Apple crumble cake

It’s not apple crumble…but it tastes like it! This brings all the flavour cues of the classic apple crumble, but into a cake, making it more versatile to have warm or cold, with afternoon tea or as dessert with ice cream or custard. You can also try adding some finely chopped walnut pieces to the crumble topping. Serving this slightly warm with salted caramel ice cream is a particular favourite…




For the cake:

  • 60g unsalted butter, softened
  • 140g plain flour
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 80ml whole milk
  • 3 granny smith apples

For the crumble topping:

  • 70g plain flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 40g unsalted butter, chilled and diced
  • 70g soft light brown sugar


Preheat the oven to 170C. Grease and lightly flour a 20cm  (8 inch) diameter spring-form cake tin.

Firstly, make the crumble topping. Sift the flour and cinnamon into a bowl. Add the chilled cubes of butter and rub together using your fingertips until they resemble breadcrumbs. Mix in the brown sugar and set aside.

Next make the sponge. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together using a wooden spoon until pale and fluffy (or use a free-standing mixer with paddle attachment if you haven’t got the arm power!)

Add the egg and vanilla essence and mix well.

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together in a separate bowl, then add half of this to the creamed butter mixture followed by half of the milk. Mix well until smooth.

Repeat with the rest of the flour mixture and milk.

Pour the batter into the prepared tin. Don’t worry that it forms only a relatively thin layer.

Peel, core and slice the apples (into quarters and then each quarter into about 4 slices) and arrange on top of the cake batter, working round in a circle from the outside in. You can start to double up if you have apple left over, but try to keep the surface as evenly flat as possible.


Sprinkle the crumble mixture evenly over the top.

Bake in the centre of the oven for 35-45 minutes, until slightly risen, golden brown, and a knife inserted into the centre comes out clean.


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