Vanilla apple cake for a rainy day

By Corrie Heale

Rainy days call for cake and I have just the one.

Sharp with apples but sweet with vanilla, this tea-time treat makes the perfect accompaniment for any cuppa. So, pop the kettle on and roll up your sleeves because it’s always cake o’clock in my house.

Vanilla apple cake

Serves 8 / Hands on time 25 mins / Total time 1 hr 30mins + cooling

You’ll need: 20cm cake tin, foil, electric hand whisk or standing mixer

  • 350-400g Brambly apples, peeled, cored and sliced
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • 250g unsalted butter + extra for greasing
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 250g self-raising flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbs demerara sugar
  • 1 tbs icing sugar for decoration


1. Preheat an oven to 180°C/160°C fan/ 350°F/gas mark 4 and grease your cake tin with butter.

2. Peel, roughly slice and core the apples. Put them in a large bowl, squeeze over the juice of half a lemon and give the apples a good toss – this prevents the apples oxidising and turning brown. Put to one side.

3. In a large bowl or standing mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until using an electric whisk until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and beat the eggs in one at a time, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides. If the mixture starts to curdle, simply add a tbs of the self-raising flour and continue to whisk until combined.

4. Sift in the remaining self-raising flour along with the salt and baking powder. Use a wooden spoon to fold in the mixture before giving it another quick whisk until you have a thick, pale batter.

5. Finally fold in the apples and spoon into your prepared tin, using the back of a spoon to push the mixture evenly to the edges (it may seem like there isn’t enough batter to cover the apples but don’t worry, the apples sink to the bottom of the cake during baking). Smooth over the top with a wooden spoon and sprinkle over a tbs of Demerara sugar.

6. Bake in the oven for 45 mins. At this stage the cake will be very brown but don’t worry, it’s not burning. Remove the cake from the oven and swiftly cover the top loosely with foil. Continue to bake for a further 30 mins.

7. Remove from the oven and leave the cake to rest in the tin for 10 mins before turning out onto a cooling rack. Leave to cool fully before dusting with icing sugar and serving with clotted cream and a cup of tea.

Corrie Heale

Freelance food writer / vegetarian food blogger and recipe writer. @corrieheale

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