Easy Apple Cake

Easy Apple Cake – perfect for early autumn!

This Easy Apple Cake combines sharp cooking apples with toasted hazelnuts and brandy-soaked sultanas. It is a versatile cake which can be eaten with morning coffee or afternoon tea but also makes a great pudding, particularly if served warm with cream or ice-cream!

I have a Bramley apple tree in my garden which means that in late August and early September I get a huge over-supply of cooking apples. This is the season for all things apple – Apple Crumble, Apple Pie, Apple Sauce! I also get to work freezing the apples – I peel, core and chop them first – so that they can be used later on in the year. Although this is a bit laborious but I get the benefit later in the year when I have ready-to-use cooking apple chunks in the freezer to make a quick crumble or pie.

Until recently, despite the early autumn apple frenzy, the one thing I didn’t make was Apple Cake. This year, I decided to give it a go and, continuing on the autumnal theme, decided to add hazelnuts and sultanas.

And, if not apples…

I always have renewed enthusiasm for cake baking (and eating) in autumn. There is something about the colder days and the abundance of delicious fruit, that get me back in the baking zone. If you are looking for other great autumn cake recipes, you might like Ginger and Pear Cake, Rum Banana Bread, Earl Grey Cake with Orange or even my Blackberry Muffins.

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Apple Cake

Easy Apple Cake

  • Author: Tastebotanical
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 60
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 1 large cake 1x
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: English

Description

This is a fantastic cake to make during  early autumn which brings together sharp cooking apples, toasted hazelnuts and brandy-soaked sultanas.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 100 g sultanas
  • 1 tablespoon of brandy or apple brandy (or apple juice)
  • 225 g butter
  • 350 g self-raising flour
  • 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
  • 500 g cooking apples (eg Bramley)
  • 100 g of toasted hazelnuts (finely chopped)
  • 175 g caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • a little white or brown granulated sugar (optional)

Apple Cake


Instructions

  1. Heat your oven to 180 C, 400 F or Gas Mark 4.
  2. Put the sultanas in a ceramic bowl and add the brandy or apple brandy.  Put in the microwave to heat for a few seconds and then set aside.  The sultanas will plump up as they absorb the alcohol.   If you do not want to use alcohol, you can use apple juice as a substitute.
  3. Grease a 20 cm loose-bottomed cake tin.  If your tin is not non-stick, line the base with a circle of grease-proof paper or baking parchment.
  4. Cut the butter  into small cubes and put it into a large bowl.  Sift in the flour and cinnamon.
  5. Rub the butter into the flour, either by hand or using a food processor, until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  6. Peel the cooking apples with a vegetable peeler, remove their cores and roughly chop.   
  7. Add the chopped apple,  plumped-up sultanas, chopped hazelnuts and sugar to the mixture.  Then stir in the eggs.
  8. Spoon the mixture into the cake tin.  Place it in the oven for one hour until it is golden and firm to the touch.
  9. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin on a cooling rack.  You can sprinkle granulated sugar (white or brown) on the top of the warm cake to give it a crunchy topping.


Keywords: apple cake, apples,

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Easy Red Velvet Cake recipe

Easy Red Velvet Cake recipe

This easy Red Velvet Cake recipe is an English version of a very popular American cake. My daughter asked for a Red Velvet Cake for her birthday and, as I had never made one before, I had to do a bit of research! I have to say that I was a bit sceptical – it is a chocolate cake but with relatively small amount of chocolate and a large amount of vanilla – but the end result was delicious. It seemed to be a strange mixture of chocolate and vanilla but the tastes work brilliantly with each other and the vanilla flavour is picked up in the cream cheese icing. So, it is really a vanilla cake with a bit of chocolate rather than a chocolate cake!

My go-to recipe for cakes is generally a basic Victoria Sponge. However, this recipe has encouraged me to be a bit more adventurous in my cake making. Using a combination of butter and oil makes the cake both flavoursome and moist and the buttermilk adds a tangy richness that works well with the cream cheese icing.

