slice of apple butter streusel cake

Apple Butter Streusel Cake

october 9, 2019

slice of apple butter streusel cake

Go ahead, open that little jar and take a good long sniff. The aroma of nutmeg means fall is here. Apples and cinnamon go hand in hand, but when paired with nutmeg, apple becomes more apple. You can be  generous with cinnamon, adding to suit your taste. Not so fast with nutmeg, since it can easily overpower a savory dish like potato gratin or sweet baked goods like cakes and cookies. A little bit goes a long way with this cozy coffeecake.

When weather cools a bit, I think of coffeecake with a nice hot beverage. Warm weather calls for crisps and crumbles and autumn asks for rib-sticking cakes, like this nutmeg scented dense cake with tender nutmeg streusel and apple butter swirled into the batter.

apple butter spooned onto batter

make nutmeg streusel by hand, mixing  until pea-sized crumbs form; spoon apple butter onto batter, spacing evenly

apple butter is swirled into the batter

swirl apple butter into batter with table knife

streusel is scattered onto cake

scatter nutmeg streusel evenly over batter

finished cake

the finished cake is golden brown and fragrant!

slice of apple butter streusel cake


My favorite cakes come together with a mininum of fuss and electricity. Mixers do a fine job, but whenever I have to drag out equipment there is a bit of grumbling before the finished product pops out of the oven. Then all is forgiven. Here is a grumble-free recipe (whisk and no mixer)  you assemble easily and quickly. This cake ages well, becoming more moist and delicious on your counter, if you can stand the wait.

Apple Butter Streusel Cake

recipe by Michele Humlan, The Good Eats Company

makes one 8 inch square cake, 9-12 servings


nutmeg streusel
⅔ cup gluten free flour blend ( I like Bob’s Red Mill 1-for-1)*
⅔ cup powdered sugar
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
pinch of fine sea salt
4 ½ tablespoons melted butter, cooled

1 cup gluten free flour blend *
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
½ cup sugar
3 ½ tablespoons melted butter, cooled
one large egg at room temperature
⅔ cup sour cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ cup apple butter
* all purpose bleached regular flour works just as well with this recipe


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line 8 inch square baking pan with parchment paper or foil and grease paper with cooking spray.
  3. In small mixing bowl, whisk together dry ingredients for streusel, add 4 ½ tablespoons melted butter and mix by hand until pea sized clumps form; set aside.
  4. Whisk together dry  ingredients for cake (flour through sea salt) in another small mixing bowl.
  5. In medium mixing bowl, whisk sugar and 3 ½ tablespoons melted butter, then add egg, mixing well, then sour cream and vanilla.
  6. Add dry cake ingredients and use spatula to mix well – avoid overmixing.
  7. Spoon batter into prepared pan.
  8. With teaspoon, drop dollops of apple butter, spacing evenly, and use table knife to swirl apple butter through batter.
  9. Scatter streusel bits across cake and bake for 40-50 minutes or until top is dark golden and tester comes out clean.
  10. Cool to room temperature.
  11. Cake will store (and age well, becoming more moist) at room temperature up to 4 days.
  12. The cake freezes well but avoid refrigeration as this will make it stale and dry.
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