Toffee apple cake
Serves 12-14 | prep 1 hr | total time
Toffee apple cakeSubscribe to Sainsbury's magazine
Serves 12-14 | prep 1 hr | total time
A showstopping cake for a Halloween party. The toffee apples are soft, not crunchy, so they won’t break your teeth
Nutritional information (per serving)
For the cake
- 700g Bramley apples peeled, cored and roughly chopped
- 250g light muscovado sugar (we used Billington’s)
- 225g very soft salted butter
- 375g self-raising flour (we used Allinson)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp ground mixed spice
- 3 medium eggs, beaten
- 75g walnuts or hazelnuts, chopped
- 1 small apple, cored and diced
For the apple buttercream
- 75g very soft salted butter
- 300g golden icing sugar, sifted (we used Billington’s)
For the toffee apples and icing
- 3 small apples
- 50g salted butter
- 100g dark muscovado sugar
- 3-4 tbsp milk
- 100g golden icing sugar
- 5 bay leaves to decorate
Leftover cake will keep for 3 days in the fridge – but the caramel on the apples will dissolve, so they are best eaten on the day they are made.
- Put the Bramley apples in a heatproof bowl (without water), cover and microwave for 5-6 minutes or until the apples are well-cooked and squishy (or cook gently in a covered pan). Mash to a coarse purée, then spread on a plate to cool. Measure 300g purée for the cake and set aside the remainder for the buttercream.
- Meanwhile, grease and line 3 x 18cm round sponge tins. Heat the oven to 180°C, fan 160°C, gas 4.
- Sieve the muscovado sugar into a large mixing bowl, then add the rest of the cake ingredients, with the 300g cooled apple purée (it doesn’t matter if it is slightly warm, but should not be hot or the baking powder will work before the cake mixture is in the tin). Beat together until just mixed (don’t over-mix), then divide the batter between the 3 tins, level out and bake for about 25 minutes until golden brown, risen and just firm to the touch. Leave to cool for 10 minutes in the tins, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool.
- To make the buttercream, beat the butter, 75g of the remaining apple purée (there will be a little left over – perfect for breakfast) and icing sugar until creamy. Chill for an hour or until thick enough to spread.
- Peel the paper off the cakes. Use a third of the buttercream to sandwich the cakes together, making sure the top cake is placed flat base uppermost. Using a palette knife, spread more buttercream thinly over the sides, filling in the gaps between the layers and allowing the sponge to show through. Spread the top of the cake with the remaining buttercream. Put the cake in the fridge for about 20 minutes to set.
- For the toffee apples, put the apples in a heatproof bowl and pour boiling water over them. Swirl around to remove any wax, then drain.
- Dry well with kitchen paper, then insert lolly sticks into the stalk end and set the apples on a sheet of baking paper. Weigh and sift the icing sugar, and get the cake out of the fridge. It’s important to get the apples and icing sugar ready now, as you need to work quickly with the toffee icing.
- Put the butter into a small saucepan with the muscovado sugar and 2 tablespoons milk. Heat gently until the butter has melted and sugar dissolved, then bring to the boil, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes (it’s best to use a timer) or until it reaches about 113-116°C on a thermo-pen or sugar thermometer (although it’s not essential to be completely accurate). Remove from the heat and quickly dip the apples into the toffee, rolling them around in the toffee to coat. Place on baking paper to set.
- Immediately add the sifted icing sugar plus 1 tablespoon milk to the pan, whisk until smooth (you may need to add another 1 tablespoon milk), then immediately pour the icing over the chilled cake, spreading it to the edge to allow it to drip over the sides. Allow to set.
- Make a small hole with a skewer near each apple stalk and poke in a bay leaf. Place the apples on top of the cake to serve.