The best apple cake with a buttery crumble topping! Moisture from the chopped fresh apples perfectly fluffs up the cake when baked. It’s highly addictive and the perfect homemade treat.
Recently, I found a 2 lb bag of Gala apples at the bottom of the crisper drawer. They were slightly bruised, slightly wrinkly and immediately dismissed by the boys as suitable afternoon snacks. But what looked like trash was an inspiration for treasure. A baked treasure.
In the form of an apple cake, I created a simple sweet treat that celebrates the change of seasons and all things Fall. It couldn’t be easier to make.
How to Make The Most Scrumptious Apple Cake
This recipe comes directly from the the oh-so-adorable Donal Skehan.
I was scrolling through Instagram one morning and his Irish apple cake appeared into my life. I could literally smell the cinnamon right through the screen! And then I thought about my bruised apples in the bottom drawer… no one would ever know if I tucked them into the batter.
As per Donal’s instructions, I used my electric mixer to combine the ingredients.
You could also use a stand mixer or even do it by hand, but the batter is on the stiff side so I’d bust out the appliances if you have one.
In fact, don’t worry about the stiffness of the batter during the initial mixing phase; the moisture from the chopped apples fluffs up the cake when baked. I think I added even more apples because I was eating half of them as I went along!
Speaking of apples, any variety would work nicely for this apple cake. Look for Gala apples, Macoun, Golden Delicious, Braeburn, Honey Crisps and even Granny Smith.
The Best, Most Versatile Crumble Topping
The only thing I changed was the crumble topping.
I used my “Convenient Crumbles” recipe from my first book: The Clever Cookbook (pg.79).
It’s a mixture of butter, sugar, flour and oats combined into a crumble topping. What makes them convenient, is storing the crumbles in the freezer for a quick dessert any night of the week.
In fact, if you love apples, try my Easy Make-Ahead Apple Crumble recipe! I make this dessert when we want something quick and serve it in little ramekins for a sweet, personal touch.
Spoon the batter into a greased 9-inch springform pan, sprinkle the crumble topping over the surface and bake @ 350 F for 40-45 minutes. Go make yourself a cup of coffee while you wait!
More Apple Recipes To Try!Print
Fresh Apple Cake with Crumble Topping
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 40 mins
- Total Time: 55 mins
- Yield: 1 cake
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Oven-Baked
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegetarian
The best apple cake with a buttery crumble topping! Moisture from the chopped fresh apples perfectly fluffs up the cake when baked. It’s highly addictive and the perfect homemade treat. Recipe adapted from Donal Skehan.
- 1 stick (113 g) of unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for coating the pan
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour, sifted
- 1 tsp baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 apples (or 1 large apple), peeled, cored, and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter
- *You can also use my crumble topping recipe on pg. 79 in my cookbook)
I used a standard 9-inch springform pan for this cake, although the original recipe calls for a 7 or 8-inch pan. Adjust your baking times to suit the size of your pan.
- Preheat your oven to 350°F. Coat the inside and sides of a 9-inch springform pan with butter and a sprinkle of brown sugar.
- In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together using an electric mixer, about 1-2 minutes.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, and continue mixing until fully incorporated.
- Add the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Mix gently to combine- the batter will be thick. Fold in the apples.
- Scrape the batter into the pan.
- For the crumble topping, add all of the ingredients into a small bowl. Mix with your fingers until small crumbles start to form. Scatter evenly over the top of the cake.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool before serving.
Keywords: fresh apple cake, best apple cake recipe, easy, moist, irish apple cake, apple cake with crumble topping
Lynn | The Actor's Diet says
So thrilled it’s apple season! Can’t wait to make this.
I made this over the weekend and it was delicious. I used a honey crisp apple and the cake is so versatile, it has been served as a coffee cake warm with coffee in the morning to the evening with ice cream and applesauce warmed and drizzled over the cake.
Perfect to serve when you have company at Thanksgiving or Christmas in the morning when you are preparing the feast.
Thanks so much for the feedback. Honey crisps are some of my favorite apples, and I’ve haven’t had one yet this season! I’m glad you enjoyed the cake- it’s super simple yet nice enough to serve for guests.
I made this this morning and it was absolutely delish!!! Great recipe. I also added a few oats and sliced almonds to the crumb topping. It was way too yummy!!!
I baked this cake yesterday and it was delicious. It was a beautiful cake, and it was the perfect fall weather snack. I used a couple of Gala apples, and added a few oats to the crumb topping. Wonderful!
Making it right now with delicious home grown apples. House smells like fall. Lovely recipe Emilie!
Laura | Tutti Dolci says
I love a good apple cake and that crumble topping looks heavenly!
Laura Wentz says
Great idea, I’ve got a couple of apples that I need to use up. And I agree, this would be great for breakfast. Thanks!
This is a beautiful cake Emilie!! I love tea cakes, and filled with fruit gives it the extra flavor ! Yummy :)
Jessie Snyder says
Yes! Cake is perfect for hiding any sub-par fruit, and now you have me wanting to quit work early today to bake this stunning cake up too. I can so smell it from here. Happy (almost) fall Emilie! Hope you are enjoying this change of the seasons in your neck of the woods <3
I don’t mind bruised apples one bit, but baking with them is ALWAYS a fun idea!! Love this cake friend!
rebecca | DisplacedHousewife says
Oh I can’t wait to try this — looks gorgeous! Pinned and waiting for me. xox
Donna|The Hanging Spoon says
I’m so glad you posted this because #1 I’ve been so in the mood to bake a cake just like this lately (despite the hot weather), and #2 I’ve got your book so I can get those crumbles ready …
yay! PS- yes I can smell the cinnamon :)
Wonderful! My default apple cake is the one from Dorie Greenspan, but I really like the idea of the crumble on top – just a little more texture…
I can never be quite happy about the Fall, as I know too well what comes after that, but it IS a great season for cooking!
I think that the slightly banged up fruit makes for the best baking. This looks like a great early fall cake- suitable for snacking, dessert, and breakfast all in one.