A lovely fresh apple crisp cake, lightly sweet and topped with a classic oatmeal and brown sugar apple crisp topping.

apple crisp cake sliced on cutting board

This apple crisp cake takes a simple fresh apple cake and tops it with the classic apple crisp oatmeal and brown sugar topping. Despite the sweet topping, this is not a super sweet apple cake. It’s also packed full of fresh apples. There lots of cubed apples in the cake and on top, some thinly sliced apple, as well. It’s an easy apple dessert cake to enjoy any time of day!

What are the best apples to use in this apple cake?

For this cake, look for a sweet apple variety, such as Gala, Fuji, Golden Delicious or Honeycrisp. Sometimes a variety of apples makes for an interesting cake, too.

I don’t recommend Granny Smith apples, as they are both too tart and too hard, even after baking.

Ingredients and Substitutions

Apples: As noted above, a sweet apple (or apples) is recommended for this one, as the cake itself is not super sweet. If the apples you happen to have on hand are not the sweetest, you might want to add a touch more sugar to the cake (a couple tablespoons or so).

Oatmeal: The crisp oatmeal topping uses large-flake, old-fashioned rolled oats. You’ll find them labeled as such in the stores. You could use quick-cooking oats, in a pinch, but it won’t have the same texture.

Cinnamon: I’ve added some flexibility in the amount of cinnamon to add to the oatmeal topping. Use 1/4 teaspoon for just a touch or increase to 1/2 teaspoon if you are feeling more cinnamon with your apple cake.

apple cake with crisp topping on cutting board

Recipe Tips

I used a 9-inch springform pan here, which produces a 2-inch-ish high cake. You could use either an 8-inch springform (for a taller cake) or a 10-inch (for a thinner cake). Cooking time will vary, of course, so be sure to watch it closely and test regularly for doneness.

Be sure to beat the eggs and sugar well. The recipe suggests 3 minutes and it’s sometimes helpful to set a timer, just to be sure.

Baking times will vary from oven to oven, the size of pan you used and also based on the colour of you springform pan! Darker pans will cook more quickly than lighter-coloured ones, as it absorbs oven heat more efficiently than a lighter pan. If you have a dark springform pan, you can mitigate this by reducing the oven temperature for baking by 25 degrees F.

I always suggest that the first time you make a baking recipe, you start checking the it 10-15 minutes before the time specified in the recipe. You may not need to open the oven. You can usually just turn the light on and see how it is progressing. If it happens to look done-ish, go ahead and open the oven and test it with a tester. If it looks like it definitely isn’t ready, simply let it continue cooking, as needed.

Top Tip! To keep your apples from browning while you prepare your cake batter, place them in a bowl of water and a bit of lemon juice.

Storage and Freezing

This cake is best in the first 24 hours of baking, as the cake will be most moist and the topping will be nice and crispy. The cake will keep well another day or so, although the topping may soften somewhat.

This cake will freeze well, though the topping may be slightly softened after freezing and thawing.

apple cake with crisp topping on cutting board

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apple crisp cake sliced on cutting board

Get the Recipe: Apple Crisp Cake

A lovely fresh apple cake, with a classic apple crisp oatmeal and brown sugar topping.
5 stars from 7 ratings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Yield: 10 servings


For the Cake:

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoons fine salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 large apples, or 5 medium/6 small apples

Oatmeal Crisp Topping:

  • 1/2 cup large-flake oatmeal
  • 3 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup butter, at room temperature


  • Preheat oven to 350F. (regular bake setting/not fan assisted). Grease a 9-inch springform pan and line the bottom with a round of parchment paper.
  • Melt the 1/2 cup of butter ane set aside to cool.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.
  • Peel and core all 4 large apples. Cube 3 of the apples into 1/4-1/2-inch pieces and cut the 4th apple into thin slices. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl with an electric mixer or the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat together the eggs and sugar, beating until it's light and syrupy, about 3 minutes. With mixer on low, add the cooled, melted butter and the vanilla. Beat to combine. With mixer on low, spoon in the flour mixture and mix until well combined.
  • Remove bowl from mixer. Fold in the diced apple until they are coated with the batter.
  • Spoon batter into prepared springform pan and level top. Scatter sliced apples over the top and press slightly into the batter.
  • Prepare the crisp topping by stirring together the oatmeal, brown sugar and cinnamon. Add the room temperature butter and use your fingertips to pinch the mixture together, until it form crumbles.
  • Sprinkle on the crumble topping evenly over the top of the cake.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 45-50 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean.
  • Allow cake to cool in pan on a cooling rack for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the edge and remove the outer ring of the springform pan. Allow to cool a bit longer, then run a knife under the parchment base and slide off the springform bake and onto a cooling rack. Gently remove the parchment from the bottom and discard. .
  • Serve warm or at room temperature, dusted with icing/confectioners' sugar.


Be sure to read the notes above this Recipe Card, where I share more detailed  tips, variations and substitution suggestions for this recipe!
Cuisine: American, Canadian
Course: Dessert
Serving: 1serving, Calories: 315kcal, Carbohydrates: 42.19g, Protein: 4.05g, Fat: 15.41g, Saturated Fat: 9.19g, Cholesterol: 78.79mg, Sodium: 373.65mg, Potassium: 204.73mg, Fiber: 2.98g, Sugar: 22.93g, Vitamin A: 534.86IU, Vitamin C: 4.1mg, Calcium: 50.14mg, Iron: 1.35mg
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