A cake and a dessert…

When I served this Red Velvet Cake for my daughter’s birthday, I decided to use it as dessert. It is the kind of versatile cake that works well as either a dessert or as a stand-alone, afternoon tea type cake. I served it with lots of juicy fresh strawberries which complemented the vanilla and chocolate flavour of the sponge and the tangy cream cheese icing. It was a large cake, and we had already had a substantial main course, but it disappeared extremely quickly!

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Red Velvet Cake with Strawberries

Easy Red Velvet Cake recipe

  • Author: Tastebotanical
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: Serves 8 1x
  • Category: Cakee
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: English

Description

This Easy Red Velvet Cake recipe has a strong vanilla flavour combined with a delicate taste of chocolate and is coated with tangy cream cheese icing.


Scale

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • 115 g slightly salted butter
  • 400 g soft brown sugar
  • 250 g vegetable oil 
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 250 ml buttermilk
  • red food colouring (gel gives the best colour)
  • 300 g plain flour
  • 50 g corn flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder

For the icing:

  • 450 g cream cheese
  • 110 g unsalted butter
  • 550 g icing sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of vanilla extract

Red Velvet Cake with Strawberries

 

 


Instructions

  1. Set your oven to 180 C, 400 F or Gas Mark 4.
  2. Grease two 9 inch cake tins and line the base of each with a circle of baking parchment,
  3. Using a food processor, mix the butter and soft brown sugar.  Then add the vegetable oil, egg yolks, vanilla extract, vinegar, buttermilk and red food colouring to the mixture.
  4. Using a sieve, sift in the plain and corn flours, baking soda and cocoa powders.
  5. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks.  Then fold them into the cake mixture.
  6. Put half of the mixture into each greased baking tin and put them in the oven for 30 minutes.
  7. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  8. Make the icing by beating together the cream cheese, unsalted butter, icing sugar and vanilla extract.
  9. Use the icing to sandwich together the two cakes and then spread it on the top and sides of the assembled cake.

Red Velvet Cake with Strawberries


Keywords: red velvet, cake

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Rosemary Cake

Rosemary Cake with Lemon

I love using herbs in both savoury and sweet recipes. This Rosemary Cake with Lemon is a great demonstration of how the addition of a herb can elevate a very easy and simple recipe. It is unusual but not in a scary way. The flavour of the rosemary is not overpowering but enhances the lemon-flavoured cake. I think it is a fantastic way of showcasing the flavour of this wonderful herb, with its warm, spicy flavour.

This Rosemary Cake is one of many loaf cake recipes that I cook regularly. They are so quick and easy to make and you can get really creative with the flavours! On other pages of this blog you can find recipes for Earl Grey and Orange Cake,Lemon DrizzleBlood OrangeLime and CoconutRum and Banana and Ginger and Pear.

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Rosemary Cake with Lemon

Rosemary Cake

  • Author: Tastebotanical
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 45
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 1 loaf cake 1x
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: English

Description

The use of fresh rosemary provides and unusual and delicious twist to this easy lemon-flavoured cake.

 


Scale

Ingredients

  • 125 g butter
  • 75 g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 175 g self-raising flour
  • 4 tablespoons of milk
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 large sprigs of fresh rosemary (each about 10 cm long) plus a few additional sprigs to decorate, if required.
  • 100 g icing sugar

