Do you ever want to bake something delicious but not covered in icing or chocolate, but still make it look interesting? I know that I do. And this cake was definitely a winner in my house. This sponge cake has a beautiful, light texture with a slight lemon taste which compliments the sweet apples nicely.
Lemon and Apple Sponge Cake
- 25g butter
- 3 medium apples
- 125g butter, softened
- 125g white sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
- Zest of 1 lemon, finely grated
- 3 eggs
- 2 cups plain flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 Tablespoons milk
- 3 Tablespoons apricot jam
- 1 Tablespoon water
- Preheat your fan bake oven to 160C (325F) and grease a cake tin (23 – 26cm diameter).
- Melt 25g of butter slowly in a small saucepan. While the butter is melting, peel, quarter and core the apples for the top of the cake.
- Using a small knife, cut some long lines into the apple to create some decoration on the apple (or you can skip this decorative step if you wish! and slice the apple into thin, lengthways slices instead to decorate the top.)
- Once the apples are prepared, in a medium sized bowl, beat the butter with a whisk or hand beater until soft and fluffy.
- Then slowly add the sugar and cream the sugar and butter well so that the sugar is incorporated well into the butter.
- Then add the vanilla extract and lemon zest and beat well until all smooth.
- Whisk in one egg at a time, whisking really well before adding in the next egg. Whisking the eggs in really well not only helps to add more air to the sponge, but it also will help prevent the batter from separating.
- In a separate bowl, combine the flour and baking powder.
- Then slowly add this into the butter and egg mixture, whisking really well between each addition, adding the milk slowly as you need to. I added about a quarter of the flour mixture, then a quarter of the milk and so on until it was all incorporated.
- Once the batter is smooth, transfer this to the prepared cake tin, and gently smooth out the top of the cake. Then start arranging the apple on top and place in the oven once the top of the cake is covered in apple.
- Bake for around 40 minutes, depending on your oven. Around the 35 minute mark, have a peek to see how it is going, and remove if necessary.
- While the cake is baking, place the apricot jam in a small saucepan with the water, and heat until the jam starts to boil. You will need to stir this constantly so that it doesn’t burn and stick to the bottom of the pan.
- Remove the cake from the oven when it is cooked inside, and then immediately pour the hot jam over the cake. I used a pastry brush to help spread out the jam over the cake. This adds a beautiful glossy finish to the cake, and adds a beautiful, subtle apricot flavor.
- After about 10 minutes, transfer the cake to a cake rack so that it can finish cooling.
- Serve a generous slice with natural yoghurt for a delicious, home baked treat!
Let me know what you think of the recipe and if you have any variations or tips at all!