I don’t focus on a lot of baking recipes, but this apple crumb cake recipe is honestly out of this world! I don’t say that lightly, but it’s absolutely true. The cake base is super moist and dense, almost like a pound cake but a bit lighter. Then, add some brown sugar-cinnamony 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. Although there are a couple of components, I was able to throw this recipe together and get it in the oven in less than 30 minutes! All you need is a large mixing bowl and a hand mixer; no stand mixer required! Happy baking!
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.
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!
Can I use vanilla extract instead of vanilla bean paste?
Yes, but the vanilla flavor that comes from the paste is so much richer and stronger! Vanilla bean paste is getting easier and easier to find, I picked mine up at Trader Joe’s. If you haven’t tried it, I absolutely urge you to give it a go and see how much it elevates your baking game!
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.
Any other questions? just drop them in the comments section below!
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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.Print