These little apple cakes are delicious. They are a mix between a mini apple pie, apple bun and an apple cake. They are one of the easiest homemade apple cakes I’ve ever made, and is one of my favourite recipes for the autumn.
Autumn is on its way which in our house means apple season. We have masses of fresh apples, so with that in mind I have set about hunting out some great apple recipes.
When I say we have masses of apples, I mean it. We have 2 apple trees, which could be very very old – our cottage is over 500 years old, and although the trees aren’t the same age as the cottage, we’re fairly certain they are older than me – so that’s pretty old!
Every year our trees are full. This year has been very dry and hot, so the apples are small, some very small, but they are beautifully sweet and abundant.
My Mum found a fab cookbook, that she’s had since I was little. Inside there was loads of apple recipes. The problem with old cookbooks is the lack of pictures. Apart from the cover this one has no photos, and just a few line drawings.
A lack of visuals in this day and age makes cooking the recipes a bit of an adventure, which of course could go horribly wrong, thankfully these Little Apple Cakes went perfectly. They are made in a cupcake tin or muffin tin, which I suspect is considerable larger than the bun tin stated in the original recipe, as the mix should have made 18, but I only got 10. The cake batter is more of a dough consistency that you actually roll out.
It turned out that this recipe was such an easy apple cake recipe, that it's actually become my favourite recipe for autumn.
The original recipe says eat them straight away, and while I wouldn’t argue with that, they were still good to eat a couple of days later, after being stored in an airtight container. And whilst they are Little Apple Cakes, perfect for an afternoon tea-time treat, they would also be fantastic as Little Apple Puddings, straight from the oven served with custard or ice-cream.
N.B. This recipe was first written in 2019 when I lived in a 500 hundred year old thatched cottage in Hampshire, UK.
I used medium apples from our trees. However, I would suggest you use your favourite apple if you don’t have a tree. Some types of apple that are perfect for this recipe include Golden Delicious, Granny Smiths and Pink Lady. All are sweet, juicy apples but are also crunchy enough to hold up in the baking process.
Flour and Raising Agent
Use plain flour for this as you are not looking it to rise in the oven. The bicarbonate of soda and cream of tartar will give it just the right amount of rise.
You can use gluten free flour, but add Xanthan Gum (according to the manufacturers instructions) so the cakes don’t go too crumbly, or you’ll have trouble getting them out of the tins.
Butter or Baking Spread
You can use real block butter for a rich flavour. I used baking spread as it works just as well and is not as expensive a real butter.
If you want to add another dimension to the flavour, you can use brown butter, but add a little extra milk or your mix may be try. You can read my post on how to brown butter.
You can also use a plant based alternative spread if you want a dairy free option.
Caster sugar is best in this recipe; however you can use granulated as well if that’s all you have. Read my blog on the difference between caster and granulated sugar.
You could also use brown sugar if you wanted a slightly more caramel flavour.
I used a large, free range egg.
You really can’t beat the flavour combination of apple and cinnamon. These Little Apple Cakes would be extra special with that little kick of spice. Just 1 teaspoon of cinnamon is enough, but add more if you like the flavour. I used ground cinnamon in the apple mix as it’s the easiest to use to get the best flavour.
If you are making these in Apple Season you may also find an abundance of Blackberries in the hedgerows. Adding a few to the apple mix will be a great addition.
If you want to add a simple glaze, you can do that by adding a small amount of water to icing sugar and drizzling over the top of the cake when they are cool.
Little Apple Cake Technique
These little apple cakes are so easy to make. However, you’re are not making a cake mixture in the normal sense, you are making more of a dough.
The cakes are a combination between a pie and a cake. They are made by lining the bottom of a muffin tin, or cupcake tin with a disk of dough, adding an apple pie filling and then topping with another disk of dough. Because the dough is a little sticky you don’t need to stick the top to the bottom. They just bake together in the oven.
Even though you are rolling out a dough the texture once baked is very cakey.
Little Apple Cake FAQs
Which type of apple do I need for this recipe?
Any eating apple will work well. The apples are best if they are juicy and sweet but with a slight crunch. If your aren’t lucky enough to have your won apple tree I would recommend Pink Lady. Golden Delicious or Granny Smiths.
What size cake pan do I need?
These mini apple cakes are actually made in a muffin tin or cupcake tin. They don’t need a cupcake case or liner, the cakes are baked straight into the muffin tin.
How long will the Little Apple Cakes Last?
If kept in an airtight container these cakes will easily last for up to 4 days. However, if you have them for a little longer just pop them back in the oven for a few minutes, or the microwave for 20 seconds to refresh them and serve them with custard or ice-cream
How are they best eaten?
These are a great snacking cake. They are little hand pies and can be taken on picnics or used in lunchboxes.
They are also fab as breakfast with your morning coffee, or as a snack in the afternoon with a cup of tea.
As they are pie like they are also great served as dessert with cream, a scoop of vanilla ice cream or my personal favourite, custard.
If you enjoyed this recipe, you'll love these
Little Apple Cakes
- 150 gms Peeled and Chopped Apples
- 15 gms Sugar - granulated or Caster
- 1 tspn Cinnamon Optional
- 225 gms Plain Flour
- 1 tspn Cream of Tartar
- 0.5 tspn Bicarbonate of Soda/Baking Soda
- 110 gms Butter or Baking Spread
- 110 gms Caster Sugar
- 1 Large Free Range Egg
- 2 tbspn Icing/Powdered Sugar
- 3-4 tspn Cold Water
- Preheat your oven to 170c, 160c fan, 350f, Gas Mark 4.
- In a heavy bottom pan heat the apples, 15gms of sugar and cinnamon if you're using it. It depends on how firm you want the filling of your cakes to be, but I prefer my apples to be soft but still keep their shape. Once cooked set to one side to cool.
- Sift the flour, cream of tartar and baking powder into a mixing bowl.
- Add the baking spread and sugar to the bowl and rub the mixture with your fingers until it resembles the texture of breadcrumbs.
- Add the egg and mix to a dough. It should resemble something similar to pastry dough, but slightly softer. Don't over work the dough as you don't want tough cakes.
- On a lightly floured surface roll ⅔ of the dough to about ¼" thick.
- Cut 10 rounds, about 2.5-3" across and place into a cupcake baking tray.
- Fill each round with a spoon of the cooked apples. Keep it to the centre as you don't it oozing out when it cooks.
- Now roll the rest of the dough and cut a further 10 rounds - I made mine slightly smaller, about 2".
- Drop these onto the apple filled rounds in the cupcake tin. You don't have to worry about sticking them down, because as they cook they all bind together very nicely.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until they are well risen and slightly golden.
- Remove from the oven, and gently run the flat of a knife around the edge of each cake to release them from the pan.
- Turn out the cakes and allow to cool on a rack.
- To make the Glaze Icing mix a teaspoon of water at a time to the icing sugar until you have a thick but pourable glaze.
- Drizzle the glaze over each cake.
Have you Tried this recipe?
I would love to see it or hear about your experience of it.
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