If you’re looking for an easy-mix cake, then this would be it if you use eggs (see the recipe notes). Because we don’t put egg in our cakes, an otherwise easy-mix cake becomes a bit fiddlier, but all the more delicious for the effort. Pureed apple, used instead of egg, also cuts down on the amount of refined sugar needed in the cake mix.
The main trick is in the cooking: it’s all too easy to think it’s baked, only to find out the inside isn’t as cakey as it should be. You don’t find out until you cut it, of course, and by then it’s on the plate. You can fix any problems here if you microwave the cake on high for about 5 minutes. Just don’t tell anyone, and they’ll never know!
A sprinkle of sugar and spices across the top give a tasty, crusty substitute for icing. It’s always been well received, and no one has ever thought they were missing out.
Our easy-mix apple cake (egg-free)
- 2 cups of self-raising flour
- ½ cup of sugar
- pinch of salt
- ⅓ cup of oil (replaces 4 ounces of butter)
- 1 large apple or 2 small ones (older, floury apples are ideal)
- ½ cup of milk (dairy, oat or soy milk)
- vanilla essence
- cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamon
- Prepare the apple. Peel and core the apple. Finely chop enough of it to make about a cup of chopped apple. It’s about half of a very large apple or a whole small one. Take the rest of the apple and puree it. The easiest way to do this is to dice it, then cook it in a little water until you can mash it into a fine pulp. You want 4 tablespoons of apple puree. You can use water to make up the amount if you need to.
- Mix the flour, sugar, milk, vanilla essence, oil and salt together in a large bowl.
- Fold in the diced apple, then add half of the apple puree. As you stir in the puree, you should notice the mixture becomes quite light in texture (the apple puree seems to ‘fluff’ it up). If the cake still needs more moisture, fold in as much of the remaining puree as you need (it will depend on just how runny your puree is).
- Pour the mix into a 20 centimetre cake tin and sprinkle liberally with the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamon. You almost can’t have too much sugar, within reason, because this mix takes the place of icing.
- Bake it for 30-40 minutes at 180 degrees C (350 F). This cake needs to be cooked longer than you think because of the apple puree. Test the cake for ‘doneness’ using a skewer, then bake it for an extra 10 minutes or so to make sure it’s cooked all the way through. We’ve never had it burn when we do this, but we do watch it carefully in that last phase.
- When it’s finally cooked, let it cool in the tin before transferring to a plate for serving.
This recipe is fiddly because of how we’ve gone about making it egg free. If you want to make life easier, and you don’t mind using egg,just follow the recipe for our easy-mix apple cake.
Source: Heavily modified from the ‘easy mix cake’ in the Australian Family Circle’s Favourite Cake Recipes, Murdoch Books: Sydney, 1991.