Apple Cinnamon Crumb Cake

Who's ready for fall baking? It may have been 80 degrees this week, but I couldn't wait any longer! Warm apple crumb cake filled with cinnamon and fresh nutmeg, topped with epic amounts of crumb - yeah, this was definitely worth turning on the oven!

What I love most about this crumb cake, besides all that crumb love, is how simple it is to make. It's one of those no-fuss recipes that people always swoon over and ask me for the recipe. I think the big secret here is the nutmeg and I'm not talking about the stuff in a jar. You have to get whole nutmeg and grate it. When you do that, it releases all the oils and adds the most wonderful warm flavor to baked goods. Trust me on this one!

Apple Cinnamon Crumb Cake - Classic crumb cake gets a sweet upgrade with the addition of apples, warm spices, and an epic amount of crumb topping! This easy bake is a must for fall, and perfect for brunch, snacking, and dessert! |

As for the crumb portion of the program, I really have no words. I am a tried and true crumb kid. I was always snagging bits and pieces of crumb off the crumb cake as a kid, and I still do it today... I wanted the crumb to be generous and it definitely is.

It's made with dark brown sugar (you can use light if that's what you have on hand) and warm spices that scream cozy. You'll mix everything together with melted butter and notice that you wind up with a mixture of different size bits and pieces. This is a good thing! 

My biggest tip for the crumb topping is to make it first. You'll notice that it's the first step in the directions, and that's because you want to give all the dry ingredients time to absorb the melted butter before you park it on top of the batter.

Growing up, I may have only showed up for the crumb, but this time I'm showing up for the whole show. The cake is divine all on its own, and once again, we're adding all those warm spices you want and expect in a fall dessert, such as cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. The addition of sour cream ensures a fantastic bake, and a pop of bourbon adds another hint of cozy. 

The other star of the show is the apple. I do recommend using granny smith apples for this recipe. It holds up really well and adds a nice little pop of flavor throughout the cake. The cake will bake for about 50-55 minutes, but about 15 minutes in, your house will smell like a fall wonderland.

Once it cools, lift it out of the pan by the parchment paper and dust it with a little powdered sugar. It's not overly sweet and the crumb/cake ratio is on point! The warm brown sugar and spices are made for chilly fall mornings and every few bites you get the apple. All that's left to do now is make some coffee!

Big thanks to all of you who've made and shared this cake over on Instagram! I'm thrilled you guys are loving it! 

Happy baking!


Yield: One 8-inch crumb cake - Serves 9-12 

Crumb Topping

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar 
  • 1 and 1/4 tsp. tsp. ground cinnamon
  • Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 3.5 ounces (7 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted

Apple Cake

  • 5 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp. bourbon
  • 8 ounces sour cream
  • 1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. fresh grated nutmeg
  • 1&1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup peeled and diced granny smith apple (this is about 1 good size apple)


Crumb Topping

  1. Mix all dry ingredients together in bowl.
  2. Pour in melted butter and mix together with a fork, making sure everyone gets coated. Set aside.
Apple Cake
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8x8" square pan with non-stick pan spray and line with parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes.
  3. Mix in eggs, vanilla, and bourbon.
  4. Alternate adding dry ingredients and sour cream, starting and ending with dries.
  5. Stir in diced apples and pour batter into prepared pan. Even it out with a spatula if needed.
  6. Top with crumb topping and bake for 50-55 minutes until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  7. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.