Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Apple Crumb Buns

Happy Summer Solstice to everyone!  We're having one of those picture perfect days in the Pacific Northwest that we don't like to talk about because, I've been told, we don't want to encourage anymore people moving here:-D! 

In spite of the beautiful weather, I have a yearning for something "apple," even though it's not one of the seasonal fruits in the market right now.  However, I still bought several Granny Smith's in anticipation of coming up with a recipe that would satisfy that yearn and combine it with one of my favorite morning treats...crumb cake or as my grandmother would have said, "streuselkuchen."

The crumb topping to this breakfast bun is totally different from what a lot of bakers know as streusel; first, the butter is melted and poured over the dry ingredients to form a thick paste that you create "pebbles" from instead of cold butter "cut" into the dry ingredients and secondly, the flour to sugar(s) ratio is a lot more with crumb than it is in streusel.

Apple Crumb Buns
Apple Filling:
3 to 4 tart cooking apples (I used Granny Smith)
2 T Boiled Apple Cider 
1/4 cup granulated sugar
Peel, core, slice, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces the apples. 
One of my "gifts" is that I can peel an apple all in one parents were so proud! LOL!!

Place the apple chunks in saucepan and add the boiled cider and sugar.  Stir to combine and place over med/low heat, cover the pan until the apples start releasing their juices--about 7 to 8 minutes.

When the apples are tender, transfer to a small bowl and place in the refrigerator to cool while you continue with the other components.

Crumb Topping:
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light or dark brown sugar, packed
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
8 T (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 3/4 cup Queen Guinevere Cake Flour

In a medium bowl, mix the sugars, salt and cinnamon together using your hands.
Add the melted butter and mix with a fork to combine.
Add the cake flour and stir to combine, making sure all the flour is mixed in.  The mixture will be like a paste.  Set aside to allow the gluten to relax while you make up the cake aspect of this treat.
Preheat oven to 350F-degrees.  I used crumb cake liners that I found at The Container Store, but you can also get them online...just Google crumb cake papers.  This recipe makes 12 buns.

Cake batter:
8 T (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
8 oz. cream cheese
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. Vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. Tahitian Vanilla Powder
1 3/4 cups King Arthur all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. Kosher salt
1/4 cup milk

In a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream the butter and cream cheese together.  Gradually, add the sugar and continue beating until fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Add the vanilla extract and powder (if using) to the batter and mix again.

Combine the dry ingredients and whisk to mix.  Add half of the dry ingredients to the batter, then, the milk and beat on low.  Add the remaining dry ingredients and beat on medium for 1 minute to thoroughly combine.  The batter resembles the thickness of "frosting."


1. Divide the batter evenly among the 12 crumb paper liners.  Use an off-set spatula to spread over the bottom.
2. Place a heaping tablespoon of apple filling in the center of the cake.  Any leftover filling can be used to make an Apple Pie Smoothie!
3. Squeeze the crumb topping mixture together and then break off "pebble" sized pieces and place on top of the fruit and cake.

Bake in the preheated 20 to 22 minutes or until golden brown and a wooden skewer comes out clean when you pierce the cake.
Allow to cool about 10 minutes, then transfer to a rack to continue cooling.  As the "piece de resistance," heavily dust with confectioners' sugar before serving.

For me, there's nothing better than crumb cake and having an apple filling has just put me in such a good mood, not to mention, Kelly Clarkson's "What Doesn't Kill You, Makes You Stronger" is playing in the background--something I'm learning the hard way. Enjoy!


  1. What a lovely apple creation! These would be great for afternoon tea. Heck--they'd be great anytime! Enjoy your beautiful weather--we are in the middle of a heat wave. I hate when it's so hot I feel trapped inside.
    Martha Ellen

    1. I remember all too well those hot, humid days when we lived back east, so I sympathize with you dealing with this. We don't even have air conditioning...sorry to add that. I think cool thoughts and wish you were here to have tea with. XOXO

  2. Okay, so you really need to open a bakery or maybe open a stand at the local farmers' market. Seriously, my friend. These are abolutely gorgeous!! Be strong!! LV, me

    1. I'm waiting for you to move down here and start it with me! Love you, Me

  3. These look amazing! I too have been craving an apple baked treat and will try to make these gluten-free.

    1. Linda, that would be so easy with King Arthur Flour's Gluten free flour--this is really one of my best recipes I've come up with;-)

  4. Those look AMAZING!! We love apple muffins, so I'm sure these would be devoured as well. Enjoy your picture perfect day!

    1. I think these would be great as a muffin, just change the baking time maybe. XOXO

  5. Yum! bet I could eat all of them.
    stamping sue

    1. If I didn't give them away...I know I could have:-D

  6. I'm impressed with your apple peeling skill!
    These look delicious! If I lived by you, I'd be over in a jiffy!

  7. This has given me a crazy craving for apple crisp. I do NOT (DO NOT) wish for fall. However, I love the food that goes along with the season.

  8. Oh wow. I could totally LIVE on these. What an awesome dessert!

  9. I love love love this! I pinned it :)