You are going to love this deliciously moist Spiced Toffee Apple Cake recipe that I am sharing here with you today. This is the perfect time of year for this type of dessert. It would make a great addition to your Halloween Party Table, or indeed for any other occasion, possibly even Thanksgiving!
This fabulously tasty cake is delectably spiced and smells heavenly when it is baking. The sticky toffee icing is its crowning glory. I created some optional Apple Crisps to decorate the top of the cake, but don’t worry, they are not really necessary if you don’t feel up to the challenge! The cake can still be beautiful and will still taste wonderful!
Let’s Start with How to Make Apple Crisps!
If you want to make optional Apple Crisp topping, do that first. You can actually do these several days ahead if you like. They are really very easy to make.
You will need a nice eating apple with bright red skin. I used Pink Ladies for both my apple crisps and my cake batter. You don’t need to peel them for either the topping or the cake.
To make the crisps you will want to cut the apple crossways through the centre of the apple into rounds with a very sharp chef’s knife. This is the most aesthetically pleasing to the eye. You will get some that have stars in the centre and some that don’t.
Cut the whole apple into slices no more than ¼ inch thick. Don’t worry if you think this is too many rounds. You will not be using all of them, but you will want to have plenty of them to choose from when it comes to decorating the finished cake.
There is really no such thing as too many!
Baking the Apple Crisps
Brush the apple slices on both sides with some lemon juice mixed with a bit of honey. This helps them from changing too much in colour.
These are then placed onto a baking sheet lined with baking parchment and baked in a moderate oven for about half an hour, flipping them over halfway through the bake time. Keep checking them to make sure that they don’t over-brown and burn.
When they are done you should have a nice mix of colours and they will be ruffle-edged. Trust me when I tell you that they are going to look gorgeous garnishing your finished cake.
You can just store these in a lightly covered container once they have completely cooled to wait for your finished cake.
They will soften on the cake, so do make sure you don’t add them to the cake until you are ready to serve it for the best effect possible!
Gathering the Rest of the Ingredients
Nothing out of the ordinary goes into the cake. Simple ingredients are used, like self-rising flour, baking soda, eggs, soft dark brown sugar, butter, apple juice, grated apple, warm baking spices, and some baking soda.
I like to use a cloudy apple juice, either fresh-pressed, or a sweet apple cider (non-alcoholic). This will give you the nicest flavour. There is also a Tablespoon of Golden Syrup in the cake which can be a bit of a problem to find in the States, but not to worry, you can use ordinary light corn syrup in its place.
Golden syrup does have a slight caramel taste to it as opposed to corn syrup, but there is not enough of it in the cake for it to make any significant difference.
Prepping the Cake Tin
I like to prepare my tin for baking prior to mixing up my cake batter. You will need an 8-inch round deep cake tin for this recipe. This is the type of cake tin you might use to bake your Christmas fruit cake in. You will want to butter it really well and then line it with paper.
Lining the tin is very easily done if you follow my tips! You will need a length of baking paper that is twice the circumference of the cake tin, so 16 inches in length plus 1 inch for an overhang. From that length cut a strip about 4 inches in width.
Using your kitchen scissors, make ½ inch deep snips along one long edge of the paper all the way down the length of it, spacing them no more than ½ inch apart. Fold that snipped edge up slightly.
Cut a circle the circumference of the cake tin out of the remaining paper. Save any leftover paper for a future use.
Once you have your tin buttered, place the long strip into the pan, clipped side down. It should fit in snugly with a small overlap at the end, which will prevent any cake batter from slipping beneath the paper. The snipped edge should enable the paper to line the tin smoothly.
Place the round of paper into the tin, covering the snipped edge. Your cake tin should now be perfectly lined. Set it aside while you make your batter. Start preheating your oven now as well.
Making the Cake Batter
You will need to grate one apple for the cake batter. Again, I used a Pink Lady apple (good sweet eating apple). You don’t need to peel it. I use my box grater for this.
It is a very simple cake batter to make. Cream the butter and sugar together first, using an Electric Whisk, until the mixture is light and fluffy.
It will take about five minutes. This beating time not only adds volume to your cake batter, but also helps to ensure that the brown sugar is very well beaten in with no lumps.
You want a creamy, light, and lump-free mixture. Once you have achieved this you can beat the eggs in one at a time along with the syrup, spices, and soda.
Finally, beat in the flour and then stir in the grated apple, along with the apple juice. The mixture might look a bit curdled, but don’t worry about that.
Baking the Cake
Spread the batter into your prepared cake tin, leveling it off on top and giving it a bit of a tap on the countertop to settle it in evenly.
You will need to bake the cake in a 350°F oven for 55 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean, and it is well risen and golden brown.
It is important now to leave the cake in the tin to cool completely. Don’t be tempted to remove it. I set mine on a wire rack and loosely covered it with a tea towel, leaving it overnight to make sure it was totally cooled.
