With a crumbly, crisp streusel topping encapsulating a zesty, moist apple fruit filling with chunky nutty pecans — this fantastic recipe is the best apple crumble recipe for the apple season or if you’re simply craving some warm desserts this fall!
Have a love for savoring juicy apples and sinking your teeth into a crispy pie crust? Here is how you can have the best of both worlds with this easy apple crumble cake recipe in muffin size! With a few simple steps, I modified my personal favorite apple dessert recipe from an old recipe I found in my recipe book collection from London. This simple recipe for apple crumble cake includes a tantalizing hint of cinnamon and chunky nutty pecans that give this classic fall dessert its extra flavor and leaves you wanting for more.
With a cake base but served in a muffin size, this is one of the few apple recipes you can easily attempt using basic ingredients that you can get from your farmers market or local convenient store (with no advanced baking techniques required!).
Apple Crumble Cake Recipe in Muffin Size
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Origin of the Apple Crumble Recipe
This best fall dessert originates from World War II, when food was scarce and had to be rationed. As it was immensely difficult to source the ingredients for the traditional, more elaborate apple pie, the apple crumble was invented. The crumble topping is a crumble mixture made of brown sugar or white sugar, butter, all-purpose flour, and ground cinnamon.
Crumble is traditionally served with custard however, the modern-day apple crumble dessert is often paired with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream or a cup of hot coffee. I personally love savoring delicious apple crumble muffins with both (alas guilty pleasures) but nothing fits better than this for a post-lunch break or even for breakfast.
Crumble vs Crisp vs Cobbler
In your apple dessert endeavors, I am quite sure you have come across both apple crumble, apple crisp and apple cobbler. For both amateur bakers and for even some experienced bakers, not everyone is able to differentiate between the two. All three are baked fruit desserts traditionally served during fall.
Crisp is a streusel-topped dessert that contains oats. The oats crisp up during bake time giving your dessert a beautiful golden brown crisp. Crumble is clumpier than crisp as it does not feature oats but for this recipe, I have included pecans in the cake part to give it a light crunch. Cobbler on the other hand contains a more biscuit-like dough. Very akin to cobblestone pavements with cobble patterns, the biscuit topping is placed on top of the fruit in circular mounds allowing some of the fruit to peek through, hence the name “cobbler”. Variations such as cake batter have been used in place of biscuits for cobbler as well.
This recipe for the apple crumble cake in muffin form is divided into two components: the crumbly topping (crumble) and the apple mixture in muffin cake. For those of you who enjoy a crunchier texture, you can add oats to this apple crumble recipe to turn it into a crisp or you can simply increase the amount of pecans.
Appetizing Apple Crumble Cake Recipe — but which type of apples?
To achieve the best apple crisp, it is recommended to go for Granny Smith apples, Honeycrisp apples, or green apples (click links for their nutrition data) that are zestier and tartier as they can stand up well to baking. However, this is just a personal preference, if you prefer less tartness to your apple filling then feel free to use sweeter red apples. You can try combining the apples into your apple crumble recipe too.
No matter which type of apple you end up using for your apple crumble cake muffin, it is highly advised to peel them and cut them up into apple slices or dice them up in uniform chunks. Based on my experience, with uniform chunks, you will achieve a uniform crisp to your apple crumble as they will cook at the same rate. For some of you who do not prefer tart apples, the apples can easily be replaced by stone fruits like peaches or pears, wherein you will achieve a pear crumble or peach crumble instead!
Much to my dismay, different kind of apples spoils very easily in our humid Malaysian heat. Hence this is also my personal favorite way of utilizing my surplus of fresh apples as I get to enjoy a delicious dessert at the end of the day even when I don’t have enough time on my hands due to its simplicity. This easy apple crumble recipe is the perfect dessert for housewives and businesswomen alike!
An Apple a Day, Keeps the Doctor AwayEnglish-language proverb
I am quite sure this age-old proverb is no stranger to most of us. Another incentive to give this easy yet delicious apple crumble recipe a chance is the myriad of benefits apples brings to us.
Here are five more reasons why you should eat more apples (aka get your apron on and start baking this apple crumble cake muffin).
- Apples are nutritious
- Apples are filling so they contribute to weight loss
- Apples lower the risk of Type 2 Diabetes
- Apples have prebiotic effects that help the growth of good stomach bacteria
- Apples contain soluble fiber hence they lower the risk of heart disease
So what are you waiting for? Give this easy recipe a go and let me know what you think in the comment section below or share your masterpiece on social media and tag us @craftpassion so we can support you too.
In the spirit of apples, I was also inspired to give a big apple amigurumi pattern a go (click the link for the free crochet pattern). Perfect as an autumn decoration to pair with this apple crumble for the perfect flat lay or if you want to give your dessert a photoshoot after you have successfully completed it! After my apple crumble cake muffin was completely devoured by my family and I, I used the apple amigurumi as a piece of home décor for autumn and even some as pincushions as well.
- 225 gram (8 oz / 2 cups) self-raising flour
- 110 gram (4 oz) fine granulated sugar
- 125 gram (4.5 oz) butter (melted)
- 2 eggs
- 4 tablespoons milk
- 2-3 small green apples, peeled, cored and cut into 12 thick slices, or cubes
- 125 gram (4.5 oz) pecans, coarsely chopped
Streusel Crumb Topping
- 60 gram (2 oz) butter (cold, cut into smaller cubes)
- 120 gram (4.2 oz / 1 cup) all-purpose flour
- 60 gram (2 oz) fine granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pre-heat oven to 180°C (350°F), top & bottom heat. Place cupcake liners into muffin pans.
- Prepare the crumble topping by combining the Strudel ingredients. The butter has to be cold and cut into smaller cubes.
Combine the ingredients in a bowl by using your hands or a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Refrigerate it until ready to use.
- Coarsely chop the pecan nuts. Set aside.
Cut the apple into ring slices or chunks. Set aside.
- Place flour in a clean mixing bowl and add sugar, butter, eggs, and milk. Mix the batter with a hand whisk until well combined.
- Scoop the batter to fill half of the muffin pans.
Place apple slices or chunks onto the batter, pressing them in slightly. If the apple is too big, trim the edges a little to make it slightly smaller so that it can fit in the pan plus a little space in between.
Scoop the rest of the batter into the muffin pans. Do not overfill the pan if you have more than enough batter.
Sprinkle the pecans nuts onto the batter, pressing them slightly into the batter.
Sprinkle the streusel crumb topping over the nuts.
- Bake for 40 minutes or until a fine skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Leave to cool for 5 minutes before removing them from the pans.
- Serve warm with ice cream or serve cold with coffee.
The apple slices in ring form should be smaller than the hole of the muffin pan. If they are too big, trim the apple ring edges a little.