Food & Drink

In Season: Apple Cake Recipe

September 24, 2014

In Season: Apple Cake Recipe

Choosing apple trees

We planted fruit trees almost ten years ago high up on our homestead and they’ve never fruited. Then, around three years ago, I bought Mr G a self pollinating variety on the advice of Arboretum garden centre manager Eamon Wall, an expert in the field of fruit growing. For the first time this year we’re seeing apples growing in our garden, branches bending, heavy with fruit, and we’re thrilled.

Lack of pollination

Apple trees can struggle above 600ft for various reasons including lack of pollinators, harsh winds and early frosts that damage the buds and at over 1,000ft we’ve not had much success with them. To be honest, we’d bought popular, cheap varieties (whispers not from a garden centre) when we should have looked for heirlooms or those more suited to our conditions, perhaps from Irish Seedsavers who have a fantastic collection. We have however, spotted some plums and pears growing on the older trees this year so we’re glad we haven’t given up on them. Perhaps it was thanks to our new bees, or simply that we had a mild winter followed by a dreamy summer here in Ireland, but this year we’re appreciating our new fruity treat.

apple treeAs the leaves turn golden our my mind turns to fruity puddings and cake. I was given this recipe for apple cake a few years ago by a friend and have mentioned it before but we enjoy it so much thought you might like to be reminded again. It’s delicious hot or cold, on its own or with cream. If you prefer a crumble topping with your apples, here’s a plum crumble recipe that’s topped with oats, nuts and syrup, just swap the plums for the new season apples.

If you don’t have apple trees in your garden, perhaps you could ask friends and neighbours who might have them and exchange them for a cake, a great way to open up a conversation. This isn’t the best photo I could have taken of it, but the cake was gone before I had time to snap a better photo! for Apple Cake Recipe:

190 g self-raising flour
pinch salt
150g butter or half margarine
1 free range egg
75g caster sugar
325g apples
lemon juice
2 tbsp apricot jam
2 tbsp granulated or Demerara sugar


Heat oven to 160°C then grease and line a 20 cm cake tin which should be at least 7.5 cm deep.

Cream the butter and caster sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg. Sieve the flour and salt then fold in to the creamed mixture.

Using a lightly floured board, gently pat or roll out three-quarters of the mixture and fit into the prepared tin (warning – very sticky. Cover hands in flour and ensure hands are very clean first and take off any rings!)

Peel, core and slice the apples and squeeze lemon over the top to keep their colour. Arrange the apples on top of the cake mixture. Heat the jam and brush or pour over the apples. Take the remaining cake mixture, roll out and either cut into strips and make place over the apples in a lattice fashion or roll flat and place over whole. Sprinkle the sugar over the top.

Bake in the middle of the oven for 1 hour. Cool on a rack and dust with icing sugar.

Hope you enjoy the cake as much as we do. Do you have a favourite seasonal apple recipe? I baked another cake recently that was just a simple sponge recipe with chopped apples added to the batter, delicious!


  • Reply mattcare2cv2014 September 25, 2014 at 9:22 am

    Hi. We use a fairly standard “Dorset Apple Cake” recipe here but this year we have made an impressive discovery and invented a new recipe all of our own! Take the standard recipe, leave out the sugar and apple, substitute in with grated courgette (ours are yellow ones this year) and feta cheese. Bingo! A lovely savoury cake to use as bread (spread with butter, top with e.g. hummous), or as the ‘carbs’ in your main meal as well as being an ace way of using up that courgette glut.

    • Reply greensideupveg September 26, 2014 at 9:42 pm

      It’s great when we make recipe discoveries but I never would have thought of that Matt! Thanks for sharing it and will give it a go 🙂

  • Reply The Food Explorer October 1, 2014 at 10:58 am

    Hi Dee,

    Your delicious recipe has been nominated as one of the “Top 100 Best Apple Recipes of 2014 for National Apple Month”. You and your readers can vote for it here: (position #35 – random order).

    • Reply greensideupveg October 1, 2014 at 6:18 pm

      Cool! Thanks so much. Have just had a peek and some delicious looking recipes over there.


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