One Bowl Apple Tea Cake

Rich, buttery cake that is loaded with tender sweet apples in every bite. Best thing? Its uses just ONE BOWL, making clean up a breeze.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
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One Bowl Apple Tea Cake

Flavour: Buttery-rich cake with bright freshness of the apples and a hint of spice.

Texture: Once baked the exterior has a buttery, slightly crispy texture but the interior is soft and moist.

Time & Difficulty: 1/5. This recipe is really simple just mix, proof, dump into and bake. You’ll have a delicious cake in around 1 hour!

Versatility: Very! Don’t like Apples? Try nectarines or peaches. So many fruits and berries work nicely.

Slice of apple cake with fork in foreground

Ingredients in this Apple Tea Cake

Salted butter

A good butter brand is best because the base of this cake is basically a rich yellow ‘butter’ cake. I use good quality lightly salted grass-fed butter, therefore, no salt is added to this recipe. Yes, you can use unsalted butter but add 1/4-1/2 tsp salt.


You’ll use sugar in two places for this cake: in the batter and sprinkled on top. I prefer to use a fine caster/bakers sugar in the cake as it creams nicely with the butter and dissolves quicker. Then top with a coarse raw or turbinado sugar to give some nice crunch and bakery-style effect.

Vanilla extract

Vanilla extract is not necessary for the structure of this or any baking recipe. However, leaving it out will change the flavour, some recipes more that others. Vanilla in baking is like adding salt to savoury foods, it enhances all the other flavours in the recipe. Without it, cookies and cakes don’t have the richness that we know and love. Extract or Vanilla bean paste is what I use and recommend. Extract is a natural product, but essence is synthetic and doesn’t have the rich flavour you need.

Large eggs

Large eggs are always recommended when baking so that they give consistent results every time and you avoid having an ‘eggy’ taste. Use eggs in cartons labelled “large eggs” which are 55 – 60g / 2 oz each. This is an industry-standard and most international bakers’ recipes use this size. In a pinch and have larger eggs? Crack an egg into a bowl, whisk then measure out 50 ml / 48-50 grams. Ta-dah!

Plain flour

Nothing fancy here, just your good ole all-purpose/plain flour. This recipe is old school but that being said if you want, you can swap out for a gluten free blend! Or, if you want to make it healthy-ish, you can try out a wholemeal/wheat flour too! Be aware that different flour blends may create different results therefor you may need to tweak them.

Baking powder

Baking powder is the classic leavener you’ll need when it comes to most cakes, cupcakes and muffins. The ratio of flour to baking powder is lower to give you just enough aeration but leaving with you a slightly denser cake.

Granny smith apples

Growing up that these were the ONLY apples to use for baking by my grandma. The crisp, slightly sour flavour works great with baked goods as they tend to hold their shape really when they cook. In a pinch, nearly any apple will work though.

Apple cake on cooling racks with apples beside

Setting you up for success: Apple Tea Cake tips & tricks

Here is a round up all our tips for your perfect apple tea cake.

  • Use good quality butter: The better quality butter, the more delicious the results. This doesn’t mean buying the most expensive! Find Australian and European style butter that have a higher fat content, meaning flakier, crisper results. Grass-fed cows also have a more yellow appearance as the happy cows have been eating fresh grass which contains beta-carotene. beta-carotene converts into vitamin A (AKA retinol). Vitamin A is linked to improved eye health and a strong immune system.
  • Cream the butter and sugar until pale: There is 2 things that beating the butter and sugar together with a hand/stand mixer (or by hand if you’re feeling strong). 1. Helps to dissolve the sugar and disperse itself throughout the butter. 2. It traps air within the fat/sugar network, creating a leavening (or rising) effect as the cake bakes = a lighter, fluffier texture.
  • Don’t over mix the batter: Over mixing your batter can produce dense, dry cake. To preserve that moist, tender crumb that you want, fold the batter together until just combined while ensuring that the apple chunks are evenly distributed.
  • Sprinkle with coarse sugar: This is easily the most important step. I love using a coarse raw or turbinado sugar, but granulated white sugar also works fine. You just need some type of sugar to give a slight crunchy texture on top.
Slice of fluffy cake with apple slice in foreground and cake i slices in background

How to store this Apple Tea Cake

I can almost guarantee that this apple tea cake wont last long, so this is sort of a trick question. It’s one of those cakes that you keep snacking on and then realise is all gone. BUT, if you do have any left, you can store it in an air tight container, plastic bag, covered plate, or under a cake dome for up to 4 days!

