I love the quirky English desserts and cakes tradition, each county having its own speciality which is defended to the hilt. A quick wander around the map offers me such delights as The Bedfordshire Clanger, Lardy Cake and Sally Lunn’s Bath Buns. I quite fancy nibbling a slice of Bakewell Pudding in the Peak District, dipping into Snowdon Pudding halfway up that mountain and how could I resist a Singing Hinnie in Northumberland?!

We have been holidaying in the UK every year since the children were born either afloat on our boat or in a self catering cottage. The beauty of holidaying in our green and pleasant land is discovering all these regional delights and, if you’re like me, gathering ingredients and having a go at making them! I’ve been spending a lot of time in Dorset recently, we live right on the border, our boat is now moored down in Poole and it’s a beautiful, beautiful county of rolling countryside and Jurassic coastline. It is, of course, also home to the Dorset Apple Cake! If you’re looking for somewhere to holiday this year I think this is reason enough alone to visit Dorset!

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Dorset Apple Cake served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Dorset Apple Cake is super simple to make and tastes divine, I love the combination of tart Bramley apples, sweet sultanas and warm cinnamon, it’s a perfect cake – only made better when it is served warm from the oven with some really good vanilla ice cream.

Dorset Apple Cake on a earthenware plate.

The recipe says Demerara sugar is ‘optional’ but it’s not really is it?! A Dorset apple cake without that crispy, sugary topping wouldn’t be quite the same!

Dorset Apple Cake with a slice removed.

Why not pin this post to save for later? I think once you start imagining the taste of apples, sultanas and cinnamon in a cake warm from the oven it is only a matter of time before you will need to make it!

If you make my recipe I’d love to hear how it turns out for you. Please leave a comment and a star rating below and share your pictures with me on social media. Tag me @thinlyspread and include the hashtag #thinlyspread so I can see them!

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Dorset apple cake served on a plate with ice cream

Dorset Apple Cake

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Course: Baked Goods, Cake
Cuisine: English
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 12
Calories: 227kcal


  • 225 g self-raising flour
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 115 g unsalted butter diced and chilled, plus extra for greasing
  • 115 g light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg beaten
  • 6-8 tbsp milk
  • 225 g Bramley or Granny Smith apple peeled, cored and diced
  • 100 g sultanas
  • 2 tbsp demerara sugar optional


  • Heat the oven to 180C/350F. Grease and line a deep 20cm/8 inch cake tin with baking parchment.
  • Mix the flour and cinnamon together in a large bowl. Add the butter and rub into the flour using your fingers, until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the light brown sugar. Beat in the egg followed by 6 - 8 tbsp of milk – you want to achieve a smooth, thick batter.
  • Add the apples and sultanas and mix to combine. Scrape the batter into your prepared tin and gently level out. Sprinkle over the Demerara sugar and bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until golden and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  • Allow to cool in the tin for 15 minutes and then carefully turn out onto a wire rack to cool further. Best served still warm with a little custard or some Dorset vanilla ice cream.


Nutritional information is only an approximate guideline. Calculations will vary according to the ingredients you use and your cooking methods.


Calories: 227kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 35mg | Sodium: 14mg | Potassium: 129mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 282IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 1mg
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Apple Cake made with tart brambly apples, sultanas and cinnamon.

This post is produced in collaboration with cottages.com who have thousands of self catering cottages located throughout the UK – so tell me, where should we head off to for our annual cottage holiday this autumn, and which local baking delights should we be trying?

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