Gently Spiced Flamini Apple Cake for Lockdown Elevenses

So two things have happened in the past few weeks – we’ve entered the autumn period and we’ve entered another lockdown. So it means two things… The apple harvest is in and we need comfort food. And this is where Sarah comes in…

I first met Sarah during one of my walkabouts when I worked at RICS on Parliament Square. The purpose of these walkabouts is to put a human face to me, the digital editor, to get to know the people using the tech I harnessed and to get a little bit of gossip.

And Sarah was a delight…. Smokey voiced, all-knowing eyes and a laugh that promised a filthy joke or two. Think Emma Peel in the Avengers… of the Chartered Surveying world. In short, she’s a marvel. She’s also the Flamini this recipe is named after.

Our career paths took us in different directions – me to Syco and her to an orchard in the country where she is doyenne of several apple varieties, some ancient and some old favourites. So when she put out a call for who wanted the fruits of her hard work, I volunteered.  The next day I was the proud owner of a tray of Bramleys, an assortment of rarer varieties and a litter of quinces (currently being made into an alcoholic brew by a friend).

I’ve been busy with these apples – I’ve made crumble, I’ve made stewed apples and I have shared the spoils with my neighbours. But I wanted something that would keep, something cakey, something for elevenses so I headed back to basics and made apple cake… and it’s delicious.

A perfect slice of apple cake – perfect hot or cold

It’s not refined, it’s not light, it’s a no-brainer for people like me who find desserts a challenge. For this recipe I went heavy on the fruit, if you want a lighter sponge-type cake, remove one of the apples and one of the eggs. Everything else remains the same.

Music to listen to while preparing this dish: ‘Drop Dead Gorgeous’ by Republica


  • 300g Self Raising flour
  • 150g Sugar (plus extra for dusting)
  • 125g Unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 Eggs, beaten
  • 4 Medium Bramley apples, chopped into 1cm cubes
  • 2 pieces of stem ginger roughly chopped
  • 1tsp Ground ginger


  1. Heat your oven to 180º and liberally grease a lasagne dish.
  2. Combine the flour, sugar and ground ginger in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add the apples and stem ginger and mix to evenly distributed.
  4. Add the melted butter and eggs and mix till all the ingredients are well combined. You should have a thick heavy batter. If it’s a little dry, add a splash of milk. Use a large metal spoon if you have one.
  5. Press this into your greased dish, sprinkle with your extra sugar (and cinnamon if feeling decadent) and bake for 35-40mins.

This is for Elevenses… that very English meal at 11am where the only drink option is a Cup of Builder’s Tea.

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