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Apple Crumb Cake

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
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Apple Crumb Cake

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This apple crumb cake is the perfect easy baking recipe. The cake base is super moist and dense, almost like a pound cake but a bit lighter. Then, add some brown sugar-cinnamon apples and top with the most glorious crumble ever. As a bonus, I doused it with a maple-vanilla bean glaze.

This cake is what brunch dreams are made of! I’m not ashamed to say that I enjoyed 3 pieces this week with my coffee each morning. apple crumb cake

Which apples are best for baking an apple crumb cake?

Baking requires apples that are nice and firm. Sorry folks, golden delicious and red delicious need not apply! For this recipe, I used a new varietal of apple from New York called the SnapDragon apple.

I’ve never been a granny smith apple fan because they’re too tart (though they would work in this recipe if that’s what you have!), but the SnapDragon apple is the perfect blend of sweet and tart. I also love how firm it is! You won’t have a mushy apple crumb cake when using SnapDragon apples. Read more about Apples from NY and SnapDragon apples, and head to your local HEB or Sprout’s to pick them up.

Can I use a stand mixer for this recipe?

Yes! I just find that because it’s a smaller batch recipe, a hand mixer, and a large bowl is much easier. I find that you don’t have to scrape the bowl down as often and it’s much simpler to get everything mixed.

Tools Needed

Apple Crumb Cake Ingredients

  • flour: all-purpose flour is the workhorse of this recipe and gives the cake structure. Do not use strong bread flour here!
  • sugars: apple crumb cake calls for both granulated and brown sugar–the brown sugar adds such great flavor and richness, don’t skip it!
  • baking powder + baking soda: this recipe needs both for leavening the cake!
  • butter: butter always makes the best-flavored cakes!
  • sour cream: sour cream is the secret ingredient! Using sour cream adds so much flavor and great moisture to the cake. Don’t skimp on the fat and go with a low-fat version, fat = flavor!
  • vanilla bean paste: using vanilla bean paste makes such a huge difference compared to vanilla extract.
  • apples: obviously apples are the star of the show in this recipe, make sure you use nice, firm, and flavorful varieties.
  • pure maple syrup: if you choose to make the glaze, pure maple syrup is a must!

Why use room temperature ingredients?

When at room temperature, eggs, butter, and other dairy ingredients form an emulsion which traps air. While baking in the oven, that trapped air expands and produces a fluffy baked good. Fluffy baked goods = tender crumbs and a much better texture.

Room temperature ingredients bond together very easily since they’re warmer, creating a seamless and evenly textured batter. A smooth batter = a uniformly textured baked good. Cold ingredients do not incorporate together as easily. Or even at all! This will result in a baking failure.

If a recipe calls for room temperature ingredients, DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP! Simply take your ingredients out of the fridge an hour or so before you plan to bake. If your house is cold, turn the oven to its lowest temperature and set the ingredients nearby.

Can this recipe be doubled?

Yes! You can absolutely make a larger batch of apple crumb cake. If you double the recipe, use a 9×13 baking dish. The baking time may be slightly longer, maybe 5 minutes or so.

apple crumb cake

More Apple Recipes to Try

This recipe is part of a sponsored post by Apples From NY. Sponsored posts and brand partnerships (with brands that align with my values and commitment to quality) allow me to keep providing quality recipes at no cost to you! All opinions are my own in regards to any products or brands that I may highlight.


Apple Crumb Cake

Apple crumb cake is the perfect fall baking recipe--so easy to make and loaded with tender apple bits.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Makes: 8 x8 pan



  • 1 stick 4 oz unsalted butter, at room temp
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs at room temp
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 2/3 cup full-fat sour cream at room temp
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour scooped and leveled
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  • 2 SnapDragon apples peeled and chopped
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt


  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter melted
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt


  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 1 tablespoon milk or half & half


  • Make the glaze: In a small bowl, whisk together all the ingredients until smooth and set aside.
  • Make the crumble: In a small bowl, whisk together the sugars, flour, and salt. Drizzle the melted butter over the top, and using a fork, mix until clumps form. Do not overmix! Only mix until clumps form and no further. Place the bowl in the fridge until ready to use.
  • Prepare the apples: In a bowl, toss the chopped apples with the remaining ingredients and set them aside.
  • Make the cake: Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease an 8x8 baking dish and line the bottom with parchment paper. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and set aside.
  • In a larger mixing bowl, use a hand mixer to beat the butter until fluffy, about 1 minute. Add both sugars and beat for another 2-3 minutes until the sugar and butter is light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl if needed. Add the room temperature eggs and beat until smooth and well-mixed; if the mixture looks a little curdled, that's okay!
  • Next, add the sour cream and vanilla and beat until smooth. Add the flour mixture and mix for 15-20 seconds, until JUST combined (don't over mix!). If there are still clumps of flour, use a rubber spatula to gently fold the mixture together.
  • Spread the batter in an even layer in the prepared pan using an offset or rubber spatula. Top with the apples and any juices that have accumulated in the bowl. Remove the crumble from the fridge and toss with a fork, then top the apples with the crumble.
  • Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the middle of the cake comes away clean. Allow to cool for 20 minutes and then remove the cake from the pan. Cut into pieces and drizzle with the maple-vanilla glaze.


  1. Take care not to overmix any of the ingredients, especially the crumble.
  2. All ingredients MUST be at room temperature.

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  1. 5 stars
    One of my absolute FAVORITE recipes that I’ve tried on Jenny’s site. This is a ‘don’t miss’ one that will stand out in a crowd. I’m going to be making it again when I have my FIL over who is an apple-sweets nut.