This cake is completely uncomplicated and you’ll please everyone in the room by allowing the simplest ingredients to play hero.






Skill level

Average: 3.4 (38 votes)

I bake with Granny Smith apples as they hold their shape incredibly well.


  • 200 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 175 g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 225 g self-raising flour, sifted
  • 125 ml full-cream milk
  • 3 small Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and halved
  • Demerara sugar, for sprinkling

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


1. Preheat the oven to 160°C. Grease and line the base of a 22 cm springform tin with baking paper.

2. Beat the butter, caster sugar and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, making sure to beat well after each addition. Add the flour and milk and beat to combine. Pour the batter into the prepared tin.

3. Cut thin, deep slits into the top of each apple half. Arrange the apples flat-side down, and gently push them into the batter. Sprinkle the demerara sugar over the apples.

4. Bake for 1 hour, or until golden and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for 15 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days.


Recipe and image from Just Desserts by Charlotte Ree, Published by Plum, RRP $29.99. Photography by Luisa Brimble, Styling by Lee Blaylock.