Apple, Rum & Lemon Cake

Juicy chunks of apple in a soft golden sponge with a hint of rum and spice and lemon. There’s nothing cutting edge about this other than the serving of it. It’s just all good. Not a rum fan? Leave it out…


  1. Get the butter and eggs to room temperature before you start. Grease and line the base and sides of a deep square loose-based cake tin 20 x 20cm. Pre-heat the oven to 180C/gas 4.
  2. Peel, core and dice the apple into 5mm chunks. Tip them into a bowl. Dice the dates and add those. Sprinkle with the 4 teaspoons rum, 1 teaspoon lemon juice and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Turn the mix to coat it evenly. Set aside to allow the flavours to infuse for at least 5 minutes.
  3. Sift the flour, baking powder and 1 teaspoon cinnamon onto a large plate.
  4. Tip the soft butter into a mixing bowl. Cream it round using a wooden spoon to break it up and soften it further. Add the sugar. Cream the two together using a powerful wrist action for 3 minutes until the base mix is white (cream in the case of brown sugar) and very white. You can also use an electric or free standing mixer if you have one.
  5. Crack the eggs into a cup or small bowl. Beat them well using a fork.
  6. Here’s the tipping point with a sponge mix. The aim is to add the egg a little at a time, whilst beating constantly with your spoon or mixer, until you have a smooth mix. If it starts to curdle, add a teaspoon of the flour mix immediately and beat it furiously. It will taste fine but won’t be quite as light.
  7. Tip the flour onto the creamed mix. Use your largest metal spoon to fold it in
  8. using as few light, scooping figure of eight movements as possible.
  9. Gently fold in the apple, grated lemon rind and juice, vanilla extract, and as much milk or rum needed until the mix is just soft enough to drop easily off the end of your spoon. Have a quick taste. Add a bit more lemon if it needs it.
  10. Spoon the mix lightly and evenly into the tin without pressing it down.


  1. Bake for 35- 40 minutes or until a cocktail stick/thin skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Try not to open the door to check too early. And open and close it gently to avoid the cake sinking. But if it browns up too soon, slip a piece of greaseproof paper over it. Remove when done. Sit the cake on a rack to cool. After 15 minutes push up through the loose base to remove it. Peel the lining paper off carefully, particularly at the corners as the apple will be sticky. Leave to cool completely or eat now.


  1. Sift a little icing sugar over the cake just before you serve it. Cut it into pieces at the table.
  2. If eating warm, serve with ice-cream or clotted cream or double cream whipped with a little icing sugar and rum and cinnamon or a dollop of thick Greek yoghurt. This cake is best on the day it’s cooked. But it’s still good the next day -maybe for breakfast or in a pack-up.

Useful Cooking Information


Metric Imperial
10 g½ oz
20 g¾ oz
25 g1 oz
50 g2 oz
75 g3 oz
110 g4 oz
150 g5 oz
175 g6 oz
200 g7 oz
225 g8 oz
250 g9 oz
275 g10 oz
350 g12 oz
450 g1 lb
500 g (½ kg)18 oz
700 g1½ lb
900 g2 lb
1 kg2¼ lb
1.3 kg3 lb
1.8 kg4 lb
2.2 kg5 lb


Metric Imperial
50 ml2 fl oz
75 ml3 fl oz
100 ml3½ fl oz
125 ml4 fl oz
150 ml5 fl oz¼ pint
200 ml7 fl oz
250 ml9 fl oz
300 ml10 fl oz½ pint
425 ml15 fl oz¾ pint
600 ml20 fl oz1 pint
800 ml1½ pint
1 l1¾ pints
1.2 l2 pints
1.5 l2½ pints
1.8 l3 pints
2 l3½ pints


Metric Imperial
5 mm¼ inch
1 cm½ inch
2 cm¾ inch
2.5 cm1 inch
3 cm1¼ inches
4 cm1½ inches
5 cm2 inches
10 cm3 inches
15 cm4 inches
20.5 cm6 inches
23 cm9 inches
25 cm10 inches
30 cm12 inches

Spoon measures - mean level measures unless the recipe says 'heaped'

Eggs - are always large for baking, unless recipe says otherwise

Oven Temperatures

Gas °F °C
Mark 1275140

Fan assisted ovens - remember to reduce temperatures by 20°C

Most Useful US/European Conversions

ButterUS 1 cup / 2 sticks8 oz220 g
SugarUS 1 cup6 oz175 g
FlourUS 1 cup4 oz110 g
LiquidUS 1 cup8 fl oz225 ml
Prepped OnionsUS 1 cup4 oz110 g
Cheese, GratedUS 1 cup4 oz110 g
Diced FruitUS 1 cup5 oz150 g
Fresh BreadcrumbsUS 1 cup2 oz55 g

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