This fall-flavoured apple walnut cake features a hint of spicy ginger and nutty crumb topping for a simple, seasonal coffee cake.
This is a pretty classic fall-inspired apple coffee cake, with a sweet walnut crumble topping that turns it into something special. There’s yogurt and shredded apple in the batter, so you know there’s no dry cake here, and the flavour is out of this world good.
Ginger, both dried and fresh, cinnamon, and nutmeg flavour the cake and streusel, for big cozy flavours. This is the kind of cake you make on a rainy fall day and wrap up with a blanket and a big pot of tea.
Use the JUMP TO RECIPE button at the top, or scroll to the bottom of the post to see the printable recipe card with full ingredient measurements and complete instructions.
- All-purpose (white) flour
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
- Ground ginger
- Sea salt
- Cane sugar (see substitutions)
- Full-fat yogurt
- Fresh ginger
For the topping:
- More apples (2-3 of them)
- Coconut sugar or light brown sugar
- All-purpose flour
- Ground ginger
Preheat the oven and grease your cake tin. Add the flour, baking powder and soda, spices, and salt to a bowl and whisk to combine, then set aside.
In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until fluffy and slightly lighter in colour. You can use a standing mixer if you prefer.
Add the eggs one at a time, beating between each addition, until very smooth and fluffy.
Stir the yogurt, grated ginger, and grated apple into the butter, egg, and sugar mixture until evenly incorporated.
Before mixing the two sets into one batter, slice your apples and make the streusel topping. You do this now to prevent the cake from sitting too long before baking, which can affect the rise.
Halve and core the apples, then thinly slice. Add all of the streusel ingredients in a bowl and use your hands to mix them together into a crumbly consistency. Set both aside.
Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and stir until just combined.
Spoon the batter into the prepared baking tin, and top with the apples (in whatever patten you like) followed by the walnut streusel.
Bake the cake for about an hour, or until it passes the toothpick test. The top will be quite golden. Cool for about 15 minutes before removing the sides from the tin and cooling fully.
Tips and Notes
There is a pretty long baking time for this cake, and you need it! With both yogurt and shredded apple in the batter, it needs to cook through – don’t be tempted to open the door and peek halfway through, you’ll end up with a fallen cake.
We used two apples in the topping because they were on the bigger side. If the ones you have on hand are a bit smaller, feel free to use three or as many as you need to fill the top of the cake up.
Leftovers don’t keep so spectacularly for this cake, as the apples tend to soften the topping a bit after a day or two. It still tastes good though! It should be refrigerated if storing for longer than one day.
You can use plain white sugar in place of the can sugar, or go for a more caramel flavour with brown sugar in the cake batter.
There’s also the option to use light spelt flour in place of the white flour, or you can do half whole wheat pastry flour if you’d like a slightly more wholesome cake.
Change up the spices as you like. Cloves are a nice addition, as is cardamom. Or go wild with chai spice.
To make this dairy free, use a vegan yogurt (the thicker the better) and vegan butter. We haven’t tested with alternatives like coconut oil, but you can try this dairy free apple crumble cake if that’s a concern.
More Apple Recipes
Apple Walnut Crumble Cake
- Measuring cups and spoons or a digital kitchen scale
- 10 inch (25 cm) springform cake tin
- 2 Mixing bowl
- Hand mixer
- Wooden spoon
For the cake
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ cup butter, room temperature, plus more for greasing
- ¾ cup cane sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup full-fat yogurt
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely grated
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 apple, cored and grated
Walnut Streusel Topping
- ½ cup light brown sugar, or coconut sugar
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ cup walnuts, chopped
- ¼ cup butter, cut into small pieces
- 2-3 apples, cored and thinly sliced
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and grease a 10 inch (25 cm) springform cake tin with butter.
- In a medium bowl, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ground ginger, nutmeg, and salt. Whisk to combine and set aside.
- In a large bowl (or the bowl of a standing mixer) cream the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until fluffy and slightly lighter in colour, about a minute.
- Add the eggs one a time to the butter and sugar mixture, beating for about 30 seconds after each addition.
- Add the yogurt, ginger, and vanilla to the bowl and whisk to combine.
- Stir the grated apple into the mixture until evenly incorporated, and set aside.
- Now make the walnut streusel topping. Add the sugar, flour, cinnamon, ground ginger, walnuts, and butter to a bowl. Use your hands to mix until a crumbly mixture forms. Prep the apples.
- Back to the cake batter: add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until just combined and no streaks of flour remain.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared tin and smooth it out by gently shaking the tin from side to side.
- Top the cake batter with the sliced apples in any pattern you like, then top with the walnut streusel.
- Bake the cake for 55-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean.
- Cool for 15 minutes before removing the sides of the tin and cooling fully. Serve with yogurt or ice cream, and store any leftover cake in the refrigerator for up to three days.
This post was originally published in November 2017. It has been updated as of October 2020 with improvements to the text, new photographs, and a re-tested recipe.