You can enjoy apple cakes all year round, but we love nothing more than a warm slice with a cup of something hot when the evenings start to draw in. Apple cakes are traditionally the taste of autumn. With plenty of cinnamon, nutmeg and other irresistible spices, these recipes are firm favourites in our book. But, first, a few tips for mixing it up...

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Flavour variations:

  • Caramel and apple are a classic flavour match, for those with a sweet tooth.
  • Seasonal fruits that go well with apples include blackberries, raspberries or pears. We have guides on apple & blackberry bakes and plum & apple puddings.
  • Try adding a boozy hit to your cake by soaking your apple slices in rum or brandy.
  • If you like, add a couple of tablespoons of cocoa powder or chocolate chips to your mixture.

For a classic accompaniment, make Gordon Ramsay's luscious caramel sauce or, if you have an abundant amount of apples, find inspiration on how to use them up in our collection of the best apple desserts, cooking apple recipes and baked apple recipes.

Traybakes

Dorset apple traybake

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Simple to make and easily divided into neat slices, this classic apple traybake is perfect for a coffee morning or to serve at any casual gathering. A couple of Bramley apples are the secret ingredient. Expect this fluffy and moist delight to disappear as soon as it's out of the oven. Also try our caramelised apples with cider.

Caramelised apple cake with streusel topping

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Soft cake with a crunchy streusel topping is so moreish and makes this caramelised apple cake a teatime winner. What also makes it addictive is the extra layer of caramel sweetness achieved by browning the apples in light brown sugar before baking. The streusel topping has toasted hazelnuts, a dash of cinnamon and brown sugar for flavour and texture.

Spiced toffee apple cake

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This one is sugar, spice and everything nice! Our spiced toffee apple cake uses dates for sweetness and squidgy texture plus a toffee drizzle over pretty slices of red apple. A splash of dark rum in the sauce is naughty but nice, but you can leave that out if treating the kids. They'll love this twist on toffee apples – and it's something of a showstopper, perfect for Bonfire Night.

More like this

Polish apple cake

Polish apple cake (Szarlotka)

This traditional Polish apple cake, also known as szarlotka is a delicious mixture between a cake and a traybake. It has a soft lemon apple filling and a crunchy topping made from grating frozen dough on top of the filling. Add whipping cream and cinnamon for the perfect accompaniment to this pie-cake hybrid.

Loaf cakes

Caramel apple loaf cake

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We love a loaf cake, because they're simple and easy to customise. Greek yogurt helps to keep this cake extra moist and the toffee ganache will keep guests coming back for another slice. Sprinkle with chopped walnuts, pecans or hazelnuts for an extra bit of crunch. Serve with custard on the side for a luxurious dessert on cold nights. Also ty out our lemon drop chilli loaf cake recipe.

Apple crumble loaf

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This rustic bake combines two favourites: apple crumble and apple cake. Our crumble loaf is full of raisins and spice, too, with a nutty topping to turn it into something a bit special. Ideal for bake sales, birthdays or a rainy Sunday afternoon.

Round cakes

Apple & blackberry cake

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Everyone loves a fruity sponge with moist, tangy pearls of cooked berries. If you've foraged your own blackberries, make the most of them in this delightful apple & blackberry cake. Eat warm from the oven with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or enjoy a slice with friends at an informal afternoon tea. It's also a comforting end to Sunday dinner.

Apple & walnut cake

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This apple & walnut cake is made from an all-in-one recipe, so you can have it on the table in just over an hour if you need something quick but impressive for an impromptu visit. The rich treacle icing is the final flourish, but if you prefer something a little lighter, try using golden syrup instead. Fruit and nut is a classic combination, and you'll keep coming back to this one.

Toffee apple cake

cake with piped cream in the middle and caramelised apple and caramel whisps

Looking for a challenge? This toffee apple cake marries classic autumnal flavours including ginger, apple and cinnamon into a showstopping bake. The miniature toffee apples are a fleeting but gorgeous decoration which mirrors the flavours of the bake. For a more rustic decoration, top with sprigs of rosemary and bay leaves.

Dorset apple cake

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Bake-off alum and all-round star baker Edd Kimber shares his Dorset Apple cake – with a rustic finish this cake combines tart Granny Smith apples and sweet sultanas with cinnamon and a crunchy demerara sugar top for a little bit of crunchy texture. Serve with some custard and enjoy.

Try these classic cake collections...

Fruity cakes collection
Our best autumnal cake recipes

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Which is your favourite autumnal cake recipe? Let us know in the comments below...

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