200g(7/8 cup) unsalted butter or margarinesoftened
200g(7/8 cup) apple sauceor apple butter
3medium applescut into small cubes
1tbsplemon juicefor the apple pieces
1tbspcornflour (cornstarch)for the apple pieces
icing sugarto dust (optional)
Preheat the oven to 170C (340F). Spray a 23cm (9 in) springform cake tin with cake release or grease with softened butter and dust with flour shaking out any excess. Line the bottom of the tin with baking paper.
Put the flour and sugar in large bowl. Add the baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and spices if using. Stir together to combine
Add the softened butter, apple sauce and eggs.
Start beating together on low speed setting using a hand mixer (or in a stand mixer using paddle attachment).
Increase the speed to maximum once the ingredients have been incorporated. Beat for a minute then stop and scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl with a spatula. Beat again until the batter is completely smooth.
Toss the apple pieces in the lemon juice and dust with the cornflour. Fold into the cake batter.
Transfer the batter into the prepared cake tin, level and bake for 55 minutes to an hour.
Check the cake is done by inserting a skewer in the centre - it should come out clean, the cake should be well risen, golden and springy to the touch. Cool on a wire rack.
Dust with icing sugar and serve!
Unless specified otherwise all your ingredients including butter eggs and apple sauce should be at room temperature in order to achieve a smooth batter. If one or more of the ingredients are cold they will cause your batter to split or look curdled.
To prevent your cakes sticking to the pans, properly grease the cake tin with a little softened butter and then sprinkle with flour shaking out any excess. I prefer to use a cake release spray for most of my baking.
For this cake you can use a 23cm (9in) springform cake tin, a loose bottomed tin or a regular cake tin.
Oven temperatures can vary so set a timer for 5 minutes before the specified time. The cake is done when the top is springy to the touch, the cake has just started to pull away from the edge of the tin and a skewer or toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs.
Avoid opening the oven too often – or too early! - to check if the cake is done or your oven will start losing heat.