Here’s a delightful cake for afternoon tea – Cinnamon Apple Teacake! Apples take centerstage here – you’ll find them inside AND on top, mingling with buttery cinnamon flavours.
While it’s sheer perfection fresh out of the oven, this is one of those rare cakes that is still truly great 3, 4, 5 days later!
Cinnamon Apple Teacake
I call this a teacake because it just seems like the perfect cake to serve at a quaint afternoon tea with friends. Filtered sunlight streaming in, a rustic table laden with baked goods (scones essential), freshly brewed tea served in teacups, sitting around with my friends, chatting and laughing gently.
The reality of gatherings with my friends is quite the opposite. We screech, we ROAR with laughter. We’ll debate economic policy, but you’re more likely to walk into an animated discussion about Real Housewives, cheeky jokes about Magic Mike (& XXL
This from a group of highly educated women – lawyers, finance executives, journalists.
And a food blogger.
All jokes aside though, I do have some semblance of logic for why I call this a teacake – because it’s a single layer, not very tall, simple cake. Exactly the sort of cake you’d whip up for an impromptu afternoon tea with friends – as opposed to a dramatic two layer Red Velvet Cake or Carrot Cake piled high with fluffy frosting.
LOTS of apples in this teacake recipe!
I say this is a simple teacake recipe, and the cake batter itself IS simple to make. But it does take time to chop the apples because I use quite a generous amount.
600g/1.2lb, to be exact. Because if we’re going to make an apple cake, I want to make sure we can TASTE the apple in it – rather than just a few token bits of apple littered throughout the cake!
Here’s what you need:
- Apples – use any type of apples you want. My personal favourite is Granny Smith – I just adore the slight tartness to offset the sweetness of cakes;
- Butter for flavour, oil for moisture – a winning combination I use frequently. We all love butter, but it does nothing to hold moisture in cakes;
- Flour and baking powder – these can be switched with self raising flour;
- Cinnamon – because apple + cinnamon is a match made in heaven.
How I chop apples for cake
Here’s how I peel, core and chop apples for this cake. I find this method yields the least waste / is speedy.
But use whatever means works for you – if you don’t have a scooper like you see in Step 2 below, just quarter it then cut out the core using a knife.
Peeling is optional for the slices used for the topping, but recommended for the chopped pieces mixed into the batter (biting into skin in a tender cake isn’t ideal).
How to make Cinnamon Apple Teacake
After you get past chopping the apples, the cake batter itself is dead easy: whisk wet, whisk dry, mix them together. Top with apples, bake.
The one thing I do very deliberately is to only use cinnamon to coat the apple. I feel like you get more bang for your buck to get good cinnamon flavour in the cake – you need a fair amount to make the crumb itself really taste of cinnamon.
Also I like having a pale cake crumb – it looks nicer with the contrast to the deep golden apple topping!
Glazing the cake
Bushing the cake with warmed jam is entirely optional – it’s just to give it a lovely shiny finish.
It’s best to use apricot jam because it glazes on clear. Other flavour jams (strawberry, raspberry etc) work just fine but there is a slight tinge of colour – not really noticeable in this teacake because the apples are golden!
No photo – not even the recipe video – can capture how beautifully moist the crumb of this cake is. And the smell when it’s baking…. ugh! Cinnamon! Apple! Butter! Cake!
There are not enough exclamation marks in this world!
So, I guess you’re just going to have to make it so you can experience it for yourself.
PS BIG UPSIDE – this is one of those rare cakes that actually really truly holds are perfectly for days and days. Yes it is spectacular fresh out of the oven. But it is near perfect for 3 to 4 days, and will keep for 5 to 6 days in the fridge, weeks, months in the freezer!
Watch how to make it
Cinnamon Apple Teacake
- 600g/ 1.2 lb Granny Smith apples (or any other – red, green, golden) (4 large, 5 small/medium, Note 1)
- 2 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
- 50g/ 3 tbsp unsalted butter , melted
- 2 tbsp white sugar
- 1 1/2 cups flour , plain/all purpose
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 4 tbsp/ 60g unsalted butter , melted
- 1/2 cup oil (canola, vegetable)
- 2 large eggs , at room temperature (~55g/1.95 oz each) (Note 2)
- 3/4 cup white sugar , caster / superfine best (but not essential)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 tbsp apricot jam (or other flavour)
- 1 tbsp water
Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F (all oven types).
Grease a 20cm / 8″ springform pan with butter, then line with baking paper (parchment paper).
Chop half the apples into 1.25 cm / 1/2″ pieces.
Slice the other half into 3mm / 1/8″ thick slices.
Place into separate bowls. Sprinkle/drizzle each bowl with half the butter, sugar and cinnamon. Toss to coat, set aside.
Whisk Dry ingredients in a large bowl.
Pour Wet ingredients in a separate bowl in the order listed. Whisk well to combine.
Pour Wet into the Dry ingredients bowl. Mix with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until flour is incorporated.
Add chopped apple. Gently mix through until JUST dispersed (to keep cinnamon on apple, not dispersed through batter).
Scrape into cake pan, smooth surface.
Top with sliced apples – fan them out in a circle, overlapping each other by 1/4 (fiddle away to use up all the apple / make it even!).
Bake 50 minutes, or until skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean (Note 3). Cover loosely with foil if you have to bake beyond 50 min (to stop apples burning).
Place on cooling rack, release sides of springform pan.
Glaze & Serve:
Heat Glaze: Place jam and water in a small bowl, microwave 20 seconds to warm, then mix.
Glaze: Brush apples on surface with glaze.
Cool: Allow to cool at least 30 minutes before cutting with sharp knife. It is sheer perfection when it’s still slightly warm in the middle.
2. Eggs – make sure they’re not fridge cold as they will partially solidify the butter and you’ll end up with a thicker than ideal batter (cake will still work, but will take longer to bake).
Submerge in bowl of warm tap water for 10 minutes – this will be enough to take the chill out.
3. Checking for doneness – important to use skewer test to check for doneness because apples differ in juiciness. Really juicy apples = more liquid leeched into batter during bake = 5 to 10 min extra bake time.
4. Serving – this is not one of those plain cakes that need cream or ice cream to serve. It’s ultra moist and loaded with flavour. But if you really wanted to, my first pick would be vanilla ice cream.
Storage – One of the rare cakes in the world that truly holds up well and is just as good 4 days later as it was on the day. Still perfectly moist, gets slightly “pudding like” around the apples (which only makes it better). Store in the fridge if it’s hot where you are, but it must be served at room temp (cold is just not the same!)
5. Measures in different countries – this is a really forgiving cake. I’ve made it mixing up US and Aussie cup measures for dry vs wet, and it’s still come out just fine. So no need to be meticulous about differences in our cup measures for this cake. From a practical perspective, all the ingredients will be proportionally right using whatever cup measure you use.
Oven types – ordinarily for cakes, I’d reduce the temperature for fan forced but because this batter is quite thick and it’s topped with apples which weighs the cake down / takes longer for heat to get through to the middle, I found it didn’t cook through in the same time. So for this cake, use the same temp whether standard or fan forced.
6. Nutrition per slice.
More apple recipes
I am very fond of apple desserts!
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Compost in action!
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