Addictive Recipes from a Self-Taught Baker

Apple Crumb Cake

Delicious New York style crumb cake with warm cinnamon apples and DOUBLE the buttery crumb topping! Recipe on

If crumb topping is your love language, you’ve come to the right place.

If warm cinnamon apples make your mouth water, today’s your day.

If soft buttery cake is your ideal breakfast indulgence, I’m your gal.

Delicious New York style crumb cake with warm cinnamon apples and DOUBLE the buttery crumb topping! Recipe on

Because today we’re indulging in APPLE CRUMB CAKE!!!! It’s your morning fall indulgence part 2. The smart answer for breakfast. The destiny for your freshly picked apples. The afternoon snack you’re craving. Your dinner when you just want to sit on the couch, kick up your feet, and watch another episode of Fixer Upper.

So, like, every night?

Hey, I’m not judging.

Apples for apple crumb cake on

Cinnamon apples for apple crumb cake on

Today’s recipe = my apple crumb muffins in cake form. They’re definitely one of my favorite muffins to make this time of year, so a cake version is a no-brainer.

I tested this apple crumb cake a few times, changing things ever so slightly to land on the final recipe I’m sharing today. It’s a butter and sour cream based cake AKA the best kind of cake. You’ll cream butter and sugar together, which acts as the base of the cake. Sour cream gives us an extremely moist crumb cake that’s a little denser than, say, a fluffy vanilla cake. Tight crumbs, like pound cake, but with a much softer texture.

I don’t suggest subbing the sour cream with a liquid– plain full-fat yogurt would work though. But don’t remove the fat from this cake by using a lower fat alternative. Fat = flavor! We don’t want to skimp there.

The biggest change I made while testing the recipe involved the apples. At first, I mixed the apples into the cake batter. This was tasty, of course, but the pieces of apples each held a soggy outline inside the baked cake. It just… didn’t look appetizing. I found that layering the apples on top of the cake batter was best. This gives us a soft and buttery cake, topped with soft and sweet cinnamon apples, and a TRUCK LOAD of crumb topping. 3 separate layers to love obsess over.

How to make apple crumb cake on

So about that crumb topping…

Remember when Kevin compared the crumble topping on my peach pie recipe to… ground beef? (Omg the appearance of it!! Not the taste!!) My beautiful peach pie… topped with beef. Beef pie, he called it.

I think you know where I’m going with this.

Crumb topping for apple crumb cake on

Crumb topping for apple crumb cake on

Can we just forget all about that though? Brown sugar, cinnamon, BUTTER… all good things in life. That, um, belong on top of cake.

Scroll down to the recipe real quick. See all those ingredients in the crumb topping? It seems like a lot. And I’m totally for real. More butter, sugar, and just as much flour as the cake itself. But isn’t the crumb the best part of a CRUMB CAKE? I mean, what do you love if you don’t love a thick crumb topping? Broccoli? Peas? Plain cake?

The crumb layer is literally over half the cake and I see zero problem with this.

Delicious New York style crumb cake with warm cinnamon apples and DOUBLE the buttery crumb topping! Recipe on

Like the new recipe for apple cinnamon rolls, you’ve got glaze options here.

Icing ideas:

But this apple crumb cake truly doesn’t need an accessory on top. That’s saying something because you know how much I love my glazes / icings / sauces / condiments!! But if the opportunity for sweet maple icing presents itself, we’d be fools to say no.

Delicious New York style crumb cake with warm cinnamon apples and DOUBLE the buttery crumb topping! Recipe on

There’s no turning back after this one. All other cakes will seem sub-par.

Apple Crumb Cake


Crumb Topping

  • 1 cup (200g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks; 230g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 and 1/2 cups (310g) all purpose flour, spoon & leveled


  • 2 and 1/2 cups (310g) all purpose flour, spoon & leveled
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (1.5 sticks; 170g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 and 1/4 cups (250g) granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (240g) full-fat sour cream, at room temperature*
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/2 cups peeled chopped apples (about 1 and 1/2 medium apples)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • maple icingvanilla icing, or caramel icing


