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Grans Apple & Honey Cake

Gooey buttery cake, studded with apples and finished in warm honey butter. Just try not to love it!

easy apple honey butter cake

My gran was making this as early as the 1960s, and we all learned to make it growing up, standing next to her our special kitchen stool.

Making this and her famous jam tarts are some of the best memories from my childhood. Well this, but also that one time I got to make Grandpa Dee gargle soap for swearing (4 year old me loved that). These days I make it with my nieces and nephews, standing on their own little kitchen stools. The cycle continues. 

This recipe is really insanely simple, and the little kids just love making it with me! I’ve been making this recipe on my own since I was about 7, and my 10 year old nephew is following in my footsteps and happily baking this delicious cake on his own now, as well.

This recipe is truly a great, kid-friendly recipe, as well as a fantastic easy recipe for baking novices. The measurements are in cups, so no scale is needed, and it’s very forgiving for kids and baking novices alike who might otherwise struggle with a scale. Warming milk happens in microwave, so all they need help with is the oven.

My mum whips this out for every Sunday lunch, and it’s always an absolute winner! I hope this recipe brings you as much joy as it has for us through the years. 

If you try this recipe, let us know how it goes! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag your photo #theculinarycartel on Instagram so we can see what you come up with. To view our recipe video on Instagram click hereHappy cooking!

easy apple honey butter cake

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make this vegan and/or gluten free?

We are in the process of testing this recipe for vegan and gluten free adaptions. Watch this space! 

Can I use other fruit for the filling?

Sure. My gran often used tinned pear, and sometimes even pineapple. It also works well with nectarines and peaches- just be sure to blanch the fruit and remove the skin for best results

Can I take it up a notch?

This beauty of this recipe is the simplicity. I have, however, made very high brow versions for clients when doing private functions. If you are an experienced baker wanting to kick it up a level my personal favourite adaption used pears poached in ginger beer until soft in place of tinned fruit.  Once the pears have finished poaching in the ginger beer, reduce the cooking liquid until it’s the consistency of honey, and use this liquor to replace the honey in the recipe.

easy apple honey butter cake
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easy apple honey butter cake

Grans Apple And Honey Cake

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  • Author: Jess Bunn
  • Total Time: <40 Minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6
  • Diet: Vegetarian


Gooey buttery cake, studded with apples and finished in warm honey butter. Just try not to love it!



For the apple cake

  • 160g (1 1/3 cups) flour
  • 115g (2/3 cup) white or light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch salt
  • 50ml melted butter
  • 125ml milk warmed up
  • 1 egg
  • 1 large (765g) tin halved apples or two 415g tins*

*Tinned apples can be swapped out for tinned pears or tinned pineapple, fresh stone fruit and berries.

For the Sauce

  • 40ml butter, melted
  • 40ml honey


  1. Heat the oven to 180C.
  2. Add the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt to a mixing bowl.
  3. Add the butter to the milk, and warm in the microwave until the butter has melted completely into the milk.
  4. Whisk the egg and slowly pour in the warm milk mixture, whisking as you add the milk to prevent scrambling the egg. Mix in the melted butter.
  5. Pour the milky butter mixture into the dry ingredients and stir until combined.
  6. Drain the liquid from the tinned apples, and arrange the apple halves in a pie dish or ceramic baking dish. Pour the batter over the apples and bake the apple cake for 22-30 minutes, until golden and a knife inserted into a section of a cakey part comes out clean
  7. When the cake is nearly ready melt the honey and butter together, and stir until combined.
  8. Remove the cake from the oven and pour over the hot honey butter mixture, while the cake is still warm.
  9. Serve immediately with cream or ice cream.


Chefs tip: Be sure to add the honey butter to a hot cake, as this will absorb the mixture the best!

  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: European


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 281.43kcal
  • Sugar: 29.44g
  • Sodium: 155.91mg
  • Fat: 9.65g
  • Saturated Fat: 5.69g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 3.28g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 47.25g
  • Fiber: 1.65g
  • Protein: 3.61g
  • Cholesterol: 44.41mg
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