If you are lucky enough to have apples in your garden this year, this is the perfect recipe to have up your sleeve. This year has been a bad year for our Bramley apple tree, but I managed to collect a few small apples and we’ve had the tree pruned so finger’s crossed for a better crop next year. Anyway, cooking apples are usually on offer at this time of year and make for a good cake, so there’s no excuse not to make this. It’s homely, perfect as an after-school treat or for visitors with a nice cup of tea…
The smell of apples stewing with cinnamon instantly brings memories of my mother making apple cake using the apples from our garden at home. It would usually be a tray bake and she would use a glass to measure out the ingredients instead of scales. The apple cake would always be large enough to feed the whole family and any visitors. I call it a hidden apple cake, as you can gently push the apples down into the batter and pour any remaining batter over the top.
I’ve made this cake to the same recipe, using a round tin instead of a tray. I’ve also added golden honey to the apples and a touch to the cake batter to give a little extra comfort.
Hidden Apple, Cinnamon and Honey Cake
For the apples
- 4-5 medium sized English cooking apples
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon soft brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon runny honey
For the cake batter
- 110g/ 1/2 cup caster sugar
- 125ml/ 1/2 cup runny honey
- 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 240ml/one cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract
- 240g/2 cups self-raising flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- A small knob of butter to grease the tin
- Icing sugar to dust
- Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius/gas mark 4. Grease and line a 23cm spring form tin.
- Peel and core the apples and slice into thin slices. Put them in a pan with the cinnamon, brown sugar and honey and cook very gently for around five minutes. Leave them to one side to cool.
- In a bowl, add the caster sugar, honey, eggs, vegetable oil, cinnamon and vanilla and beat with an electric whisk for around three to four minutes until pale.
- Sift in the flour and baking powder and gently fold or mix the flour in with a metal spoon.
- Pour 2/3 of the cake batter into the lined tin. Take a slotted spoon and spoon over the apples (drain away and juice and drink it!) Push the apples down a bit, then pour the rest of the cake batter over the top to cover the apples.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the centre of the cake. Keep an eye on the cake, if it starts to look too golden, place a piece of foil over the top half way through cooking.
- Leave to cool before serving and dust with icing sugar. The cake will keep for up to five days in a tin.
Do you have an apple tree laden with apples this year? What’s your favourite recipe to use them all up?