Instructions

  1. Set your oven to 180 degrees centigrade or Gas Mark 4.
  2. Grease a 450 g loaf tin and line the bottom with baking parchment or use a paper loaf tin liner.
  3. Cream the butter with the sugar.  (I usually soften the butter for about 30 seconds in the microwave first as it makes it much easier!)
  4. Gradually add the eggs to the butter and sugar mixture.  If it looks as if it is going to curdle, add some of the self-raising flour. 
  5. Once the eggs have been incorporated add the rest of the self-raising flour.
  6. Add the milk and the grated zest of your lemon.
  7. Remove the needle-like leaves from your sprigs of rosemary and chop finely.  Put half of the chopped leaves (about 2 teaspoons) into the cake mixture.  The other half should be reserved for use in the drizzle.
  8. Spoon the cake mixture into your prepared loaf tin.
  9. Put the tin in the oven and bake for 45 minutes.
  10. While the cake is baking, put the juice from your lemon in a small bowl  and add the reserved half of the chopped rosemary leaves.   Heat in the microwave for 1 minute. The idea is to heat the juice so that the rosemary releases its fragrance.  (If you don’t have a microwave, you can heat the juice in a saucepan over a low heat on the stove.)    Allow the juice containing the chopped rosemary leaves to cool slightly.  Then combine it with 100 g of icing sugar to form a thick syrup.
  11. Remove the cake from the oven and immediately pour the syrup over the top.
  12. Leave the cake in the tin to cool completely before removing.   If you try and take it out while it is still warm it may fall apart as it will be very moist due to the syrup.
  13. You can decorate the cake with a few further sprigs of rosemary.

Keywords: lemon cake, rosemary cake, loaf cake

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Latte Cake

Latte Cake – a mild coffee cake topped with Salted Caramel

I make a lot of coffee cakes – everyone in my household loves coffee cake – but this Latte Cake with Salted Caramel drizzle is a bit different. It has a slightly milder coffee flavour and the salted caramel of the drizzle cuts through the sweetness of the icing.

The inspiration, and main taste consultant, for this cake is my daughter. Whenever we go for coffee, she always chooses a Salted Caramel Latte, hot in winter and iced in summer. She suggested that the flavours that she likes in her drink would also be good in a cake. And this cake shows she was right!

As with many of my cakes, this is a very straightforward, basic loaf cake recipe which has allowed me to play with the flavours. The cake is a mild coffee flavour, topped with coffee buttercream. The thing that makes it particularly good is the salted caramel drizzle that goes on top. This gives a real punch of sweet and saltiness which lifts the whole cake. One of the things that I love about cooking is the way very simple additions or twists to a recipe can transform it into something much, much better.

Home-made Salted Caramel

If you have never tried making your own Salted Caramel, I would really encourage you to give it a go. It is really quick and easy and is so much more delicious – sweet, creamy, buttery – than any shop-bought, pre-made versions. It is clearly not the healthiest recipe but I firmly believe that everyone needs a treat every now and then and a little goes a long way. As well as using it as a cake drizzle, Salted Caramel is great as a sauce with ice-cream or spread over the top of a cheesecake.

Get creative with those loaf cake flavours!

This Latte Cake is one of many loaf cake recipes that I cook regularly. They are so quick and easy to make and you can get really creative with the flavours! On other pages of this blog you can find recipes for Earl Grey Cake, Cherry and Almond, Lemon DrizzleBlood OrangeLime and CoconutRum and Banana and Ginger and Pear.

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Latte Cake with Salted Caramel

Latte Cake

  • Author: Tastebotanical
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 45
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 1 loaf cake 1x
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: English

Description

This easy Latte Cake has a mild coffee flavour and is topped with a salted caramel drizzle.  Inspired by Salted Caramel Lattes in coffee shops everywhere!


Scale

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • 75 ml milk or cream 
  • 3 teaspoons instant coffee
  • 175 g butter
  • 175 g light brown muscavado sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 175 g self-raising flour

For the icing

  • 125 g butter
  • 125 g icing sugar
  • 2 teaspoons instant coffee
  • 2 teaspoons hot water

For the caramel:

