I love autumn flavours. The food has a touch of spice which really warms you up and makes you feel all cosy. I’ll miss all the vibrant tastes of the fresh fruit from summer, but with a new season, comes new food. And one of my favourites are in their prime this time of year – The mighty apple!
There are so many different varieties of apples, and it amazes me how the same fruit can taste so widely different. There are sweet versions, sour versions and they’re all perfect for different things. Specific apples are used for eating, making applesauce, smoothies, but most importantly… cake!!
I love a slice of freshly baked, spiced apple cake. It’s moist, yet perfectly flavoured, and has just the right amount of mixed spice to really bring out the flavour.
To celebrate apple season, Fulham Palace held an ‘Apple Day Celebration’. Here, they grow so much fresh fruit and vegetables, and have rows and rows of apple trees! The Apple Day Celebration was full of life and the perfect way to celebrate the beginning of apple season. There were several stalls selling fresh produce, folk music, storytelling, and of course… Freshly picked apples!
When there’s apples that are fresh and sweet you really can’t walk away. And they were so cheap… it really was the perfect opportunity. So of course I bought loads!
Now I wanted to perfect an apple cake recipe. It’s something that I’d never made before, but really wanted to create the best cake that I could. I tried everything, different apple varieties, shredded, cubed apple sauce, with pear, on its own, but nothing worked! It was infuriating and I was so close to giving up after so many disasters!
Instead, I focused on what accompany the apple to bring out the flavour. Pear, rhubarb, toffee – But then it struck me. This was my first ever apple cake – I really shouldn’t over complicate it. So instead of doing fancy tiered cakes layered and frosted, maybe I should just stick to a nice, traditional tea loaf! When I don’t know how to make something I always look back at old, traditional recipes. These were always so simple and turned out so well that you have to turn to them in times of need. And they’ve never failed me yet!
I came across an apple and raisin teacake recipe, which looked so good. But considering that I don’t really like raisins – I wasn’t too fond of this idea. But what do I love in replacement of raisins? Cranberries! They’re sweeter and for some reason, a lot tastier. I’s strange that I don’t like raisins really when you consider how much I love grapes. But because so many people like raisins I decided to only swap half the raisins for cranberries, and hope I couldn’t taste them too much. But nope… It was completely, 100% perfect!
This cake is moist, flavoursome, and has the perfect amount of spice. It has a crunchy top made with demerara sugar, which adds a whole new aspect of deliciousness. I would seriously recommend this cake, it’s one of the best ways to enjoy the seasons finest! And it just goes to show that you can’t go against tradition, and sometimes the best recipes are the simplest. A moist, flavoursome cake given an extra boost with the raisins and cranberries. The crunchy top adds that extra little bit of oomph which leaves you wanting more and more!
So what are you waiting for? Time to cosy up with a big slice of cake and a cup of tea. Here’s to apple season and many more creations!
SPICED APPLE CAKE RECIPE:
Store in an air tight container in a cool, dry place for no longer then 5 days
(But it honestly won’t last that long!)
- 6 oz / 170 g Softened Butter, plus extra for greasing
- 3 oz / 85 g Soft Light Brown Sugar
- 3 Eggs
- 8 oz / 226 g Self Raising Flour (Gluten Free Can Also Be Used)
- 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
- 2 Teaspoons Mixed Spiced
- 12 oz / 340 g Cooking Apples – Peeled, Cored and Diced
- 1/2 Cup / 3 oz Sultanas / Raisins
- 1/2 Cup / 3 oz Cranberries
- 75 ml / 5 Tablespoons Milk
- 2 Tablespoons Demerara Sugar
- Preheat the oven to 180 *c / 160 *c Fan / Gas Mark 4. Line a 8 inch deep round cake tin with baking parchment.
- Place butter and the light brown sugar into a large bowl, and beat until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs a bit at a time, and fully incorporate into the mixture.
- Sift in the flour, baking powder and mixed spice, and mix in until thoroughly combined.
- Fold in the apples, sultanas / raisins and cranberries, along with the milk to form a soft, wet consistency.
- Once all the ingredients are combined, pour the mixture into the prepared baking tin.
- Flatten the mixture in the tin and sprinkle the top with the demerara sugar, ensuring the whole is covered.
- Bake in the centre of the oven for about 1 1/2 hours or until risen, golden brown and firm to the touch.
- Cool in the tin for around 5 minutes, then turn out on to a wire rack and allow to cool down completely before serving.
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