stored in the fridge, because of the cream cheese.

Store the cake in a sealed container at room temperature if it doesn’t have the glaze on top for up to 1-2 days.

The cake should ideally be stored in the fridge to remain fresh.

Let it come to room temperature before serving.

To freeze the cake, wrap it tightly with plastic wrap, place it in an air tight container. You can also wrap it in foil to offer an extra layer of protection. The cake can be frozen for up to 1-2 months.

To thaw it, place it in the fridge overnight. Let the cake come to room temperature before serving.

Tips for making Apple Crumble Cake

  • Make sure the ingredients for the cake such as butter, eggs, buttermilk are at room temperature.
  • Don’t over mix the batter once you add the flour in. Over mixing will lead to a dry cake.
  • Don’t over bake the cake. The cake should be set on top, insert a toothpick in the cake, and it should come out clean.
  • Here are my favorite apples for making cake: Gala apples, Honeycrisp, Granny Smith, Fuji, or Pink Lady.
  • Don’t chop the apples so big, but also don’t chop them so small, about 3/8″ inch thick.
apple crumb cake with glaze on top.

I made this cake 4 times before I arrived to this final recipe. I was looking for the most buttery, soft, sweet, and delicious cake recipe. This apple cake had to have the perfect amount of spiced apples, streusel on top, and a moist crumb.

The glaze on top is optional, but definitely recommended, unless you serve the cake with a caramel sauce instead.

apple crumb cake with glaze on top.

Recipe substitutions

Here are some substitutions you can make in the recipe. Either in the flavor, or in the ingredients needed for the batter.

  • Gluten-free option: to make this cake gluten-free follow the instructions for the apples, and make the crumb with gluten-free flour. However, for the cake batter itself, I recommend following a recipe such as this one for Gluten-Free Bundt Cake.
  • Buttermilk: the buttermilk can be substituted by regular milk mixed with a teaspoon of vinegar. Or it can be substituted by a mixture of half sour cream or yogurt, and half milk.
  • Almond flavor: add a dash of almond extract to the batter.
  • Blueberries: add blueberries to the batter along with the apples. You can do half and half of each.
  • Orange zest: this cake will taste wonderful with a touch of orange zest in the batter, or mixed along with the apples.
Apple Crumb Cake

Serving suggestions

The way I most love serving this cake is when it’s barely warm out of the oven, drizzled with the delicious glaze.

You can serve the apple cake with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, or a drizzle of caramel sauce.

This apple coffee cake is perfect to be served alongside a cup of hot apple cider, tea, coffee, or even a nice tall glass of hot chocolate.

It can be served with plain greek yogurt, or fresh fruit. And the best part is this cake will do amazing for breakfast, fancy brunch, afternoon tea time, or dessert.

The aroma of the delicious spiced apples, the inviting glaze, and the scrumptious looking crumb will make this cake stand out on top of the dinner or brunch table.

This is one of my favorite coffee cakes ever! And I am sure you will love it too.

Apple crumb cake with glaze on top.

If you like more recipes like this cake, you will also like these recipes:

Apple crumb cake with glaze on top.

If you make this recipe, leave a comment below, or tag me on instagram, I always love seeing your creations.

Apple crumb cake with glaze on top.

Apple Crumb Cake

Camila Hurst
This delicious Apple Crumb Cake is so fluffy and delicious. Loaded with apples and topped with a Streusel Crumb and a sweet Apple Cider Cinnamon Glaze.
5 from 7 votes
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
0 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 8 people
Calories 240 kcal

Ingredients
  

Streusel Crumb
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour 76 grams
  • 3 tbsp white sugar 42 grams
  • 3 tbsp light brown sugar 42 grams
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter room temperature (75 grams)
Apples
  • 2 1/2 cups chopped apples about 2 medium apples (312 grams)
  • 2 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg powder
Cake Batter
  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour 191 grams
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter room temperature (170 grams)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar 200 grams
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk 78 ml
Apple Cider Cinnamon Glaze
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese at room temperature 56 grams
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter 14 grams
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar 31 grams
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1-3 tbsp apple cider

