German Apple Cake - ala Rick Stein with a twist

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I recently made this apple cake for 2 reasons, 1, I was feeling sorry for myself and needed a cake fix, and 2, to test shoot a new food photography background. (But mainly because I was in a grump and needed cake.) It is BEAUTIFUL and light AND moist, perfect for this time of year when cosy pjs and comfort food are on your mind constantly after 2pm.
The original Rick Stein recipe is great and no changes necessary BUT I love cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom at the mo so I added a blend of this into the cake mix as well as on top with the demerara.  It worked a treat but then I did wish I'd added another apple too - so if you want to use three apples and put them in standing up/randomly to squeeze them all in it means you won't lose the lovely sweetness of them, which is what this cake should be all about really, the actual seasonal ingredient ;p also the sliced apples in lemon juice are hard to resist so having an extra one means you can have a nibble on some too.
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Rick Stein's recipe with my added ingredients/notes in italics.


  • 3 dessert apples, peeled, cored and sliced into thin wedges 
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice (I used a full lemon actually, tasted good to me!)
  • 125g/4½oz butter, softened, plus extra for greasing 
  • 140g/5oz golden caster sugar
  • 3 free-range eggs, at room temperature, beaten
  • 225g/8oz plain flour
  • 2 level tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 5 tbsp full-fat milk

For the topping


  1. Preheat the oven to 170C/150C Fan/Gas 3. Butter and line a 23cm/9in round cake tin.

  2. Coat the apple wedges in the lemon juice and set aside. 

  3. In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar, using an electric hand mixer, until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs and beat until smooth. Sift in the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt and mix well. Slowly add the milk, mixing well after each addition, until you have a smooth batter.

  4. Transfer the batter to the cake tin. Arrange the apple slices, flat-side down, on the batter in a spiral pattern. 

  5. For the topping, mix together the demerara sugar, cardamom, nutmeg and cinnamon. Sprinkle over the batter.

  6. Bake in the middle of the oven for 40–45 minutes (mine took 47 minutes at 150 in a fan oven) or until a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean and the top is golden-brown. Leave to cool for 15 minutes in the tin. Run a knife around the edges of the cake and turn it out of the tin onto a wire rack. 

  7. Serve warm or at room temperature with whipped cream.

Hope you enjoy! 

Shot on our 'Oyster' food photography background

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