I absolutely flippin’ love all things Nordic. In the past few years, I visited Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Iceland, and have been really inspired by their baking traditions. Amazingly delicious, freshly baked treats seemed to be everywhere on my travels! This is hardly surprising though, given the prominence of fika (the Swedish ritual of pausing to enjoy a coffee and cake with friends) in Sweden and hygge (coming together with friends and family to enjoy life’s pleasures including baked goods!) in Denmark. To me, Nordic baking lends itself perfectly to the darker months. The comforting spices often used in their traditional bakes exude comfort and warmth, perfect for cosying up in the winter.
This Swedish apple cake was inspired by my trips to Malmö and Stockholm, as well as my endless pile of Scandi cookbooks. The cinnamon spiked apples go really well with the buttery vanilla sponge cake beneath. I know it’s not traditional, but I’ve also included a sprinkle of pearl sugar (small nuggets of crunchy sugar that do not melt when baked) on top of the cake. This little addition is my subtle nod to the cinnamon buns that adorn the counter of bakeries and shops across Sweden. Delicious!
Swedish Apple Cake recipe
- 4 eating apples
- Juice of half a lemon
- 190 g salted butter, room temperature
- 190 g soft light brown sugar sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 eggs
- 225 g plain flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 3 tbs milk
- 2 tbs white sugar plus 2 tbs ground cinnamon
- Pearl sugar to sprinkle on top before baking
- Prepare the apples. Firstly, squeeze the lemon juice into a large mixing bowl filled two thirds of the way up with water. This mixture is used to keep the cut apples from discolouring and breaking down. Next, you need to peel, core and the slice the apples into medium thick pieces (around half a centimetre thick). Put the apple slices into the lemon water and leave to one side until needed.
- Prepare the tin by greasing and lining with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 190°C.
- Cream together the butter and sugar in the bowl of stand mixer. Add the vanilla extract followed by the eggs (one at a time), combining each one with the butter mixture fully before adding the next.
- Fold in the flour and baking powder gently with a spatula. Add the milk so you end up with a cake batter that drops off the spatula. Pour into the lined and greased cake tin.
- Drain and dry the apple slices on kitchen paper. Mix together the cinnamon and sugar. Coat the apple slices in the cinnamon mixture before adding them to the top of the cake mixture. You can do this in a fancy concentric way, or just throw them on with abandon! Finally scatter with a light sprinkle of pearl sugar.
- Bake for about 40 minutes, then test with a skewer.
This delicious Swedish apple cake is perfect with a cup of coffee on a Sunday afternoon. It’s also really good when warmed up, served with a dollop of crème fraîche on the side. I can’t wait to bake more of these as the weather starts to get chillier! – Gareth.
P.S. If you like the look of the kitchenware in these photos, then check out this post where to see where it’s all from!
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