Apple Cake

I have been making this apple cake since the 70s or 80s, resorting to the remaining scrap of the original recipe (see below) which came from a magazine, but then it appeared as Sarah Raven’s ‘favourite apple cake’ in Gardeners’ World last year so I now have a fresher snippet of paper! She adds toasted hazelnuts and lemon zest, which the original didn’t, as it is lovely enough without them. The moistness can depend on how small you cut the apples or if you have used apples from the freezer (which I would do if I didn’t make it in the autumn). It’s also yummy (warm or cold) with custard or cream or whatever you like on your puddings.

350g (12oz) self-raising flour
1tsp cinnamon
225g  (8oz) butter
110g (4oz) sultanas or raisins
175g (6oz) caster sugar
(75g (3oz) toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped) – optional
500g (1lb) cooking apples
(zest of lemon) – optional
3 large(ish) eggs

1. Grease or line a 20cm (8″) loose bottom tin
2. Pulse flour, cinnamon and butter in a food processor until like fine breadcrumbs.
3. Put in a bowl and stir in sugar, sultanas/raisins and nuts (if using)
4. Peel core and chop apples roughly (or pulse in food processor) and add to bowl
Lightly whisk eggs and stir into bowl with lemon zest (if using) – do not beat.
5. Spoon into tin and bake in moderate oven at 180˚C (350F˚), gas mark 4 or the baking oven of an Aga for about 1 – 1¼ hours or until firm to touch, covering with foil if becoming too brown.
6. Dredge with sugar and cool in tin.

20 Responses to Apple Cake

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  2. croftgarden says:

    Thank you Cathy I’ve been looking for a good apple cake recipe for ages.

  3. Cathy says:

    I really recommend it Chris – and as I have been making it off and on for about 30 years it must be OK! Please note – I missed the eggs off the ingredients and have just added those now!

  4. paulinemulligan says:

    So glad I found your apple recipe, just finished writing a post about our cooking apples, so your recipe will be so useful!

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  6. mary says:

    is this a cake that keeps or a pudding?

    • Cathy says:

      Hi Mary – it would be lovely as a pudding with custard or cream, but I would generally make it as a cake. It’s very moist, so wouldn’t last more than a few days in a warm place. I would usually cut it and freeze the slices.

  7. Aileen says:

    Looks delicious! I’ve been searching for an apple cake recipe so I can use up the glut of apples still hanging around my kitchen.

    • Cathy says:

      This really is a very lovely recipe, Aileen – I have been using it for years. I have also used it with apple that I have frozen but I make sure the frozen slices are defrosted and patted dry before I chop them. Oh, and if you chop too finely, like in a food processor, you get a denser cake, so perhaps better to hand chop.

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  9. I’m going to make this homely recipe to eat with a cup of tea beside the fire. Thanks for sharing your family rdcipe.

    • Cathy says:

      It’s a great way to use apples too if you grow your own

      • Thanks Cathy. We do grow our own. The garden is quite new to us and we’re designing it, building new borders and a cutting garden, planting a small orchard and growing a few veg. We don’t have a greenhouse yet! The garden has been here for over 150 years but we don’t know the ages of our fruit trees.

        • Cathy says:

          Oh how exciting to be in the throes of creating your garden – was there much to start with? Our apple trees were there when we came (20 years ago) and will have been there a good bit longer than that, at least another 20 years I would say – this year has been the best crop ever

          • Our garden is about a third of an acre and long and narrow. I’ve noticed that fruit trees all around the village have been dripping with fruit. Our garden is Victorian and mostly a veg plot for many years. We have an old black and white aerial shot of it. There weren’t many plants! It must be so wonderful to have created your garden over so many years and evolve with it ! We won’t move but probably won’t live long enough to see our new trees big, strong and bearing lots of fruit. We’ll have to see! We will enjoy planting, harvesting and just watching what happens in the garden as the seasons change. I find it fascinating! My studio arrives soon so I’ll have somewhere to sit in the winter. I’ve just noticed my dahlias and zinnias are still flowering.

          • Cathy says:

            Your garden is a similar size to ours then. Good to have that vintage aerial shot, even if there wasn’t a lot to show then ps dahlias and zinnias IAVOM next week…?

          • Yours is an inspiration for us! Our neighbours have been here for quite a long time and have been very helpful about what was grown here and also the success and failures of plants and veg in their garden. They are also very friendly! I will have a go at your IAVOM next week. Enjoy the rest of your week. The weather’s not too bad here!

          • Cathy says:

            Good to know that you have friendly neighbours – apart from the benefits of their local gardening knowledge it makes things easier if you have any boundary issues. You will be have found out by now how friendly garden bloggers are too 😉

      • We have a few very old apple trees and we’ve planted more this year. The garden is quite new to us so there’s alot to learn. Thank you.

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