With November fast drawing to a close, and we get ready to say goodbye to fresh, homegrown apples, I thought I’d slip in this delicious, favourite apple cake recipe. Because once December comes around, it’s all about the jingling bells!
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
Table of contents
Apple cakes are not uncommon, you’ll find variations of it all around the globe; British, American, German and Polish, just to name a few. Essentially, apples are sliced or diced and added to a cake batter and baked.
The British apple cake itself has a few versions, but where I live, on the south coast of England, it is the Dorset Apple Cake that is the most popular. Because we’re in Dorset!
Dorset Apple Cake Recipe
The Dorset apple cake is a fairly rustic affair, and many, many recipes can be found for it. While all the recipes have the same basic ingredients (flour, apples, sugar and fat), they do tend to differ slightly in the makeup.
So we’re talking different apples, different flours, different sugars, different fats, different ingredient ratio and with or without a topping – there are so many ways you can go with it.
Then, there is the texture; we’ve got light and spongy, dense and pudding like, and even some that are almost like scones.
LinsFood’s Dorset Apple Cake
The recipe here is loosely based on one I found in my mother-in-law’s old cookbook. Shortly after she got married, she went for cooking classes, as I suppose, is not uncommon in those days. It’s filled with so many old style recipes, both British and European.
I appropriated her cookbook some time ago because she doesn’t actually cook. Hasn’t since I met her over 20 years ago, and according to my late husband, hasn’t cooked “properly” for as long as he can remember.
She told me she stopped cooking around the time they moved south (when my husband was about 8, maybe), because the village didn’t do gas for cookers. She hates electric cookers and so, she stopped cooking! I suppose that’s as good an excuse as any!
Which begs the question: why do they keep buying electric stoves?
I love reading her cookbook, not least because she has beautiful penmanship. But as a fan of culinary history, going back 50-60 years through her written recipes is always a delicious and rewarding adventure.
But let’s take a quick look at our eggless apple cake recipe.
Why Eggless Apple Cake?
If you’ve been following me a while, you’ll know that my girls have had an egg allergy since they were little. So over the years, rather belatedly, I’ve converted many of our recipes for them. You’ll find more recipes on the Eggless Recipes page.
What Apples to use?
Definitely something tart. My favourite is the big old Bramley, Britain’s most popular cooking apple. It falls apart rather easily when cooked, and so adds a soft, melting texture to the cake.
You could also perhaps go for Braeburn, Golden Delicious or anything you fancy really. It’s all a matter of taste.
Many people love to finish the Dorset Apple Cake batter with a layer of sliced apples. If that’s what you like, use an extra apple, slice thinly, then just top the batter, before baking.
I’ve gone for the crunchy sugar topping because I just love the added sweetness against the sour apples and I’m a huge fan of crunchy toppings! Think brûlée and crumble.
And on that note, shall we get our aprons on?
Eggless Recipes on LinsFood
Head on over to the Eggless Recipes page for more recipes with no eggs in them, like the following:
If you like the recipe, don’t forget to leave me a comment and that all important, 5-star rating! Thank you!
And if you make the recipe, share it on any platform and tag me @azlinbloor, and hashtag it #linsfood
Eggless Dorset Apple Cake (perfect with Custard or Ice Cream)
- cake pan, 20cm (8")
- large bowl for mixing
- 240 g (8.5 oz) self raising flour
- ¼ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp mixed spice or Pumpkin Spice
- 120 g (4.2 oz) salted butter, at room temperature
- 120 g (4.2 oz) soft light brown sugar
- 300 g (10.5 oz) Bramley apples (peeled, cored weight), about 2 large ones
- 80 g (⅓ cup) buttermilk or natural yoghurt
- 3 Tbsp demerara sugar
- Custard clotted cream or ice cream
- Heat the oven to 180℃ (160℃ Fan/350℉).
- Grease and line a 20cm (8″) baking tin.
- Chop up the apples into roughly 2.5cm (1″) cubes. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and mixed spice.
- Add the soft butter, and using your fingertips, lightly mix in the butter and the flour mix until you get a coarse, wet sand sort of mixture. Like making a crumble. If you prefer, you could do this part in a food processor, then transfer everything into the bowl to move on to the next step.
- Stir in the sugar with a wooden spoon.
- Toss in the apples and lightly mix with the wooden spoon.
- Slowly add the buttermilk and stir to mix thoroughly.
- Tip into your prepared cake tin and sprinkle the demerara sugar all over.
- Bake for 50-60 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Eggless cakes always need a little longer than you think.
- Serve as suggested. Will keep for 3-4 days, stored in an airtight container.
20 thoughts on “Eggless Dorset Apple Cake (perfect with Custard or Ice Cream)”
Hi. I haven’t made this yet but am planning to this weekend. I just wandered if walnuts can also be added to the batter?
Hi Bansi, yes you can definitely add chopped walnuts. Stir them into the batter at the end before pouring into the cake tin.
Made this with my twin toddlers today. We’re all loving it, it’s delicious! The crunchy top with the soft apples is just *chef’s kiss*. We added a splash of apple juice at the end as the mix seemed quite dry.
Hey Kim, I’m so pleased to hear that. And yes, that topping, I always struggle not to eat it all in one helping! The apple juice for added moisture is a great idea.
Is it possible to freeze this cake. I am a make ahead adict?
Hi Marie, yes, absolutely. Treat it like any other sponge/butter cake when freezing and defrosting.
Delicious and easy to make. I used flora buttery and mixed spice. For the buttermilk I made it by adding 5g (big teaspoon) of bottled lemon juice to 80g oatmilk and let it stand for a bit.
Thanks for the recipe.
Hi Kay, I’m so pleased to hear that you enjoyed this recipe and how you made it vegan (I think Flora is non dairy?). And I’ll have to remember the oat buttermilk, I tend to use rice or almond milk when catering to vegan customers.
Love such rustic recipes! Your mom-in-law’s cookbook sounds like quite a treasure trove. Would love to try this one soon, everyone is a fan of tea cakes at home.
Thank you, Maria. There is something so civilised about cake at teatime!
Beautifully baked cake with the crunch of apples!! Apples cakes are always a delight for with a cup of masala chai!!
Thank you, Swaty, they certainly are!
I have this baking in the oven right now and it smells so good! Thank you, Lin, I’ve recently had to give up eggs, so this is just perfect! Can’t wait to try your other egg free recipes!
I’m so pleased to hear that. Let me know how it goes.
You’re a lifesaver! I have so many apples given by my neighbour this week and at a loss. But this cake looks so quick and easy. I’m going to make 2! Thanks!
Haha, I’m glad to hear that. Apple cakes are the best!
Thanks Lin for another egg free cake to add to my repertoire.
A pleasure, Izzy.
Love the recipe. And you’ve found a bit of treasure there in the family heirloom.
Thank you, and yes, you are so right!