I finally baked something again this week! It’d been a month since I last baked anything, and much longer since the last time I tested a new recipe and I was starting to experience withdrawal symptoms. Truth be told, though, it was nice to take a little break from baking and go back to appreciating how much I truly love it, instead of feeling like I “have” to bake something, either for my blog or because I promised someone.
To ease myself back into the whole baking a recipe-making thing, I decided to start with something simple. We had a very cold, snowy week in the Netherlands this week so I was craving something with a ton of spices to go along with it. You know, the kind of baked goodie that makes you feel warm inside. I also love to bake with fruits, so I tossed in some apples. And that’s how I ended up with this spiced apple tray bake. It’s simple, it’s yummy, it’s warm and, above all, it’s delicious.
You’ll need… (for 16 pieces)
- 150 g unsalted butter, softened
- 150 g light brown sugar
- 3 eggs
- 225 g plain flour
- 1½ teaspoon baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 3 teaspoons cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ginger
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon of yogurt or milk
- 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon for batter
- rest of juice for apples
- 200 g apples (= 2 apples or less)
- parchment paper
- baking tin (no bigger than 20 x 24 cm)
- and an oven, of course! This tray bake needs to be baked at 180 °C (don’t forget to preheat your oven!)
So, let’s get baking!
1. Prepare the apples Core the apples and then cut them into fine slices. Place the apple slices in a shallow dish and pour over the lemon juice (leaving 1 tablespoon for the cake batter). Toss the apple slices around a bit so they are all covered in lemon juice. This will keep them from going brown and adds some extra flavour. Put the apples aside – we’ll get back to them later.
2. Mix butter and sugar together Using a stand mixer, a handheld mixer or a good old whisk or wooden spoon, mix together the light brown sugar and the softened butter in a large bowl. It’s important for the butter to be soft (at room temperature), otherwise mixing it will be a chore and a half, and I’m not sure if the consistency will come out right.
3. Add eggs, lemon juice and yogurt/milk Once the butter and sugar are properly mixed together, add the eggs one by one, mixing in between each time. Also add the tablespoon of lemon juice and the tablespoon of yogurt/milk. (I used yogurt, but you can just as easily use milk – it’s just that I had yogurt in my fridge)
4. Add dry ingredients Once that’s properly mixed, at the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt. If your flour, baking powder or any of your spices are lumpy, make sure to sieve it first before adding it to the mixture. Mix everything together until you’ve got a batter that’s nice and smooth.
5. Put batter and apples in tin Grease your baking tin and line it with parchment paper. Spoon half of the batter into the tin and spread it out evenly. Next, cover the batter with slices of apple, leaving enough slices to put on top of the cake later. Then, spoon the rest of the batter over the apples and carefully spread it out, leveling the surface. Divide the rest of the apple slices over the top of the cake mixture and lightly press them in.
6. Bake! Put the baking tin into your preheated oven and bake the tray cake at 180 °C for 30 to 35 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Once it’s done, take the tray bake out of the oven and let it cool down a little before slicing it into 16 pieces.
And that’s it! You’ve got yourself a delicious spiced tray bake with apples, perfect for these cold days!