Apple crumb cake

Have an abundance of apples and don’t want to make apple pie? Then make this fantastic apple crumb cake instead. It has all the flavors of a traditional apple pie, but without the fussy crust!

apple crumb cake

Last week, my family and I went apple picking. We’ve made it a tradition to go every fall, and this year was no exception. We arrived at the orchard about an hour before the majority of the crowds, so we did not have to wait long to purchase our freshly made apple cider donuts or cups of hot apple cider. This pre-apple picking fuel is a must-have for us, and we were thrilled to not have to wait in line this year.

We trekked up the hill to the area where my favorite Fuji apple trees were. It was a bit slippery and muddy from the previous day’s rain, and our poor Addie slipped and fell once. Thankfully, she was OK and didn’t hurt herself. Normally, it takes us a little bit longer to fill our apple bag, but because we went to the orchard earlier in the season, the apples were plentiful and easy to grab. When we go later in the season, the lower hanging fruit are all gone, so we have to enlist my husband to grab the ones from the taller branches.

apple crumb cake

This year’s apples were big and beautiful. After we returned home, I asked my husband and daughter what they wanted me to make with the fruit. Not surprisingly, my husband suggested apple pie (his favorite), but Addie disagreed. For some reason, she is not a fan of pie crust, so she did not want an apple pie. So my husband suggested an apple crumb cake instead.

I found this recipe and made one minor modification – I substituted the granulated sugar in the crumb with the maple sugar that we bought from Tucker Maple Sugarhouse. It gave the crumb topping a maple undertone that really made the cake stand out. My husband said he definitely tasted the maple, but it was subtle. Addie claimed that she couldn’t taste it at all, but her palate is still not fully refined yet (it will be one day).

apple crumb cake

This was a wonderful recipe that we enjoyed. I liked being able to eat an apple pie-like dessert but without having to deal with a pie crust. I hope you all try this sometime soon!

Husband’s rating: 4.5 out of 5
Addie’s rating: 4.5 out of 5
My rating: 4.5 out of 5

Apple crumb cake

This apple crumb cake is similar to an apple pie - except without the headache of making a pie crust. The best part is the crumb topping!
Prep Time25 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time55 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cake
Author: Eva Bakes


Cake layer

  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup maple sugar can substitute with granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • teaspoon baking soda
  • teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup plus 2 Tablespoons milk of choice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup plus 2 Tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg

Apple layer

  • 3 large apples peeled, cored, and sliced (I used 3 large Fuji apples)
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Crumb topping

  • cup brown sugar packed
  • cup maple sugar can substitute with granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter melted and cooled
  • 1 and ½ cups all-purpose flour


Make the topping

  • Preheat your oven to 375°F. Generously grease and line an 8" round cake pan or springform pan and set aside.
  • In a medium sized bowl, mix together the sugars, cinnamon, and salt. Drizzle in the melted butter and mix well. Then fold in the flour until you get small chunks and set aside.

Prepare the apples

  • In a large bowl, toss the apples with the sugar, cinnamon, and the apple cider vinegar. Set aside.

Make the cake

  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.
  • In a large measuring cup, mix together the milk, vanilla, oil and egg until well combined.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients and gently fold until everything just comes together. Do not over mix.
  • Transfer the batter to your prepared pan. Smooth out the top with a spatula.
  • Layer the apples on top (feel free to arrange them if you like - I just dumped all the apples on top and tried to smooth out the top as evenly as I could. This does not need to be perfect.)
  • Add the crumb layer on top, making sure to cover as much of the apples as you can. Some crumbs will be small, and others will be big. This variation is what makes the cake interesting to look at, so it's OK to have difference sized crumbs everywhere.
  • Bake in your preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until the crumb topping has turned a golden brown color.
  • Remove the cake from the pan and allow it to cool completely before slicing and serving.


Leftover pie should be stored, covered, in the refrigerator and will last several days.
Source: Barely adapted from Crunchy Creamy Sweet

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