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Seriously Simple: Apple cakelets, a versatile fall treat

Diane Rossen Worthington, Tribune Content Agency on

When I developed this recipe, I wanted to serve these as little cakes (which is where the name comes from). You can call them muffins as well, but who doesn’t like a fun name for a familiar sweet?

I like these cakelets because they are individual servings ready to be stacked on a pretty platter, no slicing required. The tender-crumb cake is studded with moist apple nuggets and topped with a spiced golden crispy streusel.

The recipe couldn’t be simpler. The streusel incorporates pumpkin pie seasoning, so you don’t have to buy multiple spices. You can also cut the apple into a small dice if you like little apple pieces in your cake instead of slices. These spiced crumb cakelets will adapt to whatever menu you’re serving. Offer these for Sunday brunch along with scrambled eggs or vegetable omelets and a fresh fruit salad. These also make a tasty afternoon snack with a cup of English tea.

Apple Spiced Apple Crumb Cakelets

Makes 12 muffins

Nonstick baking spray or muffin liners

For the crumb topping:

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1 cup all-purpose flour

2/3 cup sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 teaspoons pumpkin pie seasoning

For the cake:

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup sugar


1 tablespoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 vegetable oil

1/3 cup milk

3 eggs

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 medium Fuji or Golden Delicious apple, peeled, cored and thinly sliced

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease a (12-cup) standard size muffin tin with non-stick baking spray or line with liners.

2. In a medium bowl combine the crumb mixture. Use your fingers to break up the mixture until it resembles crumbs. Set aside

3. For the cake: Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl. In a measuring cup or small bowl combine the oil, milk, eggs and vanilla and blend well. Slowly add to the flour mixture, mixing well until the batter is smooth. Add the apple slices and mix to combine.

4. Spoon the batter into the muffin cups evenly. Divide the crumb mixture on top of the muffins and pat down well so it will stick when they are baking. Place the muffin pan on a baking sheet.

5. Bake the cakelets for about 40 minutes or until a wooden skewer comes out clean and the tops are nicely browned. Let cool slightly and unmold. Serve warm.

(Diane Rossen Worthington is an authority on new American cooking. She is the author of 18 cookbooks, including “Seriously Simple Parties,” and a James Beard Award-winning radio show host. You can contact her at

©2021 Diane Rossen Worthington. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.




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