Apple Crumb Cake (Cuca de Maçã)

Apple crumb cake (or cuca de maçã) is a traditional German coffee cake topped or filled with apples. It is great served plain for breakfast or drizzled with caramel sauce or homemade dulce de leche sauce as an afternoon treat.  

Course Dessert
Cuisine Brazilian
Keyword apple crumb cake, cuca de maca
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 9 squares
Calories 379 kcal


Cake Batter:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour sifted
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 dash salt
  • 1 tablespoon shortening melted
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
  • 1 large egg at room temperature
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • About 3 medium baking tart apples e.g. Granny Smith, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/8 slices

Streusel Topping:

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter cut into pieces
  • 1/2 tablespoon heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Garnish (optional):

  • 1/4 - 1/3 cup store-bought caramel sauce or homemade dulce de leche sauce


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (about 177° C).  Grease bottom and side of a 8 x 8-inch baking pan.  Set aside.
  2. First, make the streusel topping. Combine flour, sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl; cut in butter with a fork until obtaining fine crumbs.  Add heavy cream and vanilla, mixing well with a fork until crumbs form (the cream will add moisture to the streusel). Set aside at room temperature so that the vanilla will infuse the streusel with flavor.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine together the sifted flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Pour in and then mix both the melted shortening and butter with a fork until obtaining fine crumbs.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together egg, cream, and vanilla. Add to crumb mixture, tossing gently with a fork or by hand until mixture forms a ball.  Press dough in an even layer into the prepared baking pan.  Arrange apple slices on top of crust and then sprinkle the reserved streusel evenly over apple slices.
  5. Bake for about 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let cool on a rack and slice into squares. Serve apple crumb cake or cuca de maçã plain (the traditional manner), or warm and drizzled with either caramel sauce or dulce de leche sauce and accompanied by a scoop of ice cream if desired (my favorite way).
Nutrition Facts
Apple Crumb Cake (Cuca de Maçã)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 379 Calories from Fat 144
% Daily Value*
Fat 16g25%
Saturated Fat 9g45%
Cholesterol 67mg22%
Sodium 24mg1%
Potassium 210mg6%
Carbohydrates 53g18%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 25g28%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 595IU12%
Vitamin C 3mg4%
Calcium 70mg7%
Iron 1.7mg9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.