• My mother's Polish apple cake (The Lion and Buffalo)Source: The Lion and Buffalo

The beauty of this homemade apple cake (besides the treasure of homemade goodness) is that it’s not only soft and light in texture but it’s not overly sweet, which lets the apples and spices do all the talking. There’s your cake for breakfast validation, in case you needed it.






Skill level

Average: 4 (316 votes)

It comes as no surprise that this homemade apple cake is the most popular item at Sydney's The Lion and Buffalo cafe. 

“My mother and I would bake cakes and talk food. It was a time when women would be at home, swap recipes with each other and share their baking secrets – I absolutely loved that time. I began simply peeling and chopping apples from our garden and you have to start somewhere and this was it for me. For a young girl, it was heaven – the smell of spices, the smell of cinnamon filled our kitchen and it reminds me of my childhood and my mother.”


Spiced apples

  • 1.7 kg green apples, peeled and cut into 2cm cubes
  • 6 tsp cinnamon powder

Cake and crumble

  • 3 cups plain flour
  • 250 g unsalted butter, chopped
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 cup desiccated coconut
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1-2 tbsp of full cream milk (optional if the base is too dry)


  • 5 egg whites
  • ½ cup caster sugar

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.


You will need 1 x 30 cm rectangular tray or 2 x 24 cm round cake tins.

1. Preheat oven to 180°C (160° fan-forced). Line your tin or tray with baking paper.

2. In a medium saucepan, stew the chopped apples with cinnamon on low heat until soft - this should take approx. 15-20mins. Set aside to cool.

3. In a bowl, combine flour, butter, baking powder and vanilla essence together with your fingertips. Set aside ⅓ of this cake base mixture and add 1 cup of desiccated coconut to create the coconut crumble.

4. With the remaining ⅔ of the cake base, add in your egg yolks. If the consistency is too dry add 1-2 tablespoons of milk here. Divide among two cake tins or one rectangular tray. Do not leave gaps.

5. Place the cooled cinnamon apples on top of the cake base.

6. To make the meringue, beat egg whites to soft peaks. Slowly add the caster sugar and beat for about 5 minutes or until stiff peaks form. Evenly spoon the meringue on top of the cinnamon apples and then scatter the coconut crumble topping over the top.

7. Place in the oven and bake for 50-60 mins or until cooked in the centre. Set aside to cool.

8. Dust with icing sugar or simply serve with cream or ice cream, if you wish.


This recipe and image are from The Lion and Buffalo.