San Francisco and Apple Crumble Loaf Cakes

Apple Crumble Cake

The other day I was checking my Instagram feed and I saw a friend of mine post a lovely autumn picture of orange trees lining a long road somewhere in New York. I immediately felt a bit sad, maybe just a tad jealous, mostly because I feel like I’m stuck here and she’s enjoying herself ever so much over there, living her dreams in New York’s fashion world and what-not.

Well the weather here has been sweltering and summer-like, the rays of the sun blanketing everything with a yellow reminiscent of a morning in the desert. It’s literally impossible to walk outside without squinting against the harsh sunlight and feeling it prickle against your skin. The woes of living in the tropics!

These days I find myself wishing so constantly to escape somewhere. A place where I’ve left a piece of my heart perhaps? Alas, I have no choice at the moment but to daydream and find solace in my hobbies, like baking for instance. Admittedly, it’s getting harder to make myself feel better for longer stretches of time whenever I don’t keep myself occupied.

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about San Francisco. It’s been years since I went there but to this day it remains to be one of my favourite cities in the world. I haven’t yet visited a city that made me feel the same way as San Francisco did. Sometimes I take a look at some of the old photos I took from before and try to relive the feeling of being in San Francisco again.

San Francisco

I specifically remember the moment I got off the bus and took in the city for the first time. The good vibes just latched themselves on to me and refused to leave. That’s quite a big deal if you knew me at all, as I have a tendency to brood and think too much. Mostly it’s an exercise in rousing all the ill-feelings I have pent-up inside. I remember the feeling of peace that settled over me as I walked up and and down this hilly city, the gears of my mind suspended in a state of wonder.

I miss San Francisco

It was springtime, I believe, when I went there, but I would so love to spend autumn there as well. The weather is always pleasant in that magical, beautiful city, and I can only imagine how much more pleasant it would be during autumn-time. I didn’t get a chance to explore much because we had to leave for L.A. so soon, but I promised myself I would go back. (Not to mention I absolutely need to go back to take better photos.)

San Fo green

The truth is a visit to San Francisco doesn’t fit into my life right now, no matter how much I try to squeeze it in– though I bet it would do wonders for my soul. Instead, here I am baking a cake/loaf/apple crumble hybrid as a way of telling myself, ‘There, there. The day will come.‘ At least this was a wonderful cake.

The soft apples between the crumble and the cake provided a nice contrast in flavour and texture, and I felt like I was literally sprinkling powdered autumn unto the apples as I assembled the loaf. The best touch though was the brown sugar custard which is poured all over the cake slices; complementing, and even elevating, the wonderful taste of this loaf cake. The best way to eat this- for me at least- was when the cake slices were warm and the custard was cold.

Screen Shot 2013 09 07 at 6.49.43 AM 300x267 - San Francisco and Apple Crumble Loaf Cakes
Apple Crumble Loaf with Brown Sugar Custard
Screen Shot 2013 09 07 at 6.49.43 AM 300x267 - San Francisco and Apple Crumble Loaf Cakes
The soft apples between the crumble and the cake provided a nice contrast in flavour and texture, but the best touch was the brown sugar custard which is poured all over the cake slices; elevating, the wonderful taste of this loaf cake. The best way to eat this is when the cake slices are warm and the custard is cold.

