Cookbook:Apple Crumb Cake

Apple Crumb Cake
CategoryDessert recipes
Time60 minutes

Cookbook | Recipes | Ingredients | Equipment | Techniques | Cookbook Disambiguation Pages | Recipes | Germany | Dessert

Apple crumb cake or apfelstreuselkuchen is a thin yellow cake with a thin layer of sliced apples and streusel on top. It is somewhat similar to apple crisp or apple cobbler, except that the base is a cake. The flavor is mostly egg and butter, with a hint of vanilla; the strong cinnamon or mixed-spice flavors characteristic of US apple dishes are absent.

To serve it, cut the cake into squares. Serve warm or at room temperature with coffee or hot tea. Optionally, add vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. This sheet cake can be made the day before and travels well, which makes it a good choice for picnics and large gatherings.



This cake has three layers that are prepared separately. Three ingredients (butter, sugar, flour) appear in this list twice, because they are added in separate steps.

Ingredient Count Volume Weight
Butter,[1] cold ¾ cup 175 g
White granulated sugar[2] ½ cup 125 g
Cinnamon 1 tsp (5 ml) 2.5 g
All-purpose flour[3] 2 cups 250 g
Large apples 3–4 ea.
Butter,[1] slightly softened 1¼ cups 300 g
White granulated sugar[2] 1¼ cups 300 g
Vanilla extract 1 Tbsp (15 ml)
Eggs, at room temperature 6 ea.
Baking powder 1 tsp (5 ml)
All-purpose flour[3] 4¼ cups 500 g
  1. a b Total amount of butter for whole recipe: 16 ounces (one pound, four sticks) or 475 grams
  2. a b Total amount of sugar for whole recipe: 1.75 cups or 425 grams
  3. a b Total amount of flour for whole recipe: 6.25 cups or 750 grams

Special equipment

  • Half-sheet baking pan (18x13 inches / 45x33 cm) OR two 9x13-inch/23x33-cm pans



Streusel topping

In Step 4, stop when the streusel mixture looks approximately like this.
  1. Use a pastry blender or a dinner knife to slice the 6 oz butter into pats. This step works best if the butter is cold.
  2. Combine the sugar, cinnamon, and flour into a mixing bowl. Stir the dry ingredients briefly to mix.
  3. Put the butter pieces into the bowl with the dry ingredients, and toss until the flour mixture has coated the pieces of butter.
  4. Use a pastry blender (or a pair of dinner knives held side-by-side in the same hand) to cut the flour-coated butter into the dry ingredients. Stop when all the butter is smaller than a green pea (about 1 cm in diameter), but you can still see lumps of butter.
  5. Set aside. This mixture can be covered and stored in the refrigerator for several days if necessary.


  1. Peel and core the apples.
  2. Cut the apples into quarters, then cut each quarter into thin slices. You will need enough slices to make a single layer over the top of the cake.
  3. Set aside. As the apples will be covered by streusel topping, it doesn't matter if they turn a little brown while you make the cake batter.


  1. Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. This step works best if the butter is slightly softened.
  2. Beat in the vanilla and eggs, one at a time. Scrape the bottom of the bowl after beating in each egg.
  3. Stir in the baking powder and flour.


Apples are laid in a single row, and then covered by streusel
  1. Preheat oven to 350 °F (180 °C / gas mark 4 / moderate oven).
  2. Optionally, line the pan(s) with parchment baking paper. Do not grease or flour the cake pan.
  3. Spread the cake batter into the prepared pan.
  4. Arrange a single layer of apple slices on top of the cake batter. Apples should cover the cake batter as much as possible, out to the edges of the pan. If you have enough apple slices and you want more apple in your cake, then it's okay to overlap them a little.
  5. Sprinkle the streusel mixture on top of the apples. It should generously cover all of the apples.
  6. Bake at 350 °F (190 °C) for about 40 minutes, until the apples are soft, the cake is cooked through, and the streusel is golden brown.

Notes, tips, and variations

  • Crisp apples, such as Braeburns, sweet Royal Galas, tart Granny Smiths, Honeycrisps, or tangy Newtown Pippins, are generally better for baking than mealy apples, such as Red Delicious. You can use a mix of apple types.
  • You can use gluten-free flour substitutes.
  • Avoid high-gluten bread flours.
  • Up to 25% of the flour in the cake batter can be replaced by almond flour or another finely ground nut flour.
  • Up to half of the white granulated sugar in the cake batter can be replaced by sugar substitutes. The same volume of brown sugar can be used instead of white sugar in the streusel mixture; this will change the overall flavor slightly.
  • This recipe can be cut in half or in thirds to make a smaller cake. A half-recipe can be baked in a 9x13 cake pan; a third-recipe can be baked in a 9x9 square cake pan.