  • 125 g butter
  • 250 g light brown muscavado sugar
  • 125 g double cream
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Set your oven to 180 degrees centigrade or Gas Mark 4.
  2. Grease a 450 g loaf tin and line the bottom with baking parchment.
  3. Warm the milk or cream to scalding point.  This is when you gently heat it and then stop heating just before it boils.  Add the 3 teaspoons of instant coffee and stir to combine.  Allow to cool slightly while  you get on with the rest of the cake.   
  4. Cream the butter with the sugar.  (I usually soften the butter for about 30 seconds in the microwave first as it makes it much easier!)
  5. Gradually add the eggs to the butter and sugar mixture.  If it looks as if it is going to curdle, add some of the self-raising flour.
  6. Once the eggs have been incorporated add the rest of the self-raising flour.
  7. Finally, add the milk or cream and coffee mixture and stir to combine.
  8. Spoon the cake mixture into your prepared loaf tin.
  9. Put the tin in the oven and bake for 45 minutes.
  10. Remove the cake from the oven.
  11. Leave the cake in the tin on a cooling rack to cool completely before removing.   
  12. While the cake is cooking, make the icing by mixing  creaming together the butter and icing sugar.    Mix the 2 teaspoons of instant coffee with 2 teaspoons of hot water and then add to the icing mixture.   Stir to combine.   When the cake is cool, spread the icing over the top.
  13.  While the cake is cooking, make the salted caramel by melting the butter in a small pan and then adding the muscavado sugar.  Heat gently until the sugar is dissolved.   Add the double cream and continue to heat for another two or three minutes.  Remove from the heat and add salt to taste.   Allow to cool slightly before drizzling over the icing.

Keywords: latte, cake, coffee, caramel, salted caramel

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Cherry and Almond Cake

Cherry and Almond Cake – an English teatime classic!

This Cherry and Almond Cake fills me with nostalgia! It is a homemade version of the shop-bought cake that I remember from my childhood and which made a regular appearance at teatime. Even if you don’t have similar memories, there is something particularly traditional about this cake. It is the kind of cake that you would expect to be served on a China plate by your grandmother in front of an open fire with a nice cup of Earl Grey tea.

I love the glossy red glace cherries which look beautiful and give the cake nuggets of juicy sweetness. They may be a bit retro but it’s that kind of cake. I try and use the natural dark red glace cherries rather than the bright red dyed ones.

The combination of cherry and almond flavours is a classic. Almond and cherry trees are both members of the Prunus family and have a strong flavour affinity. Other members of the Prunus family include plums, peaches and nectarines and all these fruit combine well with almonds. In fact, almond extract is often made from the stones of these fruit because they have a stronger almond taste than actual almonds!

This Cherry and Almond Cake is one of many loaf cake recipes that I cook regularly. They are so quick and easy to make and you can get really creative with the flavours! On other pages of this blog you can find recipes for Salted Caramel Latte Cake, Lemon Drizzle, Blood Orange, Lime and Coconut, Rum and Banana and Ginger and Pear.

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Cherry and Almond Cake

Cherry and Almond Cake

  • Author: Tastebotanical
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 60
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 1 loaf cake 1x
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: English

Description

This Cherry and Almond Cake is an English classic.   Juicy glace cherries and ground almonds are the perfect teatime flavour combination.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 200 g glace cherries
  • 250 g self-raising flour
  • 225 g salted butter
  • 175 g golden caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 100 g ground almonds
  • 6 tablespoons milk

Cherry and Almond Cake


Instructions

  1. Set your oven to 180 degrees centigrade or Gas Mark 4.
  2. Grease a 450 g loaf tin and line the bottom with baking parchment.  Alternatively, use a paper loaf tin liner.
  3. Wash the cherries to remove the stickiness and then cut each one  in half.  Dry with some kitchen roll.
  4. Cream the butter with the sugar in a large bowl.  (I usually soften the butter for about 30 seconds in the microwave first as it makes it much easier.)
  5. Gradually add the eggs to the butter and sugar mixture.  If it looks as if it is going to curdle, add some of the self-raising flour.
  6. Once the eggs have been incorporated add the rest of the self-raising flour and the ground almonds.
  7. Add the milk to the mixture.  Then add the cherries.
  8. Spoon the cake mixture into your prepared loaf tin.
  9. Put the tin in the oven and bake the cake for 1 hour.  It is done when it is golden and springy to the touch.
  10. Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool in the tin. 
  11. When the cake is cool, remove it from the tin. 

Keywords: cherry, almond, cake, recipe, homemade

Link-ups

This recipe is linked to Bake Of The Week hosted by Casa Costello and Mummy Mishaps

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