Jan 222013

applesauce crumb cake recipe

It’s a quick and easy cake with a homely face. But it’s more sophisticated than it appears, being moist with applesauce, yet crunchy on top, and perfumed with lemon.

Pretty good cake for about 10 minute’s work. Hopefully autumn’s apples inspired you to make  home-made applesauce.  Which of course went into my applesauce oatmeal muffins. But, and let’s be realistic here, canned applesauce works fine.

A neighbor taught me this recipe long ago, when we were both still young mothers. I was in the middle of a domestic emergency in my Jerusalem apartment.

The washing machine had broken down, the new one was going to take a week to arrive, and I was pregnant. With an energetic little boy falling into mud puddles and wreaking general mayhem, the pile of laundry was growing, threatening to topple over and bury the house. I had no idea how to deal with it. I was overwhelmed.

My neighbor Esther came upstairs on some errand and found me with in the rocking chair with a face like a rainy Sunday, clutching a mug of coffee on top of my big tummy. She took the situation in with one glance of her lively black eyes, then offered me the use of her washer until mine arrived.

I won’t forget her kindness. It saved me. Suddenly, there was hope beyond hormones. Together, we shlepped the first two loads downstairs and I sat in her bright, cheerful kitchen almost in tears of gratitude.

Esther was full of ideas for good things to eat made in a hurry. She knew this recipe by heart, and I scribbled it down at her dictation as I waited for the laundry to finish spinning. It was long ago, but the cake still reminds of Esther, every time I bake it.

Applesauce Crumb Cake

Note: Pie fillings are very good with this dough. I’ve used cherries cooked in syrup and thickened with a little cornstarch – very good. Esther would sometimes fill the cake with a can of blueberry pie filling.


2- 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour

2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 cup margarine, room temperature

1 cup granulated sugar

Grated rind of 1 lemon

A pinch of salt

1 can applesauce, or 2-1/4 cups home-made

For the top crust:

2 tablespoons granulated sugar mixed with 1 tablespoon cinnamon


Preheat oven to 375° F, 190° C.

Combine all ingredients except for applesauce and sugar/cinnamon mix.

Pat half the dough into a square, medium-sized baking pan or large pie pan lined with baking parchment.

Spread the applesauce over the dough.

Crumble the remaining half of dough over the applesauce.

Sprinkle the sugar/cinnamon mixture over the top.

Bake 30 minutes.

This is a delicate cake, best stored in the fridge if any is left over, to keep the crust firm.


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  16 Responses to “Applesauce Crumb Cake Recipe”

  1. Quick, easy, and delicious? Sounds like my favorite kind of recipe! :-) (However, I think I’d trying replacing the margarine with 2/3 cup of oil.) Thanks for sharing it!

  2. I agree that oil would be a healthier alternative, Mrs. S. If you adapt this recipe, please let me know how it turned out!

  3. Looks delicious.. :-)

  4. This cake sounds super delicious. And your picture makes my mouth water. This will be the cake I make for this weekend.

  5. Do comment and let me know how you liked it, Jasmine!

  6. I made it with oil instead of margarina and it was really delicious! Thank you very much for such an easy and fast recepie. Next time I am going to try different filling.

  7. Thanks for letting me know Natasha! Did you use 2/3 cup oil, as Mrs. S. suggested?

  8. yes.

  9. Love this! I used lemon pie filling. So instead of sugar/ cinnamon on top I added a little more zest and some lemon sugar my mom had bought. I also added a little crushed mint in the dough with the zest. Not much, maybe 1/2 tsp crushed fine. I used butter. I know it would work with Crisco, wondering if the 2/3 was enough to make a crispy crust? I already promised my mom a Key lime one when this is finished! Love your recipes! I do hope you are feeling better as well!

  10. Wow, Michelle, I love it when readers adapt my recipes to their personal taste! I can’t offer an opinion about Crisco – it’s been so long since I’ve lived in the States that I’ve forgotten what it’s like. Butter sounds divine. In fact, your whole adaptation sounds divine.

  11. My daughter made this recipe for Shabbat. It was a big hit! :-) Shavua tov and chodesh tov!

  12. Thanks for letting me know, Mrs. S.! Did your daughter substitute oil for the marg?

  13. toda for the great recipe. here in Israel the Applesauce Cans are rather large …
    how much applesauce will I need for the recipe to work ?
    thanks :D

  14. I usually use up the whole can, Dorit, but if it seems too much, just spread out as much applesauce as you think the bottom layer of batter will take.

  15. i love recipes especially made from scratch .thank you.

  16. You’re welcome, Pat, enjoy!

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