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.
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.
Unbirthday Apple Cinnamon Cake
4 medium sized apples
1 tablespoon sugar
(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.
1 teaspoon vanilla extract/essence
½ cup of caster sugar
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
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.