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Double Apple Crumble Cake by Claire

Double Apple Crumble Cake by Claire Saffitz

The US baker and self-confessed 'dessert person' Claire Saffitz shares her fall recipe for a caramelized honey pie to remember.

Reprinted from Dessert Person. Copyright © 2020 by Claire Saffitz. Photographs copyright © 2020 by Alex Lau. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Random House, a division of Penguin Random House.

16 March, 2021
Average: 4.4 (109 votes)

serves for


total time

2 HR 15 MIN


3 tablespoons (1.5 oz / 43g) Unsalted butter
4 medium Pink Lady apples (about 1¾ lb / 794g), peeled, halved, cored, and cut into ¼-inch-thick slices**
For the pan
All purpose flour
2 cups (9.2 oz / 260g)
1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
Baking Powder
1½ teaspoons (0.21 oz / 6g)
Baking soda
½ teaspoon
Kosher salt
½ teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
Apple butter
1 cup (7.8 oz / 220g) ***
Caster sugar
1 cup (7 oz / 200g)
Crème fraîche
½ cup crème fraîche or sour cream (4.2 oz / 120g)
Vegetable oil
¼ cup neutral oil, such as vegetable or grapeseed (2 oz / 57g)
2 large eggs (3.5 oz / 100g)
Vanilla extract
2 teaspoons
All-Purpose Crumble Topping

Claire Saffitz gives her step-by-step recipe to making Double Apple Crumble Cake, the perfect introduction to her Dessert Person cookbook.

Dessert Person_Claire Saffitz

This cake recipe is ideally suited to the fall or winter and comes with a difficulty: rating of 2 (Easy, but with several steps).

Do Ahead

The cake, well wrapped and stored at room temperature, will keep up to 4 days.

Step 01

Precook the apples: In a medium skillet, heat the 3 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. When the butter starts to foam, add the apples and cook, tossing often, just until the slices have begun to soften and turn slightly translucent, 10 to 15 minutes (it’s okay if some of them start to brown, which could happen if you’re using drier, cold-storage apples). Remove the skillet from the heat and set aside to cool.

Step 02

Preheat the oven and prepare the pan: Meanwhile, arrange an oven rack in the center position and preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly coat the bottom and sides of the springform pan with room temperature butter, then line the bottom with a round of parchment paper, smoothing to eliminate air bubbles. Set the pan aside.

Step 03

Mix the dry ingredients: In a large bowl, whisk the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to combine. Set aside.

Mix the wet ingredients: In a medium bowl, whisk the apple butter, sugar, crème fraîche, oil, eggs, and vanilla until smooth.


Step 04

Mix the wet ingredients into the dry: Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the apple butter mixture. Whisking from the center of the bowl outward, incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet just until you have an evenly mixed batter.


Step 05

Fold in the apples: Using a large flexible spatula, fold the cooled apples into the batter, leaving any liquid behind in the skillet and mixing thoroughly to distribute the apples evenly.

Step 06

Fill the pan and top with the crumble: Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Sprinkle the crumble topping evenly over the batter, breaking up any pieces larger than a marble.

Step 07

Bake and cool: Bake until the crumble is browned and a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center of the cake slides easily through the apple slices and comes out clean, 1 hour 20 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.


Step 08

Serve: Cut around the cake with a paring knife, then remove the ring. Use a serrated knife to cut the cake into slices.

*Use a 10-inch springform pan if you don’t have a 9-inch. The cake will be slightly thinner, so start checking it for doneness after about 1 hour 15 minutes

**Use whatever variety of apple you prefer, just as long as it’s very firm and has some natural tartness. Try to avoid older apples that have been in cold storage for a long time and have a tendency to turn mealy when baked. To test an apple for freshness, press the tip of your thumb firmly into the skin. If you can’t make an indentation easily, it’s a good apple.

***Don’t use an apple butter with added sugar or spices. Try to find one that lists apples as the sole ingredient.

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