“Spice is Nice Apple Cake”

Now here’s a nice little something you could serve for tea. It has yummy apples, a crunchy spiced crumb topping and a cake like bottom that has a hint of fresh lemon.

"Spice is Nice Apple Cake" is great with whipped cream!

I got the recipe from my favorite all time food blog “The English Kitchen” where Marie made it but with plums. I changed a few things, I wanted to try apples instead of plums, didn’t have Cardamom so I just used mixed spice, and I didn’t have sour cream on hand so I used vanilla yoghurt. It came out fine and dandy, I think I’ll add more apples next time though!

Oh Yeeaaaah...where's my fork?

Isn’t everything better with whipped cream?

I loved the spiced crumb topping

Here’s the recipe as Marie presented it and my notes of what I substituted in case you want to try it either way.

4 ounces butter, softened (1 stick in the US)
1/3 cup caster sugar (regular white sugar)
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 large egg
1 TBS sour cream (or thick yoghurt)
pinch of salt
the grated zest of one lemon
1 3/4 cups plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 cups plums, pitted and sliced into wedges (or 2 – 2 1/2 c peeled, sliced apples. See my notes at end)

for the streusel:
6 TBS cold butter, cut into bits
3/4 cup flour
1/3 cup caster sugar (plain white sugar)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cardamom (or mixed spice is what I used and a dash of nutmeg)
1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg

To serve:
Spooning cream, Clotted cream, vanilla ice cream, or whipped cream!

Pre-heat the oven to 375F/180 C. Butter the bottom of a 10 inch cake tin with a removable bottom. Cut a circle of parchment or baking paper to fit bottom and stick it on, then grease over it again. Grease the sides of the pan with butter now; the cake won’t rise much so don’t go crazy with greasing up the sides high. (as I found out).

This is my wonderful lemon zester

This is my lemon zester, the recipe calls for grated zest but I used mine which makes shreds of peel. It was fine but I am guessing grated zest would be better.

Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, lemon zest, vanilla, sour cream and salt. You can use a mixer for this step. Whisk the flour and baking powder together and then add it to the creamed mixture, the dough does get really stiff when you add the flour, you may need to go by hand at some point! It’ll be stiff like cookie dough, plop it into your pan and pat it out with your hands, if it sticks to you just rub a bit of butter on your hands and try it.

Pat the dough evenly into the pan.

Liberally spread the apples over top of the batter to within 1/2 inch of the edges, keeping the slices flat on the dough.

2 cups of sliced apples

To make the streusel, whisk together the sugar, flour and spices. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender then use your fingers until the mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle the crumbs evenly over top of the apples.

Sprinkle the spiced streusel crumbs on top

Bake in the pre-heated oven on a middle rack for approximately 45 minutes to one hour, until the topping is nicely golden brown and the cake tests done. Remove from the oven and allow to sit for about 15 minutes on a wire rack, before you remove the sides of the pan and the paper.

Baked golden brown and crispy on top!

The house was filled with the great smell of apples and spice! It was actually bubbling a bit from the juices.

You can see it's a short cake, 'cake/tart/crumble' !

Delicious on it's own too, you can even pick it up to eat in your hand.

Serve warm, cut into wedges with some whipped cream or ice cream. I’m’ thinking it’d be good even with an apple cinnamon sauce around on the plate!

**My Notes:

  • I made this using apples, 2 cups peeled and sliced which was two regular good sized apples, Cortland + Macintosh. I think Granny Smith for one would have been tastier. Next time I’ll try more apples, like 2 ½ c?
  • It was excellent but the cake I found a bit dry….I did bake it 59min., maybe it was too long? Top was perfect and crust perfect…so I don’t know. Is it because I didn’t use the plums? Anyways, after covering it and trying a piece later on it was better! I am a fuss pot.
  • I didn’t have sour cream so I substituted vanilla yoghurt.
  • I also didn’t have Cardamom so I used ½ tsp of mixed spice and grated a bit of fresh nutmeg in.
  • I also used a hand mixer which I hardly ever do now…the base dough is REALLY stiff, like cookie dough, might not use it again.

"Spice is Nice Apple Cake"

“Spice is Nice Apple Cake”, I hope you try it, let me know how you’re comes out if you do!


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