double apple crumble cake

This week, we tackled the Double Apple Crumble Cake which meant we got to check two recipes off of our list – the seventh recipe from the Loaf Cakes and Single Layer Cakes section, as well as our first Foundational Recipe from the book, Claire’s All-Purpose Crumble Topping. We’re officially halfway through the first chapter in Dessert Person!

Lauren’s Take

Hello all! We’ve been at this for 7 weeks already—can you believe it?!  (I know my partner can because I keep making him eat full cakes every week, but I digress). I have really been enjoying these single layer cakes the past few weeks because you get a great outcome with not too much effort; I’m thinking the reverse may be true shortly but one day at a time. This week was the Apple Crumble Cake and once again, Claire used her genius to ensure a strong apple flavour, a deliciously moist cake, and an outstanding texture. Gotta say this cake lived up to her description and praise.

I am happy to report that there were no fiascos for me this week; I was able to find all the ingredients, I had all the right equipment, my floor remained mostly unscathed, and the cake turned out well—I know, seems very unlike my typical style but what can I say? Sometimes perfection happens.

This cake is not very complicated but does have a few different steps as Claire points out as well. You have to make both the cake and Claire’s “All-Purpose Crumble.” I made the crumble first and initially was so confused about just putting chunks of cold butter in with the dry ingredients and mixing it by hand until it all came together. I kept mixing and breaking down butter pieces but it still seemed to not mix until all of sudden it came together in a beautiful way. So fear not friends, keep mixing and you will get a crumble!

The cake itself combines fresh apple slices and apple butter to get that flavour. You first have to cut the apple slices and cook them in butter (already sounds amazing, I know), and then add those reduced apples to the batter. The batter combines the dry ingredients with apple butter (which I had gotten in the fall from a local apple orchard) and crème fraiche, so you know this cake is moist.

The crumble you make sits on top of the cake; I’ve made the mistake with some of Claire’s recipes in the past of putting ALL of the topping I make on the cake and then things don’t bake evenly, so I only used about 3/4 of the crumble which turned out perfectly! With the addition of the apples and the crumble on top, this makes a hefty cake, so mine took about 1 hour and 40 minutes to bake all the way through.

This cake is everything you would want in a single bite; a strong flavour, moist, fresh fruit to break up the texture, and a nice crunchy topping. I have always loved apple desserts so I really, really love this cake and think it would be amazing for a Thanksgiving dinner (or a rainy Spring afternoon😉).

All in all, definitely one to try! I give this one a solid 4 stars!

Julia’s Take

Welcome back everyone! This week’s Double Apple Crumble Cake was exactly what you would expect – really simple to put together, really comforting, and really, really delicious. The recipe was a two-parter; first I mixed together Claire’s All-Purpose Crumble Topping (a combo of flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and cold butter) and then let that sit in the fridge while I made the cake.

I’m noticing that Claire is a big fan of her wet ingredients! This cake also called for sour cream or crème fraiche, so I was able to use up what I had left over from the Pear and Chestnut Cake last week. I also realized that it’s called “double” apple cake because both apple butter and slices of apple go into the batter. The flavour of the apples really did come through (something I was missing a little bit with the pears in the last recipe), which I loved. The apple butter I used was actually a jar I’d picked up at an orchard outside of Ottawa when I was visiting Lauren last fall; it seemed appropriate to use it up for this bake!

It was a drama-free bake—but to be honest, like I said last week, I’m kind of excited to get to some drama (I know I’ll regret saying this…). I can’t believe it’s been almost two months already since we started this baking journey, and that we’re at the midway point of this first section of the book. I am really pumped to get to pies and tarts next; they’re one of my favourite types of dessert and it’ll give us a chance to start working with some pastry. In the meantime, these single layer cakes have been low effort/big reward, fun to make, pretty stress-free (as long as chestnuts aren’t involved), and always delicious.

I learned my lesson from the almond butter “non-swirl slash layer” issue I had with the banana bread and didn’t go too heavy handed on the crumble. This recipe made a LOT of batter, and then when you add the crumble on top it ended up being a much taller cake than what I was expecting. Having a giant apple cake to share was the perfect excuse to meet up with a couple of friends this weekend for a walk and some pandemic-friendly outdoor catch-up time.

I really loved this cake and I knew that I would—it’s all those classic flavours of an apple crumble, but has that extra little something that all of Claire’s recipes so far seem to have, so you really can’t go wrong. I would also definitely make the crumble topping on its own again and put it on anything. Overall, I give this bake 4 stars!

Next week, we are finally getting into spring-mode with Claire’s Rhubarb Cake!