Rich and moist, full of warm fall flavors, with chunks of apple and topped with a traditional streusel, this Molasses Apple Crumb Cake is sure to become a fall favorite!Jump to Recipe
Rich and moist, full of warm fall flavors, with chunks of apple and topped with a traditional streusel, this Molasses Apple Crumb Cake is sure to become a fall favorite!
I’m a big fan of molasses in any form – I love molasses cookies, gingersnaps, and my all-time favorite – shoo fly pie. It’s a Pennsylvania Dutch staple where molasses is mixed with baking soda and through some serious kitchen magic produces the most insane gooey delicious pie you’ve ever had in your life.
This cake however, is coming up as a dark horse in terms of my favorite molasses recipes. It’s incredibly simple to make – you just mix everything together in a large bowl and top it with the streusel topping and pop it in the oven. The cake is dark and sweet, but not cloyingly so and is studded with large chunks of apple in every bite. It’s perfect for fall and is a great, simple weeknight dessert.
Flavor: The molasses flavor is pronounced in this cake, so if you don’t like molasses, this isn’t the one for you. The cinnamon is there, but not overtly. I would definitely use green apples here – their sour bite contrasts nicely with the sweetness of the cake. Overall, this is a really nice fall cake.
Texture: for such a dark cake, it’s really very light and sort of just barely holds together. The streusel topping works to almost hold the cake together. The cake wouldn’t really work without it.
Ease: this is a super easy recipe. The most labor-intensive part is peeling and dicing the apples. The rest of it is just mixing things together in bowls.
- Brown sugar
- Granulated sugar
- Vegetable oil
- Green apples
Tips and Tricks
- Make sure you line the baking pan with parchment – this is a moist cake and it WILL stick to the pan.
- Start checking to see if the cake is done about 5 minutes before the time is up. All ovens bake differently. Test the cake near the center with a toothpick – if it comes out clean, you’re good to go!
- Cut the apples fairly large – about ½ inch pieces. They’ll start to get a little mushy if they’re any smaller than that.
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What kind of apples should I use?
I would use a nice firm baking apple like a Granny Smith. A Honeycrisp apple also works exceptionally well in baked goods.
What if I don’t like or am allergic to nuts?
Just go ahead and leave them out, but double the oats.
I don’t want to buy buttermilk for just one recipe!
You can make your own buttermilk very easily by measuring out 1 cup of milk, and adding 1 tablespoon of white vinegar to it. Stir gently and let it sit for 5 minutes. It wont be quite as thick as buttermilk you buy from the store, but it gets the job done! You could also substitute plain yogurt for the buttermilk.
I ran out of molasses! What do I do?
If you don’t care about the color of the cake, you could easily swap out the molasses for either honey or maple syrup. If you want that deep brown color though, it’s gotta be molasses!
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Molasses Apple Crumb Cake
- 2 ¼ cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon divided
- ¾ cup light brown sugar
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ¾ cup vegetable oil
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ cup molasses not blackstrap
- ¾ cup buttermilk
- 1 ½ cups chopped green apple about 2 large apples
- ½ cup rolled oats not instant
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- ¼ 4 tablespoons tablespoons butter, melted
- Preheat your oven to 350 and line a 13x9 baking dish with parchment paper, and spray the paper with non-stick spray.
- In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon, brown sugar and granulated sugar and mix well.
- Scoop out ¾ cup of this mixture and set aside in a medium bowl for later.
- To the remaining flour mixture, add another ½ teaspoon of the cinnamon, vegetable oil, egg, vanilla, baking powder, baking soda, molasses, buttermilk and chopped apple. Mix well to combine and pour into the prepared baking dish.
- In the bowl with the set aside flour mixture, add the remaining ½ teaspoon of cinnamon, the oats, chopped pecans and melted butter, and stir to combine. Scatter this mixture over the top of the batter.
- Bake for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Cool the cake in the pan.
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