My Recipe Box

Moist Apple Crumb Cake

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Serves 16

Applesauce makes this cake wonderfully moist while the walnut crumb topping adds a welcome crunch. Homemade applesauce is best, but store-bought is good, too.

For the topping
  • 1/4 lb. (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1-1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 4-1/2 oz. (1 cup) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 4 oz. (1 cup) whole walnuts, coarsely chopped
For the cake
  • 9 oz. (2 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. table salt
  • 3 oz. (6 Tbs.) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 1-1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup smooth homemade or store-bought applesauce
  • 1 cup sour cream
Make the topping

Melt the butter in a medium bowl in the microwave (or in a skillet and pour into a medium bowl). Add the brown sugar, granulated sugar, and the cinnamon and stir until blended. Add the flour, confectioners' sugar, and the walnuts, mixing with your fingers until it's well combined; the mixture should be crumbly but also clump together. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Make the cake

Heat the oven to 350°F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9x13-inch baking pan. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment and butter the parchment.

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt to blend.

Combine the butter and sugar in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until combined (but not fluffy), scraping the bowl as needed, about 30 seconds. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until combined and scraping the bowl as needed.

Add about one-third of the flour mixture, mixing on medium low until combined. Add the applesauce, mixing on medium low until incorporated and scraping the bowl as needed. Mix in another third of the flour mixture, then the sour cream, and then the remaining flour mixture, mixing after each addition until just incorporated. Don't overmix. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread it evenly.

Bake until the edges of the cake are slightly set and the rest is very jiggly, about 15 minutes. Scatter the walnut topping evenly over the cake and bake until the crumbs are golden brown, the center of the cake springs back when lightly touched, and a toothpick inserted in the center has a few moist crumbs sticking to it, 30 to 35 minutes; check the cake early and if the crumbs are golden but the cake isn't fully baked, cover loosely with  foil. Let cool on a rack for at least 20 minutes. Serve warm.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : based on sixteen servings; Calories (kcal): 380; Fat (g): 18; Fat Calories (kcal): 160; Saturated Fat (g): 9; Protein (g): 5; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 4; Carbohydrates (g): 51; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 4; Sodium (mg): 200; Cholesterol (mg): 65; Fiber (g): 2;

Photo: Scott Phillips

They say this recipe is moist from the "applesauce," but methinks it's the cup of sour cream. Nevertheless, it is very delicious.

This cake is dee-licious! We have a nut allergy in the house, so I substituted large flake oats for the walnuts in the streusel topping. I also used 2% plain greek yogurt instead of sour cream and it still worked well. The cake is moist and flavorful and the topping adds a nice crunchy and sweet element. Definitely will make it again.

Since I have not made this cake, but would like to make it, I hesitated to rate the recipe. I have a question regarding the applesauce called for in this recipe. Am I to use sweetened, or unsweetened applesauce? Usually, when a recipe calls for unsweetened applesauce, the ingredient list specifies unsweetened. Do I assume that I am to use sweetened applesauce?

Did not take as long as I feared and was worth the effort. My grandchildren ate it with gusto, as well as the parents/grandparents.

Can't have nuts so I substitute raisins in the topping or just cook without. Love this recipe. Made it a couple times already and I only found it a month ago!

I made this cake today at work. It was a huge hit, everyone loved it! Very moist & smells great! The crumble topping alone is sooo good to eat uncooked!

Delicious! I wasn't paying attention and added the topping before baking-- it turned out great. Some sank into the cake, making delicious soft toffee-like bits in the cake. I also used full-fat Greek yogurt instead of sour cream, which worked fine. This cake truly lives up to its name-- moist, flavorful, and easy to make! It made a great dessert, but would be good for breakfast/brunch too. Yum!

I love this recipe and have made it several times. It is delicious. I like it best with the walnut topping, but I've substituted pecans a couple of times. I always use a different baking pan when I make it, and today I made cupcakes! A perfect snack for anytime of the day!

This is a delicious cake! It's best when served warm!

I am not a baker, and I have made this 5 times in the past few weeks. Everyone LOVES it. My kids are addicted to it. I skip the nuts and use homemade applesauce that I canned at the end of the summer. When you add the topping, do it right away, before putting the cake in the oven, this keeps it from turning into a carmelized goo. Perfect for breakfast, dessert, or an after school snack.

This cake lives up to its name. It is moist and flavorful. A hit in the office.

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