Farmhouse Apple Cake

Crumbly, buttery, nutty streusel tops this moist and tender apple cake. This rustic farm-style cake is made with no special equipment, just a couple of bowls and a whisk.

An apple a day keeps the doctor away, or so the old saying goes. Luckily for us, they never specified exactly how this magical apple is to be consumed, which is why today we are enjoying our apples in a deliciously moist Farmhouse Apple Cake.

Topped with buttery, crumbly, nutty streusel, this cake is definitely good for the soul and will keep you coming back for more.

Farmhouse Apple Cake

What is a farmhouse apple cake?

My Farmhouse Apple Cake recipe is a rustic, old-fashioned sort of apple cake. It’s super easy to make, no mixer required at all, just a couple of bowls and a whisk. Full of fruit and with a crumbly streusel topping it is absolutely delicious.

What makes this cake so special?

It has a secret ingredient! The secret to the lovely tender crumb of this cake is using sour cream, which stops the cake from being too heavy and gives it a terrific texture.

As a bonus, it means you can use much less butter than you would in a traditional cake, so you get all that flavour and moistness with less fat. (I’m still not pretending cake is actually health food, but you get my drift).

Perfect for laidback weekend baking.

I love baking this apple cake because it comes together so easily. No need to get the mixer out, just stir together and pop it in the oven. By the time it’s cooked, the whole house is full of enticing aromas and you’ll be ready for a cup of tea!

What apples are best for making apple cake?

The best apples for cooking with are always the tarter varieties, Granny Smith or Braeburn are widely available. In the US Jonagold or Honey Crisp will work well.

Today I used one of the very best: ‘Belle de Boskoop’ a brilliant all-rounder, whether cooking, eating or cider making.

Farmhouse Apple Cake

Apples have the best names!

I’ve always loved apples and I can’t wait to start planting some trees of my own. Surely one of the best things about apples is the weird and wonderful names they are given: D’Arcy Spice, Peasgood’s Nonsuch, Cornish Gilliflower to name a few.

Farmhouse Apple Cake


I have a nut allergy. Can I make this apple cake nut-free?

Of course! Just leave them out of the streusel.

I don’t have any apples, can I make this with other fruit?

I don’t see why not! I’d lean toward fruit with a bit of a sour note. Rhubarb, gooseberries, raspberries etc.

Can I make this cake in a different size Cake Pan?

I haven’t experimented too much, but I’d say that would be fine, you’ll just need to adjust the cooking time. It would make lovely muffins, with much-reduced cooking time, around 35 minutes.

Can I make Farmhouse Apple Cake without the oil?

Sure you can! Replace with melted butter.

Farmhouse Apple Cake
Farmhouse Apple Cake

Farmhouse Apple Cake Recipe

Farmhouse Apple Cake

Farmhouse Apple Cake

Yield: Serves 8
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Crumbly, buttery, nutty streusel tops this moist and tender apple cake. This rustic farm-style cake is made with no special equipment, just a couple of bowls and a whisk.

The sour cream makes the crumb beautifully light and fluffy, while the apples make sure the cake is never dry.


for the crumble:

  • 75g (½ cup) plain flour
  • 50g (½ stick) butter, cubed
  • 50g (¼ cup) white sugar
  • 50g (½ cup) nuts, roughly chopped (walnuts, almonds etc)

for the cake:

  • 200g (¾ cup) sour cream, full fat
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 50ml (3 Tbsp) neutral oil, sunflower, canola etc
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 200g (1 + ⅓ cups) plain flour
  • 175 g (¾ cup + 2 Tbsp) sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1-2 tart apples, peeled and cut into 1cm cubes, approx 250g (¼ lb. see note)


  1. PREPARE: Heat the oven to 180°C / 350°F / Gas 4. Line the base of a 20cm round spring form cake tin with baking paper and grease the base and sides well with butter.
  2. MAKE THE CRUMBLE: Make the crumble by combining the flour and butter in a bowl. Use your fingers to rub the butter into the flour, pinching it and squeezing it until it has a rough, pebbly texture. It doesn’t have to be fine, in fact, the rougher the better. Stir through the sugar and nuts, then put the bowl in the freezer while you prepare the cake.
  3. MIX THE BATTER: In a mixing bowl, whisk together the sour cream, eggs and oil until smooth. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and cinnamon until well combined. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry until just combined, then add the apple cubes to the mixture and fold through, gently but thoroughly. Scrape the mixture into the prepared tin, smooth the top, then scatter over all of the crumble.
  4. BAKE: Bake in the bottom third of the preheated oven for 1 hour. Check around 55 minutes to make sure it isn’t getting too brown on the top, it shouldn’t, but if it is, cover loosely with a square of tin foil. After an hour, check to make sure the cake is cooked by inserting a wooden skewer into the centre of the cake. It should come out with just a few moist crumbs clinging to the skewer. If it is at all liquid, return to the oven for a further 5 minutes.
  5. COOL AND SERVE: Allow the cake to cool in the tin before running a sharp knife around the side to loosen from the tin and transferring to a serving platter. Dust with icing sugar to serve, and if you fancy a big mound of whipped cinnamon cream, though it is so lovely and moist the cake doesn’t need it.


For a cake like this, it is best to use tart apples, Boskoop are my favourite, but Braeburn or Granny Smith would be fine. If you have very sweet apples, reduce the sugar by 25g and add some grated lemon zest.

If you don’t have vanilla essence or extract where you are (eg: Germany) replace with 2 tsp vanilla sugar.

In Germany use Schmand or Creme Fraiche, not Saure Sahne)

Imperial and cup measurements are approximate. For best results I use and recommend a digital kitchen scale like the one below.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 458Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 69mgSodium: 204mgCarbohydrates: 62gFiber: 3gSugar: 32gProtein: 7g

Nutrition information is calculated automatically and isn’t always accurate.

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Jay Wadams
Jay Wadams

Jay Wadams is a cookbook author, food photographer and Le Cordon Bleu Gastronomy and Nutrition graduate. Based in Italy 🇮🇹 Germany 🇩🇪 and Australia 🇦🇺.

Articles: 315


  1. I want to try this but I have a question for you. I live in Germany and always use the sour cream here for baking when called for, always with success. Why do you say to use Schmand or Creme Fraiche in place of the sour cream? Thanks!

    • Hi Jessica! Great question! The reason I recommend Schmand or Creme Fraiche in this recipe rather than Saure Sahne is to do with the fat content.

      Unlike sour cream in the U.S or U.K, German sour cream usually only has around 10% fat. Schmand is more like 25% and CF is up to 40%! Because this recipe has no butter in the cake mixture (just a little oil), the fats in the Schmand or CF keep the cake moist and carry the flavour. You can absolutely use Saure Sahne, I just can’t guarantee the results will be as delicious! I’d love to know how it goes if you try it 🙂 J.

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