Birthday apple cake

A slice of apple cake on a plate beside a vase of Clematis.

January is a busy month for birthdays in our family and with that comes a lot of cake.  While sponges and chocolate cakes are always favourites for special occasions, sometimes it’s nice to celebrate with something a little different.  So for Adam’s birthday this year he decided he wanted to bake his own cake, and an apple one at that…

Adam’s hometown in England is right in the heart of apple country, so for him anything with the fruit is always a sweet reminder of life in the U.K. After a bit of a search online he settled on this recipe by Nagi, making just a small modification along the way.

Ingredients for apple cake in bowls on a check tea towel.

What you’ll need

  • 2 x cups of sifted plain white flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon of bicarb soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon each of salt, cinnamon and ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/4 cups of white sugar (Adam reduced this slightly – probably closer to one cup)
  • 1 cup of vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled and cubed
  • Half a cup of raw flaked almonds
  • A few teaspoons of raw sugar
  • Icing sugar to serve

Raw apple cake ready to go in the oven.

How to do it

  1. Preheat a fan-forced oven to 180°c and grease and line a 21cm springform cake tin.
  2. Whisk together flour, bicarb, salt and spices in a large mixing bowl.
  3. In a separate smaller bowl, whisk together the oil and sugar, then add the eggs and vanilla.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon until just combined.
  5. Pour into the cake tin and sprinkle with almonds and raw sugar (to make the cake caramelised and brown on top)
  6. Bake for 50 minutes- one hour (or until an inserted skewer comes out clean), allow to cool and serve with a dusting of icing sugar.

Cooked apple cake cooling on a wire rack.

A slice of apple cake on a plate with a vase of Clematis in the background.

The cake came out beautifully moist and was just sweet enough, without being overpowering. It pairs beautifully with a cup of tea or coffee and with the decorative icing sugar finish,  it  feels special without being over the top.  I also love the fact that most of the ingredients are pantry/fruit bowl staples, meaning it’s easy to whip up should the craving for apple cake strike again soon.

Have a wonderful week.

M. x

6 thoughts on “Birthday apple cake

  1. Does that mean that your birthday is also in January?

    I was looking at a couple of apples today and wondering if I should cook them or do something more adventurous. But the thought of turning on the oven in this weather isn’t filling me with anticipation. Maybe I should …


    1. No January birthday for me, just a few others in our extended family. 😊 Adam baked this one first thing this morning before the heat of the day set in. Think that’s the way to go this week!


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