BUUUUUT… How to refresh and reheat the apple tea cake

The cake may go slightly soft the next day. Simple place into a 160°C/320°F oven for 4-6 minutes to crisp up the outside and have it smelling and tasting fresh and delicious again. 

Birds eye view of sliced cake on tray and plate

Did you make this recipe?

Let us know how it turned out for you! Comment below, tag @missmolly_makes on Instagram using #missmollymakes or visit us LIVE at

Side view of apple cake with apples in background
Close up view of apple cake to show fluffy texture

One Bowl Apple Tea Cake

Servings 10 people
Start your day off right with Grandma's Apple Tea Cake Rich buttery cake that is loaded with tender sweet apples. Best thing? Its made with just ONE BOWL, making clean up a breeze.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour


  • large bowl
  • hand mixer
  • 18cm/7inch round cake tin.


  • 114 g (½ cups) salted butter
  • 100 g (½ cups) caster /bakers sugar granulated is fine as a substitute but i use caster sugar as it dissolves quicker
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs (room temperature)
  • 150 g ( cups) plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 granny smith apples peeled & chopped
  • 2 tbsp raw or turbinado sugar sub with white sugar if necessary


  • Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F. Line a round 18cm/7inch round cake tin.
  • In a medium bowl, stir together the flour and baking powder. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, cream together the butter, sugar and vanilla with a hand mixer or whisk until pale and creamy. Add one egg at a time until well combined.
  • Mix in the flour mixture gently until just combined then fold in the chopped apples.
  • Add mixture into prepared cake tin, smooth out surface and sprinkle with sugar.
  • Bake for 40 mins until a toothpick inserted comes clean and top is golden. Serve warm or cooled on it's own or with cream/ice cream.


The cake may go slightly soft the next day. Simple place into a 160°C/320°F oven for 4-6 minutes to crisp up the outside and have it smelling and tasting fresh and delicious again. 
Delicious Variations, Substitute the apple for
  • Nectarines
  • Peach
  • Berries (fresh or frozen)
  • Whatever your heart desires!


Calories: 218kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 56mg | Sodium: 127mg | Potassium: 72mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 342IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

Recipe Published: May 15, 2023 Last Updated: July 29, 2023

Did you make this recipe?

Please let us know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and tag @missmollymakes on Instagram and hashtag it #missmollymakes.

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Former operating room Nurse and self-taught home cook + IT Engineer passionate about Approachable, No-Nonsense recipes to help you level up in the kitchen. We create simplified dishes for busy people with easy-to-find ingredients!
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  1. 5 stars
    I have made this cake a few times (using both apples and peaches) and I highly recommend it. The cake has a pretty high fruit to batter ratio, which makes it a great way to celebrate beautiful in-season fruits. It’s a perfect cake to throw together for last-minute guests, or if you don’t want to show up empty handed to visit a friend.

    1. Miss Molly Author says:

      Yeahh Chris! I made it last week with nectarines and it is so yummy. A a great way to use seasonal berries and fruit, I agree. Thanks for taking the time to share your review 🙂

  2. Annaliese ( Flossy ) says:

    5 stars
    I made this last week as I had an overflow of granny smiths needing to be used. I immediately thought of this recipe and it did not disappoint!! It was a delicious, moist, fluffy interior and a light and crispy top with plenty of apple throughout , YUM! Very easy 1 bowl cake recipe which will now be a staple in our home .
    Thanks Molly <3

    1. Miss Molly Author says:

      What a fabulous way to use up some extra apples. Thanks for sharing and I can’t wait to see more of your baked goods 🙂 x

  3. 5 stars
    Love this! Tried this with some leftover pink lady apples and also added some cinnamon and it was fab! I loved the fruit ratio, and it is sooo easy and quick – I literally made this while waiting for the washing machine to finish. Super moist and fluffy. Defs keen to try this again with some different fruit, thank you Molly! Great recipe that anyone can make 😊🙌

    1. Miss Molly Author says:

      Ahh so good to hear! I read this review to my grandma and she was so happy you loved it. Thankyou for taking the time out to review and leave a comment xx

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