As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Try this easy British apple cake for your next dessert.
A Very British Cake
I am a big fan of British cuisine–and the old-time dishes. Lots of Brits are into really nouvelle cuisine at the moment, but the old standbys remain popular. There’s good reason for it–they’re delicious!
This cake is no exception. This is a dessert cake. It’s very moist because of the amount of apple in it. It’s very much like a bread pudding–it’s dense but very tender. It melts in your mouth.
The English are not into layer cakes as we are here in the USA. Their traditional cakes are usually one big “layer” as in the photo above. And their cakes have moxie; they are not full of air and they don’t have a gossamer texture either. They’re solid. If you’ve ever eaten the famous Madeira cake, you’ll know what I’m getting at.
The traditional British cake tin is 7-inches. That’s not a standard size here so I’ll give bake times for an 8-inch springform pan as well.
Not Too Sweet
Another thing I like about this cake is that it’s not overly sweet. That’s surprising for something of British origin since the Brits are really into “sweet.” They’re the world’s largest consumer of candy so that should tell you something.
If you use apples that are tart, the cake will have a little bite too. I like using granny smiths, but any eating apple will do here.
My mother never peeled the apples, so I’m assuming that’s the way the old timers made this. I did peel the apples mainly because I always found peel in this cake to be a bit offputting to it’s nice flavor. The only thing I didn’t peel were the apples for the top decoration.
Sugar And Spice
This British apple cake uses two ingredients that are so typically British. They are available in the US but there’s great substitutes for them.
The spice in this cake is something called “mixed spice.” Yes, that’s what it’s called–for reals. However, pumpkin pie spice is a great substitute for it so use that since it’s widely available here.
Another typical British ingredient is demerara sugar. If you take sugar in your coffee and you can get demerara, try it. It will give your coffee a caramel-like flavor. I found this–in Walmart of all places–but Sugar In The Raw is the closest American product. However, plain old brown sugar will do too but you won’t get the crunch in the topping.
British Apple Cake
- 200 g/7 oz of butter softened
- 200 g/7 oz soft brown sugar
- 200 g/7 oz self-raising flour
- 1 1/2 tsp ground mixed spice see NOTES
- 4 eggs beaten
- 4 small apples like gala or granny smith peeled and diced
- 1 large apple like gala or granny smith, cut in thin wedges
- Demerara sugar for sprinkling over the top
- Preheat the oven to 350F/180°C spray a 7 inch (18cm) round springform cake pan with non-stick spray. Mix the ground mixed spice with the flour
- Place all of the ingredients, except the apple, into a large bowl or food mixer and beat together for 2–3 minutes until well mixed. Add the 4 diced apples and stir into mix
- Spoon the cake mixture into the prepared pan and arrange the sliced apples over the top before sprinkling some Demerara sugar over the top of the cake and apples
- Bake in the oven for 55–60 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean
- Allow the cake to cool in the pan for a few minutes before turning out on to a wire rack; allow to cool completely before slicing and serving
For 8-inch springform pan, bake for 45-50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean