Apple Crumb Cake – Sallys Baking Addiction


Delicious New York style crumb cake with warm cinnamon apples and DOUBLE the buttery crumb topping! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

If crumb topping is your love language, you’ve come to the right place.

If warm cinnamon apples make your mouth water, today’s your day.

If soft buttery cake is your ideal breakfast indulgence, I’m your gal.

Delicious New York style crumb cake with warm cinnamon apples and DOUBLE the buttery crumb topping! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Because today we’re indulging in APPLE CRUMB CAKE!!!! It’s your morning fall indulgence part 2. The smart answer for breakfast. The destiny for your freshly picked apples. The afternoon snack you’re craving. Your dinner when you just want to sit on the couch, kick up your feet, and watch another episode of Fixer Upper.

So, like, every night?

Hey, I’m not judging.

Apples for apple crumb cake on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Cinnamon apples for apple crumb cake on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Today’s recipe = my apple crumb muffins in cake form. They’re definitely one of my favorite muffins to make this time of year, so a cake version is a no-brainer.

I tested this apple crumb cake a few times, changing things ever so slightly to land on the final recipe I’m sharing today. It’s a butter and sour cream based cake AKA the best kind of cake. You’ll cream butter and sugar together, which acts as the base of the cake. Sour cream gives us an extremely moist crumb cake that’s a little denser than, say, a fluffy vanilla cake. Tight crumbs, like pound cake, but with a much softer texture.

I don’t suggest subbing the sour cream with a liquid– plain full-fat yogurt would work though. But don’t remove the fat from this cake by using a lower fat alternative. Fat = flavor! We don’t want to skimp there.

The biggest change I made while testing the recipe involved the apples. At first, I mixed the apples into the cake batter. This was tasty, of course, but the pieces of apples each held a soggy outline inside the baked cake. It just… didn’t look appetizing. I found that layering the apples on top of the cake batter was best. This gives us a soft and buttery cake, topped with soft and sweet cinnamon apples, and a TRUCK LOAD of crumb topping. 3 separate layers to love obsess over.

How to make apple crumb cake on sallysbakingaddiction.com

So about that crumb topping…

Remember when Kevin compared the crumble topping on my peach pie recipe to… ground beef? (Omg the appearance of it!! Not the taste!!) My beautiful peach pie… topped with beef. Beef pie, he called it.

I think you know where I’m going with this.

Crumb topping for apple crumb cake on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Crumb topping for apple crumb cake on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Can we just forget all about that though? Brown sugar, cinnamon, BUTTER… all good things in life. That, um, belong on top of cake.

Scroll down to the recipe real quick. See all those ingredients in the crumb topping? It seems like a lot. And I’m totally for real. More butter, sugar, and just as much flour as the cake itself. But isn’t the crumb the best part of a CRUMB CAKE? I mean, what do you love if you don’t love a thick crumb topping? Broccoli? Peas? Plain cake?

The crumb layer is literally over half the cake and I see zero problem with this.

Delicious New York style crumb cake with warm cinnamon apples and DOUBLE the buttery crumb topping! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Like the new recipe for apple cinnamon rolls, you’ve got glaze options here.

Icing ideas:

But this apple crumb cake truly doesn’t need an accessory on top. That’s saying something because you know how much I love my glazes / icings / sauces / condiments!! But if the opportunity for sweet maple icing presents itself, we’d be fools to say no.

Delicious New York style crumb cake with warm cinnamon apples and DOUBLE the buttery crumb topping! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

There’s no turning back after this one. All other cakes will seem sub-par.

Ingredients:

Crumb Topping

  • 1 cup (200g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks; 230g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 and 1/2 cups (310g) all purpose flour, spoon & leveled

Cake

  • 2 and 1/2 cups (310g) all purpose flour, spoon & leveled
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (1.5 sticks; 170g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 and 1/4 cups (250g) granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (240g) full-fat sour cream, at room temperature*
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/2 cups peeled chopped apples (about 1 and 1/2 medium apples)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • maple icingvanilla icing, or caramel icing

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C) and grease a 9×13 baking pan or line with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Make the crumb topping: Mix the brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and salt together in a medium bowl. Stir in the melted butter using a fork, then add the flour. Mix and crumble, using a fork. Set aside.
  3. Make the cake: Whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together. Set aside.
  4. Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and granulated sugar together on high speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add the eggs, sour cream, and the vanilla. Beat on medium-high speed until combined. The mixture may look curdled; that’s ok. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl as needed. With the mixer on low speed, mix in the dry ingredients until smooth. Do not overmix. The batter will be thick.
  5. Toss the chopped apples and cinnamon together.
  6. Spread the batter evenly into prepared baking pan. Top evenly with cinnamon apples. Top with crumb topping. Using a rubber spatula or the back of a large spoon, press the crumb topping tightly down into the cake so it sticks.
  7. Bake for 45-55 minutes. Baking times vary, so keep an eye on yours. The cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. If you find the top or edges of the cake is/are browning too quickly in the oven, loosely cover it with aluminum foil.
  8. Remove the cake from the oven and set on a wire rack. Allow to slightly cool for at least 30-45 minutes before slicing and serving.
  9. Top with icing, if desired. Cover leftover cake tightly and store in the refrigerator for 5 days.

Make ahead tip: Prepare cake through step 7. Cover the cake tightly and refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze up to 3 months. Bring to room temperature, add icing if desired, and serve.

Recipe Notes:

*Sour cream is a key ingredient in this cake. I don’t suggest subbing the sour cream with a liquid– plain full-fat yogurt would work though. But don’t remove the fat from this cake by using a lower fat yogurt or sour cream alternative. Fat = flavor! We don’t want to skimp there.

Why is everything at room temperature? All refrigerated items should be at room temperature so the batter mixes together easily and evenly. Read here for more information.

Adapted from sour cream coffee cake and loaded with a lot more crumbs!