Sunken Apple Cake with Rum and Cinnamon

There are hundreds of apple cake recipes, but I really love this one. Top priority, as always, is the taste and I think the apple, cinnamon and rum work extremely well together. Close second comes the fact that it is easy and quick to make – you can have this cake on the coffee table in just over an hour from getting the electric whisk out of the cupboard. I used a British apple variety called Zari, grown in Kent, which was perfect for the cake as the pieces kept their shape really well and didn’t disintegrate into apple sauce, and the slight tartness of the apples provided a nice contrast to the sweet cake dough. But of course you can use any kind of apple you like.

Preheat the oven to 200C and prepare a round cake tin by greasing it with a bit of butter.


  • 200g unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  • 220g sugar
  • 1 packet (= 1 tablespoon) of vanilla sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • a dash of rum or a few drops of rum aroma
  • 200g flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 4 medium sized apples

Beat the butter with an electric mixer for 2 minutes until creamy. Add the sugar and vanilla sugar and mix for a further 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one after the other, and the rum and finally fold in the sieved flour & baking powder and the cinnamon.

Fill the cake mix into the tin and smooth the surface. Peel the apples, cut into quarters and cut to lines into the top of each one. Arrange the fruit on the cake and pop the tin in the pre-heated oven. Bake for 50 minutes. Check if is properly cooked by sticking a toothpick in the cake. If it comes out clean, it’s good. If not put it back in the oven for another 5 minutes.

Let the cake cool on a rack and serve with slightly sweetened whipped cream.


I hope you like it as much as I do!


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