New This Month

Apple-Cognac Crumb Cake


Crumb cake made with Cognac and topped with sweet apples will have everyone asking for seconds.

  • Servings: 16

Source: The Martha Stewart Show, March 2010


  • Nonstick cooking spray

For the Apple Topping

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 medium baking apples, such as Empire, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges
  • 1/4 cup Cognac

For the Crumb Topping

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (not self-rising)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup dark-brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

For the Cake

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (not self-rising)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup creme fraiche
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon Cognac


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray an 8-inch-square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Line pan with two pieces of parchment paper, creating a 1-inch overhang on all sides of the pan. Spray parchment paper with cooking spray.

  2. Make the Apple Topping: In a medium skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Continue cooking until butter becomes golden brown and fragrant. Reduce heat to medium and add sugar, 1/4 cup water, and apples. Cook until apples have softened slightly and liquid is thick and syrupy, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in Cognac, working carefully as alcohol may ignite. Return to heat, and cook until alcohol evaporates, about 30 seconds. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.

  3. Make the Crumb Topping: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, both sugars, cinnamon, and salt. Add melted butter and, using your fingers, mix together to form large crumbs; set aside.

  4. Make the Cake: In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add creme fraiche, egg, yolk, and Cognac; mix until well combined. Add flour mixture and mix until well combined.

  5. Pour cake mixture into prepared baking pan. Top with apples and their liquid to cover; sprinkle evenly with crumb topping. Transfer to oven and bake until a tester inserted into the center of cake comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely before serving.

Reviews Add a comment

  • Ivana_k
    19 MAR, 2010
    this was easy recipe to follow. I added chopped walnuts to my cake and it tasted great.
  • Pamadoodle
    18 MAR, 2010
    HELP, how long do you bake the crumb cake for? I hope to take it to a potluck Friday night and my test run at 55 minutes was too short of a time. Corners tasted yummy, but the center was still runny.
  • cactusflower1
    17 MAR, 2010
    So how long appromimetly do you cook it for?