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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Recipe: Apple Crumble Cake

Healthy Apple Crumble Cake - gluten free, low fat

There's many times in life that require coffee and cake. One of my most famous recipes with my family and friends are my crumble cakes or coffee cakes. They're my mum's favourite cake and the ones that get devoured down to the last crumb whenever I make them - they're also a basic recipe that I've tweaked which makes an easy, simple cake that tastes incredible. 

The first crumble cake I ever made was a Blueberry Crumble cake - actually, they were Blueberry Crumble Muffins which you can find here on ksayerphotography. When trying out a recipe for the first time, I'll follow it almost exactly - then once I get the ratios figured out, I seek to make a healthy version or a gluten free version. This way I know what I'm trying to recreate! 

Gluten Free Apple Crumble CakeVegan Apple Crumble Cake

I've shared this recipe with many of my family and friends and it resides in my "family favourites" cookbook which I add to whenever I create a new favourite recipe. This a fabulous recipe to show anyone how easy it is to make a delicious cake recipe from scratch. A lot of people think coffee cakes are too complicated or take too much work thanks to the crumble topping - but they're really easy when you have the right recipe! 

Also, it is possible to make a delicious gluten free coffee cake! So never worry about missing out again.

Healthy Apple Coffee CakeGluten Free Apple Coffee Cake

Like most of my recipes, this apple crumb cake can be made a few different ways. It just depends on your choice of ingredients, such as: 
  • flour:
    for a gluten free version
    use gluten free flour or a gluten free pancake mix
    for a healthier wheat version
    use whole wheat flour or wholemeal flour - pastry flour works best if you can get it
    for a wheat free version
    you can use a wheat free flour such as spelt
    if you don't have oats
    use an equal amount of your flour of choice or use quinoa flakes instead
  • oats: 
    if you're gluten free
    be sure to use gluten free rolled oats
    if you don't have or like oats
    use an equal amount of flour instead or use quinoa flakes
  • apple:
    use a red or green apple
  • if you don't have or like apples:
    use a large chopped pear
    use 1-2 cups of frozen or fresh blueberries or other berries
    use 2 large ripe bananas, chopped or mashed for an even consistency
  • fats:
    use 1/4 cup of
    non-dairy spread
    low fat spread (I used flora light in the pictured version as it was what we had in the fridge)
    neutral tasting oil (this will only work in the cake batter, you'll need a solid fat for the crumble topping)
  • milk:
    cow's milk options

    skim milk, low fat milk, full cream milk
    for a dairy free/vegan version
    choose a non dairy milk such as almond milk or soy milk (just make sure you also use a dairy free/vegan fat choice
All of those substitutions are the reason this cake is one of my favourites - you always have at least some of them around to make a brilliant cake. In Louisiana, we had ripe bananas, so I whipped up the recipe switching the chopped apple for around 2C mashed banana. I've run out of blueberries and added in some extra cherries or other berries I had in the freezer. I haven't had an apple around and used 2C of canned apple instead - the possibilities are endless! 

Vegan Apple Coffee Cake

 Apple Crumble Cake Recipe
makes 16 squares or 12 large muffins

 Cake batter:
1 cup plain flour/whole wheat flour/GF flour/GF pancake mix
1 cup gluten free oat flour *see note

1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt 
1 apple, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup milk of your choice
1/4 cup non-dairy spread/butter (or fat choice from above)
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce 
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
Crumble topping:1/4C brown sugar
1/4 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup flour of your choice

3 tbsp non-dairy spread/butter, softened

Preheat oven to 180°C/355°F
Grease and/or line an 8x8 baking dish. 
In a large bowl combine flour, oat flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and the chopped apple. 
In a separate bowl combine milk, applesauce, sugar vanilla and the melted butter or spread. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix until just combined. 
Pour cake batter into the prepared cake tin (or prepared muffin pans).
To make the crumble topping, rub the softened butter/spread into the dry ingredients until it is uniform in consistency and the butter is mixed through (it will be clumpy, but this is how the crumble is supposed to look!). 
Sprinkle crumble mixture over the cake batter evenly, leaving some clumps. 
Bake for around 30 minutes or until the top is golden, the edges pull away from the sides and a skewer inserted removes clean. 
Leave to cool before taking out of the pan - serve warm, room temperature or chill in the fridge.

 * Find out How to Make Oat Flour. If you don't have oats or a food processor you can use an extra cup of flour or substitute quinoa flakes or instant oatmeal.

So tell me, do you have a recipe you're famous for? 
and are you a recipe tweaker like me? 

My crumble cakes or coffee cakes are one of my sure-fire winning recipes but I'm also known for my Subway style cookies and healthy but delicious recipes (no one ever believes me when they find out they're healthier and have little to no fat). 



  1. I made this for xmas TWICE (with regular flour). I changed a few things though: i spiced up the apples with 1tsp of cinnamon and 2tsp of sugar and let them sit for 30 min (this made a sort of syrup). I also used 1/2cup measurement for the crumble topping with 4 tsp of butter.

    This was a HUGE hit! The first cake was gone within 3 hours of being taken out of the oven. The second actually last lasted all day. Next time I will try this with the gf pancake mix.

    Thanks for the recipe!!!

    1. I am so glad the cake was a hit! It's one of my family's absolute favourite!

  2. This is baking in my oven right now...smells so good! Will send a pic when it's done. :)

    1. Ooh, fantastic Shannon! Can't wait to see it! xx

    2. Going to send you a pic of the carrot cake cupcakes too! Have it on my phone. They turned out great (needed a little more allspice though). Mine weren't as pretty as yours though. :) Wow! I see it's 10 in the morning there, we're getting ready to eat dinner here in California.

    3. You are a baking queen! Can't wait to see them! xx

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