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This recipe is classed as easy

Rating 3.40 / 5 (1189 votes)

Prep time:
20 min
Cook time:
40 min
makes 12-16 squares

Rachel Allen's apple cake recipe is an old favourite – the apples sink to the bottom as it cooks, leaving a light sponge with a crisp sugary crust


1. Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6. Line the sides and base of a 20 x 20cm square cake tin with parchment paper.

2. Using an electric whisk, whisk the eggs, caster sugar and vanilla extract in a large bowl until the mixture is thick and mousse-like and the whisk leaves a figure of eight pattern (this will take about 5 minutes).

3. Melt the butter in a saucepan with the milk, then pour onto the eggs, whisking all the time. Sift in the flour, cinnamon and baking powder and fold carefully into the batter so that there are no lumps of flour. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth the surface.

4. Arrange the apple slices over the batter. (They will sink to the bottom.) Sprinkle over a tablespoon of sugar and bake in the oven for ten minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 180C/gas 4 and bake for a further 20–25 minutes or until well risen and golden brown.

5. Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool in the tin. Cut into squares and serve warm with cream.

Adapted from Rachel Allen, Bake (Collins)

Love cake? Take a look at our cake recipe collection


  • 2 eggs
  • 175 g caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 85 g butter
  • 75 ml milk
  • 125 g plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 2 cooking apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
  • 75 ml double cream, to serve

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Latest Comment


Totally delicious, easy to follow and so good that I have made it two days in a row and not a crumb in sight! Try it guys you will love it. Well done Rachel... excellent recipe! x

LOUISEG36033 LOUISEG36033  Posted 09 Apr 2013 9:18 PM

I made this evening and my family loves it. hardly 2 piece left and they want it again. Worth trying it.

NaziaF37043 NaziaF37043  Posted 27 Jan 2013 8:25 PM

Am giving the recipe 5 stars as both my son and husband love this cake, constantly ask me to make it, and it's a snap to put together. As others have said, the apples don't seem to want to sink, but I solved this by pouring some batter to cover the bottom, then adding a layer of thinly sliced apples, then pouring the rest of the batter over, and covering the top with more apples. To me, I needed more "kick" on the top, so dipped the apples in a cinnamon sugar mixture for the top layer. It's a keeper. Last note: my Dutch friends enjoyed the cake, but said while the taste is familiar, the texture of the cake is nothing they've seen in The Netherlands.

ReneeN50949 ReneeN50949  Posted 04 Nov 2012 11:00 PM

If I could leave a half star, I would give this recipe two-and-a-half stars – but I can't, so I won't...!

My reason for giving a very average mark is based on my divided opinion of this recipe: yes, it's light and fluffy, and that's the texture us bakers all strive for, but I found it a little insipid. It just bears no resemblance to the delicious cake baked by a Dutch friend a few years ago from an old family recipe! This is more like an American muffin than a cake.

MORE apple, MORE cinnamon and LESS vanilla, if ANY AT ALL - why oh why do so many bakers insist on great big glugs of vanilla extract in everything nowadays? Rachel. Lorraine. Nigella. Ina. Ladies - stop striving for that perfect(ly overpowering) cupcake flavour!


PatrickT1626 PatrickT1626 Posted 22 Oct 2012 1:40 PM

This cake is so easy to make & is deliciousSmile

DeirdreS35906 DeirdreS35906 Posted 12 Oct 2012 8:40 PM

Sounds easy so I must make it.

RonP78683 RonP78683 Posted 07 Oct 2012 12:48 PM

My cakes just come out of the oven and it smells devine! Can't wait to tuck in Smile

LauraT48787 LauraT48787 Posted 28 Jun 2012 3:40 PM

This is my fourth time making making this cake, directed from your channel of course!! It comes out perfect every time!

AngelaL44324 AngelaL44324 Posted 07 Apr 2012 2:49 PM

johnM18722 johnM18722 Posted 12 Feb 2012 8:22 PM

Hi There, I also love this cake!!esp with ice-cream!! However, I have yet to get my apple to sink! any other suggestions, besides chunky apple, as I felt my apple slices were chunky....... Thanks, Tina

TinaV17632 TinaV17632 Posted 21 Jan 2012 9:36 AM

Hello Christine, glad you want to get it perfect! The reason the apple sinks is because it's heavier than the other ingredients...so I can only guess that maybe you are slicing your apple too thinly? Try making them slightly chunkier and see where that gets you...

Charlotte - Good Food Charlotte - Good Food Posted 12 Jan 2012 10:21 AM

Question to charlotte,,, Hi, I have made this cake again and once again my apples didn't sink to the bottom, Any ideas on why and how to amend it next time I make it as I see it happens to other cooks too,, still tastes lovely but would love to achieve the correct version ! Thanks Christine

CHRISTINES1669 CHRISTINES1669 Posted 11 Jan 2012 12:27 PM

JohnJ11 JohnJ11 Posted 27 Nov 2011 2:30 PM

Loved this. Ate it all myself.

