Apple crumble but in ice cream cake form?! Sign me up. This apple crumble ice cream cake has two vanilla cake layers, two layers of apples, a brown sugar cinnamon crumble, a thick layer of vanilla ice cream, and is frosted with a lightly sweetened whipped cream.
Once the cake is sliced into, the cake gets softer and the ice cream and apples get all melty. This, combined with the crunch from the crumble and the smooth whipped cream, you will not be able to stop at one slice. It basically becomes an apple crumble a la mode.
Apple crumble ice cream cake
This cake has a lot of components, but that doesn't mean it's hard to make! Let's walk through them:
- Ice cream. We use an entire 1.5 quart container of vanilla ice cream in this cake. This gets pressed into an 8 inch cake pan to form an even layer.
- Cake. The cake recipe is very simple with no mixer required! We bake it in an 8 inch pan, then cut it in half for two layers.
- Apples. The apples are cooked down over the stove with warm spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg. We need 700 grams of sliced apples here - I like to use honeycrisp and granny smith for both sweetness/tartness.
- Crumble. The crumble is made with cinnamon, brown sugar, oats, and it adds such a nice texture variation to the cake.
- Whipped cream. The cake is fully frosted with whipped cream and frozen to perfection.
- Flour: cake flour is the flour of choice for this cake - it provides the perfect texture to the cake layers. Meanwhile, all purpose flour is used in the crumble and the apples.
- Leavener: baking soda is used to help the cake rise.
- Butter: we use unsalted butter in this recipe to control exactly how much salt goes in. We use unsalted butter in both the cake batter and the crumble.
- Sugar: granulated sugar is used to add sweetness in the cakes and the apples, while brown sugar is used in the crumble. We also use powdered sugar in the whipped cream.
- Fats: the other key fats in the cake are the eggs and milk. These ingredients add moisture to the cake.
- Ice cream: vanilla ice cream is used for this cake, but feel free to go crazy and use whatever kind of ice cream you want!
- Apples: we need 700 grams of sliced apples in this recipe, which is about 6 large apples. I like to use a combination of sweet and tart apples (like honeycrisp and granny smith!).
- Heavy cream: needed for the whipped cream.
- Oats: I used old fashioned rolled oats for the crumble, but I don't see why quick cooking oats wouldn't work!
- Spices: cinnamon and nutmeg are the main spices here!
- Prepare the ice cream. Transfer all of the ice cream to an 8 inch cake pan lined with plastic wrap. Smooth the ice cream into an even layer and place it in the freezer.
- Make the crumble. Whisk together the oats, flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Cut the cold and cubed butter into the mixture until combined. Bake on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper at 375F for 15 minutes, stirring half way through.
- Bake the cake. Whisk together the cake flour, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the melted butter, granulated sugar, and vanilla extract. Add the eggs and whisk to combine. Add half of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and whisk until almost combined, then add half of the milk and whisk until almost combined. Repeat with the other halves of the dry ingredients and the milk. Pour the batter into an 8 inch cake pan lined with parchment paper and bake at 325F for about 30 minutes. Once completely cool, level off the cake if it has formed a dome, and slice the cake in half so you have two cake layers.
- Apple filling. Toss the peeled and sliced apples with the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, flour, and lemon juice. Cook them down on the stove until soft.
- Make the whipped cream. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or a large bowl if using a handheld mixer, whip the heavy cream and powdered sugar together on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form.
- Make sure all of the ingredients are cold. Pipe a ring of whipped cream around the first cake layer, then spoon half of the apples onto the cake. Sprinkle on some of the crumble.
- Place the second cake layer on top, pipe a ring of whipped cream, then add the second half of apples followed by a sprinkle of crumble.
- Place the ice cream on top of the apples. Frost the cake with the whipped cream.
My cake sank.
Either the batter was over-mixed or the cake was underbaked. It is also possible that your oven has poor air circulation and the cake needed to be rotated, or the door was open/closed to fast and all the hot air was pushed out of the oven.