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C) and grease a 9x13 baking pan or line with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Make the crumb topping: Mix the brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and salt together in a medium bowl. Stir in the melted butter using a fork, then add the flour. Mix and crumble with a fork. Set aside.
  3. Make the cake: Whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together. Set aside.
  4. Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and granulated sugar together on high speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add the eggs, sour cream, and the vanilla. Beat on medium-high speed until combined. The mixture may look curdled; that's ok. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl as needed. With the mixer on low speed, mix in the dry ingredients until smooth. Do not overmix. The batter will be thick.
  5. Toss the chopped apples and cinnamon together.
  6. Spread the batter evenly into prepared baking pan. Top evenly with cinnamon apples. Top with crumb topping. Using a rubber spatula or the back of a large spoon, press the crumb topping tightly down into the cake so it sticks.
  7. Bake for 45-55 minutes. Baking times vary, so keep an eye on yours. The cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. If you find the top or edges of the cake is/are browning too quickly in the oven, loosely cover it with aluminum foil.
  8. Remove the cake from the oven and set on a wire rack. Allow to slightly cool for at least 30-45 minutes before slicing and serving.
  9. Top with icing, if desired. Cover leftover cake tightly and store in the refrigerator for 5 days.

Make ahead tip: Prepare cake through step 7. Cover the cake tightly and refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze up to 3 months. Bring to room temperature, add icing if desired, and serve.

Recipe Notes:

*Sour cream is a key ingredient in this cake. I don't suggest subbing the sour cream with a liquid-- plain full-fat yogurt would work though. But don't remove the fat from this cake by using a lower fat yogurt or sour cream alternative. Fat = flavor! We don't want to skimp there.

Why is everything at room temperature? All refrigerated items should be at room temperature so the batter mixes together easily and evenly. Read here for more information.

Adapted from sour cream coffee cake and loaded with a lot more crumbs!

Did you make a recipe?

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© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

Want to make this recipe into muffins? Here is my recipe for apple crumb muffins.

Apple crumb muffins on


Here are some items I used to make today’s recipe.

KitchenAid Hand Mixer | Glass Mixing Bowls | Apple Peeler | 9×13 Baking Pan | Custom Forks

Some of the links above are affiliate links, which pay me a small commission for my referral at no extra cost to you! Thank you for supporting Sally’s Baking Addiction.
Apple crumb cake with TWICE the amount of buttery cinnamon crumb topping! Soft, moist, sweet, and the perfect Fall breakfast! Recipe on


  1. The crumb topping is totally the best part and I have no problem that it take up half of this cake!  Since the temperatures have gotten a bit cooler I’m now craving all things Fall

  2. I made it last night and it was loved by all. Thank you!

  3. This looks amazing, Sally!!

    I’ve actually been checking your blog daily, anxiously awaiting the announcement of your daughter!! Can’t wait! Seems like just yesterday that my boys were born – now 21 and 18. Watch out cuz time flies!! 

    Congrats to your sweet little family! 🙂

  4. Sally what type of apples are you using in this apple cake?

  5. Hi Sally! Quick question: is the topping more on the chewy side of crunchy side. If it’s on the crunchy side, is there a way to make it more chewy like a crisp topping that has oats?

  6. Made this yesterday and it was a huge hit. I could not believe how fast it went. The crumbs made the cake and mine turned out to look just like your pictures. Definitely will make again. Thank you for all the effort you put into giving us these recipes.

  7. I have been craving this cake since our holiday in America in August!!   They served it for breakfast in our hotel …… Came across your recipe and it is now baking in the oven … I am so excited it smells delicious  ❤️❤️

  8. Hi Sally! Just made this last night. I only have a toaster oven so trying out new recipes is a little risky, but this one was well worth it! Turned out absolutely fantastic. I’ll definitely be making this one again! Thanks so much for sharing!

  9. Such a beautiful crumb cake! You always take the most crisp looking pictures.

  10. Hi Sally,
    I have a question concerning the Apple Crumb Cake recipe.  I make the desserts for all the birthdays at my husband’s business.  I would love to make this cake, but I use a 15x10x2 pan to accommodate the number of employees.  I’m always a little nervous doubling a scratch recipe.  Is it possible with this one?  Or would you have another suggestion?
    Thank you so much!

