Apple cake is particularly associated with Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, when dishes made with apples or honey take centre stage these ingredients symbolise the sweetness hoped for in the coming year. It will fill your house with wonderful smells that wrap around you like a comforting blanket. It’s so packed with apple that it’s almost more fruit held together with cake than it is cake with fruit in it, while using oil means it keeps far longer than butter-based cakes.
- Yield: 1 large or 2 small loaf cakes
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- 180 g caster sugar
- 220 ml vegetable oil
- 200 g plain flour
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- ½ tsp ground cloves
- ½ tsp grated nutmeg
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- ½ tsp fine sea salt
- 300 g peeled, cored Bramley apples (roughly 3 apples), cut into 1 cm cubes
- ½ quantity crumble topping
- Butter two loaf tins about 19 cm × 8 cm, or one large loaf tin measuring 24 cm × 10 cm, then line with baking paper. Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6. Sift together the flour, salt, spices and bicarbonate of soda and set aside.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the beater, beat the eggs on a low speed, then gradually add the sugar, beating all the time. Once all the sugar has been added, pour in the oil in a slow, constant stream and beat until you have a very thick, pale mixture you’re creating an emulsion. Stop the mixer, add the flour mixture all in one go, and mix again very briefly until just combined. Add the apples and fold them in with a large metal spoon until the fruit is stirred right through. Spoon it into the cake tin or tins, smooth the top, then sprinkle the tops with crumble. Place in the oven and immediately reduce the temperature to 170°C/gas mark 3. Bake the cakes for 40–45 minutes (for two small cakes) or 1 hour–1 hour 10 minutes for a large cake. They are ready when risen, springy and when a skewer inserted into the centre(s) comes out clean. Leave in the tin until completely cool.
- This cake is so moist that it will keep for 3–4 days without trouble. Store it on a wooden board, loosely covered with a cloth, rather than in an airtight container.