MarieG50288 MarieG50288 Posted 22 Oct 2011 12:26 AM

the is very good , tasty and moist

sheilaN10143 sheilaN10143 Posted 07 Oct 2011 12:39 PM

l v l v Posted 23 Aug 2011 5:08 PM

l v l v Posted 23 Aug 2011 5:08 PM

Very nice and nice taste but it did not rise much, is it something i did not do right?

l v l v Posted 23 Aug 2011 5:05 PM

I'll take a look asap Jolanda - looking forward to it.

Charlotte - Good Food Charlotte - Good Food Posted 27 Jul 2011 10:48 AM

My recipe is online in about two days.......

jolandaJ77279 jolandaJ77279 Posted 25 Jul 2011 6:34 PM

I have posted my recipe in the "add your recipe" section.
I really would love to know if you liked it! ;-)

jolandaJ77279 jolandaJ77279 Posted 25 Jul 2011 5:09 PM

Hello there, thanks for the interesting apple cake facts! You should upload your own recipe so that we can take a look.

Charlotte - Good Food Charlotte - Good Food Posted 25 Jul 2011 12:36 PM

I am sorry tot say that this is not a dutch applepie
The recepe is german (deutch in the german language sounds like dutch)this is a zuckerkuchen with apple. also very good.
dutch applepie is made of shortcrustpastry with a minimal of 1 kg of apples,cinnamon and raisens...i make often and its heavenly with whipped cream an vanilla icecream....
i can post the recipe if there is any interest.

jolandaJ77279 jolandaJ77279 Posted 23 Jul 2011 9:01 AM

This was the best!!!!!! It worked perfectley, I did slice the apple thinly. served warm with ice cream is heaven!!!!

JuneP20813 JuneP20813 Posted 15 Jun 2011 2:59 PM

Thanks Charlotte
Oh it was such a treat. The cream made it even better and rich. My apples didn't go down though. wonder why?

VictoriaS62177 VictoriaS62177 Posted 31 May 2011 4:52 PM

Made this just now was abolutely great i used my food processor with the whisk attatchment on and the batter came out beautiful and the apple sank to the bottom love the crispy sugar top is absolutely delicious the partner & kids will be pleased :D is now a family favorite all i would say is i tgink it needed more cinnamon so am going to put 1 teaspoon in next time.

nicoleB18119 nicoleB18119 Posted 31 May 2011 4:43 PM

Hello Victoria. Yes - it's fine to add the milk to the butter whilst the latter is melting (but don't heat the milk separately before adding it to the pan). Just heat it very gently, and you should be ok.

Charlotte - Good Food Charlotte - Good Food Posted 31 May 2011 1:26 PM

I'm in the process of making the Apple cake. I just need to know if we need to heat the milk along with the butter. cos it says melt the butter with the milk


VictoriaS62177 VictoriaS62177 Posted 30 May 2011 11:58 AM

have just made this cake , my apples didnt sink !!!! Any ideas why this should happen? I followed the recipe to the letter ! Still tastes nice ! but would have been better if it had come out as planned !

CHRISTINES1669 CHRISTINES1669 Posted 17 Apr 2011 6:22 PM

Very good recipe, I could scoff the lot. Needed longer than stated and my apple slices didn't sink to the bottom. Still an awesome cake, and unusual for me to get a recipe right first time

ChristinaB33341 ChristinaB33341 Posted 14 Apr 2011 10:24 PM

Very easy to make everyone loves it but found it burnt the first I made it dont need to cook for that long other then that its a great cake make it all the time

karenE7934 karenE7934 Posted 14 Apr 2011 6:16 PM

What a lovely dessert. So easy, light and moist. As I didn't have any apples in, I used drained tinned pineapple pieces and it was a huge success. I also found it needed to cook for 15 minutes more.Thank you for a super recipe.

SuzanneJ5953 SuzanneJ5953 Posted 10 Apr 2011 4:44 PM

Had people over for dinner last night and needed something quick and easy. This was it!! Very tasty. Always risky making a dessert for friends when you haven’t tried the recipe out first but, it worked, however required an extra 15 minutes in the oven.

TinaT30491 TinaT30491 Posted 02 Apr 2011 10:52 AM

very easy and simply

sibyI34350 sibyI34350 Posted 25 Mar 2011 8:10 PM

Light, moist and simply too easy. The best apple cake I've ever baked, it's no fail. Forget dense, soggy, heavy apple cakes of old, this is a real gem to pass on to the kids. Dust with icing sugar for extra sweetness!

beeL26581 beeL26581 Posted 06 Mar 2011 11:49 PM

Fab. cake.I put a little less cinnamon in as I don't like it to overpower things. The cake is moist with a crunchy top and delicious!

JoyB11467 JoyB11467 Posted 14 Nov 2010 4:58 PM

Saw this recipe on Bake and had to try it. Used sliced pears in mine as I prefer softer fruit in cake. Turned out absolutely perfectly, will definitely make it again!

KellyE45614 KellyE45614 Posted 03 Nov 2010 9:29 PM


DianeH48240 DianeH48240 Posted 23 Oct 2010 5:53 PM

Wasn't happy with this at all, it was very sunken in the middle and it tasted burnt even tho I followed the instructions carefully! Didn't look anything like the picture..