Instructions
 

Streusel Crumb
  • Add the flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg to a bowl. Cut the butter into small cubes, add it to the flour and sugar.
  • Use a fork to mix the butter and the flour/sugar until a crumbly mixture forms. All the butter should be incorporated with the dry ingredients.
  • Place it in the fridge while you make the cake batter.
Apples
  • Prepare the apples. Peel and chop the apples about 3/8" thick. Place them in a bowl, mix with cinnamon and nutmeg. Set it aside.
Cake Batter
  • Pre-heat the oven to 350ºF.
  • Line a 8” or 9” springform cake pan with parchment paper and spray it with oil. If using a 8" pan, make sure it's deep.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon powder. Set it aside.
  • Use an electric mixer to beat the butter at medium speed for 1 minute. You can use a stand mixer or a hand mixer.
  • Add the sugar and beat together with the butter for another 2 minutes, until the mixture is light and fluffy.
  • Scrape the bowl every so often to ensure everything is getting nicely incorporated together.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until incorporated before adding the next egg.
  • Add the vanilla and mix to combine.
  • Pour the buttermilk in and mix.
  • Add the dry ingredient mixture and mix on low to combine. You can also use the spatula instead of the mixer to fold the batter during this final stage. Avoid over mixing, to prevent the cake from turning out dry.
  • Spread 2/3 of the batter on the bottom of the prepared cheesecake pan.
  • Top with half of the apples, enough to form an even layer of apples on top of the cake batter.
  • Top with the remaining batter. Smooth it out gently. It’s ok if some of the apples aren’t completely covered by batter.
  • Pour the remaining apples on top. Spread them evenly.
  • Sprinkle the crumb all over the top of the cake, on an even layer.
Baking
  • Bake the cake in pre-heated oven for 55 to 65 minutes. If the crumble is browning too much towards the end, and the center is not yet cooked, cover it with a piece of aluminum foil.
  • You will know the cake is done baking when you touch the top of the cake and doesn’t feel soft or jiggly in the center underneath the crumble layer. Also insert a toothpick in the cake, and should come out clean, without any gooey batter attached.
  • Let the cake cool down completely before serving.
  • About baking: if using a convection oven bake at 325ºF. Baking time will vary depending on cake pan size and on your oven. Make sure to start checking at around 50 minutes, so you don't end up over baking the cake.
Apple Cider Cinnamon Glaze
  • To make the glaze, beat the cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, cinnamon powder, and 1 tbsp of apple cider using a hand mixer. You can also use a whisk as long as you can vigorously whisk the mixture.
  • Add more apple cider as needed to thin out the glaze. Or more powdered sugar in case it becomes too runny.
  • Once the glaze is smooth, it’s ready. If you notice the glaze is too thick, add more apple cider, so you are able to drizzle it over the cake.
Storage
  • Store the cake in a sealed container without the glaze at room temperature for up to 2 days, or up to 5 days in the fridge. If you drizzle the glaze over the cake, it has to be stored in the fridge, because of the cream cheese.
  • Once the cake has been stored in the fridge, it has to come to room temperature before being served.
  • The cake can also be stored in the freezer. Wrap it tightly with plastic wrap, and place it in an air-tight container. Store in the freezer for up to 1-2 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight, and let it come to room temperature before serving it.

Notes

Buttermilk: If you don’t have buttermilk, simply add a teaspoon of vinegar to regular milk, let it sit for 2 minutes, and use in the recipe.
Buttermilk alternative: Another buttermilk alternative is to make the cake with a combination of sour cream and milk. Use 1/2 cup of sour cream and 1/4 cup of milk in the recipe instead of the buttermilk.
Baking: Time baking will depend on the size of pan you use. If you use a 9″ pan, it might cook faster, since the cake will be thinner. And if you use a 8″ cake pan, make sure it’s a deep one, to fit all the batter.
Apple cider: You can use milk, or apple juice, or lemon juice for the glaze instead of apple cider if desired.
Apples: Here are my favorite apples for making cake: Gala apples, Honeycrisp, Granny Smith, Fuji, or Pink Lady.
Cake pan: Line the cheesecake pan with parchment paper, and make sure to spray with oil. It helps if you cut slits around the parchment paper so you can fold the sides and tuck them in.
Keyword apple, cake

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27 Comments

  1. I’m making the Apple Crumb cake today. It’s in the oven. The recipe called for baking soda… but was not in the ingredients list. I went without any, so I will see how it turns out and let you know.

