Apple Cake with Almond Crumb Topping

This apple cake with almond crumb topping is the perfect fall dessert when all you want are apples and cranberries. #cranberry #fallbaking #cakes #almond

when in doubt, make lemons out of lemonade. don’t know what to put down for at least a quarter of your linear algebra final? think of cake ideas. bored out of your mind after hearing monks chant for the last two hours? think of cupcake ideas. bored af during your internship? talk to your boss and sound intelligent for five minutes, then retreat to your desk and think of cake ideas. how else do you think this apple cake with almond crumb topping came about?

This apple cake with almond crumb topping has layers of tender apple in the center. #cranberry #fallbaking #cakes #almond

if you’ve been hanging out here for a while, you might recognize this cake. the base is the same as the caramelized nectarine cake i made for dng blogiversary 2015. i used cranberries in the caramel and apples in the cake, and then added an oat and almond crumble on top of the cake. i was going to do an almond-y pie crumb instead of the crumble, but decided that was a bit much, and opted for the easier and less buttery crumble instead.

my notes for this apple cake with almond crumb topping actually read: “SO BEAUTS.” a lot of cakes don’t come out of the oven ready for their beauty shots, but dang, this one does. and it smells so buttery while it baked that i wanted to make a perfume out of it (i don’t wear perfume, but if they bottled this scent, i’d spritz some on). the crumble is crunchy and toasty, the apples tender but not falling apart in beige puddles of mush, the cranberry caramel tart and bright against the richness of the cooked apples and buttery cake.

1 year ago: Apple, Spiced Pumpkin and Frangipane Galette, Holidays at Disneyland 2016
2 years ago: Creamy Espresso Custards, Caramelized Onion and Brie Tart
3 years ago: Somen Salad, Eggplant Parm
4 years ago: Spaghetti Squash with Parmigiano-Reggiano and Truffle Salt, Seaweed Gochujang Rice Rolls

I suppose you could share a slice of this apple cake with almond crumb topping, but why would you want to?! #cranberry #fallbaking #cakes #almond

Apple Cake with Almond Crumb Topping
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
1 hr 20 mins
Total Time
1 hr 50 mins
This tender apple cake is topped with an almond crumb topping, and it's good as is. But if you really want to drive home that fall vibe, it's even better drizzled with cranberry caramel.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12 people
Calories: 353 kcal
Apple Cake
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup semolina flour or almond meal
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 1/4 sticks unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1 cup crème fraîche or Greek yogurt room temperature
  • 6 large egg yolks room temperature
  • 3/4 lbs apples cored, halved and thinly sliced
Almond-Oat Crumble
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup raw almonds chopped
Cranberry Caramel
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
Apple Cake
  1. Combine the dry ingredients. Add the butter and 1/2 cup yogurt; mix until the mixture starts to come together but is still crumbly. Add the yolks and remaining yogurt, then mix until the color lightens to a pale yellow.
  2. Spread half the batter into a greased and parchment lined (please do) 9” round cake or springform pan. Arrange half of the apples on top.
  3. Dot the remaining half of the batter on top, then gently spread it to cover the apples. Arrange the rest of the apples on top, then press the almond-oat crumble into the spots on top of the cake where there’s no apples.
  4. Put the cake in the oven with a sheet tray on the rack underneath for assurance against drips. Bake at 375F for 30 minutes, then at 350F for 30 more minutes, until the cake begins to pull away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool for at least 30 minutes before unmolding.
  5. Serve the cake drizzled with the cranberry caramel.
Almond Crumb Topping
  1. Mix everything until combined.
Cranberry Caramel
  1. In a food processor, purée the cranberries.
  2. In a dry saucepan, cook the sugar over moderate heat, stirring with a fork, until melted. Then cook, without stirring and only swirling the pan, until it becomes a uniform golden color. Remove from heat and carefully add the cranberry purée and 1/4 cup water. Return pan to heat and simmer, stirring, 10 minutes, or until caramel is dissolved. Pour through a fine sieve into a bowl, pressing hard on solids, and cool completely.
Recipe Notes

Adapted from Suzanne Goin’s The AOC Cookbook.

The cranberry caramel here is optional. You can serve it with cranberry sauce (just cook cranberries down with sugar to taste) or whipped cream or ice cream or plain.

