Applesauce Crumb Cake Recipe

Applesauce Crumb Cake
Applesauce Crumb Cake. © Barbara Rolek licensed to, Inc.
  • 60 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins,
  • Cook: 45 mins
  • Yield: Crumb Cake (9 servings)
Ratings (4)

Eastern Europeans love apples, as evidenced by these apple recipes. And, frugal cooks that we are, less-than-perfect fruit ends up in the cooking pot to make . I remember watching my mother and grandmother stirring the pot while they multitasked at the ironing board or sewing machine. When I was old enough to reach the tall pot, I was allowed to use the long-handled wooden spoon to give it a stir, scraping the bottom so it wouldn't burn.

Even though applesauce freezes well, sometimes I like to use an abundance of applesauce to make this moist crumb cake. Poles call the crumb topping kruszonka, literally "a crumble." My busia would rub her fingers together and I knew it was time to make the crumbs for her Polish Coffee Cake recipe. I use a slightly different technique and ingredients for this crumb topping which can be made with the addition of nuts or left plain. If you have any cake leftover, try making this Applesauce-Cranberry Bread Pudding Recipe.

Here is a larger photo of Applesauce Crumb Cake.

What You'll Need

  • 1/2 cup flour (all-purpose)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar (light brown, packed)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 ounces/4 tablespoons butter (melted)
  • Optional: 2/3 cup walnuts (coarsely chopped, or pecans)
  • 2 cups flour (all-purpose)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 ounces/6 tablespoons butter (softened)
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs (room temperature)
  • 3/4 cup apple sauce (smooth, natural or lightly sweetened, homemade or store-bought)
  • 1 cup sour cream

How to Make It

  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees and generously coat a 13x9-inch pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. To make the crumb topping: In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, melted butter, and nuts, if using. Set aside.
  3. To make the cake batter: In a medium bowl, whisk together 2 cups flour, baking powder, baking soda, 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon and salt, and set aside.
  1. In a large bowl, beat together 3 ounces butter and 1 1/4 cups sugar until well combined but not light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until combined and scraping the bowl as needed.
  2. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture, mixing until combined. Then add all of the applesauce, mixing until combined. Mix in another 1/3 of the flour mixture, then the sour cream and then the final 1/3 of flour, mixing well after each addition. Don't overmix.
  3. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan, spreading evenly. Scatter the crumb topping evenly over the top of the batter and bake 35 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few crumbs attached. Don't overbake. Cool slightly on a wire rack, but serve warm, cut into squares. Garnish with caramel sauce and sweetened whipped cream sprinkled with cinnamon sugar if desired.