Apple season is upon us, and what better way to celebrate than by baking this cake. In concept it's simple enough- a good old vanilla cake topped with apples and a little spice- but in reality it becomes something quite special. Don't ask me how- I just let the oven work its magic.
I prefer using apples which are on the tart side for this (e.g. Granny Smith or Bramley), but really you can use any. You can even use soft or wrinkled apples which are past their best for eating raw, so this cake is also a great way of using up your produce and reducing waste. Other fruits are also good in this, especially berries, plums, apricots (see below), and rhubarb.
Makes: 1 8-inch cake
Preparation time: 1 hour
220g plain flour
200g caster sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground sea salt
85ml vegetable or rapeseed oil, plus a little extra for greasing
240ml vegan milk (I like soy or almond for this)
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
The insides of 1 vanilla bean or 1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
2 large apples (see my notes above)
3 tbsp demerara sugar
1./ Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius or about 350 Fahrenheit. Grease and line your cake tin.
2./ Sieve the flour, baking soda, baking powder, caster sugar, and salt into a large mixing bowl.
3./ In a jug, combine the milk, oil, vanilla, almond extract, and vinegar, and stir up a little.
4./ Cut the apples into thin slices.
5./ Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the liquids from the jug, stirring everything together as you do. You should end up with a smooth batter, but take care not to over-mix.
6./ Pour the batter into your lined tin and top with the apples. Mix the demarara sugar and the cinnamon and sprinkle over the top of the cake.
7./ Bake in the oven for 35 minutes or till well-risen and golden-brown. Resist opening the door for as long as possible. If the cake is done, a skewer inserted in the middle will come out clean.
8./ Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 10-20 minutes; then remove from the tin and leave to cool completely.
9./ Serve by itself or with vegan cream. This cake will also keep in an airtight container for 4-5 days, and it freezes well too. Enjoy!
Until next time...