Make sure you make this apple cake with almond crumb topping while cranberries and apples are still in season! #cranberry #fallbaking #cakes #almond

This apple cake with almond crumb topping is perfect served with cranberry caramel. #cranberry #fallbaking #cakes #almondmore fall baking
These caramelized cinnamon apple pancakes feature tender pancakes filled with sauteed cinnamon-spiced apples. #apples #pancakes #cinnamon #breakfast #brunch

Caramelized Cinnamon Apple Pancakes

This maple persimmon upside down cake is delicious plain, but it's also really good with a dollop of whipped cream or Greek yogurt. #cake #maplesyrup #persimmons #baking

Maple Persimmon Upside Down Cake

64 Replies to “Apple Cake with Almond Crumb Topping”

  1. The cake looks fabulous Heather!! Love the oaty almond crumble on top..I love tea cakes like these :). The cranberry caramel sounds amazing too! The cranberries add a lovely flavor and lend such a pretty color to that caramel!

    1. yeah i love how bright the normally brown caramel becomes when you add the cranberries (:

  2. Lovely fall cake Heather! Sounds so delish and it looks so beautiful all golden brown!! Yum!!

    1. thanks kim! i can’t stand anything that’s too pale and bland (;

  3. oooof my kind of cake! So beautiful and delicious and practically begging to be eaten!

    1. yay thanks ruby!

  4. What a gorgeous cake, Heather! I can almost taste those beautiful apples! There’s nothing like a simple cake with gorgeous ingredients! Hand me a fork, I’m going in! Thanks for the recipe!

    1. yes the apples are so tasty in here! and if the apples aren’t that great, this is the best place to put them, since the apples soften and don’t taste so mealy (:

  5. Such a cute seasonal recipe 🙂 My hands are cold, I need a cup of tea and a piece of cake ^^

    1. haha i refused to turn on the heater today, so i baked banana bread and drank a ton of tea instead (:

  6. yumm this is beautiful heather! i just made an apple cake but i may need this one too haha

    1. you can never have too many apple cakes (;

  7. This looks so good and such a pretty bake.

  8. This cake is a beauty! And I bet it smells amazing while it bakes. Mmmm. I need to make this!!!

    1. somehow, all that butter and sugar smells downright magical when this bakes (:

  9. I looove love love the look of this cake! Haha and I totally feel you with using time when you’re supposed to be doing something else but are slightly bored to brainstorm cake recipes. That’s basically the whole reason I started food blogging in the first place in college!

    1. thanks! i went to see around the world in 80 days recently, and it wasn’t quite my cup of tea, so you can bet i was thinking of cake ideas to stave off sleepiness (;

  10. There is only a small segment of people who fall into the category of “all day I dream about baking”. I’m so grateful to be part of it with you and the other folks who have commented. It’s a beaut!

    1. haha i think it’s a prerequisite to dream about food and cooking/baking all day if you want to food blog (;

  11. That cranberry caramel sounds killer! A must for this “beaut” of a cake

    1. thanks! i like how the cranberry adds a bit of tartness to the sweetness of caramel (:

  12. Haha! This cake is definitely “so beauts”!! Perfect for the season. Really cool photos too!!

    1. thanks katherine! (:

  13. I don’t wear perfume either, but can I get a bottle of that perfume when it comes out too? 😉 This cake sounds amazing, Heather! And when you have one that comes out of the oven picture perfect, it’s a keeper!

    1. i’ll go ask the department stores to start carrying this kind of perfume (;

  14. This cake is very pretty! Love the first photo in particular. I’m a big fan of apple desserts and the almond-oat topping is such a tasty topping along with the tart cranberry caramel. Such a great idea!

    1. i love any kind of oat topping, and i feel like it always goes well with apple desserts (:

  15. OH hey Apple Cake! Hehe, I was just looking at Deepika’s Apple Blackberry cake on her blog! So many yummy apple cakes around! I love the topping on your cake, Almond-Oat Crumble and Cranberry Caramel sounds just fabulous! Great photos too – the dark background really makes the food stand out!! 🙂

    1. fall is just the perfect time for apple cake! haha the dark background was more because i didn’t want to deal with the weird shadows on my lighter backgrounds (;

  16. WOW this apple cake looks so good – homey and comforting. Can’t wait to try it!

    1. thanks natalie! (:

  17. Hahaha! I totally spend half my life thinking of cake ideas :). This looks delicious!

    1. it’s a productive (and delicious!) way to daydream (;

  18. I can picture you with the Monks right now going, “Hmmmm, hummina hummina, I want caaaaaaaake.” I mean, your cake recipe makes me want to chant that too! It looks awesome balls girl!!!