Makes one 8x4-inch loaf; serves 8 to 10
For the Cake
  1. 225 grams (about 1 3/4 cups) self-raising flour *
  2. 125 grams butter, softened
  3. 120 grams sugar
  4. 2 large eggs, room temperature
  5. 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  6. 2 tablespoons milk
  7. 4 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
  8. 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  9. ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
For the crumble
  1. 125 grams (approximately 1 cup) self raising flour *
  2. 90 grams sugar
  3. 45 grams butter
  4. 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons water, for mixing
  5. ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
For the custard
  1. 3 large egg yolks
  2. 75 grams (about 1/3 cup if packed) brown sugar **
  3. 300 ml (about 1 1/4 cups) half cream
  4. 150 ml (about 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon) milk
  5. 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Prepare the cake batter
  1. 1. Grease and line an 8x4-inch loaf tin with baking paper, leaving an overhang of about 2-inches of baking paper on the sides. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
  2. 2. Place sugar and butter in a large mixing bowl, and beat with an electric mixer on high speed until pale and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, then add vanilla, beating until combined.
  3. 1
  4. 3. Reduce mixer speed to slow. Gradually add flour and milk and mix until just combined. Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth surface with a spatula.
  5. 2
  6. 4. Layer apple slices over the top of the batter. There should be enough for two layers of sliced apples.
  7. 3
  8. 5. Mix the 1 tablespoon brown sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl and sprinkle evenly over the top of the apple slices.
  9. 4
Prepare the crumble
  1. 6. Place butter, flour, cinnamon and sugar in a bowl and rub the mixture gently between the tips of your fingers to combine them, until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
  2. 5
  3. 7. Gradually add 1/2 tablespoon of water at a time, while still combining with your fingertips until the mixture starts to form clumps of around 0.5-cm in diameter, rather than fine breadcrumbs. Adjust the amount of water as needed.
  4. 6
  5. 8. Sprinkle the crumble evenly on top of the apples, making sure to cover the top completely.
  6. 9. Bake the loaf in the oven for 50 to 60mins, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean and the crumble on top is golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool in tin. The cake is best served while still warm, and should always be heated before serving for best flavour.
  7. 7
While the cake cools, prepare the custard
  1. 10. In a medium saucepan, place milk, cream, and vanilla. Bring the mixture just to the boil. Set aside to cool for a minute.
  2. 8
  3. 11. In a medium mixing bowl, place egg yolks and sugar, and whisk until pale and sugar has dissolved. While still whisking, gradually add hot mixture to the bowl until completely combined. Whisk continuously as the hot liquid is being poured to avoid cooking the egg yolks.
  4. 12. Return mixture to the saucepan and place on low heat, stirring continuously to avoid cooking the eggs. Stir until mixture thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon. Remove from the heat and transfer mixture to a bowl.
  5. 9
  6. 13. Cover surface of mixture with clingfilm to prevent skin from forming. Chill in the fridge until ready to serve.
  7. 14. Once the cake is only slightly warm, cut into slices and serve with custard. The cake can also be served with cold cream or ice cream.
  8. Storage: The cake and the custard can be stored separately in an airtight container in the fridge for several days.
  1. * To make your own self-raising flour: For each cup of all-purpose flour needed, add 1 1/4 teaspoons of baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Mix to combine.
  2. ** The brown sugar can be replace with 75 grams golden syrup.
Adapted from Raspberri Cupcakes blog
The Tummy Train
sliced and sauced

And once the cake has disappeared from my plate; the dishes cleaned and put away, I only have one thought remaining in my mind: Maybe next year, San Francisco. I hope.


  1. This is absolutely wonderful, so I am coming over for a slice and a cup of coffee! 😀 Great Job!

    1. Clarisse Shaina
      25 October, 2012

      I’d love that! 😀

  2. frugalfeeding
    25 October, 2012

    That looks so delicious – very nice indeed. Rustic, just how I like it!

    1. Clarisse Shaina
      25 October, 2012

      Rustic desserts are the best! 😀

  3. Jill
    25 October, 2012

    Wow. If this doesn’t look amazing, I don’t know what does!

  4. The Food Scout
    25 October, 2012

    Really looks delicious! 🙂

    1. Clarisse Shaina
      25 October, 2012

      Thank you! 🙂

  5. [email protected]
    28 October, 2012

    It looks gorgeous. We’ve been wishing for a trip to San Francisco here too! But alas, we also won’t be able to make it happen for a while yet.

    1. Clarisse Shaina
      29 October, 2012

      I hope next year is the year for both of us! 😀

  6. Shelvia Loveridge
    11 November, 2012

    Clarisse – You did such a wonderful job with the loaf. Thanks for posting the recipe. I tried it out and loved it (except for the fact that my crumble didn’t quite turn out right… but that’s entirely my mistake, which I plan to work on next time! :P) .

    Just double checking on the quantity of the sugar you written for the crumble… 240g seems like a LOT of sugar… I cut mine down to 120g and it’s still very sweet… After which – I curiously checked in Raspberri to see what that version says… and found that it’s 90g. Thoughts? 🙂

    1. Clarisse Shaina
      11 November, 2012

      Hi Shelvia! OMG I am so sorry about that! I don’t know how that number got in there but thank you so much for telling me about it! I owe you one. 😉

      1. Shelvia Loveridge
        12 November, 2012

        lol 🙂 not a problem at all.. Thank again for posting! I loved it.

        1. Clarisse Shaina
          12 November, 2012

          Yay! I’m glad! Thanks again. 🙂


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