Dorset Apple Cake

Although some apple varieties ripen as early as the end of July, September to October is the time we most associate with them. Apple days are held around the country at the end of October to celebrate (even the Archers have an apple day) with cider tastings, bring your own apples to juice, apple variety identification, apple-themed children’s competitions and of course, apple cake competitions.

According to Wikipedia:

Apple Day is an annual celebration of apples and orchards, held in October. It is celebrated mainly in the United Kingdom. It traditionally falls on October 21, the date of the first such event in 1990, but events are held throughout the month.

Dorset Apple Cake

When it comes to apple cakes, you can’t go wrong with a Dorset apple cake: it’s so easy to make and always popular. In Dorset itself there is fierce debate as to whether a proper Dorset apple cake should contain dried fruit. Many say not, but many do: I usually add fruit to this recipe but leave it out if you prefer.

Eat cold as a cake or warm as a pudding. Either way, it goes beautifully with clotted cream.

Just a couple of tips for complete success:

  1. Stick with the measured amount of apple and don’t add extra ‘for luck’ to ‘make it nice’ or ‘use up this last bit of apple’.
  2. Make sure the cake is completely cold before you put it in a tin. If it’s a still warm it will go all steamy and damp in texture and in all likelihood go mouldy quickly.

Hooray for silicone cake moulds!

I’ve been making this cake for years and have posted on this topic before but I wanted to bring it to your attention again because for the last 2 or 3  years I have used a silicone cake mould instead of my usual loose-bottomed tin and have never looked back.

The silicone mould does away with any suggestion of a slightly hard or too-dark outside; instead the outside of the cake is all soft and golden and lovely!

Do make sure the cake is completely cold before you unmould it though, or it can stick.

Some other pointers for using silicone cake moulds

  • Grease silicone bake ware in the usual way
  • Use on top of a baking tray for support and ease of sliding in and out of the oven
  • Don’t lift full moulds up by the rim: they are too floppy and can’t take the strain
  • Wash in the top rack of the dishwasher and make sure they are flat and not squashed up against something else or they can distort slightly
  • Treat as non-stick and don’t use sharp implements
Ingredients
  • 225g (8oz) plain flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 110g (4oz) butter
  • 110g (4oz) golden granulated sugar plus more for sprinkling
  • 225g (8oz) peeled, cored, apples, finely chopped (cooking, eating or a mixture of both)
  • 75g (3oz) sultanas or raisins (optional)
  • 2 medium eggs, beaten

You will need a greased loose bottomed 20cm (8 inch) cake tin or silicone mould

Preheat oven to 160C (fan ovens) or equivalent

Sieve flour and baking powder into a bowl and rub in butter. Stir in sugar, dried fruit and apple. Mix in eggs. Turn into prepared tin and smooth top with a wet metal spoon. Sprinkle top with sugar. Bake in a preheated oven for 40-45 minutes or until golden and a skewer inserted comes out clean.

Leave in tin for a few moments, then remove and cool on a wire rack. 

Cool completely before storing in an airtight container. Keeps 2-3 days.

Tip

If using a silicone mould, sit mould on rack and cool completely before turning out.

Raspberry & Apple Crumble Cake

Here’s a variation on the apple cake I made earlier this year: very similar but with raspberries instead of dried fruit and a crumble topping.

The crumble tastes gorgeous, looks good, adds another texture and protects the raspberries from scorching in the oven.

Crumble topping

  • 20g butter
  • 40g plain flour
  • 20g golden granulated sugar

Cake mix

  • 225g plain flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 110g butter
  • 110g golden granulated sugar, plus extra for finishing
  • Either: 225g peeled, cored, apples, diced (prepared weight)
  • 2 medium eggs, beaten
  • 175g raspberries

You will need a greased loose bottomed 20cm cake tin or silicone mould

Preheat oven to 160C (fan ovens) or equivalent.

Crumble

1. Rub butter into flour: not too finely, some larger buttery crumbs should remain. Stir in sugar. Set aside.

Cake

2. Sieve flour and baking powder together and rub in butter. Stir in sugar and apple. Mix in eggs.

3. Transfer mixture to prepared tin. Press raspberries gently into the top. Scatter evenly with crumble.

4. Bake for approximately 45-50 minutes or until golden and a skewer inserted comes out clean. 

5. Leave in tin for a few moments, before removing. Cool on a wire rack.

Freezing: Both these cakes freeze beautifully: for best results leave in mould, wrap well in greaseproof paper and freeze in a Tupperware container or similar.