windfall apple cake

October 12, 2014

Windfall Apple Cake

Windfall Apple Cake-4

In my kitchen, weekends have always been a time for cake. I bake on other days too: for after school snacks, or mid-week puddings, but it is weekend baking that I love the most. A quiet, unhurried potter in the kitchen -with the radio on, and the sunlight softly falling onto the table- is a calming balm to soothe away the stresses of a busy week. Weekend afternoons were made for a hot cup of tea and a slice of still-warm cake.

Sometimes we take our tea in a flask, and our cake wrapped in tinfoil, to be eaten out in the woods, or atop a hill. Other times, we sit in the garden, mugs in hand, whilst the children play in the afternoon sunshine. More often than not, however, a cake is sliced straight from the cooling rack and eaten at the kitchen table, eager fingers dropping buttery crumbs.

A bowl of windfall apples is a permanent feature in the autumn. A kind friend with bountiful apple trees replenishes it whenever I see her, and in between times, I pick apples up from honesty-box shops or roadside baskets. I use them for breakfasts, or bake crumbles and cookies during the week, but when the weekend arrives, it’s time for a Windfall Apple Cake.

This cake, an adaptation of a Nigel Slater recipe, is a recurrent feature of my autumnal kitchen. At its absolute best eaten fresh from the oven, it will keep for several days in a tin, wrapped in foil. It works well as a pudding with a spoonful of Greek yoghurt.

Bake it, and taste the meditative pleasure of the weekend kitchen.

Windfall Apple Cake-3

Windfall Apple Cake-2


  • 130g butter, softened
  • 130g unrefined caster sugar
  • 2 apples (or 3 if very small)
  • the juice of half a lemon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
  • demerara sugar – 2 tbsp plus more for sprinkling
  • eggs – 2 large
  • 130g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder


  1. Heat the oven to 180c/gas 4
  2. Line the base and sides of a 24cm square cake tin with greaseproof paper.
  3. Combine the butter and caster sugar, and cream together. If you have a freestanding mixer, you can leave them to mix whilst you get on with the apples.
  4. Core and finely chop the apples and toss with the lemon juice in a bowl. Stir in the demerara sugar and the cinnamon, if using (I love the cake both with and without it, depending on my mood.).
  5. Beat the eggs and whisk with a fork. Slowly add to the butter and sugar, beating as you go. Sift together the flour and baking powder (it may seem a hassle, but it really does make for a lighter cake). Fold them gently into the mixture.
  6. Spread the mixture evenly over the base of the cake tin, scatter the apple pieces on top and pour over any excess lemon juice.
  7. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until the apple pieces have browned, the edges of the cake have shrunk away from the sides of the tin, and a skewer comes out clean. Immediately scatter generously with demerara sugar and allow to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
  8. Eat warm.
Laura Pashby lives in Gloucestershire UK with her husband, three small sons and a collection of vintage cameras. She is a writer, a blogger and an endless photo-taker.

blog: Circle of Pine Trees
instagram : @circleofpines
twitter: @circleofpines

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