My whipped cream didn't set.
It is likely that the heavy cream was under-whipped, or the heavy cream wasn't cold enough. Cold heavy cream whips up easier, so make sure to take it out of the fridge right before using. To ensure success, you can also place the mixing bowl in the fridge 5 minutes before you make the whipped cream to ensure the cream stays cold.
I am having trouble assembling the cake.
All of the cake components should be very cold when you assemble the cake (the cake, the ice cream, the apples, the crumble, and the cream). Place the cake layers in the freezer for 20 minutes prior to assembly. This will make it easier to build. If the cake starts to get unsturdy at any point during assembly, place the whole thing in the freezer for 30 minutes, then continue.
For any other troubleshooting questions, feel free to leave me a comment below or message me on Instagram!
Cake baking tips
- Use a kitchen scale. I cannot stress this enough - a kitchen scale is the only way to ensure accurate results. They are cheap and will make cleaning up SO much easier.
- Properly prepare your pans. Line your cake pan with a parchment paper round and if necessary, lightly grease the sides so the cake easily releases from the pan.
- Use an oven thermometer. Making sure your oven is calibrated correctly and is at the right temperature is incredibly important for cakes. This recipe was written for the cake to bake at 325F - any higher and the cake can over-bake or rise then sink, any lower and the cake will come out underbaked.
- Refrigerate all cake components prior to assembling. Cake layers that are chilled are easier to assemble as they are much firmer. If they have any heat to them, the filling will melt and the cake layers will slip and slide all over the place.
- Make a crumb coat. A crumb coat is a very thin first layer of icing that essentially "glues" the crumbs down and seals in the cakes moisture. After the crumb coat is applied, place the cake in the freezer for 30 minutes, then finish frosting the cake with the remaining whipped cream.
- Slice the cake with a warm knife. The best way to slice the cake is to heat a sharp knife under running hot water, wiping it dry, then cutting into the cake. The hot knife will nicely slice through all of the layers. Wipe clean and repeat with each cut.
Prep and storage
- Can I make the cake layers ahead of time? Yes! Once cool, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. You can freeze it for up to three months. Thaw the cake layer in the fridge.
- Can I make the whipped cream ahead of time? Yes! You can also make the whipped cream ahead of time. Place the whipped cream on a piece of plastic wrap and tightly close it. Place it in a ziplock bag and into the freezer. Let it thaw in the fridge.
- Can I make the apples ahead of time? Yes, but only a day or so before assembly. Store them in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to use.
- Freezing the whole cake. To freeze the entire cake, freeze the cake until firm then wrap it completely in plastic wrap so it is fully covered. Then wrap it in tin foil and freeze.
- Freezing cut cake layers. To freeze the cut cake layers, wrap them in plastic wrap and store them in an airtight container in the freezer.
Baking in grams
While I provide volume measurements for the recipes on my blog, I highly suggest baking these recipes using weight. It is the most standardized and accurate way to bake. I carefully recipe test all of my recipes using a kitchen scale, not by using cups, and therefore I cannot guarantee the success of my recipes when using volume measurements.
Other recipes you may like
- Apple Pie Bars
- Maple Apple Crisp
- Single Serve Apple Pie
- Vanilla Cake With Strawberries and Cream
- Blueberry Mascarpone Skillet Cake
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Apple Crumble Ice Cream Cake
- 1 1.5 quart container vanilla ice cream slightly softened
- ⅔ cup (57 grams) old fashioned rolled oats
- ¾ cup (94 grams) all purpose flour
- ½ cup (100 grams) brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter cold and cubed
- 1 ½ cups (180 grams) cake flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup (113 grams) unsalted butter melted
- ¾ cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 eggs room temperature
- ½ cup (120 grams) whole milk room temperature
- 6 (700 grams) large apples peeled and sliced
- ¾ cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ cup (31 grams) all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 cups (480 grams) heavy whipping cream cold
- ½ cup (60 grams) powdered sugar
- Line an 8 inch cake pan with plastic wrap.
