Cinnamon Crumb Surprise

Added on by Monica Cheng.

There are few things better in this world than a wonderfully fragrant cinnamon crumb bread stuffed with a surprise layer of cinnamon-infused apples.

During my daily course of perusing through blogs, I've encountered quite a number of posts that reference this holy and mystic book called

The Cake Bible

. The name sounds highly appealing, especially for a cake-lover like myself. (I have a few cake recipes up my sleeve, but I was too excited with this recipe so the others will wait.) Rose Levy Beranbaum is the author of this fabulous cookbook, and it turns out she has another book called

The Bread Bible

-- which is where this recipe comes from.

My eyes lit up the moment I saw the name of this recipe. Cinnamon plus crumb plus surprise? Those three words are all I need to hear to be convinced that I need to recreate this in my own home kitchen.

And I'm so happy, too, that I did. It's these kinds of recipes that end up in your baking repertoire, and I'm glad that I now have an excellent cinnamon apple bread recipe that will stay in my recipe book. This recipe is made in a bread pan, but it uses cake flour, which makes for a delightfully light and airy loaf in pairing with the cinnamon crumb. I hope you enjoy!




First make the crumb top and filling. The original recipe called for walnuts, but I used pecans and it worked perfectly well. The image on the top right corner shows the 1/2 cup I reserved for the filling. To the rest, I added the butter and flour. I did not add vanilla, but you may do so at this point if you wish.

The cake layer. At first the mixture will be dry, but after adding the egg mixture and mixing for a little longer it will turn magically moist. The image on the bottom right corner shows the final mixture before pouring into the pan.

All you have to do for assembly is pour a little batter, then layer with the reserved 1/2 cup of cinnamon crumb filling, then a layer of plump apple slices, then the rest of the batter, and the crumb topping to finish.

Click here for printable recipe of Cinnamon Crumb Surprise


Cinnamon Crumb Surprise

“Topped with fragrant cinnamon crumbs, this golden loaf has a hidden treat in the middle: a tart layer of buttery apple slices, nestled inside a layer of cinnamon crumb. Perfect with a cup of coffee, tea, or a glass of cold milk



The Bread Bible

Yield: 1 loaf

Cooking Time: 50 – 60 minutes


: 9 x 5 inch loaf pan, bottom greased and lined with parchment paper, then sprayed or greased and floured. If using a non-stick pan, no need to line the pan.

Crumb Topping and Filling


1/4 cup brown sugar

1 1/2 tablespoon granulated sugar

3/4 cup pecans

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons unsifted cake flour

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F 30 minutes prior to use. Adjust oven shelf at the middle level.

Make crumb mixture


In a food processor, pulse the sugars, pecan, and cinnamon until the nuts are coarsely chopped. Reserve

1/2 cup

for the filling. Add the flour and butter to the remainder and pulse briefly just until butter is absorbed. Refrigerate for 20 minutes to firm up, then use fingertips to form coarse, crumbly mixture for topping.

Apple Filling and Butter


1 heaving cup of sliced apple

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1 egg

2 egg yolks

1/2 cup sour cream

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 1/2 cup sifted cake flour

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

3/8 teaspoon baking soda

1/8 + 1/16 teaspoon (scant 1/4 teaspoon) salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened


Prepare filling and mix the batter


Just before mixing batter, peel and core apple. Cut into 1/4-inch thick slices, and toss with lemon juice.

In a medium bowl, lightly combine egg, yolks, and about 1/4 of the sour cream and vanilla.

In a mixer bowl, combine the cake flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix on low speed for 30 seconds to blend. Add butter and remaining sour cream and mix until dry ingredients are moistened. Increase to medium-high speed and beat for 1 minute to aerate and develop the structure, scraping down the sides of the bowl.

Gradually add the egg mixture, beating for 20 seconds after each addition to incorporate the ingredients. Scrape down the sides.

Pour about 2/3 of the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with the

reserved 1/2 cup crumb mixture

and top with apple slices, arranging them in two rows of overlapping slices. Pour the rest of the batter over the fruit and spread evenly. The batter will be 3/4 inch from the top of the pan. Sprinkle with the crumb topping.

Bake for 50 - 60 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool, serve, & enjoy!


: It is fine to use all-purpose flour; the bread will have a firmer texture.