The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Spiced Apple Sourdough Crumble Cake (or muffins)

Spiced Apple Sourdough Crumble Cake (or muffins)

Anonymous baker's picture
Anonymous baker (not verified)


Received this recipe from BakeryBits, in the UK, as part of a promotional email and thought it looked interesting. Here is the description:

"This is a superb cake for every day, filled with juicy chunks of apple, flavoured with a hint of spice and finished with a sweet crumble topping. If you wish you can bake the mixture in individual muffin cases. There should be enough mixture for 12–16 muffins, depending on the size of your cases".


SourceCharlotte Pike from her book "Fermented"
Prep time
Cooking time45 minutes
Total time45 minutes


75 g
Caster sugar (for the topping)
75 g
plain flour (for the topping)
75 g
cold salted butter, cut into cubes (for the topping)
275 g
self raising flour (for the cake)
1 t
baking powder (for the cake)
150 g
Caster sugar (for the cake)
1 pn
fine salt (for the cake)
1 t
Mixed Spice (for the cake)
125 g
salted butter, cut into cubes, plus extra for greasing (for the cake)
275 ml
Whole milk (for the cake)
1 t
vanilla extract (for the cake)
Large Eggs Beaten (for the cake)
100 g
mature sourdough starter (for the cake)
300 g
eating apples, peeled, cored & cut into 1cm cubes (prepared weight) (for the cake)


Preheat the oven to 160°C fan/180°C electric/gas mark 4. Grease your cake tin (a 20cm round, loose-bottomed cake tin, approx. 8cm deep), line the base and sides with non-stick baking parchment and set aside.

To make the crumble topping, put the sugar and flour in a medium bowl and stir together. Add the butter and rub in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles sticky breadcrumbs. If your butter is soft it will form clumps, but that’s fine. Alternatively, blitz the ingredients together in a food processor to form rough breadcrumbs. Don’t over-mix, or the crumble mixture will come together to form a ball.

To make the cake, sift the flour and baking powder into a large mixing bowl. Add the caster sugar, salt and mixed spice and stir to combine. Add the cubes of butter and rub in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

In a separate jug or bowl, whisk together the milk, vanilla extract and eggs. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and add the sourdough levain. Gently stir the ingredients together to form a smooth batter, but don’t over-mix or the cake will be tough. Finally add the apple chunks and stir in gently to combine.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and top with the crumble topping. (If your crumble topping has formed large clumps, just break them up with a knife and place small blobs of topping on top of the cake batter.)

Bake for 40-50 minutes until well-risen and golden brown. (If using muffin cases, allow 22-28 minutes, depending on size). Transfer the cake to a wire rack and set aside to cool.

This cake is best enjoyed as fresh as possible.


This is a recipe by Charlotte Pike from her book "Fermented". To win it, bake this recipe and tweet it to @bakerybits and BakeryBits will send their favourite tweet a copy of the book.


Ru007's picture

Yum yum yum! I don't really have much of a sweet tooth but i love apple desserts (apple pie, baked apples with ice cream etc) so this is right up my ally. 

What hydration should the starter be?

The picture looks fantastic!

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

I thought it'd be nice to share a recipe which included starter which isn't only bread. The picture, not mine, looks good.

Whenever a recipe doesn't specify the hydration I automatically take it as 100%

I don't know if this helps but I did a search on bakerybits for starter. They do sell one which you reactivate by feeding the all white flour starter with 80% hydration feeds and they do seem to imply this is how it should be maintained.

If we're to go by this then i'd say a mature 80% hydration white flour starter should be used in the recipe.

I look forward to your results.

P.s. I have been having a look through the questions and answers on the page and they don't seem too fussed if it's 80-100% hydration. As long as its a thick batter. So up to you! It is a cake after all so more leeway as you're going to be making a batter anyway.