Apple and rye cake with cider syrup

"If apple pie is quintessentially American, then apple cake is just as Swedish. This one is made with a little rye flour and has warming spice notes, while the cider syrup makes it sticky, sweet and moist." Ravinder Bhogal

  • Preparation time: 25 minutes
  • Cooking time: 70 minutes
  • Total time: 1 hour 35 minutes 60 minutes 35 minutes

Serves: 8


200ml sunflower oil, plus extra for greasing
100g rye flour
100g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 orange, zest
1 tsp ground cinnamon
8 cardamom pods, shelled and seeds ground
200g light brown soft sugar
3 large eggs
3 large cox apples, peeled, cored and sliced into half moons
200ml crème fraîche
1 x ½ vanilla pod, seeds scraped out

Cider syrup

350ml dry cider
150ml golden syrup
50g unsalted butter


1. Preheat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4. Grease a 20cm springform tin with oil; line the base with baking parchment. In a bowl, mix the fl ours, baking powder, orange zest, spices and a pinch of salt.

2. In another bowl, whisk together the oil and sugar, then beat in the eggs one by one. Stir in two-thirds of the apples, then gently fold in the fl our mixture. Pour into the tin; arrange the rest of the apples on top, pushing them down a little.

3. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 55-60 minutes; cover the tin with foil if the cake looks like it’s browning too much. Check it’s ready by inserting a skewer into the centre - it should come out clean.

4. Twenty minutes before the cake is done, make the syrup. Put all the ingredients in a pan and bring to the boil, whisking. Boil for 15 minutes until syrupy. Drizzle 6 tbsp syrup over the cake when it comes out of the oven, brushing it onto the apples to glaze. Transfer the cake to a wire rack to cool. Return the remaining syrup to the heat; bubble for 10 minutes to thicken.

5. To serve, mix together the crème fraîche and vanilla seeds. Gently reheat the syrup; add a little boiling water if it looks too thick. Serve the cake with the warm syrup and vanilla crème fraîche.