    1. HAHAH that’s exactly what i was doing 😂

  19. This is such a beaut!! And I bet it’s a total crowd pleasure too – hot damn, especially with those hunks of apple in there! 😉

    1. LOL i’ve never heard anyone say that apples are hunky but i get it, apples are great (;

  20. That looks amazing!! I make it a point to eat EVERYTHING apple from September to November, haha! <3 –

    1. ahh yes apples are so crisp and sweet and soso good in the fall! it makes me dread the months when apples are mealy and bland lol.

  21. Apple ANYTHING is my favourite. Especially this time of the year. LOVE the look of this dessert. Now in the mood for baking 🙂
    Thanks for sharing.

    1. thanks, kimberly! nothing like cake to get you in the mood for baking (:

  22. Your apple cake looks delicious! Definitely, something my boyfriend would appreciate. It’s cool that you’ve celebrated your blogiversary with different recipes. I legit wonder if I ever ran into you at Disneyland last year even though I didn’t know you back then XD.

    Thanks for sharing your recipe! Love how everything turned out :).

    1. hahah probably! i went something like 6 times in 2017, so there’s a pretty good chance we ran into each other (especially if you were pigging out at jolly holiday like i was lol).

  23. Haha! I love that you sit back and daydream about cakes all day long. You pretty just described a typical day around my house, too. 🙂 I can totally see how the apple + almonds play well together, and I’m thinking I need to invite this cake over for a play date at my house! Can you tell I hang out with toddlers too much these days? Haha!

    1. i’d invite this cake over for a playdate any of these days! (and my friends and i spent nye doing a disney puzzle, so i’m pretty sure we’re all still children lol).

  24. hahahah your line about spritzing on the scent made me smile, big time. such a stunning cake – I have to admit I love cosy, simple yet big flavour cakes like this much more than a super fancy but kinda dry/sugary stacked layer cake any day.

    1. glad i could entertain you (; yeah, i think it’s really easy for layer cakes to get cloying since buttercream/frosting can be so sweet, so cakes like this are so much more balanced and tasty (:

  25. I love apples because you can utilize them in so many ways when baking. Great recipe, thank you for sharing 🙂

    1. yes! i really love them in crisps too (and have to make one again soon, because they’re so cozy!).

  26. I like the way you think Heather!
    I also think that this crumb topping is going to be extra delicious!!!

    1. yes, the crumb is super tasty :3

  27. Cake is always better then doing school work or work work or pretty much anything other than making or eating cake! I freaking love almond anything so happy you did a crumble topping for this. I actually have some apples in the frig that I need to use up so need to make this today! 🙂 #ilovecake

    1. almonds are the best! whenever i see something with marzipan or frangipane, i snatch it up asap.

  28. Yum! This seems like a finger-licking cake which I haven’t tried yet, Heather. Thanks for the inspiring recipe. 😉

    1. thanks agness! (:

  29. That is one interesting cake! There’s apple slices hidden in the middle! 😀 But damn, I won’t lie it’s the crumble that wins my heart 🙂

    1. sameeeee. crumble makes everything better (;

  30. So gorgeous!! I always hide apple slices in my coffee cake – keeps it so moist!! What a great holiday morning b-fast idea:)

    1. yes, i love how tender apples get in cake! there’s another apple cake that i really love that almost more apple than cake (;

  31. OMG what a beaut! I would love a slice of this with my mid-morning coffee. I often dream of cakes while at work, it helps me fill my blog with new ideas……lol

    1. mmm yes this would go so well with coffee! anything not sweetened really. i’m more of a tea person than a coffee person, and i’m imagining how good this would be with a hot, strong cup of tea (:

  32. This cake looks delicious Heather. I like the addition of almond meal or semolina flour and that cranberry caramel is very intriguing!

    1. thanks, jenny! i love mixing up flours/nut meals instead of just using all-purpose (if i have them on hand of course, i’m not going to go out of my way to find something esoteric 😉).

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