As I’ve mentioned before, we do a ‘make or bake’ activity most afternoons, as part of our home education. One of the things we’ve been baking several times this autumn, is this sponge cake spiced with cinnamon and cloves and studded with apple slices. I think it’s a good one for the colder parts of the year in particular!
- 175 g Baking Spread (Butter, Stork, Margarine or other fat suitable for baking)
- 165 g (=c. 1 cup/250 ml) Sugar (Granulated or Caster)
- 3 Eggs (Free range; Penguin doesn’t like chickens, but there’s no need for cruelty!)
- 3-4 tsp Ground Cinnamon
- 1-2 tsp Ground Cloves
- 180 g (=300 ml) Plain Flour
- 1 heaped tsp Baking Powder
- 50 ml Water (Cold tap water)
- 3 Small Tangy Red Apples, or 1-2 Normal/Large Apples
When we bake together, we often end up pouring a little bit too much in of one thing or another, or putting a bit less in of this or that, so don’t worry too much about being on the dot with these measurements. It’s supposed to be an enjoyable process, and as long as you get it roughly right, I’m sure you’ll end up with a tasty cake at the end of it all!
So, here’s how to make this cake:
- Turn the oven on, to about 170 C Fan Assisted / 190 C Conventional / Gas Mark 5
- Cut your apples into slices. We’ve mostly been using very small Cox apples, though personally, my favourite for the best apple flavour in cakes, crumbles etc is the traditional Bramley apple. Some of the apple slices tend to get eaten in the process rather than end up in the cake, and if that happens at your house too, you might like to add an extra apple to this recipe…
- Put the butter (or equivalent) in a bowl, add the sugar, and stir vigorously to mix them together really well.
- Add the eggs. It’s usually recommended to do this one by one (i.e. add one egg, then stir properly before adding the next egg, and so on). But we usually crack all three eggs into the bowl in one go, then mix properly. It seems to work just fine!
- Time to spice things up! Stir in cinnamon and cloves. A word of caution: Try not to go too crazy with the cloves, one heaped teaspoon is about right for my liking, or at least not more than two. (The cinnamon is more forgiving, so if you accidentally put somewhat more than the 3-4 teaspoons in, it’s no disaster.)
- Now add the flour and the baking powder, give it a stir. The mix should seem really thick at this stage, so add the water, and then mix it all together properly.
- Pour the cake mix into your tin. We use a springform tin which is 23 cm in diameter. It’s in a non-stick material, but we always greasethe inside of it and dust it with a thin layer of plain flour, before pouring the mix in.
- Stick your apple slices straight down into the mix, leaving only the skin of the apples showing. (That’s become my favourite way, but we’ve tried various styles of adding the apples, such as in a layer in the middle, or at the bottom, or on top, or tossing them in quite randomly, so feel free to experiment if you like.)
- Bake in the oven for about 35-40 minutes. Let sit to cool down a little before tucking into it. I actually think it tastes best the following day, if you can bear to wait…
Thank you for reading, and I hope you’ll enjoy baking this, with or without the assistance of a kid or two. For more of our baking posts, including recipes for meringue snowmen, chocolate cake cookies, saffron buns and more, please take a look HERE!