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Apple cake with crunchy topping recipe

Apple cake with crunchy topping recipe

313 ratings

Try this traditional Dorset apple cake recipe made with fresh Bramley apples and lemon zest. Not only is this apple cake recipe pleasing to the eye, but it’s also simple to bake, wonderfully moist and topped with a satisfying demerara sugar crunch. This rustic bake can be served with clotted cream or ice cream, but is just as lovely on its own. See method

  • Serves 8
  • 15 mins to prepare and 30-40 mins to cook
  • 327 calories / serving
  • Vegetarian


  • 1½ Braeburn or Bramley apples (about 300g), peeled and cored
  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp mixed spice
  • 125g butter, plus 25g melted
  • 125g light brown sugar
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 tbsp demerara sugar
  • clotted cream or ice cream, to serve
No self-raising flour? Add 2 tsp baking powder for every 150g plain flour

Each serving contains

  • Energy

  • Fat

    15g 22%
  • Saturates

    8g 41%
  • Sugars

    23g 25%
  • Salt

    0.4g 7%

of the reference intake
Carbohydrate 47.3g Protein 4.6g Fibre 1.9g


  1. Heat the oven to gas 4, 180°C, fan 160°C. Grease and base line a 20cm loose-based cake tin.
  2. Cut one apple in half, then slice one of those halves into 8 and set aside. Chop the remaining two halves into small dice.
  3. Sieve the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and mixed spice into a bowl. Rub in the butter. Stir in the sugar, lemon zest and diced apple. Stir in the eggs and mix well.
  4. Spoon the mixture into the tin and level the surface. Arrange the apple slices on the top and brush with the melted butter. Sprinkle over the demerara sugar and bake in the oven for 30-40 mins. Serve warm with clotted cream or ice cream.

Freezing and defrosting guidelines

Bake according to the recipe but stop before adding decoration or icing if called for. Allow to cool completely. Wrap well in clingfilm and tin foil (to prevent freezer burn) and freeze for up to 3 months.

Loosen the tin foil and clingfilm but leave to defrost in packaging at room temperature for several hours before serving. If you wish to serve the baked goods warm, place them on a baking sheet for 10 mins in a moderate oven.

If you wish to add icing or decoration, add them after the baked goods have fully defrosted and are at room temperature.

See more Baking recipes

As part of a healthy balanced diet, we recommend this recipe for a special occasion or treat.

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