Devonshire Apple Dappy Cake

September 23, 2009
1 Ratings
  • Serves 16 to 20
Author Notes

When you think of apple cake, think of this: sticky, sweet chunks of moist apple nestling among rum-soaked sultanas and orange-scented zest; toffee-oozing juices bringing succulent memories of Fall harvests and spiced autumnal festivals. This recipe has been in my old, handwritten notes for as long as I can remember. It originates from a time of wassailing, when traditional rituals were held in honour of the apple trees to insure a good crop in the coming summer months. —amerrierworld

What You'll Need
  • 3 ounces seedless sultanas
  • 100 milliliters dark rum
  • 2 ounces unsalted butter
  • 5 ounces castor sugar
  • 2 ounces light muscovado sugar
  • 7 ounces peeled, cored and diced apple (1 medium Bramley apple)
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 ounces eggs, weighed without shells (3 medium eggs)
  • 5 ounces plain (all purpose) flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  1. Put the sultanas in a small bowl and cover with the rum. Leave to soak for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C / 350 degrees F / gas mark 4 with a rack set in the centre of the oven.
  3. Grease and base-line a 20 cm (8 inch) round cake pan.
  4. Melt the butter and sugars together in a small saucepan (or in the microwave, stirring frequently) until smooth and runny.
  5. Place the melted butter and sugars together with the apple, grated orange zest and vanilla in a large bowl. Beat to combine.
  6. Add the eggs gradually, beating after each addition to incorporate. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  7. Place the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a separate bowl and whisk to combine thoroughly. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until well incorporated.
  8. Drain the sultanas well and reserve the rum (set aside). Add the sultanas to the apple mixture and stir to combine.
  9. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Bake in the centre of the preheated oven for 45 to 50 minutes. A tester inserted into the centre of the cake should have few crumbs attached when removed (it is a moist cake, so the tester will not be completely clean). Remove from the oven.
  10. Let the cake stand in the pan for 10 minutes before removing from the pan and placing on a wire rack.
  11. Brush the top of the cake with a small amount of the reserved rum. Cool on the wire rack before slicing and serving.
Contest Entries

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Dianemwj
  • louisethebaker
  • Jaja

3 Reviews

Dianemwj July 12, 2012
I'm a little confused about the servings shown on the recipe. This is a very small cake and I can't see how it could serve 16-to-20. I had to use an 8-inch square cake pan as my 8-inch round pan was a bit too small and I still I only got 9 servings out of it. The cake was very good, my husband and I loved it, but the number of servings is way off.
louisethebaker September 24, 2009
What a lovely idea to soak the sultanas in rum.
Jaja December 25, 2021
People have been soaking fruit in liquors for centuries.