Make this sticky toffee apple cake covered with sweet and oozy toffee sauce and crunchy almonds, a spicy, decadent dessert, the perfect cake for cold winter days.
Who doesn’t love apple cake? There are so many different recipes out there… it feels like I’ve baked at least 200 different ones over the years, from simple, Healthy Apple Cake to Streusel Cheesecake, Romanian Apple Pie, or more extravagant Upside-Down Cake with caramel sauce.
This rich, sticky, and moist toffee apple cake recipe is one of my favorite discoveries this winter. I’ve been baking another delicious toffee cake with apples for years, but there was one issue with it: it was complicated, there were so many steps to follow, so many ingredients, it took me half a day to bake it every time. So, I kept simplifying that recipe until I came up with this version: just as much taste and comfort, but a fraction of the hassle.
- Apples: 2 medium, eating apples, a total of about 200g / 7 oz.
- Flour: I used self-raising flour, but all-purpose flour is fine as well, as long as you add more baking powder.
- Sugar: granulated sugar for the cake and muscovado sugar for the sauce (Amazon affiliate link).
- Spices: ground cinnamon, ginger, and all-spice.
- Heavy cream: only a tiny amount for the sauce.
- Almonds: use either chopped or flaked almonds. You could replace them with other nuts, try walnuts, pecans, or hazelnuts.
- Other ingredients: unsalted butter, egg, baking powder, milk (or apple juice).
Make the apple cake:
- Prepare: Preheat the oven. Grease the springform (20 cm/8-inch springform) and line its bottom with parchment paper.
- Core and grate the apples. Set aside.
- Cream butter and sugar in a medium bowl or the stand mixer bowl until light and fluffy (1). Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well at medium speed after each addition (2).
- Mix the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, and all-spice) in a separate bowl (3). Sift them over the butter mixture. Fold in carefully (4).
- Stir in the grated apples and milk or juice (5).
- Bake: Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan (6) and bake in the preheated oven for 55-60 minutes until a skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Leave to cool in the tin, then release the cake from the sides of the pan, remove it and let it cool on a wire rack.
Make the toffee sauce:
Only make it before you top the cake; otherwise, it will set too much.
- Heat butter and sugar gently in a small pan on low heat. Stir almost continuously until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves (7).
- Add heavy cream and almonds and simmer gently for about 2 minutes until slightly thickened (8).
- Remove from the heat and leave for about 2 minutes.
- Spread: Place the apple cake on a serving plate or a small cake stand. Spread the hot toffee sauce all over the top of the cake. It will drip a little down the sides of the cake but not too much. Let set shortly before cutting.
Expert Tips and FAQ
Don’t cook the sauce for too long, or it will harden. It will thicken more as it cools. Also, don’t leave it waiting for more than a few minutes before spreading it over the cake.
Use the same amount of all-purpose flour and 2 ¼ teaspoons baking powder.
If you can’t find it, replace it with light brown sugar.
You might be able to find it in larger supermarkets. Otherwise, in natural and specialty food stores. If you can’t find it in any shop, you will be able to buy it online. And if you have too much of it, you could try the Non-Alcoholic Fruit Cake, the Butterbeer Potted Cream, or the Rock Cakes.
Yes, you can make it one or two days in advance. However, only make the sauce before spreading it on the dessert.
You can serve a warm cake with a dollop of vanilla ice cream on top. Or serve the toffee apple cake at room temperature with freshly whipped heavy cream, unwhipped double cream, clotted cream, or creme fraiche mixed with a bit of brown sugar (a favorite of mine)
At room temperature, covered with a clean towel for about 2-3 days.
Or refrigerate it. In this case, the cake will keep for 4-5 days, and it will be denser but still delicious.
Freeze the leftover slices for up to 3 months. Defrost in the fridge or on the counter.
More apple cakes?
- Moist Apple and Cinnamon Cake (Tray Bake)
- Apple Crumble Cake - German
- Brown Sugar Cake
- Apple Hazelnut Pie
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Toffee Apple Cake
Apple cake (Note 1)
- 2 apples medium a total of about 200g / 7 oz
- 175 g unsalted butter soft, ¾ cup/ 6 oz
- 200 g granulated sugar 1 cup/ 7 oz
- 3 eggs
- 175 g self-raising flour 1 ½ cup/ 6 oz, Note 2
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon all-spice
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 75 g unsalted butter ⅓ cup/ 3 oz
- 100 g light muscovado sugar ½ cup/3.5 oz
- 3 ½ tablespoons heavy cream
- 50 g almonds chopped, ⅓ cup/ 1.8 oz (Note 3)
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius/ 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 20 cm/8-inch springform, line its bottom with parchment paper.
- Apples: Core and grate the apples. Set aside.
- Batter: Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Mix flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, and all-spice. Sift them over the butter mixture. Fold in carefully.
- Stir in the apples and milk.
- Bake: Transfer the batter to the prepared springform. Bake for about 55-60 minutes until a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.
- Leave to cool in the tin, then remove and let cool completely on a wire rack.
- Make the toffee sauce just before you want to top the cake.
- Heat: Place butter and sugar in a small saucepan. Heat gently, stirring, until the butter is melted and the sugar is dissolved.
- Simmer: Stir in the heavy cream and almonds. Simmer gently for about 2 minutes until slightly thickened. Don’t overcook it or it will harden. The sauce will thicken more as it cools.
- Remove from the heat and leave for about 2 minutes.
- Spread: Place the apple cake on a serving platter. Spread the sauce on top. Let set shortly before cutting.
- I strongly recommend using a digital kitchen scale; it will give you the most precise measure ensuring the best bake possible.
- Substitute self-raising flour + baking powder indicated in the recipe with 175 g/ 1 ½ cup all-purpose flour and a total of 2 ¼ teaspoons baking powder.
- Flaked almonds are perfect as well.