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Two slices of cinnamon sugar apple cake on a plate next to a small bowl of sumac spice.

Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake

Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake is deliciously easy to make with just 10 mins prep time. Add a hot cuppa and call the friends around for a cosy afternoon catchup or warming dessert!
Course Cake
Cuisine English
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6 slices
Calories 460kcal
Cost $5




  • Preheat oven to 170˚C / 340 ˚F. Grease a medium rectangular baking dish with butter and set aside.
  • Add 2/3 of the brown sugar and the butter to a large bowl. Mix for a minute or two until creamy, using a wooden spoon (or an electric mixer if you prefer).
    160 g brown sugar, 125 g butter
  • Add eggs and vanilla essence and mix until well combined.
    2 eggs, 2 tsp vanilla essence
  • Add the self raising flour gradually while blending. Once it has all been incorporated, add the milk and keep mixing until the batter is nice and smooth .
    1 1/2 cups self raising flour, 125 ml milk
  • Pour half the batter into the greased baking dish. Top with half of the diced apple, cinnamon sugar, remaining brown sugar and sumac.
    1 granny smith apple, 160 g brown sugar, 2 tbsp cinnamon sugar, 2 tbsp sumac
  • Pour the remaining cake batter over the top, then sprinkle over the remaining apple, cinnamon sugar, brown sugar and sumac.
  • Bake for around 40-50 minutes, until a skewer pressed into the cake comes out clean and the top is deliciously golden brown.


  • Apple - We love the tart flavour of Granny Smith apples, but any kind of apple will do nicely. Chop them finely for even distribution through the cake. This is the best method so you end up with nice small chunks of apple through the cake and visibly baked on top. You could also finely slice using a mandolin if you prefer, or grate the apple straight into the batter. Grated apple will pretty much melt and disappear, giving you nice apple flavour throughout the cake but no visual effect. It's totally up to you!
  • Sumac - This Middle Eastern spice (pronounced soo-mak) comes from the flowers of a wild berry bush. It gives a deliciously tart citrus flavour that pairs perfectly with apples and cinnamon. If you don't have sumac, you can use a splash of lemon juice or a 1/2 tsp of freshly grated lemon rind.
  • Self Raising Flour - This gives structure and lift to the cake without need for extra baking powder. You can substitute with the same amount of all purpose flour and 1.5 teaspoons of baking powder if you need.
  • Use a Greased Baking Dish - This will help the cake come out clean and help the sides look their best for serving. You can use butter or vegetable oil.
  • To Check It's Done - Press a skewer into the cake - if it comes out clean, it's done!
  • Layers or No Layers - You have two options when it comes to assembling this cake, and it's totally up to you! You could:
    • Pour in all of the batter and just top with the diced apple, cinnamon sugar and sumac, OR
    • Pour in half the batter, add a layer of spiced apple goodness, another layer of batter and the remaining spiced apple on top! This is our favourite method, spreading out more of that sweet spicy apple flavour throughout the cake. Yum!
  • Add Texture - Add a handful of raisins, currants or your favourite chopped nuts (such as walnuts, pecans or hazelnuts) in with the diced apples in the centre layer and/or sprinkled over the top of the cake.
  • Use Jam - Spread a layer of your favourite jam in the centre (we love strawberry or fig & cinnamon) for an extra burst of flavour and sweetness.
  • Use Pumpkin Spice - Swap the cinnamon and sumac for pumpkin spice blend made from 2 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg, 1/2 tsp ground ginger and 1/4 tsp ground cloves.
  • Make it Decadent - Serve with ice cream, whipped cream, custard (or all three!)


Calories: 460kcal | Carbohydrates: 65g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 101mg | Sodium: 190mg | Potassium: 160mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 41g | Vitamin A: 650IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 74mg | Iron: 1mg