Betty’s Apple Cake

bettys apple cake

Having studied at University in Yorkshire, I frequented Betty’s tearooms, with branches in Ilkley, Harrogate and York. They are the epitome of an old fashioned British tea room with an incredible variety of teas, cakes, pastries and savoury snacks and meals.

I stumbled across this recipe and absolutely loved it for an autumnal afternoon, hopefully you will like it as much as I do!


  • 125g butter
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs separated
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3 small firm dessert apples
  • 2 tbsps of flaked almonds


  • Large Bowl
  • Electric Whisk (if you have one)
  • Wooden Spoon
  • Zester
  • Sharp Knife
  • Sieve
  • Metal Spoon
  • Peeler
  • Cake Tin


  • Preheat the oven to 180°C, fan 160°C or gas mark 4.
  • In a large bowl cream together the butter and the sugar until pale and fluffy (here I tend to use an electric whisk, but you can do it by hand!)
  • Next you need to separate your eggs. The best way to do this is not with two bowls, but three. One for the white, one for the yolk, and one for cracking the eggs over. This extra bowl means if you break the yolk accidentally of your second egg you won’t ruin the first.
  • Add the egg yolks one by one to the sugar and butter mixture, stirring between each, followed by the lemon juice and zest.
  • Sieve in the flour, baking powder and a pinch of salt and gently fold into the mixture.
  • In a large clean (preferably glass) bowl, whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. (The test to see that they are ready is that you should be able to turn the bowl upside down and nothing will move!)
  • Add a small amount of the egg whites into the rest of the mixture and gently fold in.
  • After slackening the mixture like this, you are now ready to spoon the rest of the egg whites into the mixture, the best way to do this is using a large metal spoon a little at a time. (This way you will knock as little air out as possible, leaving your sponge light and fluffy)
  • Now, peel, core and half the apples.
  • With the curved side facing upward, cutting about 90% of the way through make lots of thin incisions.
  • Spoon the mixture into a prepared tin.
  • Place the apple halves on top in a decorative manner and push them into the mixture slightly and sprinkle the almonds on top. Bake in the oven for about 30-40 minutes or until golden and firm (the sponge should bounce back when touched and when pierced the knife should come back clean).

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