Apple Crumble Cupcakes

Our first challenge on the Great South African Bake Off was to create a cupcake that contained fruit in the batter. I must admit, in the past I have not generally been fond of bringing fruit into the desserts I bake, but this challenge intrigued me. I immediately thought of Apple Crumble, and wanted to experiment with it. But, how to turn an old-school favourite (a tart) into a cupcake worthy of my Signature Bake; my debut on the show?

As required, apples (my chosen fruit) would be an integral ingredient in the batter, but these can be notoriously bland in baking, and so I needed to spice things up... I added cinnamon to elevate and enhance the flavour. A classic pairing with apples.

I thought crème fraiche would add an interesting flavour profile to an already delicious cupcake, however, it is not thick enough on its own to stand as a frosting. So in went some creme cheese and butter. The icing sugar was a sweet touch.

Lastly, but by no means least... the crumble. The contrasting texture of this crumble is what pushes this cupcake over the edge, and honestly it is what I believe saved me from elimination in round one. A soft cupcake with bursts of apple, a luxuriously smooth frosting and a toe-curling crumble... perfection I tell you!

What do you need?​


  • 100g unsalted butter (softened)

  • 185g caster sugar

  • ½ teaspoon vanilla paste

  • 2 whole eggs

  • 210g self-raising flour

  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon

  • 125ml full cream milk

  • 75g pink lady apples (grated or finely diced)

Crème Fraiche Frosting

  • 125g cream cheese (a block rather than a tub)

  • 125g crème fraiche

  • 55g unsalted butter (softened)

  • 135g icing sugar


  • 35g unsalted butter (softened)

  • 15g brown sugar

  • 15g icing sugar

  • 20g almond flour

  • 40g cake flour​

How do you do it?​


  • Preheat the oven to 180C.

  • Cream together the softened butter, sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer or beater.

  • Add the eggs one at a time until the mixture is fully combined.

  • Into the bowl with the eggs and butter, sift a third of the flour, add the cinnamon and half the milk together into the bowl and fold the ingredients together.

  • Add another third of the flour and the rest of the milk, and fold the ingredients together again.

  • Add the last of the flour and fold the ingredients until fully combined.

  • Fold the grated or diced apple into the mixture.

  • Spoon the mixture in equal amounts into a muffin tray lined with cupcake holders.

  • Bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

  • Remove the tray from the oven and leave them to cool for 5 minutes in the tray before removing them to cool completely on a wire rack.


  • Reduce the oven temperature to 160C.

  • Line a baking tray with baking paper.

  • Combine all ingredients together in a mixing bowl and mix with a dough hook or wooden spoon.

  • Crumble pieces onto the baking tray and bake in the oven for 12 minutes or until golden brown.

  • You may need to stir the mixture a few times during the bake to get an even golden brown colour to your crumble.

Crème Fraiche Frosting

  • Beat together the cream cheese, crème fraiche and butter until fully combined and smooth.

  • Sift the icing sugar into the bowl, and mix until fully incorporated and smooth. Make sure there are no lumps.

The final product

  • Smear or pipe a generous amount of frosting onto the top of a completely cooled cupcake.

  • Sprinkle liberally with the crumble.

  • Eat immediately… I know you can’t wait.

#fruit #apples #TheGreatSouthAfricanBakeOff #Bake #crumble #cremefraiche #creamcheese #cinnamon #cupcakes #cake

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