Some time ago, when my daughter was nearly two, we took a walk and the sky sprung a leak. We should have known better (ie checked a weather app). We were on the knife-edge of a meltdown with a tired and soggy toddler when we spotted a table at E5 Bakehouse in Hackney, east London, and shared a slice of the most beautiful apple cake. It had enough apple in it to be potentially good for you, a crunchy demerara top and soft, puddingy insides. Such was its power that we forgot how sodden we were and, looking back, that day was a sort of heaven. Today’s recipe is my approximation of that wonderful cake.
Apple pudding cake
Prep 15 min
Cook 1 hr 10 min
For the apples
2 granny smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into 2cm cubes (175g prepared weight)
1½ tsp ground cinnamon
40g soft brown sugar
For the cake batter
200g self-raising flour
1½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
160g soft brown sugar
120ml olive oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
100ml non-dairy milk (I used oat)
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
For the top of the cake
2 granny smith apples, cored and sliced
1 tbsp soft brown sugar
Heat the oven to 200C (180C fan)/390F/gas 6, and line a 20cm springform round cake tin with greaseproof paper.
In a medium bowl, mix the apple cubes with the cinnamon and brown sugar, and set aside.
Measure all the dry ingredients for the batter into a large bowl, stir to combine, then pour in the wet ingredients and beat until you have a smooth batter. Tip in the cubed apples and their sugary, cinnamony juices, stir to combine, then scrape the batter into the lined tin.
Fan the sliced apples in a circle to cover the top of the cake, sprinkle over the remaining soft brown sugar, then bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 50-60 minutes, until the cake has risen, the apples on top are golden and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Serve warm or cold.
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