DeirdreM50037 DeirdreM50037 Posted 20 Oct 2010 9:20 PM

It was delicious, but my apples did not sink to the bottom. Any suggestions?

CarolineV41653 CarolineV41653 Posted 28 Sep 2010 5:18 PM

HELP! I am in the United States and I tried to convert this recipe to no avail. Can anyone help me convert it?

TerriG87790 TerriG87790 Posted 19 Sep 2010 11:39 PM

I used brown sugar,it was lovely thankyou for sharing!x

Barbara-LouisaW64636 Barbara-LouisaW64636 Posted 06 Aug 2010 7:30 AM

I was a bit worried, because it didn't go as stiff as the instructions say it should when I was whisking it. But it didn't matter, as it turned out absolutely gorgeous! Delicious with vanilla ice cream, too.

Jen - Good Food Jen - Good Food Posted 01 Jun 2010 11:31 AM

it turned out to be great...very soft...excellent flavour...

sharmisthaM75395 sharmisthaM75395 Posted 17 May 2010 5:38 PM

All the lads in the pub enjoyed it

CyrilT97948 CyrilT97948 Posted 02 May 2010 4:04 PM

Easy to make. The proof will be in the taste. smells yummy....

amsh amsh Posted 16 Apr 2010 11:17 AM

fantastic! this is sooo easy to make and has that beautiful, buttery, old-fashioned flavour! serve warm with softly whipped cream and I challenge ANYONE to resist it!!!

Moll the Doll Moll the Doll Posted 09 Mar 2010 7:20 PM

This was my second attempt at baking EVER! Visiting some American friends who always bring yummy cakes and brownies to ours. Followed the recipe to the letter, which was really easy and the cake not only tasted amazing but looked like I'd been baking for years. I was SO chuffed carrying this into the house and can't wait to make it again. All the glory - none of the stress!! ;-)

FleurC23526 FleurC23526 Posted 07 Mar 2010 9:02 AM

This is an excellent recipe and it is so easy to follow.

DuncanD92253 DuncanD92253 Posted 07 Feb 2010 6:27 PM

DuncanD92253 DuncanD92253 Posted 07 Feb 2010 6:25 PM


BootyGirl BootyGirl Posted 26 Jan 2010 4:40 PM

i is lush

CaitlinM12 CaitlinM12 Posted 23 Jan 2010 5:13 PM

Totally delicious cake which is also lovely served warm with ice cream, my son loves it Smile

jacquelineS50352 jacquelineS50352 Posted 07 Dec 2009 6:04 PM

Absolutely delicious, I will make it again!!!

MariaT35399 MariaT35399 Posted 18 Nov 2009 5:08 PM

This was so yummy. Will certainly be making this one again.

trieste trieste Posted 30 Sep 2009 8:49 AM

A great recipe, that the kids especially enjoyed. Will be a regular in the lunchboxes.

1kiwi 1kiwi Posted 20 Aug 2009 8:30 PM

Deelicious, can be made with plums or whatever else is in season

Mr. Lusseel Mr. Lusseel Posted 15 Aug 2009 8:03 PM

Fab cake which is so easy to make. Gorgeous with fresh cream whilst still warm from the oven. One of our family favourites.

JoannaG84348 JoannaG84348 Posted 03 Aug 2009 1:11 AM

I have made this a few times and once i ate the whole thing myself. Its a delicious cake and easy recipe to follow, add a dollop of double cream..yum

carolS25698 carolS25698 Posted 23 Jul 2009 6:30 PM

I made this cake for my husband, my son came to visit and they ate the lot apart from the 1 piece i had, it was so easy to make and was yummy.

julieH85695 julieH85695 Posted 11 Jun 2009 11:10 PM

This is a lovely cake! However I think 1 teaspoon of baking powder is perfectly enough. I baked it today and have eaten half myself. Great recipe!

SylwiaS91673 SylwiaS91673 Posted 28 Apr 2009 4:16 PM

I made this for the first time yesterday for a dinner party dessert. The recipe is easy to follow and I had perfect results - everyone loved it and I shall certainly make it again.

MicheleR13918 MicheleR13918 Posted 30 Nov 2008 4:52 PM

i have been using a similar recipe like this for years and i add frozen raspberries and add thinly layers sliced apples on the top followed by a light dusting of demerara sugar, deish!!

popolito popolito Posted 12 Nov 2008 6:32 PM

One of the best cakes i have ever made -so easy and so delicious. Serve it with icecream.

pinco pinco Posted 01 Nov 2008 11:28 PM

Hi. This cake was fab, my family enjoyed it after evening dinner. I"ve passed it on to my sister and friend. k

kathleenM13263 kathleenM13263 Posted 17 Oct 2008 10:46 PM

Mine needed a little extra time in oven, but then was really delicious..you must try!!!

danielB31145 danielB31145 Posted 17 Oct 2008 11:41 AM

i made this cake for tea and my kids just wolfed it down. had it was icecream

andipandy andipandy Posted 14 Oct 2008 4:42 PM