The Comfort of a Cake you Know and Love

Dan Lepard’s Rye and Apple Cake #shortandtweet

Warm, sweetly scented with cinnamon and brown sugar, butter and golden syrup, wholesome with apples and rye flour. It is easily made on a gloomy afternoon when you should be dealing with your tax returns, planning Christmas, all things I would rather not do. Ever.  So much better to avoid and bake a teatime treat instead.

I always bake this one in this narrow high sided Matfer tin and it cooks perfectly in 50 minutes flat.

This time I used soya milk as we had run out of cow’s milk and experimented with lining the tin (the most irritating part of making any cake for me) with Lakeland’s fancy new parchment one side/foil the other side stuff. It’s a clever product that you don’t exactly need but I thought I would try it out. It worked fine!  And I think it would be excellent for wrapping stuff like fudge, or halva or well any of those things. It has the feel of the old Callard and Bowser butterscotch wrappers. You can get nice crisp lines with it and it doesn’t curl up like my usual baking parchment does.

Clever lined foil paper peels neatly off

Not much else to add, this is a lovely cake, too hot to cut at the time of writing, but hey, I have made it about half a dozen times since the recipe was first published in its original form in The Guardian and has been amended since then. It is one of our favourite tea time cakes, not too fancy, no icing, just a nice soft apple cake that is easy to put together and easy to eat. It is one of the many great recipes in Short & Sweet, so get someone to treat you to a copy if you feel the urge for a new baking book this winter.

I freely admit to having a huge bias in favour of cakes that you put together at least in part in a saucepan. No creaming of sugar and butter, no separating eggs, you just have to watch that you don’t overheat the sugar-butter-syrup bit and you will be fine.

I almost didn’t make it and I am late as it should have been ready for Evidence Matters’ round up by last night, but better cake than never!


Edit: If you’re thinking of making this cake have a look at Misk’s solution to the age old and much loathed task of lining a loaf tin with non stick parchment in her latest post → click here

28 thoughts on “The Comfort of a Cake you Know and Love

    1. Joanna Post author

      It’s worth it, I added a bit of extra cinnamon and I had extra apple so I plopped it all in. Lovely with custard for a pudding too :)

  1. Misk Cooks

    I didn’t know that foil-backed paper was available here. You can buy it easily in any corner shop in Denmark but I’ve not seen it here before you mentioned it! I am also lusting after that tall-sided pan of yours. Lovely.

    1. Joanna Post author

      Thanks Misk! The tall sided tin is made by Matfer, you can get them at Nisbets. I have two sizes, a smaller one and a bigger one. I like the high profile much better than the traditional loaf cake pan which is wide and low. Seems to suit rye breads and anything that needs a bit of help to rise for some reason.

  2. Choclette

    Oh definitely better cake than never. I was quite excited to make this, having only used rye in bread before and I was delighted with the result. It made for a really soft crumb that almost melts in the mouth. The flavour is delicious and it was nice and simple to make – Yo Dan!

    1. Joanna Post author

      The current version is slightly different from the original one and I added even more apple and cinnamon. But it is lovely and melty you describe it perfectly :)

  3. Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial

    We love this cake! I remember baking it the first time you put me onto it! All the flavours seem to work brilliantly together – the rye, the apple, the cinnamon – we couldn’t stop eating it. :)

    The foil/parchment looks brilliant, thanks for telling us about it…


    1. Joanna Post author

      I think if anything the latest tweaks have improved it Celia. I was very tempted to throw some stem ginger in it as well but resisted as this was for short and tweet.

      I liked the new lining material, it was easy to cut and crease. I would be interested to see if it works well for a big fruit cake but this was the first time of using it today.

    1. Joanna Post author

      Of course! But I can’t actually taste the rye, I just taste the lovely golden syrup and cinnamon coated apple tastes and the little crunch of the demarara sugar and toasted flaked almonds ;)

  4. heidi

    After a glut of sweet and sugary cookies- this cake looks divinely sensible and heavenly wholesome. I want a piece. No I want a whole cake. I think I’ll have to make it!

  5. Suelle

    I love this cake too, but unlike you, I’m really not happy with the foil backed baking paper! I find any excess at the top of the tin curls inwards from the oven heat and ends up stuck to the top of the cake

    1. Joanna Post author

      Oh dear Suelle :( did you tell them about your problems with it? They usually want to know stuff like that and I am sure they would give you your money back if you didn’t like the product. They have very good customer services. I trimmed mine to fit just inside the tin rather than have it hang outside, so I guess I was lucky with my first experience.

  6. hotlyspiced

    I have not heard of that paper before. It sounds fabulous. I’ll be wanting some of that in my Christmas stocking for sure. And beautiful looking cake by the way – just perfect for all this depressing weather. Where is summer???

    1. Joanna Post author

      It is winter here officially, shortest day in a week or so. Hail just now, no snow yet down South though they have had snow in the North already. I like the paper so far, though see Suelle’s comment above. It sounds as if it wouldn’t work for creating a collar above the height of the tin if it curls in and sticks….

  7. teawithhazel

    i’ve just beached myself on the couch with a cup of tea after a day of exertion and a slice of your gorgeous ‘high rise’ cake would go down a treat..

  8. Franr

    The Rye and Apple cake looks scrumptious. Just received a batch of Priors flour includes a bag of rye, so will try the recipe. Will report back on the results….

    1. Joanna Post author

      Hi Fran ! Nice to hear from you darling.

      Brian just ate the last big chunk last night so it keeps well, apart from the almonds on the top which go soggy after 24 hours; he likes it best with custard :)

  9. C

    I really like this cake too – I was probably first inspired to make it when the thread over on Dan’s old forums with Guardian recipes being discussed showed a surge of interest in this cake. So it’s quite likely down to you and Suelle and various other people there that I made it in the first place.

    I made it with the rye flour this time (normal last time) and it was just as nice – a more nubbly texture. I think this is one instance where I don’t mind subbing some crunchy sugar for the nuts. All in all a great cake, and your version looks superb!

    1. Joanna Post author

      I miss the old threads on that forum, talking back and forth on blogs in comments isn’t quite the same is it? I think you’re right, as it’s not such a sweet cake it can easily ‘take’ some crunchy sugar :)

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