When your cake is completely cold, you can remove it from the tin and peel off the paper, placing it upright on a serving plate. Its time now to make the Sticky Toffee Icing.
Making the Toffee Icing
The sticky Toffee Icing is very simple to make as well, again using simple ingredients.
You will need more dark soft brown sugar, butter, thick cream, and some golden syrup. Once again, you can use regular corn syrup.
All of these are placed into a saucepan. Heat the saucepan gently over low heat, stirring the ingredients constantly, until everything has melted and melded together.
Leave it to simmer on low heat, stirring it occasionally for about 7 minutes or so until you have a thickened, glossy mixture.
This won’t be a frosting in the traditional sense of frosting, but more like a sticky thick drizzle that you are going to spoon over the finished cake.
You actually may want to consider doubling the amount of icing/topping. It has a beautiful flavour and your guests might want some extra to spoon over their servings of cake, especially if you are planning on serving ice cream with it!
You will need to leave the finished toffee to cool completely before you use it. I place it onto a wire rack, leaving it in the saucepan I have cooked it in.
Cover it with a round of parchment paper to help prevent a skin from forming on the toffee as it cools. Don’t worry, you will be able to scrape any toffee which may stick to it off and onto the cake very easily!
Finally Putting Together the Toffee Apple Cake
Once the toffee has completely cooled you are ready to spoon it over the cooled cake in preparation for serving.
Pour the toffee over the cake evenly, encouraging some of it to drip and drizzle decoratively down the sides of the cake. It looks really pretty!
Don’t be tempted to overdo the drizzle down the sides, however. This is a wonderful instance of less actually being more! You will want the majority of that scrumptious toffee to be on top of the cake.
When you are ready to serve the cake, simply top it with the apple crisps and serve. They will hold their crispness for a little while, but the longer they sit on the cake the more chance they have of softening somewhat.
Ready to Serve!
This is truly a beautiful cake, with a lovely moist and dense texture, but at the same time it is light. There is plenty of flavour in it, from that lightly spiced apple flavoured batter to that gooey Sticky Toffee Drizzle Icing.
Just look at that beautiful crumb and texture, along with that fabulously tasty topping! Don’t you just want to grab a fork and dig in! (Note: I removed the apple crisps to serve.)
This is one autumnal cake that is sure to garner you lots of praise and applause when you bring it to the table! Be prepared for lots of pats on the back and words of appreciation. You don’t need to tell them how easy it really was. Just sit back and enjoy the glory! Extra toffee sauce, softly whipped cream or scoops of vanilla ice cream all go very well with this.
Moist and Spicy Toffee Apple Cake Short Recipe
A very pretty cake for the autumn with toffee apple flavours.
For the cake:
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened plus extra to butter the tins
- 2 ¼ cups self-rising flour
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- ¼ tsp each ground cloves and ground allspice
- 1 cup dark soft brown sugar, packed
- 2 tbsp golden corn syrup
- 3 medium free-range eggs
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ pound coarsely grated pink lady apple, skin on
- ½ cup apple juice
For the toffee icing:
- 3 ½ fluid ounces double cream
- 1/3 cup soft dark brown sugar, packed
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp golden corn syrup
- 1 pink lady apple, very thinly sliced
- Lemon juice
- Liquid honey
- (Optional) If you are going to use the optional apple slice decoration, do it first:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Line a large baking tray with baking parchment.
- Place the apple slices on the baking sheet, brushing each one with some lemon juice and a bit of honey.
- Bake for 30 minutes, turning them halfway through the bake time. At the end of that time they should be crisp and light golden.
- Scoop off onto a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
- To make the cake, keep the oven at 350°F. Butter one deep 8-inch round cake tin and dust lightly with flour, shaking out any excess. Set aside.
- Cream the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
- Whisk in the golden syrup along with the eggs, spices and soda. Whisk in the flour, grated apple and apple juice. The mixture might look a bit curdled but that’s okay.
- Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin and bake in the preheated oven for about 55 minutes or until risen and a toothpick inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean.
- Leave in the tin to cool completely.
- For the toffee icing:
- Put all the ingredients for the toffee icing in a saucepan. Heat gently, stirring constantly, until everything has melted, and the mixture is smooth.
- Turn up the heat slightly and simmer until the mixture has thickened, stirring it occasionally.
- Pour into a bowl and lay a piece of parchment or wax paper on top to prevent a skin from forming and leave to cool completely.
- Transfer the cake to a cake stand or a decorative plate.
- Pour the Toffee Icing over top, allowing some of it to drizzle down the sides in an attractive manner.
- Decorate with the apple crisps.
- Cut into wedges to serve.
Complete Steps in Pictures
Check out some of my other fall recipes:
Marie Rayner is a Canadian, who moved over to the UK and began a new life in the year 2000. At the age of 45 she decided she needed a career change and went back to College to take a Chef’s course, after which she worked as a Personel Chef for a number of years.