My delicious Honeycrisp Apple Cardamom Cake starts with a moist cardamom cake paved with layer upon layer of thinly sliced Honeycrisp apples and topped with a buttery crumble. It’s the perfect apple cake made with the perfect apple!
Make my Honeycrisp Apple Cardamom Cake and you’ll never need to visit the coffee shop bakery again.
I get most excited about cakes that give me permission to eat dessert for breakfast, and this is one of those cakes. It’s a hybrid apple/crumb cake bringing the best of both worlds to this simple treat. I used cardamom with a touch of cinnamon to spice the cake, which gives it a subtly different flavor from your run of the mill apple cake. There are finely chopped walnuts in the crumble for extra flavor and texture. It’s pretty much fall on a plate.
I chose Honeycrisp apples for this recipe because they’re my current apple obsession. Honeycrisps are a relatively new breed, developed in Minnesota about 30 years ago. They’re extremely crisp, as the name suggests, and juicy, with a nice balance of acidity and sweetness. If you’re still buying Red Delicious, hold on to your hat because this is an entirely new animal.
These apples are great to eat raw ~ I’ve used them in my Broccoli Honeycrisp Slaw where they steal the show. But I’ve found that Honeycrisps bake up well, too, in fact they maintain their famous crunch in this cake even after almost an hour of baking! No mushy apples here.
Did I mention this apple cake comes with an optional custard sauce?
That’s how they do it across the pond, in the British Isles, and it’s a pretty neat idea. Instead of whipped cream or other topping they spoon a luxe egg custard over their slice of cake. I’ve added a vanilla bean to make it even better.
The custard sauce can be made ahead of time and kept in the fridge for a couple of days. It’s got the perfect creamy consistency and doesn’t solidify as it cools. The only downside is that it requires 6 egg yolks. I know. So check below for some yummy ideas for using your leftover whites…
What to do with leftover egg whites ~
Egg whites can be stored in the refrigerator for 2-4 days while you decide what to do with them, and they can be frozen for up to a year…just put them in sturdy zip lock freezer bags and label (don’t forget to note how many are in the bag.)
- Make a pavlova or individual meringue cookies.
- Add them to a frittata to lighten it up.
- Make an Eton Mess.
- Make homemade almond paste.
Honeycrisp Apple Cardamom Cake
- 9 inch spring form pan
- 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup old fashioned rolled oats
- 6 Tbsp unsalted cold butter, cut in small pieces
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup ground walnuts (pulse in a food processor)
- 3 large Honeycrisp apples, peeled and thinly sliced, 495 grams or 1 lb 1 ounce (after slicing)
- lemon juice
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 3 Tbsp milk or cream
- 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp cardamom
- 1/8 tsp salt
- confectioner’s sugar for dusting the finished cake
- 6 large egg yolks
- 6 Tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350F and grease a 9 inch round spring form pan.
- Put the streusel ingredients in a small bowl and blend everything together with your fingertips until it has a nice even crumbly texture and there is no more raw flour. Make sure to break down any large clumps of butter. Refrigerate.
- Toss the apple slices with a little lemon juice to prevent browning.
- Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
- Whisk together the flour, baking powder, cardamom, and salt. Fold the dry ingredients into the butter/sugar mixture, along with the milk or cream.
- Spoon the batter in to the pan, and smooth out evenly. Top with the sliced apples, and then the crumble topping.
- Bake for about 50 minutes, until the top is lightly browned and a toothpick comes out without wet batter clinging to it. Lay a loose layer of foil over the top if the crumble is browning too quickly.
- Let cool a bit in the pan before removing the sides. Dust with confectioner’s sugar before serving.
- To make the custard sauce bring the milk to a simmer over medium heat. Meanwhile whisk the yolks and sugar until pale. Drizzle a little of the hot milk into the egg mixture, whisking all the time. Add a little more, while whisking, then transfer that back into the pan and continue cooking, stirring constantly, until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. Don’t overcook or it can curdle. Stir in the vanilla. I like to run the sauce through a strainer to catch any bits of cooked egg or lumps.
- Refrigerate the custard sauce until needed.
Questions and Reviews
We loved this. My husband said it was one of the best desserts I’d ever made. I halved the recipe to serve 4-6 and it worked fine. The custard sauce is a really nice addition. Thanks!
Such a fantastic recipe a few variations I used was dark brown sugar for the Crumble along with only a half cup of flour adding 1/4 cup of pulverized ginger snaps with a smidgen of cinnamon. Adding a smidgen of ginger to the cake. Beyond my dreams thanks for creating this recipe!!
Another delicious recipe, thanks so much!!! I made some changes, for the gals who work at our coffee shop & are all ‘vegetarian or vegan’……I substituted Miyoko’s oatmilk butter w/sea salt, substituted JUST Eggs for the eggs, also used Oatmilk for the ‘milk or cream’ in this recipe.
Did an oopsie and accidentally doubled the sea salt, sooooo, I had just ordered some Roxbury Maple Sugar Pearls and figured that the sweet maple flavor would help neutralize the salt……after I smoothed the batter, I sprinkled some of the maple sugar pearls onto the batter and then layered the sliced apples. Then once I had the crumble on top, I again sprinkled a light layer of the maple pearls.
VERY FABULOUS and could not even tell it was ‘vegan’, for our family dinner I will go with your original ‘butter / cream’ choices as those are truly some of my favorites. Keep up the great work – your recipes are wonderfully scrumptious and a big hit with the family!!!
What kind of cardamom are you using, please? I’m new to baking with it and not sure whether to use ground or seeds.
I’m using ground cardamom.
Did you mean to use granulated sugar for the crumble? My cake looks much lighter than your photo. Most recipes would call for brown sugar. I am a cardamum fan and this cake is lovely. Thank you!
I do use regular sugar but you can definitely use brown, that would be nice as well.
I have always loved cardamom! My cake is in the oven now and I can’t wait. My batter was pretty thick…is that because of the juicy apples?
Could this be made the day before serving, and if so, would you recommend keeping it at room temperature or in the fridge?
You can make it the day ahead, and I’d leave it on the counter, loosely covered with foil or a cake dome.
This looks amazing, I’d love to make it for our family and friends but one of them has a dairy allergy. Do you think Almond or Oat milk could substitute for the milk or cream and we could just skip the custard sauce?
I think you should be able to use non dairy milk for the custard sauce.