Apple & Almond Streusal cake

This updated traditional cake has a lovely combination of flavours. The cake itself is firm with great depth without being stodgy. The recipe below gives options for the filling too. Maybe try all three.

STOP PRESS I’ve recently added photos of a single layer version with an extra crunchy top. Similar, but different and still very tasty.

Makes: 12+ slices     

Time: 45 minutes hands on + 75 minutes in oven

Level: Easy                

Equipment: A 20cm/8” round tin, preferably loose bottomed

Streusal and Cake Ingredients

Streusel topping ingredients

  • 80g (3 oz) butter, cubed
  • 110g (3.75 oz) plain flour
  • 30g (1 oz) ground almonds
  • 60g (2.25 oz) Light brown sugar or muscovado
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 25g (1 oz) flaked almonds to decorate (optional)

Cake Ingredients

  • 150g (5oz) plain flour
  • 150g (5oz) unsalted butter, softened
  • 150g (5oz) Golden caster sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tsp almond extract
  • 60g (2.25 oz) ground almonds
  • 40ml (1.5 oz) milk
  • 1 or 2 large apples (e.g. Bramleys)
  • 50g (2 oz) Flaked almonds

Method (Cake)

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/Fan 160C/350F/Gas 4. Lightly butter the tin. Line the base with baking parchment and dust lightly with flour.

2. Make the streusel mixture first. Put the flour, ground almonds, sugar and cinnamon in a large bowl. Add the cubed butter and rub in to achieve a bread crumb texture.

3. For the cake, sift the flour into another large bowl and add in the butter, sugar, cinnamon, eggs, almond extract, ground almonds and milk. Mix until pale, creamy and well combined. Spoon or pour into the tin and set aside. (NB For an even moister cake you could use half an apple, cubed or pureed in the cake mixture, but increase the  baking time appropriately, maybe 5 minutes extra, then check.)

4. Now peel, core and cut an apple into smallish chunks. Scatter the chunks over the cake, pressing them into the mixture a little. Add in the flaked almonds, pressing them in between the chunks. Cover this with the streusal topping and lightly press it down.

5. If desired, add the other flaked almonds now, or after baking.  Bake the cake for around 70 minutes. (If it has almonds on top, check in the later stages in case they seem likely to burn, in which case, cover with foil.)

6. Cool for 10 minutes in the tin then release and place on a wire rack to cool fully. Once cool and well set, cut in half horizontally.


Filling choice 1: (Caramel buttercream) ingredients:

  • 150g (5 oz) Brown Sugar
  • 40g (1.5 oz) Butter, cubed
  • 80ml (3 fl oz) Milk
  • 200g (7 oz) full fat cream cheese
  • 350 – 450g (12 – 14.5 oz) Icing Sugar

NB These ingredients will give more than enough to layer the cake plus cover the sides if so desired. Or use any extra as an additional sweet “sauce” when serving.

Filling choice 1 Method:

1. Combine the brown sugar, butter and milk in a heavy saucepan. Cook and stir over a low heat until the brown sugar is dissolved.

2. Increase the heat to medium. Do not stir. Cook for 3-6 minutes until either bubbles form in the centre of the pan.

3. Remove from the heat and transfer the caramel mixture to a small bowl, or the bowl of your stand mixer if using one. Cool to room temperature.

4. Gradually mix in the icing sugar until combined, then mix in the cream cheese until a nice thick consistency is achieved. Now layer the two cake halves together. Dust with icing sugar before serving.

Filling choice 2 ingredients:

  • 180g (6 oz) Mascarpone (or use full fat cream cheese)
  • 70g (3 oz) softened butter
  • 100g (3.5 oz) Icing sugar
  • 50ml (2 fl oz) double cream
  • 1 tsp caramel flavouring

Filling choice 2 method:

1. Lightly whip the butter.

2. Add the cream cheese and whip until smooth.

3. Sieve the icing sugar into the cream cheese, then beat them both together.

4. Add the cream and caramel flavouring then beat again until it makes a suitable consistency.

Filling choice 3: Use a tin of prepared caramel. Whisk it up and slap it on. Tastes great too.