Graham Streusel Apple Cake

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This old fashioned Graham Streusel Apple Cake is a classic family recipe that is sure to impress. The crumbly, streusel topping gets a makeover with graham crackers and a hint of sweet vanilla.  

This old fashioned Graham Streusel Apple Cake is an old family recipe that is sure to impress. The crumbly, streusel topping gets a makeover with graham crackers and a hint of sweet vanilla.

It is finally starting to feel like Fall around here! Not that we get the beautiful fall weather that some of the United States gets. Our fall is subtle. Southern California has two temperatures, hot and hotter. But as we get closer to winter, the windows are open a little more often and a faint breeze brushes through the trees, rustling up the autumn leaves. Football is on the TV Monday nights which makes for a very happy husband. The stores are filled with Halloween decorations and I am dreaming of all things pumpkin. So though it isn’t the fall most people imagine, it is what I have come to know as a change in season.

This old fashioned Graham Streusel Apple Cake is an old family recipe that is sure to impress. The crumbly, streusel topping gets a makeover with graham crackers and a hint of sweet vanilla.

This change of season always puts me in the mood for baking. I eagerly anticipate the coming of the holidays and all the treats that follow. So it was only natural that I pull out my favorite old Apple Cake recipe and whip it up this weekend. This recipe is a true classic.

This old fashioned Graham Streusel Apple Cake is an old family recipe that is sure to impress. The crumbly, streusel topping gets a makeover with graham crackers and a hint of sweet vanilla.

This cake is my favorite during the fall season. There are a few reasons that make this coffee cake the very BEST! The secret is the buttermilk and the nutmeg. The buttermilk makes for an ultra moist cake while the nutmeg gives it that bakery taste that I absolutely adore. I insist you use Granny Smith Apples in this cake. I have used others before and the flavor just isn’t the same. The tartness of the apples mixed with the cinnamon is a perfect combo. I like to use half applesauce and half oil for this recipe because the applesauce gives it a touch of sweetness and allows me to cut back on the sugar. The original recipe calls for 2 cups of sugar but I only use 1 cup!

This old fashioned Graham Streusel Apple Cake is an old family recipe that is sure to impress. The crumbly, streusel topping gets a makeover with graham crackers and a hint of sweet vanilla.

I decided to change things up with the typical streusel on this cake and instead used an amazing vanilla graham cracker streusel. It is SO good! It really takes this cake from special to unforgettable. For the streusel use a pastry cutter and it is crucial to use really cold butter! I cut my butter into small cubes and then put it back in the freezer for a couple minutes while I measure out the other ingredients. For an extra special touch I drizzled the cake with a little maple glaze but this is really completely optional!


5.0 from 3 reviews
Graham Cracker Streusel Apple Cake
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • Old Fashioned Apple Cake:
  • ½ Cup Canola Oil
  • ½ Cup Unsweetened Applesauce
  • 1 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 3 Cups All Purpose Flour
  • 2 Teaspoons Baking Soda
  • ½ Teaspoon Salt
  • 2 Teaspoons Cinnamon
  • ½ Teaspoon Nutmeg
  • ¾ Cup Buttermilk
  • 2½ Cups Granny Smith Apples, peeled, cored & diced
  • Vanilla Graham Cracker Streusel:
  • 1 Cup Brown Sugar
  • ½ Cup All Purpose Flour
  • 2 Graham Crackers, crushed
  • ½ Teaspoon Salt
  • ½ Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter, very cold and cut into small cubes
  • Maple Glaze:
  • 1 Cup Powdered Sugar
  • ½ Teaspoon Maple Extract
  • 1 Teaspoon Butter, melted
  • 2 Teaspoons Milk
Instructions
  1. Old Fashioned Apple Cake:
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease a 9 x 13 pan with In a bowl, cream together the oil, applesauce, brown sugar and eggs. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add in the buttermilk to the dry mixture a third at a time, alternating with the wet ingredients. Do not overmix. With a rubber spatula, fold in the apples. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and top with vanilla graham cracker streusel. Bake for 50 minutes to an hour. Cake is done when a toothpick comes out clean. Optional: drizzle with glaze.
  3. Vanilla Graham Cracker Streusel: In a bowl, combine the brown sugar, flour, crushed graham crackers, salt and vanilla extract. Using a pastry cutter, cut the butter cubes into the flour mixture until very crumbly.
  4. Maple Glaze:
  5. In a bowl, whisk all the ingredients together until smooth. Drizzle over the cake directly after removing from the oven.
Notes
If preparing apples ahead of time, toss with a tablespoon of orange juice to keep the apples from browning.

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Comments

  1. says

    I spoke to some friends in San Francisco last week and they said it was 106 degrees. 106! Here’s hoping that California starts to get some more fall-like weather soon. 🙂 This apple cake just screams “Autumn!”

    • Mariah Mercurio says

      Agh we have definitely had some hot weather here this summer! I am so ready for some cool weather..and dare I say rain lol

  2. says

    I’m so jealous of your colder weather Mariah! Up in N. California it is going to be 100 degrees all week. Ick! Hoping it’s our last heat wave, because I am ready for some fall baking. And this apple cake is now at the top of my baking list!

    • Mariah Mercurio says

      It was really nice this past week but I am afraid we are back to hot weather this week. Which means more margaritas and tanning lol

    • Mariah Mercurio says

      I think you were the one who inspired the whole graham cracker streusel with your key lime cake Denise 😉

  3. says

    I love fall for the cooler weather, football, and totally for apples! This cake looks so delicious, and I love the sound of that graham streusel! 🙂

  4. says

    It cooled down here and now it’s crazy hot again…coming down your way to Disneyland next month and I’m crossing my fingers the weather will be nice :). This cake looks so good, I love how you incorporated the graham crackers!

    • Mariah Mercurio says

      OOOHHH just in time for all the halloween stuff at disneyland! I love that time of year! Maybe we can meet up! We live really close to disneyland!

  5. says

    We are in the middle of a heat wave in Connecticut right now. All I want is sweaters, cider, and hayrides. This cake is the perfect way to start AND end a weekend. Curled up on the couch with a few good books, a cup of tea, and this cake!

  6. says

    Hooray for fall baking! Apple cakes are my favorite! You out did yourself with the graham streusel topping. I wish I had a slice with my morning coffee.

    • Mariah Mercurio says

      I can’t wait to come out! Lets hope Baby Aiden stays in so that you don’t leave me as a loner at the conference! 😉

  7. Kay says

    I made this cake for my office and everyone loved it! And these are a group that will definitely pull no punches if they don’t like something. Just the right sweetness and tartness with the apples and everyone loved that buttery streusel. Awesome recipe, will definitely hang on to this one!

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