Oh wow guys, this apple cookie crumb cake is amazing! Confession: I didn’t make it. The Rocking Rebel did. I helped him a bit – mostly because I like watching him because he’s cute – but I can’t really take any credit here. The Rocking Rebel is a genius…
This cookie cake is actually a spin on the classic Dutch apple pie, which is a family favorite all over the Netherlands. Usually, Dutch apple pies are a lot taller than this one is. That’s why I’ve called this gorgeous dessert a cookie cake. It’s not really a cake, not really a cookie, but delicious all the same!
And no, I really didn’t want to call it a pie either…
Anyway, Dutch apple pie is different from most other apple pies the world has to offer because it’s made with a very sugary, kind of shortbread-y pastry. It’s very forgiving, too. You don’t even need to chill it. You just press it into the pie plate or springform pan with your hands, and it just works. It’s also super yummy! It’s crumbly and flavorful, with golden edges and a soft cookie-like center. It’s the best part of Dutch apple pie…
This crazy cookie cake has a thick crust, a generous layer of subtly sweet Granny Smith apples spiced with cinnamon, and it’s topped with a delicious oatmeal crumble. Oh, and caramel. But that was just a really good last-minute decision…
Oh, and I know I cut this particular cookie cake into six pieces, but those pieces were big! I guess a cookie cake like this could serve up to ten people, if you serve it with coffee or tea. However, you could also make it for yourself and store leftovers in the fridge. Despite the crumbly topping, it makes a great on-the-go snack.
Just don’t add the caramel if you want to eat it in the car, or something. That would be messy…
First, you need to make the bottom crust. Start by beating sugar and softened butter together until fluffy, then mix in self-raising flour, half an egg and a pinch of salt until the dough comes together. Allow the dough to cool in the fridge while you proceed with the filling and crumb topping. Again, you don’t need to chill the dough, but as you still have to make the filling and a crumb topping, why not keep the dough in the fridge until you’re ready to assemble? I mean, it does make pressing the dough into the pan even easier…
The filling is just a combination of sliced apples, cinnamon and sugar. If you like raisins, feel free to add some (give them a soak in hot water first). Like nuts? Add some walnuts or almonds. The filling is very adaptable. The Rocking Rebel used Granny Smiths because those were in our fruit basket, but you can use any kind of apple you like.
One tip on the filling though: set the filling aside while you make the crumb topping. This allows the apples to release their excess juices, which will drain to the bottom of the bowl. Once you’ve pressed that delicious sugary pastry into the pan, add the filling one spoonful at a time, making sure to leave the excess juices in the bowl.
Another great tip: dust the bottom crust with a thin layer of vanilla custard powder before adding the filling. It not only soaks up excess juice while the cookie cake is in the oven, it also adds great flavor!
Anyway, make the crumb topping by rubbing cold butter into a mixture of cane sugar (for crunch), flour, salt and vanilla. Once the crumbs come together, stir in the oats and generously sprinkle the topping over the cookie cake.
Seriously guys, this is a great recipe!
For blog-purposes, I topped the cookie cake with my homemade salted caramel sauce, and it made a delicious addition! However, if you don’t feel like making caramel, this cookie cake is also crazy good on its own. Or serve it warm with a scoop of ice cream or some freshly whipped cream.
You can’t go wrong with this recipe!
- 113g (or ½ cup) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
- 85g (or ⅓ cup + 5 teaspoons) granulated sugar
- 170g (or 1⅓ cup) self-raising flour
- pinch of salt
- ½ large egg, beaten
- 700g (or 1½ pounds) Granny Smith apples
- 35g (3 tablespoons) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon vanilla custard powder, optional
- 42g (or 3 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cubed
- 55g (or ½ cup + 1 teaspoon) self-raising flour
- 35g (3 tablespoons) cane sugar
- pinch of salt
- ¼ teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons rolled oats
- Preheat the oven to 175°C/350°F (standard oven setting). Combine butter and sugar in a large bowl and mix, using a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, until smooth and fluffy. Add the self-raising flour, salt and the egg. Fit the mixer with the dough hooks and mix until the dough comes together in a ball. Form the dough into a flat disc, wrap it in plastic wrap and place in the fridge while you make the filling and crumb topping.
- Peel and core the apples. Cut each apple into quarters, then slice each quarter into four even slices. In a large bowl, toss the apple slices with the sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.
- In a medium-sized bowl, combine the cubed butter, self-raising flour, cane sugar, salt and vanilla. Rub the ingredients together with the tips of your fingers until large clumps form. Mix in the oats. Set aside.
- Get yourself a 23-cm/9-inch springform pan. Don't grease it. Remove the dough for the crust from the fridge and, using your hands, press it into the pan in an even layer. Using a fine-meshed sieve, dust the dough with the custard powder. Top with the filling, using your hands or a spoon, making sure to leave the excess apple juice in the bottom of the bowl. Sprinkle the crumb topping on top.
- Bake in the middle of the oven for 50 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool or serve warm. Cookie cake will keep, stored in an airtight container in the fridge, for up to three days.