When it’s looking dire in the fridge and a desperate need for cake is taking over, some people resort to making a simple Victoria Sponge or Vanilla Cupcakes. My ‘day-before-a-food-shop’ saviour is this amazingly simple Apple Crumble Traybake.
Inspiration Behind This Apple Cake Traybake
It sounds like a cliché amongst food bloggers, but this is exactly how my Mum used to make it. Joke! My mum rarely bakes (although she does make the best honey cake in the world – I’ll ask her to share the recipe soon). But this Apple Crumble Traybake indeed reminds me of the one she used to buy in a local bakery and bring home for an after-dinner treat 🙂 I am very thankful to my parents for inflicting an incredible love for ‘baked goods’ from an early age. Not necessarily home-baked cakes, but great cakes nonetheless. In my family, you haven’t eaten, unless you had a dessert. Over the years it’s become both a blessing and a curse!
A few simple everyday ingredients and the magic of baking – that’s all you need to make these delicious apple crumble squares! Have a look in your fridge, cupboards and fruit bowl – you may not even need to go shopping to enjoy apple crumble traybake!
- plain (all-purpose) flour: you can use self-raising flour in this recipe – just skip the baking powder. Also, try replacing 1/3 of plain flour with spelt or wholemeal flour.
- baking powder: not to be mixed up with baking soda.
- butter: we used unsalted, but salted butter will work too.
- brown sugar: we used light brown sugar.
- egg: small to medium egg will be just fine to add enough moisture to the crumble mixture.
- jam: we tried it with plum, raspberry, rhubarb and cherry jam and enjoyed it each and every way.
- apples: we prefer tart apples to cut through the sweetness of the jam.
- lemon: or lemon juice from the bottle.
Preheat the oven to 180°C Fan. Line your oven dish with baking parchment: both the bottom and the sides. It will be easier to lift the Apple Crumble Traybake out of the dish once it’s cooked if your baking paper is left overhanging the sides.
In a large mixing bowl, mix flour and baking powder. Cube your room temperature butter. Then rub the butter in the flour with your fingertips until there aren’t any large lumps of butter left. Add sugar and cinnamon and mix. Crack an egg in and knead lightly with your hands until some larger clumps of dough form.
Divide the mixture into two. Tip one half into a lined baking tray and press hard with the palm of your hand to evenly cover the tray’s surface. Spread any jam you have at home on top. I love pairing my apples with our homemade plum jam, but cherry or raspberry jam will work fine.
I use whatever apples I have at home. But I find this traybake works best with tart apple varieties, like Granny Smith or Braeburn. However, avoid cooking apples as they go to complete mush. Core your apples. Peel them if their skins are tough, but I rarely do that. Skins soften whilst baking and I hardly notice they are there. Slice your apples very thinly. After that, squeeze some lemon juice over them to prevent them from browning.
Layer your apple slices on top of the jam, sprinkling with a tbsp of sugar in between layers. Keep on layering until you have no apples left. I normally get 3 layers. Then evenly spread the rest of the crumble mixture, and only very lightly press down to stick the crumbs to the apples.
This Apple Tray Bake With Crumble Topping will take 40 minutes to cook at 180°C Fan. The top will turn lovely golden brown. Cool it in the baking tray, then lift it out and slice it into squares. Enjoy with a cup of tea or coffee!
Either way, be careful if you’re cutting the apple traybake into portions warm, as it will be fragile. Use a large fish slice to lift the squares out of the tray and serve with custard! We personally cool the crumble traybake to room temperature, then slice it and enjoy it with coffee.
Choose firm crispy apples that are as fresh as you can get them. Firm texture means that the apples keep their shape and don’t fully disintegrate whilst cooking, adding extra texture to your apple traybake. But truth be told, any old apple will do just fine in this bake. Here are some of our favourite apples to use:
Pink Lady: a slightly sweeter, but extremely crisp and juicy type of apple that adds great texture and effervescent flavour to your caramel apple crumble cheesecake.
Braeburn: slightly more acidic than the Pink lady, Braeburns are a great choice for a more tangy flavour, that pairs extremely well with the cinnamon in the crumble topping.
Granny Smith: the most tart of the three, Granny Smith apples are for those who enjoy slightly less sweetness in exchange for citrusy zing.
Other Recipes Using Apples
We bake often and make a huge variety of lovely sweet treats. Cakes, tarts, cookies and biscuits – you name it! Have a look at our other recipes featuring apples:
- Sourdough Apple Fritter Doughnuts
- Apple and Cinnamon Sourdough Buns
- Apple Crumble Cheesecake (recipe coming soon)
Apple Crumble Traybake
- 20x20cm (8x8in) baking tin
- 200 g plain flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 100 g butter room temperature, cubed
- 90 g brown sugar
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 1 small egg
For the Apple Layer:
- 2 tbsp jam plum, raspberry, rhubarb or cherry
- 3-4 apples cored and thinly sliced
- ¼ lemon juice only
- 1-2 tbsp brown sugar
- Preheat the oven to 180°C Fan. Line a baking tray with baking parchment with sides overhanging slightly so it's easier to lift the traybake out later.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix flour and baking powder. Cube room temperature butter and rub it into the flour with your fingertips.
- Add sugar, cinnamon and a pinch of salt and mix. Then crack an egg in and mix with your hands until large clumps of dough form, squeezing the dough to help the process along.
- Tip half of the mixture into a baking tray and press down to cover the whole surface. Spread the jam of your choice on top in a thin layer
- Core your apples, and peel them if their skins are tough. Slice the apples very thinly and start layering them on top of your jam, sprinkling with some brown sugar in between layers. You should get 2-3 layers.
- Sprinkle the rest of the buttery mixture to create a crumble top.
- Bake in the centre of the oven for 40 minutes until the top is golden brown. Cool then lift out and cut into portions to serve with tea or coffee! Or serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!