Unbirthday Apple Cinnamon Cake

I’ve made this cake and variants thereof, many many times. The base is a classic butter cake, and the recipe is from the Australian Women’s Weekly Birthday Cake Book – the original one, from my childhood in the 80s.

The book

So many birthday parties had cakes from this book, and I spent hours in the months prior to my birthday every year studying the cakes in an attempt to make a selection.

The wood cabin is kind of boring, but wouldn’t I love the opportunity to eat that much Flake chocolate? Yes, yes I would (I never got the wood cabin).

I really like horses – do I want the rocking horse cake? But potato chips on a cake are kind of weird (I did get the rocking horse cake, but with licorice instead of chips).

It was a tough call between ‘something I like the look of’ and ‘something with lots of lollies I want to eat on it’ and perhaps the most important determinant of ‘something my mother is willing to make’.

At any rate, this cake still reminds me of birthday parties, and I’ve always used the recipe to make birthday cakes for my own kids. The new WW Birthday Cake Book has an updated recipe, and it may well be improved – it has slightly more sugar and milk – but I still just like the old one better.

I’m not making a birthday cake though, this basic butter cake is very versatile and I’m making an apple cinnamon cake. I love apple cake, and you can use tinned apples for this (quick and easy), or you can use fresh apple slices, but I find it tastes best if you poach the apples before you make the cake.
Apple cake

Unbirthday Apple Cinnamon Cake

4 medium sized apples
1 tablespoon sugar
ground cinnamon

(or a 400g tin of apple slices)

Poaching the apples is easy, just core and peel and cut into slices. Pop them in a saucepan with a little bit of water, enough to nearly cover them, and a tablespoon of sugar and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Bring to the boil and simmer until soft.
Then pop them in a colander to drain and cool.

125g butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract/essence
½ cup of caster sugar
2 eggs
1 ½ cups of self raising flour
⅓ cup of milk.

Beat the sugar with the vanilla until light and fluffy. Add the sugar and keep beating.
Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each.
Add the flour and milk, half at a time, beating all the while, until the mixture is smooth.

1 tablespoon Caster sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons melted butter

Mix the caster sugar and cinnamon together. Melt the butter.

Assembling the cake

Making a cake

Preheat the oven to 180˚c.
Now put about half the mix in the bottom of a greased and lined 20 or 23cm round cake pan.
Place half the apples on the mix. You can sprinkle with extra cinnamon if you like.
Add the rest of the cake mix on top and gently smooth it out.
Place the rest of the apples around the outside of the cake (or just any way you choose really).
Place it in the oven and bake for 45 minutes or until cake is cooked through.

When it’s ready, take it out of the oven, have your melted butter and cinnamon sugar for the topping ready. Quickly baste it with the butter and sprinkle the cinnamon sugar on top. Do this as quickly as possible, the butter will soak into the cake and you want the cinnamon sugar to stick to the wet butter on the cake.

Wait for it it cool and serve with a cup of tea.
Apple cake slice



Coconut Berry Cake

Way back in 2013, I found this recipe for a Coconut Berry Cake at MamaGwenM. It looked pretty amazing, so I thought I’d make one myself.



I can happily report that appearances were not at all deceiving and this cake tasted as good as it looked. Also if you call it a “Cake aux Fruit Rouges et Lait de Coco” like Mama Gwen does, it sounds super fancy. Oh la la!


I only had 400ml cans of coconut milk in the cupboard and the recipe requires 200ml so rather than let it go to waste I ended up making two cakes, which wasn’t a problem at all. We did not suffer from an over-supply of delicious cake – one went on a picnic and the other happened to just come out of the oven as a friend popped over.


It was very simple and easy to put together, the coconut milk made it quite a soft sort of cake, very moist. I’ll definitely make again and thank you Mama Gwen for sharing the recipe and your Sunday Cake tradition!


Lemon Drizzle Cake

There is something about a lemon cake that is just lovely in warm weather.

Sweet but tart and slightly sticky. Delicious.

Lemon Cake
Normally I just add lemon rind and some lemon icing to my standard butter cake mix, but I thought I’d hunt around for something a bit special and I found a recipe at Bake and the City

Perfect every time? Syrup as well as icing? Sign me up!

It was pretty good. Moist from the syrup and despite both syrup and icing, not too sweet. I have to agree it’s the perfect lemon drizzle cake. 

Jam Drops

There is not much that is nicer than jam drops with a cup of tea. There is something so very lovely about homemade biscuits and jam drops are particularly homely and comforting.

Jam Drops

I adapted the recipe for  Donna Hay’s Jam Drops from Modern Classics Book 2

  • 180g butter
  • 1 cup of caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 cups of plain flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
  • jam (lots of jam) I used raspberry but any kind you like.
Begin by preheating the oven to 180˚. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter with the vanilla. Add the sugar and beat well. Add the egg and beat well. Sift in the flour and baking powder and mix to form the dough.

Roll two teaspoons of mixture into a ball, and place well spaced on baking trays. Flatten the dough balls, and press your thumb into the centre to form an indentation. Fill the hole with jam.

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden. Add a little extra jam while they are still warm. Place on wire racks to cool.

The secret to lovely jam drops is to add extra jam after they are baked and not too much before. Baking jam makes it a little chewy and can leave the drops looking a bit shite, but add a small dollop of jam straight after they come out of the oven and they end up jammy and delicious.

Jam Drop Bite

Of course a sprinkling of icing sugar is always nice.

Jam Drop Cup of Tea
Add a cup of tea and a good book  🙂