    • Hi Cheri! I do NOT recommend doubling this recipe. Make the batter/crumb topping twice (separately) then use to fill 2 9×13 pans. Unfortunately, this is an extremely tall cake and the 15x10x2 won’t be tall enough.


  12. Sally, Congratulations on your beautiful baby girl!  I love your recipes, thank you for all your hard work! I’m just wondering about the crumb cake recipe. I have some fruit haters, would the recipe suffer greatly without the apples?  Thanks for your input!

  13. Would it be possible to add oats to the crumble topping?

  14. Sally, congratulations to you and Kevin with the birth of your precious little Noelle. What a blessing from God! Take all the time to enjoy your little angel.
    Your apple crumb cake is soooooooo good! I made it for our small group and I got rave reviews! Also have made your pumpkin oatmeal chocolate chip cookies with rave reviews!
    Thank you for sharing your wonderful recipes with us

  15. Sally please please pretty please with sprinkles on top: Can you make a “lightened up apple bar recipe” to rival that of your “lightened up pumpkin spice bar”??? 

  16. I made this today, and it was so delicious.  I used Golden Delicious apples.  I did not put the icing on it.  Does it still have to be stored in the refrigerator?  I plan to make this cake again for Thanksgiving.

  17. Hi Sally
    I messaged you last week and having baked
    the cake, I wanted to let you know how delicious it was …..  I am making your 
    chicken Chili tomorrow your recipes 
    are fabulous xxx

  18. My wife made this for a function at work, just hope there’s some left. She did make a slight modification someone she works with has a cinnamon allergy so she subed all spice and a little ginger. It looked and smelt amazing and was so hard to keep my hands off.

  19. Fall temperatures finally arrived and I went to the mountains yesterday to buy big bags of fresh, crisp apples. I made this cake today and it is absolutely amazing! The soft apple layer is such a great addition to the crumbs and gives a lovely texture and flavor addition. A definite winner!

  20.  Another great recipe @sallysbakingaddiction. It was a hit at family dinner- my husband ate half of the pan!

  21. Could this be made in a cupcake pan also?Love all your recipes.I’ve lost count on how many I have made.Thanks again!

  22. Hi Sally! I want to make this tomorrow-would whole
    Milk plain Greek yogurt be an okay substitute for the sour cream?

  23. Hi Sally. Made this cake. OMG it’s so good. We had a piece last night and it was so good!! But, I refrigerated it. but it’s a little hard this morning. It’s covered tightly. Am i doing st wrong? Maybe before serving it.. just leave it out or heat it up? thanks!

  24. Hi Sally,
    I made this, today and it’s fabulous!!! I used King Arthurs Flour, as you mentioned in your blog, and this recipe is perfection!!!
    Loving all of your delicious recipes!!

  25. Hi Sally!  Hope you and your family are doing well!  I just had a quick question… All I have on hand is light sour cream, or 2% Greek yogurt. Could I get away with one of those??

  26. Hi Sally, I made this last night and it was delicious! The only thing I would change next time is the amount of apples. I couldn’t personally taste them at all, or see them, so next time I was thinking of doubling them. But I do wonder if that will make the cake below too moist? Any thoughts? Thanks again for the wonderful recipe!

  27. hello sally I’m not an egg yolk lover so when I bake I usually tried to avoid using the yolk . I was wondering if I can just use the egg whites and ads some Applesauce or I can substitute it with something else?

    • Hi Erika! I don’t really recommend that because the cake will likely be very dry without the fat. Let me know if you try anything!

  28. I thought this recipe was ok.  A little on the dry side for my taste and not enough apple.  But my family still enjoyed it.

  29. Hi Sally! I always loved the apple and cinnamon mix so this recipe was perfect for me and my sweet tooth! Very appreciated from my family as well. I really love your recipes they’re always delightful!

  30. Hi Sally! I want to halve this recipe because just two of us will be eating it. Do I also just use half of the crumb ingredients also?

    • Yep, halve the crumb topping too.

      • Thanks, Sally! I like apples, but have never been a real fan of them in cakes. I made this today for a friend (and me) who’s coming over for coffee tomorrw.
        Enter this new exception in my life as a new bookmarked recipe. Astoundingly good!!! The cake is really moist, tastes a bit caramel-ly because of the brown sugar, and the amount of the crumb makes it especially good. Yum!

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