Apple Crumble Coffee Cake

Many years ago, before my husband and I started dating and we were still working in the same office, I made this cake for the very first time and brought it to work for one of those office dos we used to have all the time. He was very, very busy (he’s still always very, very busy) and so didn’t come to the office do (I believe they were working on some healthcare investment strategy).

I remember slicing a piece of the cake before it disappeared and leaving it at his desk covered in tissue paper with a note (who knows what the note said, I can’t remember but knowing me it was probably something corny as hell). And I watched his desk intently for him to come back to it after his meeting.

In what I now recognise as a classic Riz move (we’ve been married 5 years and together 8), he saw the plate, shrugged and stuffed the cake in his mouth. Not a very encouraging sign to a girl trying to win someone over (at least smile!).

In all these years, I’ve made that cake many more times since – probably once a year ish – for afternoon teas or to bring to friends’ houses when we go for a visit. And Riz just has ZERO recollection of that day in the office. Completely BLANK. But he does love the cake, so I suppose that’s something. Men *eyeroll* I had to practically dance around in Dobby’s tea cosy yelling at him that I was interested in him for him to bloody get the message.

So I’m reposting this recipe because it has sentimental value to me, because I love to eat it, and also because I made some very minor tweaks to the method since I shared it in 2013.


  • Servings: ”12″
  • Difficulty: ”Easy”
  • Print
* 145g unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
* 220g caster sugar
* 1 tsp lemon zest (optional)
* 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
* 2 large eggs
* 280g all purpose flour
* 2 tsp baking powder
* 1 tsp salt
* 1/2 cup cream, room temperature
* 3/4 cup milk, room temperature
* 2 green apples
* 50g butter, cold and cubed
* 140g all purpose flour
* 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
* 114g caster sugar [/recipe-ingredients]


  1. Preparation: Slice the green apples thinly and toss in lemon juice to avoid browning, then set aside. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl and set aside. Preheat the oven to 180C and line an 8 or 9″ springform pan (I used an 8″ in the pictured cake).
  2. Prepare the cake batter: Beat the butter, sugar, lemon zest and vanilla bean paste until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, and beat well after each addition. Add the combined flour, baking powder and salt in 3 additions – alternating with the cream, then the milk, and make sure to end with the flour. Beat to combine the batter after each addition but just enough to ensure the ingredients mix well and not to overbeat. Fill an 8 or 9 inch springform baking pan with the batter, top with the apple slices then top with the crumble
  3. Crumble: Mix the flour and butter cubes together with fingertips until it resembles a course sand, then stir in the caster sugar and cinnamon and scatter over the sliced apples in the pan.
  4. Bake the cake for 1 hour 20 minutes, or until a skewer inserted at an angle comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan before removing. This cake serves well on the day off and also the next day, it’s great with vanilla ice cream but I like it plain and with a cup of black tea on the side.

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