Dorset Apple Cake
Dorset Apple Cake

Dorset Apple Cake

This rustic cake is moist, homely and irresistible. There are as many recipes for Dorset apple cake as there are Dorset bakers, but it is said that apple cakes with ‘Dorset’ in the title must never include spice, so leave your cinnamon and nutmeg in the spice rack for another time. This version has a crunchy topping of demerara sugar and a subtle zing of lemon to complement the apples.

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Total Time
1 Hour 30 Minutes
400g apples (Bramleys, or something similarly crisp, sharp and sweet)
Zest and freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon
250g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
250g light muscovado sugar
4 eggs
50g ground almonds
A pinch of salt
250g self-raising flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon demerara/turbinado sugar
Step 1

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4. Grease a 23cm round cake pan and line with parchment paper.

Step 2

Core and chop the apples into roughly 1cm pieces and toss them in the lemon juice to prevent browning.

Step 3

Cream the butter and sugar together in a large mixing bowl until pale and fluffy. Beat the eggs and gradually add them to the sugar and butter mixture, whisking thoroughly between each addition. If the mixture starts to curdle, add a tablespoon of the flour. Whisk in the ground almonds and salt. Sift over the flour and baking powder, then fold them into the mixture until fully combined.

Step 4

Drain the apple pieces and add them to the batter, along with the lemon zest, and fold through until the apple is evenly distributed. Pour into the prepared pan, smooth over the top with a palette knife and scatter over an even layer of demerara sugar.

Step 5

Bake in the preheated oven for 1-1¼ hours, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave the cake to cool completely in its pan on top of a wire rack before turning out.

Banana Breads, Loaf Cakes & Other Quick Bakes published by Ryland Peters & Small Photography © Ryland Peters & Small

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