Yes, it’s that time of year again – apple time! I love the seasonal flavours that create a warm, cosy feeling and are definitely comfort foods.
I’ve made several versions of apple cake over the last few weeks, thanks in no small part to the lovely people from Incredible Edible and the apples I was given to use. I said I’d bake for Apple Day in Phillips Park and they generously gave me a big crate of local apples.
Here’s the basic recipe I used with a couple of variations – tweak as you wish!
Easy apple cake
- 225g self-raising flour
- 115g light brown sugar
- 115g unsalted butter (chilled) plus extra for greasing
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 egg (large), beaten
- 100ml milk (you may need a splash more)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 225g cooking apple – peeled, cored and diced
- 2 tbsp demerara sugar (optional)
- Preheat oven – 180C/160C fan
- Grease and line your tin – I used an 8″ round tin but use what you’ve got and adjust the baking time accordingly. I’ve also done this in bundt tins and as a loaf!
- Put the butter and flour in a bowl and add cinnamon. Rub them together using your fingertips (like making scones!) until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs. Don’t worry too much if there are a few larger lumps, as long as it’s mostly mixed and crumby it’ll be fine. This is a good step to do with the kids, although potentially messy!
- Next, stir in the sugar
- Add the egg, milk and vanilla and mix. You’re aiming for a thick batter, not too soft.
- Put in your apples and stir gently. If you like, you can also add sultanas or raisins at this stage – about 75g should be enough.
- Dollop the batter into your tin and sprinkle with the Demerara sugar if you’re not decorating the cake later.
- Bake for around 30-40 minutes -this will be a similar length of time for most size tins, just keep an eye on it after 30.
- It’s baked when it’s golden brown and a skewer comes out clean. You may need to test in a couple of places because you can be easily misled if you stick your skewer in a bit of apple instead of a cakey bit!
- Allow to cool in the tin for a bit, if you can wait. I often serve it almost immediately with vanilla ice cream or custard!
Easy as (apple) pie this one! I topped this cake with custard buttercream for an ‘apple pie and custard cake’ that I baked twice in the same week!
- 100g unsalted butter (softened)
- 200g icing sugar
- 2 tbsp custard powder
- splash of milk to soften the mix, as required
Simply beat them all together until light and fluffy. This will make enough to top the cake above. I then sprinkled it with some fudge pieces.
Toffee Apple Variation
This is an easy recipe to adapt and is pretty robust. I’ve used it a lot recently! Here is how I did the toffee apple bundt version of the cake. I’ve been asked for this one a LOT!
Ingredients as above plus caramel – home made or shop bought is fine!
- Make double the mixture from the recipe above
- Prepare a bundt tin (spray with cake release and dust with flour)
- Add half the mix to the tin, followed by a thin layer of caramel around the middle, without touching the sides of the tin. You don’t want to add too much at this point, because you don’t want to risk the cake splitting along the caramel line. Cover the caramel with the remaining cake mix.
- At this stage, I stuck in a skewer and just gave the caramel layer a little swirl within the pan, to slightly mix it with the batter around it…like a marbling motion.
- Put in the oven at 150C for around an hour – check it after 45 mins.
- Cool in the tin as above then turn out onto a wire rack.
- You can either serve it warm, or allow it to cool and drizzle the remaining caramel over the top.