Auntie Anna’s Apple Cake

by Jemma Harvey-Jones

Auntie Anna’s Apple Cake

Everyone in our house is a big fan of cakes… especially when Auntie Anna helps us with our baking. One of Anna’s favourites to make with Little M is her apple cake. It sounds a little basic, but it’s incredibly easy to make (even with the Little M involved) and it’s absolutely delicious. It’s definitely one of those treats where I sneak in to the kitchen and cut myself ‘just another sliver’ to snack on when no one is looking (although I like it best fresh out of the oven).

For the cake…
  • 240g Brown Sugar
  • 80ml Vegetable Oil – We’re usually hopelessly underprepared when it comes to baking so we have also used sunflower oil, rapeseed oil and olive oil. Nannie is insisting that we use butter next time so we will be using an equal amount, which I assume will work just as well.
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 250ml Milk (Add 1 Tablespoon White Vinegar)
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Essence
  • 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 340g Plain Flour
  • 300g Chopped Apples (Approximately 3) – We used cooking apples but I think that any type of apple would work in this recipe – just as well as you can never be sure of what we have in our fruit bowl.
For the sugar crust…
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
For the pièce de résistance…
  • 100g cream cheese
  • 130g icing sugar
  • A dash of milk

A side note… As soon as we opened the kitchen cupboards to scratch around at the back, hoping to find all of our ingredients, the halloween sweets fell from the highest shelf (where they usually remain hidden until required for only the most severe of bribes). Little M landed upon them like some sort of rabid beast, starved of nourishment for a good few weeks. Because that’s my luck. Obviously. I blame Covid for many things including this (said halloween sweets would have most certainly been stockpiled by the neighbouring kids any other year).

Seriously, this is all there is to it.

Part 1

  1. We cook in an Aga so it’s a little different. In a regular oven, preheat to 160ºC.
  2. For the cake batter; mix ingredients in the order above, stirring until just combined.
  3. Pour batter into an 8 inch baking tin (lined with baking parchment) or a buttered baking dish. Done. Simples.

In the interest of honesty, I should probably admit that more often than not, we double the recipe and use two tins to make two separate layers, using half of the icing to fill the middle, as well as on the top…

When entertaining, we usually double the recipe and use our Le Creuset Stoneware Shallow Rectangular Dish, 32 cm in Almond

I frequently fight with baking parchment so recently I have gone down this route instead

(Also fabulous for when making toasties on top of the AGA, without smoking the whole house out/making all of my washing smell burnt)

Part 2

  1. Combine the sugar crust ingredients to make the topping – sprinkle evenly over the batter.
  2. You’ll need to bake for approximately 45 minutes. We tend to go for 20 minutes initially, then turn the cake and leave for another 20 minutes so that the front cooks as much as the back. After that we turn/eave it for 5 minute stints as necessary until we can insert and remove a skewer with it remaining clean since our AGA can be temperamental at times.
  3. The icing: Combine the ingredients and mix in a pan over a low heat until thoroughly combined/smooth/no lumps/shiny – you get the gist.

All in, this cake takes us about an hour to get onto the table. Not bad if, like me, you get a taste for something, have to have it, and want it NOW! Hello Veruca Salt I hear you say.

Note: We once made this cake without the icing – when we had run out of cream cheese. Being a lover of all things like carrot cake I would question why anyone in their right mind would do this, but if you’re of this disposition, serving with a drizzle of honey, honey butter or cream works well too. To be honest it’s great on its own too, but you know, you’ve got options.

*Honey Butter Glaze:  3 tablespoons softened butter, 3 tablespoons of honey, pinch of sea salt. Mix. Pop a dollop on top.

Nutrition Facts

Servings: 12

Amount per serving

Calories 369                 % Daily Value*

  • Total Fat 11.2g: 14%
  • Saturated Fat 4.1g: 20%
  • Cholesterol 29mg: 10%
  • Sodium 157mg: 7%
  • Total Carbohydrate 63.9g: 23%
  • Dietary Fiber 2.6g: 9%
  • Total Sugars 40.3g
  • Protein 4.9g
  • Vitamin D 2mcg: 11%
  • Calcium 57mg: 4%
  • Iron 2mg: 11%
  • Potassium 158mg: 3%

*Some equipment listed above contains affiliate links to products we use and love.

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