Toffee apple cake: an easy recipe for spiced toffee apple cake

This sticky toffee apple cake makes the most of of the harvest season's finest. Serve with a hot drink or eat warm as a dessert – you won't be disappointed

spiced toffee apple cake recipe
(Image credit: National Trust)

This toffee apple cake is the perfect recipe as the weather starts to turn – combining freshly harvested autumn apples, with a wonderfully naughty sticky toffee sauce. Velvety rich thanks to the addition of cream, butter and eggs, this toffee apple cake is so good you might not want to share it with anyone else! However, we think it would be perfect post-walk treat paired with a cup of tea and shared with family. Or, if you can't wait for it to cool down, serve with cream, ice cream or custard for a hearty pud.

Read the full recipe below. Then if you want more, we've got plenty more food ideas and recipe inspiration on our hub. 

  • Specials thanks to the National Trust for sharing this spiced apple cake recipe with us. See their recipe pages for more inspiration.

Spiced toffee apple cake

(Image credit: National Trust)

Prep: 30 Minutes

Cooking: 1 hour

Serves 12 (or one, 12 times...)


  • 200g pitted dates
  • 200ml milk
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 2 Bramley apples
  • 250g butter or margarine
  • 280g self-raising flour
  • 200g light soft brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 5 medium free-range eggs
  • 10g ground mixed spice
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 10g icing sugar

Toffee sauce

  • 50g light soft brown sugar
  • 50g butter
  • 2 tbsp double cream


1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan, 350°F, gas mark 4). Grease and line a 23cm (9”) spring form tin. 

2. Put the dates into a saucepan with the milk, place on a medium heat and bring to the boil. Immediately reduce to a simmer and cook for 2–3 minutes until the dates are soft, then remove from the heat. 

3. Use a blender or processor to blend the dates and milk until smooth, then set aside. 

4. Juice half a lemon, then put the juice in a bowl. Peel and quarter the apples, remove the core, then finely slice. Put the apple slices in the bowl with the lemon juice and toss to coat. 

5. Place the butter or margarine, flour, brown sugar, baking powder, eggs, mixed spice and vanilla extract into a bowl. 

6. Add the pureed date mixture, and then beat until light and fluffy. 

7. Pour the mixture into your cake tin. Arrange the apple slices on top, neatly overlapping. 

8. Put the cake in the oven and cook for 60–70 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. 

9. Remove and set aside to cool. 

10. Dust the cooled cake with icing sugar. 

11. Place the toffee sauce ingredients in a pan over a medium heat. Once melted, increase the heat and boil for around a minute, until the sauce thickens slightly. 

12. Drizzle the sauce over the spiced apple cake, allowing some to run down the sides. 

13. Leave until cool and then cut the apple cake into portions. 

Serving suggestions:

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This cake is perfect on its own – or with a cup of tea of course – but if you are serving for an occasion try some of the ideas below.

  • Serve with whipped cream. If you are feeling fancy get two spoons to make a quenelle (a smooth oval shaped dollop) of cream then dust with cinnamon
  •  Smother with hot custard for a warming dessert
  • Swap cream for half fat crème fraîche for a lighter and fresher taste
  • Use the mix to make muffins instead. Perfect for packing in lunches or a tin to take on your winter walks

Hungry for more? Try these other cake recipes...