English Apple Cake


This recipe has been adopted by many counties! Dorset Apple Cake, Somerset Apple Cake, Devon Apple Cake. I have a surprisingly similar recipe for Sittingbourne Apple Cake. So let’s call it English Apple Cake.

So what will St Swithun’s day bring us this year? St Swithun, an early English bishop is probably best known to us for his weather proverb:

St Swithun’s day if thou dost rain, for forty days it will remain
St Swithun’s day if you be fair, for forty days ‘twill rain na mair

The story goes that St Swithun had requested that he be buried outside his cathedral so the “sweet rain of heaven” could fall on his grave. About 100 years later the ‘powers that be’ decided they knew better and decided to move his body to a new indoor shrine. It is said that the ceremony was delayed for 40 days due to torrential rain. A sign that St Swithun was miffed! However, should it rain on St Swithun’s day (15 July) you can comfort yourselves with the traditional belief that this should herald a bumper crop of unusually large apples. I am not sure if this is good news or bad for our fruit farmers as I imagine anything other than a regulation size and shape of apple will not be acceptable to supermarkets! With apples in mind I found the recipe below.

Ingredients - makes 8 inch round cake

8oz (225g) butter 8oz (225g) caster sugar
4 large eggs, beaten 8oz (225g) of peeled and chopped Bramley apples
9oz (250g) self-raising flour 1 unpeeled Bramley apple
1oz (25g) cornflour Juice of one lemon
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 2 tablespoons Demerara sugar


  1. Grease and line an 8 inch (20cm) cake tin.
  2. Cream together the butter and caster sugar.
  3. Sift the flour and cornflour together.
  4. Alternating, gradually add the beaten egg and flour mixturee.
  5. Sprinkle the chopped apple with 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon and fold into the mixture.
  6. Pour into the cake tin.
  7. Cut the unpeeled apple into segments and remove core. Dip in the lemon juice and arrange on top of the cake (so that when cut, each segment has a slice of apple).
  8. Mix together the remaining teaspoon of cinnamon and the Demerara sugar and sprinkle over top of the cake.
  9. Bake at 170°C/325F°/Gas Mark 3 for 1¼ hours.

Many cakes freeze very well (including this one) and could be produced in advance of the fete.


Bramley Apples