Chunky Apple Cake

Needing a change from chocolate for my regular tasters, I found this scrumptious recipe which I’ve adapted for larger tins, and to be GF. I’ve also used the ‘chiffoning‘ method to lighten it up. The dire photography really doesn’t do it justice!

You could also make this in a round cake tin 9-10″ / 24-26cm diameter (12-16 larger portions).

Serves: up to 24 traybake portions



  • 5 large eggs, separated (they should total 320g-340g when weighed in their shells)
  • 250g unsalted butter, cubed and softened; plus additional cold butter for greasing tin
  • 250g soft brown or golden caster sugar
  • 4 – 5 eating apples (Cox’s, Braeburn, Gala, etc), scrubbed but unpeeled (they should total 600 – 650g)
  • 1 unwaxed lemon, grated zest of whole and juice of half
  • 290g gluten-free flour
  • 2 tsp gluten-free baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • Demerara or other large-grained sugar, for decoration (optional)


  • A standard traybake tin 9″ x 12″ / 23cm x 30cm
  • Baking/parchment paper to line tin
  • 2 large and 2 medium mixing bowls
  • Electric mixer (hand-held or stand)
  • Spatula or large metal spoon for folding
  • Cooling rack


  1. Preheat oven to 180 C (160 C fan-assisted). Lightly grease your tin and line the bottom and sides with baking paper.
  2. In the first large bowl, whisk the egg whites to soft peaks, starting at low speed and gradually increasing to high speed as the colour and texture changes.
  3. In the second large bowl (no need to wash the beaters), cream together the butter and sugar at medium-high speed until fluffy. Add the egg yolks one at a time, whisking well after each addition.
  4. Core the apples then dice them into smallish chunks; put in a medium bowl, squeeze/pour over the lemon juice, and toss well.
  5. In another medium bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, spices, and lemon zest together with a fork. Add the apple pieces and stir well to ensure you coat each piece – because coated fruit won’t sink to the bottom. (Look at that big chunk floating at the top in this picture.)
  6. Manually fold the dry ingredients+apple into the butter mixture until well combined. It’ll be quite stiff, so this is a good arm workout.
  7. Add 1/3 of the egg whites, folding briskly, to loosen the mixture somewhat. Then add the rest of the whites, 1/3 at a time, folding carefully until no white lumps or streaks remain.
  8. Dollop the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth the top. Sprinkle over a good palmful of demerara sugar (if using).
  9. Bake for 45 – 50 minutes, turning tin halfway through for even baking, until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Remove to a cooling rack, and cool the cake in the tin.

Topping Suggestions
A) If you like, and as per the referenced recipe, you could slice a large apple into very thin wedges and place over the top of the cake before baking. This looks stunning, but in my experience makes slicing the cake difficult, unless you position the wedges precisely as one for each portion – which is especially hard to do in a traybake tin.

B) Alternatively, you could very finely dice 1 peeled/cored apple, and create a spiced buttered caramel sauce, to top each serving. Simon Rimmer’s caramel recipe is straightforward and easy. (Add the apple pieces to the pan after the sugar melts, plus a pinch of the spices used in the cake, before bringing to the boil.)

C) Don’t want to make caramel sauce? Shop-bought butterscotch chips work a treat. Sprinkle 50g over the cake before placing in the oven, ensuring they’re evenly distributed. They melt down through the cake as it’s baking, giving a ‘toffee apple’ flavour to each bite. (Don’t use the demerara sugar with this option.)


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