Friday, 22 November 2013

Spiced apple cake

In a previous post, There are few hours in life more agreeable than the ceremony known as afternoon tea”, I said I would publish the spiced apple cake recipe as it was such a hit with both friends and colleagues.

So here goes ...


For the topping:

  • 3 apples (I used Granny Smith apples)
  • 2 teaspoons mixed spice (or if you're in Belgium, the speculoos spice is a great alternative)

For the cake:

  • 225g butter, softened
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 225g self-raising flour
  • ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 4 eggs
  • 60ml whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons mixed spice / speculoos spice


Preheat the oven to 170C. Grease a 10 inch (26cm) cake tin and line it with greaseproof paper.

For the topping:

Peel the apples and cut them into wedges. Put the apples and 2 teaspoons spice (whether mixed spice or speculoos) in a saucepan over a low heat for a few minutes to soften a little. 

Place the apple wedges in the base of the cake tin in whatever design you like. If you want a thicker layer of apple, you can do 2 layers of apple on top of each other.

For the cake:

Beat the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour and bicarbonate of soda. Add a tablespoon of the flour mix to the butter mix along with one egg. Mix until combined. Repeat the process until all the flour and eggs have been used. Stir in the milk, vanilla and mixed spice. Mix until combined.

Pour the mixture into the greased cake tin on top of the apples and gently smooth with a spatula. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Once out of the oven, leave in the tin for 5-10 minutes, then remove from tin and transfer it to a wire rack to cool completely.

I drizzled some caramel on top of mine which was delicious, but it's also tasty 'au naturel' or with some vanilla or cinnamon sugar sprinkled on top. It is a great seasonal cake with the apples and mixed spice flavours ... autumn in a mouthful.

If you have any leftovers, you can always heat it up and have it as a warm dessert with some vanilla ice cream!

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Anfield football stadium

A teammate from my football team, Amanda, recently turned 40 and as a keen Liverpool football club fan (read: obsessed), it was only natural to make her a Liverpool FC themed cake. My friend and teammate, Tish, is also a keen baker so when there is a birthday in the team we take the opportunity to join forces. Last year we made Amanda a Liverpool football shirt with her name and number on. For her 40th we needed to go bigger and better. So of course, the obvious decision was to make Liverpool's Anfield stadium.

Liverpool beating Leeds United 4-0 ...

We made 3 rectangle chocolate cakes and placed them on top of each other with vanilla buttercream and a thin layer of caramel between each cake. The whole cake was then put in the fridge until it was hard enough to carve into the stadium shape. We started carving in from the top, leaving the bottom layer of cake as the base for the football pitch. After that, the decorating itself was actually quite straightforward - different colour fondant for the pitch, seating, and 'brick' pillars, with piping for the pitch lines and roof detail, and of course the Liverpool FC logo on the front to finish it off.

Anfield stadium (Liverpool Football Club)