    Can you provide the amount of baking soda I should have put in there? Thank you!

    1. you’re good, there’s no baking soda in the recipe. I mistakenly had added that just to the instructions as a habit because I use both a lot of times. So it’s totally fine, no baking soda in this cake. I have fixed the recipe thanks!

  2. Thank you!!! The cake is wonderful! The family is raving about it! This recipe will be one on repeat! Have a great Holiday season!

  3. Quick question – when is the cake flour supposed to be used? If I wanted to use the cake flour, would I replace the 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour with 1 1/2 cup cake flour in the cake batter? Thank you and looking forward to making the cake this weekend!

    1. The cake part calls for all purpose flour. But later you state if not using cake flour what to do. Which flour do I use Thank you.

  4. 5 stars
    Made this and it was delicious! Husband agrees! I used all purpose flour and subbed corn starch as suggested. Salt was in the ingredients list, but not shown added in the recipe which caused me to inadvertently omit it. I don’t think it made a difference in taste. Was it to make up for the unsalted butter?

    1. Yes, the salt is very little and it won’t really affect that much, just balances out the sweetness and enhances the flavor. But won’t really be missed too much. I must have forgotten to include but I fixed it now. It gets added with the dry ingredients: flour, cinnamon etc.
      I m so happy you loved the cake!

  5. 5 stars
    For top layer we used 100g of rolled porage oats with 50g demerara sugar and 50g butter, rubbed together. Then we served it with British double cream.

  6. 5 stars
    So good! My glaze came out runny, but I just flooded the top with it instead of drizzling and it still tasted great! Thanks for sharing!

  7. This looks delicious! How much more of the recipe would I need to do a 9×13 sheet cake please (but maybe not as high as the round cake) thanks (sort of like cake bars)

    1. So this recipe makes a bit less than 10 cups of batter, and you need 14 to 16 for a 9×13 sheet cake, so I’d say make 1.5 of this recipe, and then if you have leftover batter just spoon in cupcake liners, but you should have just enough if you make 1.5x this recipe. Multiply all ingredients by 1.5 and that will be the amount youll need for each 🙂 let me know how it works!!

  8. Do I need to use a springform cheesecake pan for this recipe? Can I use a 9″ regular round cake pan instead? Or is that a recipe for disaster?

    BTW – Just made your lovely blueberry coffee cake and it came out fantastic. Excited to try this apple version asap. 🙂

    Cheers! Happy Fall Baking!

    1. You could use a 9″ regular pan, the only problem is that it has to be tall enough, and cheesecake pans are usually 3″ tall, so they can fit the whole batter and the cake wont sink when it bakes. So if your 9″ pan is tall enough, about as tall as a cheesecake springform pan (about 3″), you can safely use it.

  9. What do you think about making this in individual mini bundt cake pans so they’re easy to share, or in muffin pans. Would that work well?

  10. Just made this for thanksgiving! since I am making it the night before should I store it in the fridge or at room temperature after coming out of the oven?

  11. 5 stars
    My partner doesn’t eat cake, however, he loves apple crumble. Found this recipe and he has absolutely loves it ! Thankful I found this recipe and a cake he enjoys to eat (because I love eating cake ;))

  12. 5 stars
    I usually don’t write reviews but this cake is soooo delicious that I wanted to let you know! This is really a next level apple cake. Even my kids liked it and they usually only like chocolate brownie 🙂
    The glaze is to die for so I doubled that in my second cake. Excited to try some of your other recipes (although I don’t know where to start, everything looks so good)!

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