Dorset Apple Cake with Spiced Apple Compote

October is a time to celebrate the English apple season. This year sees a bumper crop down to the warm ripening sunshine of our summer. We are fortunate in the UK to have an abundance of delicious variety’s with so many culinary uses. This month I have chosen a cake close to my own heart, my late mother always had a good store of this wonderful cake and myself and two brothers adored it, traditionally served warm with a healthy dollop of Dorset clotted cream. You will often see it as a tearoom staple in the West Country.

We serve a refined version at the restaurant using apples from our friend’s orchard in nearby Sarratt, we use the dual-purpose Lord Lambourne apple and serve it with a purée of Tom Putt apples, but you can experiment with different varieties just ensure you make use of the best English apples you can find.

Of course, warming custard or vanilla ice cream sit beautifully with this cake and nothing is better than curling up on the couch after a long lazy Sunday lunch with a bowl of this classic, enjoy.

Dorset Apple Cake with Spiced Apple Compote

Ingredients for the Dorset Apple Cake

  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 120 gm of light brown sugar
  • 120 gm butter
  • 1 large egg beaten
  • 6-8 tbsp milk
  • 100 gm sultanas
  • 225 gm of Lord Lambourne or Bramley apple peeled cored and diced
  • 1 apple peeled and medium sliced for the decoration
  • 1 tbsp demerara sugar

Ingredients for the Apple Compote

  • 750 gm of Bramley apples or Tom Putt peeled, cored, and cubed
  • 150 ml apple juice
  • 50 gm golden caster sugar
  • 1⁄2 cinnamon stick
  • 1⁄2 vanilla pod, seeds scraped out


Apple Compote
Place the cubed apples into a pan with the apple juice, add the sugar, cinnamon stick, vanilla pod and seeds and cook gently for 10 – 15 mins until soft but still with chunks for texture. Leave to cool and then remove the cinnamon stick and vanilla pod.

Apple Cake

    1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F
    2. Grease a 18cm (7inch) square cake tin and line with baking parchment.
    3. Sift together the flour and ground cinnamon in a large bowl and add the butter
    4. Using your fingers rub the butter into the flour to form fine breadcrumbs
    5. Stir in the light brown sugar
    6. Beat in the egg and following with the 8 – 6 tablespoons of milk add gradually to form a smooth thick batter
    7. Fold in the apples and sultanas
    8. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and gently level out. Place the sliced apples in lines on top of the cake and sprinkle with the demerara sugar
    9. Place in the middle of the oven for 30 – 40 minutes, until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
    10. Leave to cool for around 15 mins and then remove carefully from the tin and remove the baking parchment.

To serve

Cut into tranches and delicious served warm with a spoonful of the spiced apple compote and crème fraiche or thick clotted cream.