Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Simple apple cake

It was at my friend Elizabeth's urging (via her blog) I made this cake. She promised it was easy, delicious and able to be whipped up when the pantry was practically bare. Can I tell you, it is all of those things. When I made it, I turned it out of the tin and selected a plate to put it on, reaching for one I particularly like but rarely use - one of the few things of my mum's I took with me back to Sydney after she died. It distinguishes itself by being absolutely flat - no sloping sides - and at its centre depicts an English country cottage covered in flowers. It was her mother's and sticky-taped to its underside, remarkably, is still a small piece of paper with my grandmother's name written in careful capitals (lest it be lost after transporting something scrumptious to someone's house). 

Instantly, I remembered all the afternoon teas at her house after school. Scones were the main event, if I'm honest, but also on offer with regularity was an apple tea cake. Maybe subconsciously that's why I reached for that plate. Originally from Scotland, my grandmother married a bank manager and raised three children in country Queensland. Before she was catering to hungry grandchildren in her retirement in Brisbane, she was entertaining bank personnel and clients in a succession of small towns. I wonder if she found it surreal serving up on scenes of rural life so different to her surrounds.

This isn't Gran's recipe, but she'd definitely approve. It's not only effortless, but economical (one egg!) and when it bakes, it perfumes the air with the comforting scent of cinnamon. Something to satisfy all ages, eternally.

Simple apple cake
From a recipe by The Backyard Lemon Tree

Elizabeth doesn't bother to peel the apples, so neither did I! I served this with some crème fraîche, which was a nice, subtly tart accompaniment to the sweetness of the cake. It's not the sort of thing I frequently have in the fridge - but I had made some to use up some leftover pouring cream, which would have otherwise gone to waste. It's incredibly easy - see here for how.

1 cup of self-raising flour (or one cup plain with two teaspoons baking powder)
1 cup of sugar
125 grams butter, melted
1 egg
2 apples cored, chopped into chunks
1 teaspoon of cinnamon

Preheat oven to 190 deg C and grease and flour a spring-form tin.

Mix all the ingredients together until just combined. The batter will look quite dry and lumpy. This is perfect!

Spread mixture into prepared tin. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until toothpick/skewer inserted in top of cake comes out clean.

Cool in tin and, remove and turn out onto your own family heirloom to serve.


  1. I adore your recipes Alice and I love reading all your blogs but I particularly enjoyed this one - such gorgeous memories xx

    1. Thanks Sue! So nice of you to say. Hope you give this cake a try sometime - feel sure Miss J would like it.

  2. HI there, Just wanted to let you know that I made this on the weekend - was delicious! So easy, and so comforting. Thank you for your post - and for helping me make memories for my little family. D

  3. I baked your Simple Apple Cake this morning for a work colleagues birthday; it received rave reviews from all. I have shared your blog with the office. Thank you Alice!
    BTW - do you know famous people?

    1. So glad the cake was a hit! To answer your question - I occasionally meet famous people in my line of work, but wouldn't say I actually know any.