This old fashioned, easy apple cake is the only apple cake recipe you will need this autumn! Beautifully simple, with dense and moist crumb, golden and buttery crust, thick layer of apple slices and delightfully crunchy topping of demerara sugar.
Apple cake makes a perfect treat for the afternoon tea, and will also serve very well as an everyday cake or an after dinner dessert. Add a dusting of icing sugar and a dollop of cream for the ultimate, super-cozy and delicious bake!
Simple method and very basic ingredients are what I love most about this cake (other than it's incredible taste). This is what makes it a perfect bake for any novice or less experienced bakers.
I saw this recipe in the recent Waitrose magazine, and I had to try it. When I did, I instantly knew this recipe needs a spot on the blog! It is similar to my Plum and Almond Cake , which I know lots of you made and enjoyed over the years.
The original recipe is by Orlando Murrin, and it honestly is one of the most delicious apple cakes you will make! It has the perfect ratio of apples to the cake, and it's texture falls somewhere between an apple crumble and apple pie.
This easy apple cake is made with very simple cake batter and apple filling. Here are the ingredients that you will need to make it:
- For the cake batter - you will need butter (also some extra for greasing the tin), golden caster sugar (or granulated sugar), an egg, self-raising flour (see recipe notes for the alternative), demerara sugar (aka raw cane sugar), and optional icing/ powdered sugar for dusting.
- For the apple layer - fresh apples (I used Braeburn apples, but Bramley or Granny Smith will also work very well), ground cinnamon, soft brown sugar or demerara sugar and apricot jam.
Scroll down to the bottom of this post for the full list of the ingredients and the method.
To make this cake recipe, start by preparing your apples. Peel, core and cut them into roughly 1 cm slices. Toss them with cinnamon and sugar, making sure they get evenly covered in the mixture and set them aside.
Next, preheat the oven and grease your cake pan with generous amount of butter. Don't be stingy here. You want a good layer of butter for the tin, because it will ensure that the crust turns out buttery and golden.
To make the cake batter, beat the softened butter and sugar, followed by egg and flour. The mixture will be thick and sticky, and that is how it is meant to be. Spoon out some of the batter and spread it over the base of the cake tin.
Now, it's time to place the apples on top. Arrange them in any way you would like, and be sure to use all of the apples. Dot the apricot jam over the apples, and spread the remaining cake batter on top. No need to be perfect here, just try to get it covered more or less.
Finish it off by sprinkling a tablespoon of demerara sugar on top for that light and sweet crunch, then bake.
- To make this cake gluten free, use a good quality, gluten free self raising flour. I haven't tested this recipe with gluten free flour, but it should work just fine. Alternatively, use plain gluten free flour (same amount), but combine it with a teaspoon of baking powder (make sure it is gluten free) and a teaspoon of baking soda (which is naturally gluten free).
- Make it dairy free - replace butter with dairy free alternative (like Stork, if you are in the UK), and replace the egg with yoghurt alternative (about 50 g) or applesauce.
My favourite way to serve this cake is with a dollop of whipped cream or clotted cream. But it is also delicious with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and/ or a drizzle of caramel sauce. Check out my Apple Pie recipe for homemade caramel sauce.
As recommended by Orlando himself, you can also try few other variations of this cake:
- Try it with different spices- swap the cinnamon for mixed spice, nutmeg or ginger and toss them together with apples and sugar. Or make it plain, without any spices at all!
- Swap the apricot jam for blackcurrant jam, honey or a mixture of both. You can also try it with marmalade.
- Add some lightly crushed flaked almonds along with demerara sugar at the end.
This easy apple cake will taste best when it's fresh, on the day it is made. However, any leftovers can be stored in the airtight container for up to 3 days at room temperature.
You can also freeze the whole cake or individual slices for up to 3 months. Wrap it in a double layer of clingfilm or reusable kitchen wrap and place in freezer friendly bag or container. Thaw it overnight in the fridge and bring to room temperature before serving.
Make sure to use loose-bottom or springform baking tin. This will ensure easy removal and release of the cake after baking.
To prevent the cake from sticking to the tin, use generous amount of butter and butter the cake tin really well.
If you tried this Easy Apple Cake recipe or any other of my recipes, feel free to leave me a comment and a rating below. I love hearing from you!
To pin this recipe and save it for later, use the button on the recipe card or on any of the photos above.
Easy Apple Cake
- 20 cm round loose-bottom or springform baking tin
- hand-held electric mixer or freestanding mixer with the paddle attachment
- mixing bowl
- 140 g butter, plus extra for the tin softened
- 85 g golden caster sugar
- 1 large egg
- 200 g self- raising flour
- 450 g apples peeled and cored
- 3 tbsp soft light brown sugar or demerara sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3 tablespoon apricot jam
- 1 tablespoon demerara sugar
- 1 tablespoon icing sugar optional
- Preheat the oven to 170°C. Grease the baking tin with generous amount of butter (this will create a lovely, golden and buttery crust for the cake). Set aside.
