Spiced apple cake with cinnamon. A deliciously moist fruity cake with a hint of warming spice. A perfect afternoon tea treat!
Spiced apple cake is a favourite Autumn bake of ours. Sweet apples, in season right now, combined with warming cinnamon and all wrapped up in a sweet cake. Delicious!
Over the years we have experimented with various apple cakes, some looking for the apple to be grated through it, which at times can lose the apple. Others which use multiple layers of sliced apple and end up not baking quite right due to the amount of moisture in the cake.
Here we have our recipe for spiced apple cake which has the perfect balance of apples and spice wrapped up is a moist cake.
What type of apple should I use?
You can use any apples in this apple cake, however, I sometimes find Bramley cooking apples too sour and they also have a tendency to break up. Instead I suggest a firm dessert apple, something like a pink lady.
Of course those with apples growing in their own gardens should make good use of those. Picking them fresh off the tree and using them when they are full of flavour.
Why does this cake use 3 types of sugar?
The spiced apple cake batter uses a combination of caster sugar and light brown sugar. Both can be used in the cake as caster sugar has a light texture and dissolves easily. Whereas light brown sugar is added to give colour and a richer caramel flavour to the cake, which works well with the apples.
The demerara sugar is added in a layer on top of the uncooked cake batter, before being popped into the oven. This layer of sugar is to added to achieve a crisp cake top once cooked. However, this step is entirely optional and you may leave out if you wish.
This beautiful cake is delicious sliced and served with a cup of tea, a perfect afternoon tea treat. However, warm a slice of this cake and serve it with some custard and you have a splendid pudding to heat you up from the inside on a crisp Autumn day.
Apple and spice also work with sticky caramel. For another great recipe idea serve this cake with a salted caramel sauce on the side and a drizzle of cream to cut through the sweetness.
Apple and cinnamon is a flavour match made in heaven, they go hand in hand and for me remind me of Autumn. That’s not to say I don’t make this cake at other times during the year!
This cake contains ground cinnamon, however, if you don’t want just cinnamon you could substitute the same quantity of both for some mixed spice blend. Just bear in mind that this will change the taste slightly.
Ginger is also a fantastic pairing with apple. Add some ground ginger to the cake batter or grate in a little stem ginger for an added hit of spice.
If you like adding dried fruit to this cake then you could substitute some of the fresh apple. Sultanas or raisins would both work with the apple. Take care not to make the cake too heavy though, as it will not rise! Ensure the fruit mix you are adding equates to the same weight!
So, for example, this cake uses 350g of fresh apple so if adding dried fruit add 250g of apple and 100g of say sultanas.
How long will this apple cake stay fresh?
Once baked and cooled store this apple cake in an airtight container. This cake will easily remain fresh for 3-4 days. The juice from the apples will seep into the cake and it will become more pudding like in texture but still taste delicious.
Can I freeze this cake?
Yes, this cake is easily frozen so you can enjoy some now and some at a later date. Simply allow the cake to completely cool and decide how much you want to freeze. Do you want to freeze the whole cake, or eat some now and freeze half for later?
Place the cake on a sheet of parchment paper and gently wrap it around the cake. It’s great to portion up and freeze so you can remove only what you need. Then either pop it into a freezer bag or suitable box for the freezer.
When you are ready to eat the cake, remove it from the freezer and allow it to defrost at room temperature. Ideally eat within 3 months of freezing to enjoy this cake at its best.
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Additional recipe suggestions:
If you like this simple cake recipe then try some of our other great Autumn bakes:
- Eve’s Pudding
- Apple & Cinnamon Scones
- Plum & Almond Galette
- Pumpkin Cake
- Pumpkin & Chocolate Muffins
- Pumpkin Spiced Scones
For some other great ideas for baking through the year, have a look at our Ultimate Guide to Baking with Kids. This guide if full of hints, tips and recipes for kids and adults alike!
Spiced Apple Cake
- 20cm x 20cm deep sided baking pan (8in x 8in)
- ½ lemon (juiced)
- 3 tsp cinnamon
- 50 g caster sugar
- 300 g light brown sugar
- 4 medium apples (approximately 350g in weight once prepared)
- 350 g plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 250 ml sunflower oil
- 4 eggs (large)
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 2 tsp demerara sugar (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 160°C Fan (180° Non Fan)
- Line a 20cm x 20cm deep sided baking pan with baking parchment.
- In a medium bowl, add the lemon juice, cinnamon, and the light brown and caster sugars.
- Peel and slice the apples and add them to the lemon, sugar and spice bowl. Mix well to incorporate. Set aside and prepare the batter.
- In another bowl (or a stand mixer bowl if using) add the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt. Mix till combined.
- In a measuring jug, add the oil, eggs and vanilla and whisk.
- Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix gradually until fully incorporated.
- To the prepared baking pan add half the cake batter and spread.
- Add the spiced apple slices in a layer on the cake batter, including any juice from the apples. Top with the remaining cake batter and spread. Don't worry too much if some of the apples are showing. Sprinkle with demerara sugar and place in the oven to bake for 50 minutes.
- Test the cake to see if its cooked, it should be firm and springy to the touch. As there is a layer of cooked apples in the middle the skewer test may not work properly.
- Remove from the oven, allow to rest for 10 minutes then remove from the pan by lifting the lower piece of baking parchment.
- Serve warm with a dollop of whipped or pouring cream or ice cream or a toffee sauce for a Sunday pudding.
• Please note that the nutrition information provided above is approximate and meant as a guideline only •
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