This Apple Crumble Cake with Walnuts is the perfect cozy treat for your fall morning! A moist spice cake is baked with whole apple slices and topped with a sweet and savory walnut crumble. It’s so easy to make, but tastes and looks impressive. Top with C&H® Confectioners Sugar, ice cream, or leave it as is for a sweet breakfast treat with a cup of coffee.
Why I love this recipe
Who does not want the perfect apple cake recipe in their back pocket ready to break out every fall?
This Walnut Apple Crumble Cake is so tender, so moist but also holds together well when you slice it with slices of caramelized apple on top as well as a generous amount of crunchy walnut crumble topping.
I also love that you can enjoy a slice at pretty much any time of day!
How to bake with whole apple slices
Before the cake is baked, apple slices are arranged on the surface of the batter to create a unique apple design on top. Leaving the slices whole gives this cake so much flavor and texture.
In order to get the most out of the apple slices, they’re briefly macerated before baking. This is the process of soaking the apples in an acid (like lemon juice) and sugar to help bring out their juices. Drawing out those juices ensures they don’t get too soggy on top of the cake, and the sugar helps caramelize the tops of the apples in the oven.
To prep the apples, simply core and thinly slice 2 apples. I prefer Granny Smith as they’re a great tart balance to the sweet cake and crumble, but you can use whichever apples you like best. Another great option would be Fuji or Honey Crisp.
Allow the apples to soak while you prep the batter. By the time the batter is done and poured into the pan, the apples will be ready to bake.
Tips for baking a moist apple cake
There are 3 main components to this cake: apple slices, walnut crumble, and spice cake. Each are very easy to make, but here are a few things to keep in mind when making the cake batter to ensure it turns out perfect:
- Don’t overmeasure the flour. To ensure you use the exact amount needed, gently spoon the flour into your measuring cup and level if off with a flat edge. If you scoop directly into the flour container, it packs it down into the cup which could leave you with 1/4 cup or more of added flour. This will create a dry and crumbly cake.
- Use C&H® Light Brown Sugar for the best results. I prefer this sugar because of its fine granules and it always has very few brown sugar lumps, if any at all. It just melts into this batter to help create a soft and flavorful cake with notes of molasses and caramel.
- Don’t use anything smaller than a 9″ pan. I prefer a springform pan because it’s easy to release the cake. You could also use a 9″ round cake pan if you don’t have a springform, but anything less than 9″ and the cake will struggle to bake in the center.
- Test for doneness only in areas where it’s just cake. Don’t stick a toothpick into or close to the apples as this will make it difficult to tell if the cake is done. It should look evenly puffed with golden brown crumble edges.
Apple Crumble Cake FAQs
This cake is best served when it’s a bit warm. The apples are tender and juicy and the crumble is fresh and crunchy. You can slice it as is, or top with C&H® Confectioners Sugar and/or ice cream or an à la mode dessert. Either way, use a sharp knife to cut into the cake. Otherwise, the apple slices will smoosh down into the cake if a dull utensil is used.
With any leftovers, store the cake in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will keep at room temperature for 1 day, but anything more and it must be chilled. It will keep for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.
If you don’t like walnuts or prefer to leave them out, it’s easy to adjust the crumble to your liking. I recommend pecans as a good replacement for the walnuts but if you can’t have nuts, you can opt to leave them out completely.
For more apple recipes, check out my:
- Moist Apple Cinnamon Bread with Fresh Apples
- Easy Apple Muffins with Caramel
- Best Apple Cider Bundt Cake (Gluten-free Option!)
- Easy Skillet Apple Crisp Recipe with Oats
- Super Moist Apple Butter Spice Cake
Make sure to tag me @butternutbakery on Instagram and comment below if you make this Apple Crumble Cake with Walnuts. To pin this recipe and save it for later, you can use the button on the recipe card, the buttons above or below this post, or on any of the photos above. Happy baking!Print