- Using an electric mixer, mix the butter and sugar for couple of minutes, until pale and fluffy, then add an egg and flour and mix again to combine. The batter will be thick and sticky, don't worry, this is how it is meant to be.
- Spoon roughly about ⅔ of the cake batter into the greased baking tin and use a fork or small offset spatula to spread it lightly over the base of the baking tin. Make sure the batter covers the base of the tin completely.
- Slice peeled and cored apples into 1cm slices, then place them into a large bowl and toss together with 3 tablespoon of soft light brown or demerara sugar and cinnamon. Arrange the apples in a thick layer on top of the cake mixture in the baking tin. Scatter small dollops of apricot jam on top of the apples and spread it roughly.
- Spoon over the remaining cake batter on top, and spread it over the apples, using fork or small spatula. Don't worry if few gaps remain here and there, you don't have to cover it perfectly, just more or less (the batter will spread as it bakes). Sprinkle the cake with 1 tablespoon of demerara sugar and bake for 1 hour or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean and the apples are tender.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes, before removing the cake from the tin. Serve this cake warm or cold, dusted with icing sugar and some clotted cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream, if you would like.
Please note that all my recipes are developed and tested in metric grams. I recommend that you use digital scales for a more accurate results. I have provided a conversion to US customary in the recipe but please note that I haven’t tested using this method.
- Self-raising flour can be replace by plain, all-purpose flour. For this recipe, use 200g of plain flour mixed with 1 teaspoon of baking powder and 1 teaspoon baking soda.
- Use and ice cream scoop or cookie scoop if you have one to divide and spoon out the cake batter.
- Make sure to use all of the apples. There should be nice, thick layer of them on top.
- Store any leftovers of this cake in the airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
- To freeze, wrap the whole cake or individual slices into double layer of clingfilm or reusable kitchen wrap and place in the freezer friendly bag. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge and bring to room temperature before serving.
I've just put this cake in the oven I'm hoping it will be lush. I'm making it for me and my sister to have tomorrow as we watch the queens funeral wish me luck x
Hi Michelle, I hope that you and your sister enjoyed this cake during such special day!
I have commented on this cake on IG and I feel I need to do so here as well just because it has become a regular in our house. We absolutely adore it, it is so easy to whip up and what a delight the batter is, buttery and crumbly and with the cinnamon apple combined, it is such a comforting cake. Thank you Anna, I love your recipes.
Hey Nash! Thank you so much for this positive feedback, I'm so happy to hear that this cake has become a regular bake at your house! I'm so flattered and so pleased that you are enjoying the recipes from this blog!
Easy to make , clear instructions , in the oven now! I’ve a fan assisted so think the cooking time may be less! Smells delicious ! Can’t wait to taste it . Many thanks for helping me out here!
Hi Erika! I'm so happy to hear that you tried the recipe, thanks for your positive feedback! I hope the cake didn't disappoint!
Is there something missing in the recipe. I made this today and the batter was beyond thick. It was almost pastry. I had to add quite a bit of milk to achieve anything like a batter consistency and it was still thick. The cake tastes nice though.
This cake is made with thick batter, please see the video for visuals. there's nothing missing in the recipe. Glad you enjoyed the flavour.
I made this apple cake several times. I agree it is delicious. However, buttering the tin was a disaster. The crust was not golden and buttery and butter dripped and burnt onto the oven base!!! I line the tin with parchment, it works well and no dripping.
Hi Sheila, thanks so much for your feedback regarding the tin, I appreciate that. So happy to hear that you are enjoying this recipe, I hope it will become a frequent bake in your kitchen, as it is in mine!
Such a wonderful way to make apple,,,thank you so much , warm hugs from south of Portugal
Glad you like the recipe Moksha!
This apple cake tastes AMAZING!
Mama Maggie's Kitchen
This looks incredibly delicious. Can I hire you as my personal chef? lol."
😀 Haha, thanks Maggie, I'm so happy that you like it!
Easy to follow instructions, quick to make and it looks delicious
I'm going to make this apple cake with almonds on the top and ground in the batter mixture too
Thanks so much Odelle, I think it will taste great with almonds on top and some ground almonds in cake batter. Let me know how did it go!
Can I use gluten free flour
Hi Chris, I haven't tested the recipe with GF flour, but I strongly believe that it will work. I would love to hear the results you've had, if you try it.
This is such an amazing apple cake! A must-make for the apple season!
Thanks Toni, so happy you liked it! I've been baking it on repeat!