Apple Crumble Cake with Maple Cream Cheese

You know when you have that one bad experience with something and swear never to try it again? That was me and apple desserts. I have never made many apple-based dishes as I was too afraid of ending up with crunchy apples in my dessert.

I accidentally bought Granny Smith apples one day, which were far too tart to eat, so I decided to bake this apple cake. Since then, I have had a change of heart about apple desserts.

I don’t quite know how to describe the cake. It is more like a light and fluffy apple pudding. The sponge itself is incredibly light as a result of the olive oil and whipped egg whites. The apples are firm, without being crunchy and offering a nice textural contrast to the soft sponge. The crumble on the top adds a nice crunch – and the maple cream cheese icing …… this has to be one of my new favourite icings, I can eat it by the spoonful!

I wish I could take the credit for coming up with such a genius invention, but the recipe is largely adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi’s cookbook, Ottolenghi. I buy all his books ok, I am a massive fan!

There are a few steps to this cake, but if you really don’t want to, you can skip the crumble and the icing (I really, really, really recommend that you make the icing, at least). This cake usually only lasts a few hours in our home. I hope you enjoy 🙂


  • 60g cake flour
  • 45g butter, at room temperature
  • 1/12 Tbs sugar


  1. Place all the ingredients in a bowl and use a wooden spoon to combine the mixture. Alternatively, beat the mixture on low speed with a mixer. It should come together like a cookie dough almost.
  2. Wrap the crumble in cling wrap and set it into the freezer whilst you make the cake.
  3. When I created this recipe, I did not want too much crumble lest it affects the cake rising. So if the crumble feels little, it is meant to be 🙂


  • 400g Grannysmith apples
  • 50g rasins
  • 137ml water
  • 175g cake flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp mixed spice
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 100g castor sugar
  • 75ml olive oil
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 egg white only
  • 1tsp vanilla essence
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest


  1. Peel and core the apples. Dice them into 2cm cubes and set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius. Grease and line the base and sides of a 20cm tin with baking paper. Cut two long thick strips of paper and place them running across the tin in a cross, overlapping outside the tin. This is so that you can lift the cake out of the tin without inverting it and damaging the crumble.
  3. Place the raisins and 100ml of the water in a saucepan on low heat and let it simmer until all the water has been absorbed into the raisins, then set it aside.
  4. Sift the flour, cinnamon, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl and set aside.
  5. Place the single whole egg, olive oil, sugar, vanilla essence and lemon zest in a bowl and beat with an electric mixer on medium speed for about 7 minutes. The mixture should be light in colour, doubled in size and thickened a little.
  6. Add in the apples, raisins and remaining 37ml water to this mixture and fold in.
  7. Add in the sifted dry ingredients and gently fold to combine.
  8. Whisk the egg white (by hand, as it is so little in volume) until stiff peaks form. Then fold into the batter.
  9. Place in a lined cake tin and grate the crumble over the top of the cake.
  10. Bake for around 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. It may take a bit longer than this. Keep monitoring it every five minutes or so. (If unsure on doneness and the cake does not look or smell too brown, I suggest slightly over-baking it rather than underbaking it. I have underbaked it once!)
  11. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.


  • 100g butter, at room temperature
  • 100g brown sugar
  • 85g maple syrup
  • 220g cream cheese
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla essence


  1. Beat the butter until slightly creamed.
  2. Then add the sugar, maple syrup and vanilla essence and continue to beat.
  3. Finally, gradually add in the cream cheese and beat until thick and smooth.
  4. Once cooled, slice the cake in half and spread the frosting in between the two layers.
  5. Finish with a dusting of icing sugar on the top, over the crumble.

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