Swedish Apple Cake

I’ve long held a bit of an obsession for all things Scandinavian, Swedish in particular. I recall looking at my family tree in year 7 and finding out I'm something like 1/8 Norwegian, could explain a lot. I’ve never been to Sweden but I’m hoping 2013 is the year we finally go. 

I think it stems from a deep rooted love of Ikea and cinnamon buns. My love for Ikea knows no bounds, but this is not a post about Ikea…I might just be using it an excuse to profess my love for the blue and yellow giant. 

Apparently, Sweden is the 2nd biggest consumer of coffee in the world (after Finland), this fact alone is enough to know I could happily live there and drink coffee all day. Those lovely Swedes also practice the tradition of ‘fika’, which is meeting with friends or family for coffee and cake. That’s my kind of tradition!

Swedish apple cake is so wonderfully easy to make and even easier to eat. It feels incredibly light to eat and looks so beautiful with its uneven top sprinkled in light brown sugar. This is the kind of cake you can get away with eating for breakfast. I couldn’t eat anything like a lemon chiffon for breakfast but I can definitely get on with a slice of apple cake. It would be amazing served warm with vanilla ice cream for dessert as well. All in all, a very versatile cake. The warmth from the cinnamon and the sweetness from the apple slices make this just about one of my favourites.

Naturally I served up this cake with a mug of strong, hot coffee. I was sent these lovely mugs by Joules and they are so cute. I picked out the fox and badger, because although none of the mugs in our cupboard match I do like to have them in pairs (for example, our Iron Man and Captain America mugs who sit proudly side by side in the cupboard). They are my favourite kind of mug because they are sturdy and hold a decent amount of coffee (or tea).

I take my coffee drinking very seriously and hate tiny mugs with no room inside, we have some cute ones that stack up but they only hold half as much liquid in them so I only drink out them if I’ve been particularly poor at washing up and the sink is full of mugs. They are £8.95 and I think they would make a great Christmas present with some marshmallow or homemade truffles inside and wrapped up in cellophane and ribbon.

Swedish Apple Cake
(adapted slightly from Donal Skehan)

110g unsalted butter, soft
150g soft light brown sugar, plus 20g extra for decoration
2 large free range eggs
210g plain flour, sifted
1 tablespoon baking powder
pinch of salt
2 teaspoona ground cinnamon
300g peeled, cored and sliced cooking apple 
  1. Grease and line a 20cm loose bottom tin and set to one side. Pre-heat your oven to 180 C/360 F
  2. In a bowl, beat the butter and sugar together for about 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and beat until incorporated.
  3. Sift in the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon and fold into the wet ingredients. It is a very thick batter but work with it and everything will mix in. Stir in the apple pieces so they are evenly distributed throughout the mix.
  4. Spoon the mixture into your tin, making sure it is even on the top. Sprinkle the extra sugar over the top. Cover the cake with tin foil and bake for 40-45 minutes, removing the foil after 30 minutes.
  5. Leave to cool for 10 minutes in the tin before turning out onto a cooling rack.