This cake will change your life.

I know what you’re saying … “Change my life???!!!  Yeah, cake can be good, but come on … ”

No.  I’m serious.  This cake will make you LONG for autumn and the fresh apple harvest.  It will make you turn away from apple pie and question what you ever saw in it in the first place.  It will make you reexamine your long-held food beliefs – specifically, the one that says “if it has apples in it, it MUST contain copious amounts of cinnamon.”

This cake is dense and moist, yet really light.  It is also a nice mixture of textures with a soft crumb, the slight resistance of the fruit and a crunchy top from the demerera sugar.  All-in-all, the perfect blend of taste and texture!

Why is it Surrey Apple Cake?  Well, it’s a twist on a Dorset Apple Cake, using blackberries that I purloined from my mother-in-law’s garden and she happens to live in … wait for it … SURREY!  So, there you go.  It was either that or call it Kingston Apple Cake after the rum in it, but when you think if Kingston, Jamaica, apples aren’t exactly the first fruit that comes to mind.

Surrey Apple Cake

  • 8 oz unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • Zest of a lemon
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 Tbsp rum
  • 1 1/2 cup self-rising flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup ground almonds
  • pinch salt
  • 1 lb apples, peeled cored and cut into 1/2″ dice
  • 1 cup frozen blackberries
  • 3-5 Tbsp demerera sugar

Preheat oven to 350F and prepare a 9″ cake pan by buttering it and lining with parchment paper.  Then, prepare the apples, putting the diced apples in a large bowl of cold water that’s had the juice of a lemon squeezed in so that they don’t brown while you make the batter.

In the bowl of a mixer, beat the butter, sugar and zest until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs one at a time, being sure to scrape down the sides to get it all nice and smooth.  Add the rum and mix lightly, then remove the bowl from the standing mixer.  Add the dry ingredients and give a couple of stirs before the fruit and adding it to the batter, gently folding until everything is well combined.

Pour into the prepared cake pan, smooth across the top and sprinkle over the demerera sugar so that it is evenly distributed on the top, then bake for 50 minutes to an hour, until a tester comes out clean.  Let it cool in the pan for at least 30 minutes, then invert (twice) onto a plate so that the top of the cake remains on top when you dish it up.  If you serve it still warm, then it’s totally yummy with ice cream.  If you serve it at room temperature, then try it with warm crème anglaise.