Grandma’s Apple Crumble Cake

This delicious Italian apple crumble cake is ideal to enjoy for an afternoon break with a cup of coffee or tea, or for a breakfast. It is easy and simple to prepare – you will need just 10 minutes to make it plus around 40 minutes to cook. My nonna Angela used to make this crumble cake each autumn when we visited her. What makes this apple crumble cake so special is its smell that will bring you back to childhood. Here is the recipe:

Grandma’s Apple Crumble Cake

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup white sugar (+ 2 tablespoons for the apples)
  • A pinch of salt
  • 7 tablespoons butter, cold and cut into small pieces
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten, room temperature
  • 4 apples, peeled and cut into small pieces
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice from 1 small lemon
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon



  • In a bowl, apply the flour and baking powder and combine with a fork. Add the sugar and salt and combine all over again.
  • Next, add the cold butter pieces and using your hands combine the mixture until you broke up the butter in the flour and get a sandy texture, without large chunks. (around 5 minutes working with your hands) are no large chunks.

Note: You can avoid the old-fashioned way of incorporating the ingredients and make it simple – by using a blender or food processor (pulse the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and butter to get a sandy texture).

  • Then, using your hands, incorporate the eggs to get large crumbs. The dough should stay crumblier than combined. Wrap it in a plastic bag and refrigerate for around 20 minutes to chill.
  • In the meantime, preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C/Gas Mark 4. Spray 9-in. round cake pan or springform pan with non-stick baking spray and line with baking paper.
  • Next, while the dough is still chilling, prepare the apples. In a small skillet, apply the apples, lemon juice, sugar, and cinnamon.
  • Cook on medium-low heat for around 10 minutes or just until the apples are tender). Remove from the heat and leave aside while you preparing the dough in the cake pan.
  • Apply ¾ of the crumbly dough on the bottom of the baking pan. Using a spoon, press evenly in the pan. Spread the apple mixture on top of the crust.
  • Sprinkle on the renaming crumbly dough on top. Make sure to cover the apples. Press gently so the crumbs can stick together (but not too much- they should be still crumbly).
  • Place in the oven and bake for around 35 to 40 minutes or until light golden brown. Allow cool completely in pan. Then, remove and dust lightly with confectioner’s sugar. Slice and serve.

Buon Appetito!