Brown Sugar Apple Crumble Cake

As we head into Autumn, and the upcoming Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashana, I have to show off this stunning Brown Sugar Apple Crumble Cake. 

Rosh Hashana celebrates the Jewish New Year and it is traditional to serve apples dipped in honey before the main meal, which symbolizes our hope for a sweet new year.  Often, apple and/or honey cakes are served as dessert.

With that in mind, I decided to feature this apple crumble cake…the cake is flavored with dark brown sugar, lemon zest and autumnal spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger.  The moistness is derived from the buttermilk and grated apples.  And it’s topped with a crunchy crumble of dark brown sugar, butter and pecans.  It gets its beauty from fanning out apple slices on the top of the cake.  Finally, a little maple drizzle goes a long way!

Begin this fantastic cake by making the crumble.  Whisk together flour, dark brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Work the butter in with your fingers (the fun part!) until it’s crumbly.  Chopped pecans get added to the mix.

The next important thing is to slice the apples so that they are ready for the top of the cake.

Now, make the batter.  This comes together like a carrot cake, except that instead of carrots, you’re using a grated apple.  Cream together butter, lemon zest and dark brown sugar until the mixture is fluffy. Add in eggs and then vanilla.  Whisk together in a separate bowl your dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices).  Now, add them to the batter while alternating with the buttermilk. I like to make three additions of each.  Beat it until it’s smooth and then fold in the grated apple.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

Before the batter goes into the oven, fan out some apple slices on top and then sprinkle the crumble over top.  I like to leave some of the apple peels exposed so that the color of the apples shows through.

Bake the cake and then let it cool for about 30 minutes.  

Once it has cooled, mix up the glaze and drizzle over the top.

The final step is to eat as much of it as possible! 


Share Your Thoughts...

Lastly, if you make Brown Sugar Apple Crumble Cake, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is one of my favorite things to do!

Brown Sugar Apple Crumble Cake

Makes: 10-12 servings

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Bake Time: 45-50 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour & 10 minutes


Brown Sugar Apple Cake:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 & 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored and grated
  • 1 & 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Brown Sugar Crumble & Apple Topping:

  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup pecans, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup cold butter, cubed
  • 3-4 apples, cored and sliced into 1/4 inch thick slices

Maple Glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 -2 tbsp pure maple syrup


Brown Sugar Crumble:

Whisk together flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add cold butter, and work it in with your fingers until crumbly. Add in pecans and work them in until crumbly. Set aside until ready to use.

Core your apples, and slice into 1/4 inch slices. Set aside while you mix your cake batter.

Brown Sugar Apple Cake:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 10″ round baking dish. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, lemon zest and sugar until pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add in eggs one at a time, mixing until fluffy and scraping down the sides of your bowl after each addition. Add in vanilla and beat until fluffy.

In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger.

Turn your mixer to low, and add the flour alternately with the buttermilk in three additions, ending with the flour until everything is added. Turn mixer to medium and beat until smooth and there are no lumps, but don’t over mix. Fold in grated apple, and pour batter into prepared baking pan.

Fan apple slices out on top of the cake batter. Sprinkle all of the the brown sugar crumble over top of the cake batter and apples, leaving some of the apple slices visible (if desired).

Bake cake in the center of your oven for 45-55 minutes or until the center is set and a skewer inserted comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 30 minutes.

Maple Glaze:

In a bowl, whisk together maple syrup and powdered sugar until smooth.

If your glaze is too thick, add a splash more maple syrup 1/2 tsp at a time until desired consistency is reached. . Similarly if your glaze is too thin, add a bit more icing sugar, 1 tbsp at a time until desired consistency is reached. You want it to be nice and thick, and just thin enough to drizzle. Drizzle over the top of the cake. Allow glaze to set for at least fifteen minutes.

Recipe from The Sweet & Simple Kitchen


    You May Also Like

    Leave a Review

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *