It’s time for another cake recipe! Several weeks ago I was asked to bake an apple cake for Miss M’s class to enjoy as a treat as part of their winter festival on their last day of term. Something simple but beautiful, and of course delicious. I turned to my recipe books for some inspiration and decided to go with an Ottolenghi apple cake recipe – as usual, it did not disappoint!
I made a few small tweaks to the original recipe and was really happy with how this apple cake turned out, it was so tasty! The cake is topped with what is honestly one of THE best icings I have ever tried. Do try and get your hands on some light muscavado sugar as it will give this cream cheese icing the most incredible caramel flavour and colour. There’s also not too much of it, just enough, as most people don’t enjoy an overly sweet and thick layer of icing on their slice of cake. I also popped a few dainty, baby apples on top of the cake once it was iced, how cute are they?
This is a really lovely recipe, and I hope you will try it the next time you feel like doing a spot of baking! And if you are looking for more cake inspiration why not check out this lighter-than-air lemon sponge cake or this decadent vegan chocolate nut brittle cake.
APPLE CAKE WITH CREAM CHEESE ICING
For the cake:
- 80g sultanas
- 4 tbsp water
- 280g plain flour
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 1¼ tsp bicarb
- 120ml sunflower oil
- 160g castor sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 3 apples (about 370g), peeled cored and cut into 1cm dice
- grated zest of 1 lemon
- 2 large egg whites
For the icing:
- 100g butter, room temperature
- 100g light muscovado sugar
- 85ml honey
- 250g smooth cream cheese
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 6-8 baby apples to decorate (optional)
1.) Grease 22cm cake tin and line the base with baking paper. Preheat your oven to 170ºC.
2.) Place the sultanas and water in a small saucepan. Simmer over a low heat until all of the water has been absorbed, then set aside to cool.
3.) Sift the flour, cinnamon, salt, baking powder and bicarb into a bowl. Set aside.
4.) Place the sunflower oil and sugar in the bowl of a freestanding mixer. (Use an electric beater if you don’t have one.) Add the vanilla extract, then mix everything together. Gradually add the eggs and mix until smooth and thick.
5.) Mix in the apples, sultanas and lemon zest. Add the sifted dry ingredients and fold in lightly.
6.) Place the egg whites in a separate bowl and whisk until they have a soft meringue consistency. Add half of the egg white mixture to the batter and fold in carefully before adding the remaining half. Fold gently so that you lose as little air as possible.
7.) Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin and level the top. Bake for 55 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool completely.
8.) To make the icing whisk the butter, sugar and honey together until light and airy. Add the cream cheese and vanilla extract and whip until the icing is smooth.
9.) Carefully cut the cake in half horizontally. Spread half of the icing on the bottom of the cake and place the top cake on it. Spread the remaining icing on the top of the cake. Decorate with baby apples just before serving.