Spiced Cream Cheese Apple Crumble Cake

The weekend gave James and I the opportunity to bake a simple homemade apple and strawberry crumble. Diced fruit swimming in a hot, gooey brown sugar cinnamon concoction, topped with a delightfully crunchy crumble. It was just gorgeous. Granted, the apples weren’t cooked long enough so they were still a little firm, but some extra chewing never hurt anyone! And there’s always a next time.

I suppose that apple and strawberry crumble adventure served as the inspiration to create this cake. Perhaps this would be an ideal dessert to dish out after a warm Christmas dinner. It’s not difficult to make and most of the ingredients aren’t expensive or hard to get. In fact, majority of them are probably sitting in your pantry or fridge right now.

Essentially, you could call this an apple crumble in cake form. A sweet, buttery shell of baked-to-a-crisp crumble sits atop a fragrant, subtly spiced apple-filled cake. The added cream cheese gives the cake a moist, full-bodied creaminess that cannot be achieved with eggs and butter alone.

One thing I’ve discovered is that while the cake does taste very good when served chilled, it tastes even better when popped in the microwave for about 20 seconds and served with plain vanilla ice cream. Cinnamon and a dash of nutmeg complement the flavour of the apples, bringing to mind warm, comforting treats served during a festive winter.

Spiced Cream Cheese Apple Crumble Cake

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
A pinch of salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar, lightly packed
170g cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup applesauce
1 egg, lightly beaten
3 small apples, peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch cubes

For the crumble:
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
50g butter, softened

Preparation:

Part 1: The Cake Batter

  1. Preheat oven to 175°C and grease a deep 9″ x 5″ loaf pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until fluffy.
  4. Add softened cream cheese to butter mixture and continue to mix until smooth.
  5. Beat in the egg and applesauce.
  6. Once well combined, gradually add the flour mixture into the creamed mixture and mix thoroughly.
  7. Fold the chopped apples into the batter.
  8. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and even out the mixture with the back of a spoon.

Part 2: The Crumble & Assemblage

  1. Combine sugar and flour in a bowl.
  2. Rub the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture is crumbly and resembles coarse, wet sand.
  3. Lightly and evenly sprinkle the crumble over the cake batter.
  4. Bake for approximately 60 – 65 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
  5. Remove from oven and let cake stand in pan for 20 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.

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