Maple Apple Cranberry Crumble

Maple Apple Cranberry Crumble

Yes, this is a crumble. It’s one of my favourite desserts and one of the simplest to make. I made this one for the first time just a few weeks ago while testing some recipe for our new column over at Today’s Parent. (Have you seen the new issue with our allergy-safe holiday treats? They made it look so gorgeous!) Julian made a hard stop on one of his lightening rounds of the kitchen island to check out what was in the oven. I turned on the oven light for his examination. “Pie Cake!” he exclaimed. And you know what? He’s right. From now on, we don’t eat crumble, we eat Pie Cake.

My friend, and one-time SPC guest blogger, Kateri recently posted on Facebook about the “beautiful confusion” created by these wonderful naming mistakes. Her young son refers to escalators as alligators and who can blame her for leaving it at that? Esme still sometimes refers to bananas as gabanas and the ex-fashion editor in me can’t correct her.

I kept making my own mistakes with this Pie Cake and I took three runs at it to get it right. I kept coming up with a dusty-topped crumble – and it was really starting to piss me off. It tastes pretty great, but it just doesn’t look the way I wanted it to. After looking around at lots of recipes I realized the problem was the butter. Ina Garten’s recipe uses a whole cup of cold, chopped butter! And that’s just not right for SPC (Sorry, Ina, I love you, buy Aye Carumba with the butter and sugar!).  So rather than inching up the amount of butter to make the crumble get the carmel-y quality you want. I decided to add a bit of maple syrup and to melt the butter. Melt the butter! Ding, ding, ding! Every bit of the topping mixture gets coated with the butter and you don’t need to use more than one stick (which is plenty decadent in my mind). Mistakes may be cute but sometimes getting it right is better.

If you’ve never thrown some cranberries into your apple crumble, you’re in for a treat. The bursting tartness of the cranberries against the sweetness of the maple is perfect. Now, please come over and take this one off my hands. I’ve made a big tray of crumble three times in the last week and I can’t face another bite. Well, maybe just one more.



Maple Apple Cranberry Crumble


  • 1 cup wholewheat flour
  • ¾ cup oats
  • ½ cup + 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup pecans, chopped
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • 2 lbs apples (5 1/2 cups or about 6 medium apples), peeled, cored and chopped into 1 ½ inch chunks
  • 2 cups cranberry (can use fresh or thawed frozen)
  • 1/3 cup + 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp flour


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large, mix flour oats, ½ cup brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and pecans until blended.

Add the melted butter and 2 Tbsp of maple syrup and mix until the mixture is moist and crumbly. Put aside while you get the fruit together.

Toss apples and cranberries in lemon juice, 1/3 cup of syrup, sugar and flour.

Pour fruit into a baking dish (11 x 8 x 2).

Cover evenly with crumble topping.

Bake for 50 to 60 minutes until fruit is bubbling and the top is golden brown.

Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes before serving.


photo by Leila Ashtari

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  1. Brigitte
    November 24, 12:10 Reply

    I usually drizzly rum over the fruit. Not sure what it does to the flavour, but it sounds more exciting.

  2. Amy B
    November 24, 18:44 Reply

    Great idea to put cranberries in a crumble. Gorgeous!

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