If you pop by our Facebook page at all it’s likely that you’ll have heard me complaining(!) about the glut of apples in my garden this year. I’m quickly running out of new and innovative ways to use all our apples up so I’ve recently resorted to an old favourite – my spiced apple cake. For me it’s the perfect autumnal treat. The spices are comforting and warming and it is just the thing to go with a cuppa.
Baking Cake in a Halogen Oven
I had to faff about a bit with my usual recipe to make this spiced apple cake work. I don’t bake anywhere near as much as I used to. My kitchen doesn’t have a proper oven and I’m reduced to using a halogen oven. Mostly it does the job but it’s hard to make a good cake. I’ve discovered that the trick is to use a well greased bundt tin but it still took me a couple of goes to get this cake right. They say practice makes perfect so I’ve been working on it for you lovely readers. I’m going to go into how to bake in a halogen oven in more detail in another post so keep your eyes peeled.
As you can see my first effort didn’t go so well. It was still tasty though, but looked like a bit of a mess! This cake solidifies a bit as it cools so turning it out a bit early was an error.
Making your own Spiced Apple Cake
This is a pretty simple recipe and it’s very easy to make it your own. I opted not to cream the butter and sugar because that makes quite a light cake batter and the apples tend to fall to the bottom. I begin by rubbing the butter into the flour as if I’m making pastry. Coating the apples with the flour/butter mix helps them stay in place as you bake. Feel free to use whatever sugar you like best too, although I think brown sugar works particularly well with the spices in this cake.
What Apples Work?
I tend to use bramleys in my spiced apple cake but you can use just about any apple you have to hand. If I use very tart cooking apples I will sprinkle a tablespoon of caster sugar over the apples to sweeten them slightly. I’m quite partial to the tang of cooking apples in my cake but my little ones prefer things to be a bit sweeter, hence the sugar!
Spice is Nice
I love adding a bit of spice to my food! If you’re using good quality apples you don’t need any spices for a tasty cake but I think they add a beautiful combination of flavours. For this spiced apple cake I use nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves. I think these flavours work perfectly with the apples. Feel free to add your favourite spices though. Ginger, allspice, mace and cardamom would all work well.
- 175g self-raising flour
- 75g wholemeal flour
- 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 125g butter, cut into small pieces
- 125g soft brown sugar
- 325g cored and peeled apples (prepared wieght)
- 1 beaten egg
- 50ml milk
- Optional - 1 tbsp caster sugar
- Preheat your oven to 180°C (160°C if you are using a halogen oven)
- Grease and line a 23cm loose bottomed tin (Use a bundt tin with a lid if you're using a halogen oven)
- Sift the flours, spices and baking soda into a large bowl and mix well together
- Add the butter and using your fingertips rub the butter into the flour mix until it is all combined and the mixture looks like breadcrumbs.
- Stir in the sugar.
- Chop the apples into rough 1cm cubes.
- If you are using bramleys you can mix the apples with 1tbsp caster sugar to take away some of the tartness, but this isn't necessary.
- Stir the apples into the mix until well combined.
- Add the egg and the milk and using a wooden spoon mix everything until you have a sticky, lumpy dough.
- Spoon into your prepared tin and level off with the back of a spoon.
- Bake for 45-50mins until the top is golden brown and firm to the touch.
- If using a halogen oven you may want to put the lid on your tin about half way through the bake to stop the top from burning. Please don't use foil for this as it is likely to get blown about by the fan and this can be dangerous.
- Leave the cake in the tin for 20-30mins before turning out. This means the cake can solidify a bit and will hold together a bit better.
Please try it and let me know what you think of my favourite cake! What are your ideal spices for a tasty apple cake? And please give me any other ideas for what I can do with my apples – there are still so many!