Dorset apple traybake

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 50 mins


Cuts into 16 pieces
Simple-to-whip-up apple cake that can be cut into bars or squares for a tea time treat

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal285
  • fat13g
  • saturates8g
  • carbs39g
  • sugars23g
  • fibre1g
  • protein4g
  • salt0.66g
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  • 450g cooking apples (such as Bramley)
  • juice of ½ lemon



    Oval in shape, with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile fruits…

  • 225g butter, softened



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 280g golden caster sugar
  • 4 egg



    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…

  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 350g self-raising flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
    Baking powder

    Baking powder

    bay-king pow-dah

    Baking powder is a raising agent that is commonly used in cake-making. It is made from an alkali…

  • demerara sugar, to sprinkle


  1. Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Butter and line a rectangular baking tin (approx 27cm x 20cm) with parchment paper. Peel, core and thinly slice the apples then squeeze the lemon juice over. Set to one side.

  2. Place the butter, caster sugar, eggs, vanilla, flour and baking powder into a large bowl and mix well until smooth. Spread half the mixture into the prepared tin. Arrange half the apples over the top of the mixture, then repeat the layers. Sprinkle over the demerara sugar. 3 Bake for 45-50 mins until golden and springy to the touch. Leave to cool for 10 mins, then turn out of tin and remove paper. Cut into bars or squares.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Comments (222)

smjcmd's picture

I made a half quantity in a 6" square tin and it cut into six bars, so ideal size for a family meal plus leftovers. It needed a couple of splashes of milk to loosen it and some ginger or cinnamon, but was a nice pudding to help get through the windfall Bramleys. I would make it again.

craftybeggar's picture

Cooked this in a 34 x 24 x 2.5cm tin in a non-fan oven and it worked out perfectly. Only added 200gm sugar, not tasted yet so not sure how it'll be but it looks and smells lovely. Chopped the apples into small chunks and just stirred them in and, as other have said, added a splash of milk to loosen the mix a bit. Also added 2 tsp cinnamon and some freshly grated nutmeg. Hope it tastes as good as it looks.

HTweedy's picture

Too much mixture for the tray size recommended so currently watching the mix cook on the bottom of my oven! Last time didn't notice the tray size and used a standard baking sheet which turned out perfectly! :-(

lizleicester's picture

Felt obliged to cook this as I was in Dorset! It had to be dairy free so I used soya margerine instead of butter but no one could tell the difference and the result was delicious.

lizleicester's picture

This was the cake of choice having found myself in Dorset with a lovely lot of Bramley windfall apples!! It had to be dairy free so I used Pure margarine instead of butter but you can't tell the difference...

HMIH's picture

I love this ....I add an extra small egg (so its not so stiff)...and cinnamon mixed spice and ginger and nutmeg !
I cook it for about 5 mins extra and is delicious !

whatevs's picture

Rubbish. Make apple shortcake instead. It's basically the same thing only niceer.
This is horribly oversweet, even when i reduced the amount of sugar, the batter is too thick to layer in the manner described and the apples in the center were nowhere near cooked in the prescribed cooking time.

abbyhorand's picture

Delish, even with pears!

b226cmrWilts's picture

Although the result looked nothing like the picture this cake tasted utterly yum! I agree with previous comment though, was very thick and hard to layer.

kirstygxxx's picture

I found this recipe to be quite thick making it hard to layer.

It was cooked after 50 min on the outside but still slightly undercooked in the middle so had to leave 10min longer.

Cake overall is quite dry to eat (probably due to longer cook).

Definitely not a 5star recipe but will try again and possibly use larger eggs.

Apple13's picture

Looked great and tasted great. Everyone loved it, so what more could you ask for. =)

kaatherinee's picture

Smells delicious as it's in my oven right now, but my goodness did it made a lot! I filled a cake tin to the brim, and 12 cupcake cases! Looks like we'll be eating this for breakfast lunch and dinner! Also had to add some milk as suggested in comments as it was too stiff to work with! Would probably halve the recipe next time!'s picture

Lovely easy recipe, although I think you could use less sugar as it was rather sweet. Had my first piece warm from the oven with vanilla ice cream. The remainder won't stay around for long; very tasty. Will definitely make again maybe with the addition of some blackberries or blueberries.

RGoy1987's picture

What an easy breezy recipe with delicious results (plus it made the house smell so wholesome)! I had to use up some cooking apples from a friend's garden and this recipe's perfect. I added a dash of cinnamon in the batter and dessicated coconut over the top. Great for sharing with old and new friends.

carlos65's picture

Tried this yesterday. V tasty. I made a few changes for various reasons: added olive oil to make up for lack of butter; soaked apple pieces in Calvados rather than lemon juice; added sultanas and cinnamon; used caster sugar rather than demerara on top. Apples were windfalls and I think are dessert apples.
Still delicious and quick to make.

trcy1066's picture

I swapped vanilla for cinnamon and cut back on the sugar a little bit. I used cooking apples from my garden.

