The Apple Crumb Sheet Cake is a bit of a misnomer, or, at least, this tasty treat is a curiosity! In many ways, it resembles a pie more than a cake; it has a flaky, buttery crust, a jammy apple filling sweetened with cinnamon sugar, and a delicious brown sugar and pecan crumble on top. Plus, each slice of Apple Crumb Sheet Cake is served with a rich caramel sauce, a very pie-like addition we think. Yet this dessert is made sheet cake style so everyone can have a slice… maybe that’s enough to make it a true cake and pie hybrid!

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • 2 1/4 cups plus 1/3 cup all-purpose flour, divided, plus more, to taste, for dusting a work surface
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup butter-flavored shortening
  • 8 tablespoons cold water
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 1/2 pounds tart baking apples, peeled and cored, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices

For the crumb topping:

  • 1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup pecans

For the caramel sauce:

  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup half-and-half or light cream
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup light-colored corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions

Step 1 –Line a 15×10-inch backing pan with 18-inch-wide foil, extending the sides of the foil up over the edges of the pan.

Step 2 –In a large bowl, sift 2 1/4 cups of the flour and the salt to combine.

Step 3 –Using a pastry blender, cut in the shortening until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Step 4 –Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the cold water over a small portion of the flour mixture and toss gently with a fork to combine until moistened.

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Step 5 –Push the moistened dough to the side of the bowl.

Step 6 –Repeat adding the water, 1 tablespoon at a time, to a portion of the flour mixture until all of the dough is moistened.

Step 7 –Using your clean fingers, gently knead the dough until a ball forms.

Step 8 –Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Step 9 –Lightly dust a work surface with the extra flour.

Step 10 –Turn the dough out onto the prepared surface and roll it into a 19×13-inch rectangle.

Step 11 –Wrap the rectangle around a rolling pin to transfer it, then unroll it into the prepared baking pan.

Step 12 –Ease the dough into the pan and up the sides, being careful not to stretch it.

Step 13 –Trim the dough 1/2-inch beyond the edge of the pan.

Step 14 –Fold the dough edge over and flute it as desired.

Step 15 –In an extra-large bowl, add the sugar, 1/3 cup of the flour, and the cinnamon and whisk to combine.

Step 16 –Add the apples and toss lightly to coat.

Step 17 –Spoon the apple mixture into the dough-lined pan, spreading it out evenly.

Step 18 –In a large bowl, stir together the oats, 1 cup of the brown sugar, and the remaining flour.

Step 19 –Using a pastry blender, cut 1/2 cup of the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs.

Step 20 –Stir the pecans into the crumb mixture.

Step 21 –Add the crumb mixture to the top of the cake.

Step 22 –Bake until the apples are tender, about 40-45 minutes. Cover the top for the last 5-10 minutes of baking if it is starting to brown too quickly.

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Step 23 –Allow the cake to cool slightly on a wire rack.

Step 24 –In a medium heavy saucepan, add the remaining brown sugar and the cornstarch and stir to combine.

Step 25 –Add the half-and-half, the remaining 1/2 cup of the water, and the corn syrup and stir to combine.

Step 26 –Cook the brown sugar mixture over medium heat until bubbly, about 3-4 minutes.

Step 27 –Cook and stir the mixture until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes.

Step 28 –Transfer the saucepan from the heat and add the remaining butter and the vanilla, stirring to combine.

Step 29 –Serve the cake with the caramel sauce.