- Transfer the softened ice cream to the cake pan and use an offset spatula/back of a spoon to smooth it into an even layer.
- Place another piece of plastic wrap on top of the ice cream and press it down into a flat layer.
- Freeze for at least 2-3 hours - you want the ice cream layer to be completely firm.
- Preheat oven to 375F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the oats, flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Using a pastry cutter or your hands, add the cold and cubed butter and cut the butter into the mixture until the butter is fully incorporated and no larger chunks remain.
- Spread the mixture evenly onto your baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, stirring the mixture around in the pan half way through the bake. Remove from the oven and let the mixture completely cool. Once the crumble is done, reduce the oven temperature to 325F to bake the cake.
- While the crumble is baking, prepare the cake. Line another 8 inch cake pan with parchment paper.
- Melt the butter in a large microwave safe bowl then set aside to cool for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the cake flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- Once the butter has cooled for 5 minutes, add the granulated sugar and vanilla to the butter and whisk to combine. Add the eggs and whisk to combine.
- Add half of the dry ingredients and whisk until almost fully mixed in. Add half of the milk and whisk until almost combined. Repeat this with the other halves of the dry ingredients and the milk, then mix until you have a smooth batter.
- Pour the batter into your prepared pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes at 325F - the top of the cake will be golden and the edges will begin to peel away from the sides of the pan. A toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean or with a few moist crumbs.
- Let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove from the pan and place it in the fridge to cool completely.
- While the cake is baking, prepare the apple filling. Peel and slice your apples into ⅛ - ¼ inch slices.
- Add them to a bowl with the granulated sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, flour, and lemon juice. Toss together until the apples are all evenly coated.
- Place them on a large skillet on the stove over medium heat, stirring until slightly soft (around 5 minutes).
- Cover the pan and let the apples cook down, stirring every few minutes or so, until thickened, aromatic, and bubbling. About 5-10 minutes.
- Once the apples are soft, remove from the stove and place the apples in a separate bowl. Place the bowl in the fridge to cool completely.
- When you are about ready to assemble the cake, make the whipped cream.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or a large bowl if using a handheld mixer, beat the heavy cream and powdered sugar on medium-high speed until stiff peaks have formed. Place in the freezer so it stays cold.
- All of the components (crumble, cake, apples, etc.) need to be cold when assembling the cake. If the ice cream begins to melt at any point during assembly, put the whole cake in the freezer for 20 minutes for it to firm up again.
- Remove the cake from the fridge and use a serrated knife or cake leveler to carefully level off the cake if it formed a dome top. Then, using a serrated knife or cake leveler, carefully cut the cake in half so you now have two cake layers. Place the cake in the freezer for 10 minutes to firm up.
- To assemble, place one cake layer on a sturdy surface (a plate, a cake stand, etc.), although make sure it can fit in the freezer.
- Pipe a ring of whipped cream on top of the first cake layer. Spoon half of the cold apples into the center, then sprinkle some of the crumble on top of the apples.
- Place the second cake layer on top, pipe a ring of whipped cream, and spoon the second half of the cold apples into the center. Sprinkle a little more of the crumble on top of the apples. Place the cake in the freezer for 20 minutes.
- After the 20 minutes, remove the cake and ice cream from the freezer and discard the plastic wrap from the ice cream. Place the whole ice cream layer on top of the apples.
- Frost a thin layer (crumb coat) of whipped cream on the tops and sides of the cake. Place in the freezer for 30 minutes. This will make it easier to fully frost the cake.
- After the 30 minutes, finish frosting the cake with the rest of the whipped cream.
- Sprinkle the remaining crumble on top of the cake. Let the cake set in the freezer for one hour. Store the cake in the freezer until ready to slice and serve. Enjoy!
Tried this recipe? Make sure to rate and review and tag @sturbridgebakery on Instagram!