Apple Crumble Cake

German apple crumble cake, or as it is known in Germany, Apfel-Streusel-Kuchen, is a favorite in our household during apple season. Sometimes those rustic, traditional bakes without all the fancy time consuming toppings are all you need for a cozy hyggelig autumnal evening.

Any leftover fruit in our household gets used up in spontaneous baking sessions and this cake was no exception. With plenty of apples left over from our recent apple picking day, it was time for a long overdue apple cake. This apple cake has a cinnamon spiced sponge topped with sweet juicy apples, a crunchy crumble, and is finished off with a drizzle of toffee sauce. As all of my bakes, this cake is 100% gluten free and can be made dairy free to if using a plant-based margarine.

Credit: Baked by Sarah, Apple Orchard

This cake consists of 3 parts; the sponge, the apple topping and the crumble. Each part is simple to make and not too time consuming. Being a rather large cake, perfect for sharing or those German Kaffee und Kuchen afternoons, it does need a longer baking time on a lower temperature, but the wait is worth it!

What equipment do I need for this cake?

  • 28cm round baking tin
  • Stand mixer or electric hand-held mixer (optional)
  • Baking paper

What ingredients do I need?

  • Margarine – A standard baking margarine such as Stork works great or if you’d like to make this cake dairy free then a plant-based margarine works fine too
  • Caster sugar – White refined caster sugar or fine caster sugar
  • Eggs – medium free range eggs at room temperature
  • Gluten free flour – A gluten free flour blend such as Doves Farm Self-raising Flour with added Xanthan gum is perfect for this recipe, otherwise a standard flour blend will work fine
  • Vanilla Essence – Vanilla essence, extract or vanilla paste can be used as long as it is gluten free
  • Baking Powder – Any baking powder can be used, just check the label that it is gluten free
  • Apples – Apples need to be cored and diced for this recipe and it’s preferable to use apples that hold up well for baking such as Jonagolds, Honeycrisps or Pink Ladies
  • Xanthan gum – Xanthan gum is essential for most gluten free recipes and there’s no exceptions here. Doves Farm is my preferred choice!


  • If the cake begins to brown too quickly, cover it gently with tinfoil, shiny side up, in order to stop it from over browning. I usually do this after around 30 minutes.
  • This is a rather large cake, so if you’d prefer a smaller version, just half the quantities on the ingredients list, reduce the baking time to around 45 minutes and bake in a smaller baking tin of around 24cm.

Apple Crumble Cake

A beautifully moist cinnamon sponge topped with a layer of sweet juicy apples and crunchy crumble for a mouthwateringly delicious cake, just like Oma used to bake!

Preparation Time: 30 minutes

Bake Time: 90 minutes

Chilling Time: 0 hours

Total Time: 2 hours

Servings: 12-14 large pieces

Difficulty: intermediate

Author: Sarah | Baked by Sarah, Gluten Free


For the cake:

  • 350g gluten free self-raising flour
  • 350g caster sugar
  • 350g margarine
  • 6 medium eggs at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence or paste
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
For the apple filling:
  • 4 small apples, cored and diced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
For the topping:
  • 200g gluten free flour
  • 90g margarine
  • 100g caster sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 160 ° C fan assisted and grease a 28cm round baking tin and line the bottom with parchment paper.
  2. Cream together the margarine and sugar.
  3. Whisk in the eggs one at a time until completely combined.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, xanthan gum and cinnamon.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the mixture and fold in until completely combined and no pockets of flour remain. Don’t overmix!
  6. Pour the mixture into the greased and lined baking tin and level off with a spatula. Set aside whilst preparing the apples.
  7. Peel, core and dice the apples before tossing them in a bowl with the sugar, lemon juice and cinnamon until completely coated.
  8. Sprinkle the apples onto the cake mixture, covering the whole cake with an even layer.
  9. For the crumble topping, use fingertips to rub together the flour, sugar and margarine until pea sized crumbs form.
  10. Sprinkle the crumble over the layer of apples, making sure to fill any gaps.
  11. Bake on the middle shelf for around 90 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. If browning too quickly, cover the cake with tinfoil, shiny side up, as this will prevent the cake from burning.

Happy Baking!

Tried this recipe? Let me know what you think!

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