A simple & comforting childhood recipe: Mum's apple teacake: with photo of teacake from above on blue background
Cakes & biscuits,  Yum

Mum’s easy apple teacake: a favourite childhood recipe

As I’ve explained before, with the exception of banana cake, my Mum was the baker in the family. While she didn’t bake that often, one of my favourite recipes was her apple teacake.

I don’t know whether I liked it more because of the taste of the apple teacake or because it was one of the recipes that we often made together. It is a very simple recipe which is easy to make with children (but please let the adult peel, core and cut the apples).

Mum's apple teacake, on a white cake stand

I had other plans for this recipe. Those of you who receive our monthly email will know that I made one of Mum’s apple teacakes in January for a little comfort after we got back from Australia. It was my first cake flop in about a decade. Simply, I could not give it enough time in the oven because I needed to get to a meeting. I had it scheduled to go out in a few weeks time, but decided that with all the madness and toilet paper hoarding going on at the moment, Miss M and I needed a little comfort this morning.

Mum’s apple teacake recipe

The recipe was originally found in the Australian Women’s Weekly International Cookbook from 1970. I think my parents were given it as a wedding present. Our copy is falling apart.

This is also the first time that I have made the recipe since Mum died. Actually, I think it might be the first time I have made it in a very long time. Peter does not like baked apple or cinnamon much, so there has not been any point baking it for him.

In fact, it has been so long since I made this apple teacake that I could not find my copy of the recipe. I had to get my Dad to take a photo of it and send it to me (which he happily did, of course).

Piece of Mum's apple teacake on a white plate with a dollop of double cream, with a pale blue cloth serviette and cake fork

The tweaks

I’ve had to tweak the recipe a little. We don’t have self-raising flour in Germany, so I have to adjust the flour accordingly. I don’t always get the flour-baking powder proportions right, but this time I did.

I use 1 packet of baking powder (equivalent to 2 teaspoons) per cup of plain flour and sift three times to make sure it was well combined. Alternatively, you can place the flour and baking powder in a bowl and whisk to combine well.

Using cocoa, buttermilk or yoghurt?Domestic Goddess” Nigella Lawson recommends that you add 1/4 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) per cup of flour. Also, check the best before date on your baking powder as old baking powder can result in flat cakes.

I also wanted to use a larger baking pan than the recipe intended. It worked well, but it was a little flatter than I remember it – the batter had to go further. I also like generous amounts of apple and used two apples rather than just one.

Unlike many apple teacake recipes, you don’t have to pre-cook the apples. This makes the recipe quicker and easier to make. It also means that the apple retains its shape. Any pretty pattern that you lay with your apple will still be seen afterwards, like tarte tatin.

Mum's apple teacake, fresh from the oven and still in the pan.

Apple teacake cupcakes

One of these days I am going to make apple teacake cupcakes. I have made them once before, but that was very long ago. Probably not even in the last decade.

The question is whether to leave them plain or whether to add frosting. If I do add frosting, what type should I add? I considered adding cinnamon frosting, but I think that would be too much with the cinnamon on the apple. Plain vanilla frosting might be too sweet in this case. I want the apples still to shine. Would they even need frosting at all?

If and when I find an answer to these questions, I promise to share the cupcake version of Mum’s apple teacake recipe, so keep your eyes out for that one!

Mum's apple teacake on white cake stand in front of a window with a pale blue serviette and cake fork and spoon

Try some apple teacake for afternoon tea

Simple, comforting – it is a childhood favourite for a reason! Mum’s apple teacake recipe is perfect if you have any last-minute guests for afternoon tea.

Mum's apple teacake recipe banner, with image of apple teacake on a cake stand with a slice taken.
Mum's apple teacake

Cook Time: 45 minutes

45 minutes


Servings: 8 persons

Mum's apple teacake: picture of a slice of cake on a plate, blue serviette and fork and a cake stand with the rest of the cake on it

Mum’s apple teacake – an easy comfort food


  • 1 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup castor sugar
  • 60g butter at room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 to 2 apples
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • An extra 1/4 cup white sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 170°c (fan-forced).
  2. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl and set aside.
  3. Peel and core the apples. Cut into thin slices.
  4. In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the butter. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg.
  5. Fold in the sifted flour alternately with the milk and mix well until the batter is smooth and even.
  6. Spread the mixture into a well-greased 8-inch cake tin. Arrange the apple slices in a swirl on top and sprinkle with the combined cinnamon and extra sugar.
  7. Bake for approximately 45 minutes.


If you have self-raising flour, use that instead of the flour and baking powder. In any case, make sure that your self-raising flour or baking powder have not passed their best before date.

This cake is best eaten when it is still warm. If you like, serve with whipped cream. Please don’t use whipped can fro a can – it will often be too sweet for the cake.

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Perfect for a relaxed afternoon tea: Mum's apple teacake: image of an apple teacake on a white cake stand and blue background

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