The first time I made it I added an extra 2 eggs and this time I did it with added milk. Either way, I felt the mixture to be too dry without the added extras. Despite that tho, it was a lovely cake and definitely going into my 'Granny's Recipe Book' for my grandchildren :)

dizzylizzy75's picture

Used dessert apples, so only used 150g of sugar. Didn't have golden caster sugar so used ordinary white granulated. Added in some dried mixed fruit and mixed spice to the apples. I found the layering a little tricky as I misjudged the amount of sponge needed for the 2nd layer, but when it came out of the oven it was delicious. Excellent warm with a spot of vanilla ice cream.

kimpearce's picture

I used golden caster sugar and halved the amount to 140g and used gluten free flour and dairy free spread - I didn't sprinkle with demerara but it was absolutely delicious and plenty sweet enough. Will be gorgeous with custard ;)

fairystoryteller's picture

YUM! I used soft baking margarine (Stork) and instead of the lemon juice I just kept the apples from going brown by preparing them and leaving them in acidulated water (little dash of vinegar). I didn't layer the cake up I just stirred the apples in. Topped it with demerara sugar and a handful of flaked almonds. Really great and quick cake to make.

shirley1265's picture

I had a glut of mangoes so replaced the apples and sprinkles some coconut over each layer of mango. It was delicious.


Questions (18)

Sarah Mac's picture

Do you really need to use four eggs, seems quite a lot?

goodfoodteam's picture

Hi Sarah Mac, thanks for your question, the quantities for this recipe are correct. 

ladybird151's picture

Can you please tell me what the nutritional values are based on e.g. per 100g. Thank you.

goodfoodteam's picture

Hi there. The nutrition is per serving, so for this cake, it would be for 1/16th of the cake, as the cake cuts into 16, thanks.

sibby.p's picture

Does this freeze well? If not is there a similar traybake which would?

goodfoodteam's picture

Hi there. The cake would freeze well, although the apple may become slightly mushy once defrosted, this won't affect the taste though.

sibby.p's picture

It was absolutely fine :-)

Lissybakes29's picture

Hi can you tell me do you finish the layers on cake mix or apple?

goodfoodteam's picture

Hi there. The cake is finished with an apple layer, thanks.

Lissybakes29's picture

Am a bit new to the whole baking thing I'm slowly finding my feet would love to try this recipe but just wandered is the top/finished layer cake or apple?

Fairy Mary's picture

Could you use this cake mix in an 8 cavity mini loaf tin if so would you have to change the baking time ?

goodfoodteam's picture

Hi there, thanks for getting in touch. Yes you could use mini loaf tins. We'd reduce the cooking time to 20 minutes, then check them with a skewer and add bake for a few more minutes if they're not quite done.

Fairy Mary's picture

Could I use this recipe in mini brownie loaf tins ?

Fairy Mary's picture

Could you use a brownie mini loaf tin instead of a baking tin? It's actually a 8 mini brownie loaf tin

Fairy Mary's picture

Could you replace the apple slices with pineapple ? I have never been able to make a cake before till I tried this recipe not only did it rise brilliantly it went down brilliantly as well I was so pleased will definitely use this recipe again and again .

shirley1265's picture

I replaced the Apple with Mango and sprinkled a bit of coconut over the fruit. It is delicious. This récipe adapts well to most fruit.

goodfoodteam's picture

Hi there, thanks for your question - it's great to hear you enjoyed the cake so much! Yes, pineapple would work well in this recipe. Let us know how it turns out!

BBC Good Food team

Fairy Mary's picture

The cake was still good but preferred it with apple still a lovely cake

Tips (10)

kimpearce's picture

I halved the sugar in the recipe and used golden caster sugar, dairy free sunflower spread and gluten free flour. It was delicious, plenty sweet enough and lovely warm :)

shirley1265's picture

replaced the butter with same weight in mashed avocado. MMM MMM. Delicious and a bit healthier too.

THE.CAPTAIN.1962's picture

Use a small amount of honey and double the cinnamon. Serve hot with a good dollop of extra thick double cream. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

callym's picture

Beautiful firm mixture which made layering simple. Added 1tsp cinnamon to mixture rather than to apples. Cane out light and moist, easy to cut for bake sale too.

claire109's picture

I used a soft dark brown sugar, as it was the only one I had in the cupboard at the time. Gave the cake a lovely caramel taste....very more-ish!

sibby.p's picture

This freezes well. Also I used Granny Smith apples & doubled the lemon juice, the result was really tangy. Yum!

tangerinarose's picture

I usually add cinnamon and chop the apples into smaller pieces that I mix in rather than layering. Yum!
The recipe is versatile enough that I have swapped out the apples for other fruits such as bananas, kiwi, and even blueberries. It comes out lovely every time!
I have used a deep 20cm square tin and left it to cook for 15-20 min longer and that works too......

Storeys100's picture

If you're using eating apples, you can add more lemon juice plus some grated zest - this also thins the mix and makes it easier to spread. The overall result is improved by leaving gaps between pieces of apple.

longtallj's picture

I also added blackberries, used apples from garden which are eating apples so next time will use less sugar. It was quite sweet but excellent, served with cream and ice cream and I would imagine good with custard too!

nuttyone's picture

This is a lovely cake I cooked one with just apple and added a few blackberries to another everyone thought it was even better than just apple.