I have been baking for nearly twenty seven years now! After baking my first cake in Standard Six Home Economics at school,it was official that I ‘ was capable of using the oven without burning the house down’. Thereafter Amma let me bake at home. Every Sunday was baking day! I could bake whatever I wanted. My favourite was to bake cakes! Over the years this fondness declined but now that I have a family of my own Sunday is cake day again! I made Apple Streusel Cake today.
Apple Streusel Vs Strudel
A few weeks ago I posted a recipe for apple sponge tart, this recipe too is a means to use up excess apples. Think of it as German engineering when you need it most in a cake.
This triple layered streusel cake is composed of a bottom dense sponge layer followed by a middle layer of soft apples and topped with a crumby and buttery streusel layer. Not to be confused with the pastry equivalent Strudel, the German word ‘streusel’ means something sprinkled or in English strewn. Hence this cake takes its name from its top layer of scattered crumbs.
This combination of textures, taste and flavor sensations make the streusel cake so popular. I use cinnamon in this recipe because it compliments apples so well. The apple layer can also contain other fruit such as berries or rhubarb. The recipe in this post is simply apples with cinnamon.
How To Make Apple Streusel Cake
Making apple streusel cake simply involves three components:
1. Sponge Layer
2. Sliced apple layer
3. Streusel or crumb layer
To make streusel cake, start by preparing the apples. I use an apple slicer than soak the apples in lemon juice, cinnamon and a little sugar while I make the cake batter and streusel dough. The use of lemon juice keeps the apples from turning brown and gives the apples a tangy taste. You can use any apple to make this cake, I recommend reds, red delicious, honey crisp or pink lady apples.
I make the sponge batter first then the streusel. This sponge recipe uses butter, egg and milk which accounts for the very soft dense sponge texture and the deep brown colour. Some Streusel cakes can be quite dry, I prefer mine with a more spongy base. Like I did twenty seven years ago, my prefered method for mixing cake batter is by hand. Off course I wish I had a Kitchen Aid Mixer, but the old fashioned method still works every time. To mix butter I first work it with a fork (a very good arm workout). Keep in mind it is important that the butter is at room temperature otherwise this does not work as well. To mix batter I use a hand held egg whisk or tablespoon.
Some recipes make the streusel first then refrigerate, or make a ball with the dough then grate over the apples like Hungarian Shortbread. I simply make the streusel last to avoid this step.
Easy Apple Streusel Recipe