November 14, 2023


I recently stumbled across a really nice website containing lots of lovely home baking recipes.  It’s for a brand of flour called Odlums which I had never heard of before and comes from Ireland.  From it I had bookmarked a nice looking recipe for an apple cake which you can see here.  

This week’s Monday walk was cancelled for the third time due to the wet weather.  I have to say that the weather has been grim for at least the last four weeks which is very disappointing.  However, our walking group are a social bunch so even if they can’t walk the debriefing in the bar afterwards usually goes ahead!  More often than not someone brings a cake so I decided to make the apple cake.  (I added a handful of raisins to the list of ingredients, just because it seemed like a nice idea.)  

I really liked the decoration for what was a very plain cake - rings of apple arranged on top.  This posed a challenge as my usual method for coring an apple wouldn't work.  I good old rummage in my kitchen drawer unearthed my little used apple corer.

I usually cut the apple in half vertically from north to south and dig out the core with a melon baller.  This method is good for producing thick or thin wedges.  To get the apple rings I cut the apple in half horizontally around the equator and used the apple corer.  I then sliced the apple thinly to get the rings.  Easy peasy.  You can never beat having the right equipment (even if you have to hunt for it).

It was a very nice cake.  I often find that apple cakes can be a bit fragile, especially those containing apple slices.   They can fall apart which makes being handed round rather messy.  This one held its shape perfectly, possibly because the apples were chopped into quite small dice and the mixture was quite stiff.  It had to be spread into the tin rather than poured.  

I baked it in an oblong tin measuring  11" x 7" rather than the loaf tin in the recipe.  It cut perfectly into 12 squares of just the right size for a group.  Definitely a recipe I will be using again.  The only change I would try is to add a little more spice next time.

The more eagle eyed of you might notice a different cat in one of the pictures.  We were so sad to have to say goodbye to our beloved Daisy last month when she (and we) lost the battle with her tumour.  Yvonne came into our lives just one week later.  Her owner had left her with a friend for a couple of weeks in the summer but two months later he made it clear that he was not coming back for her.  Word went out among the walking group that a new home was needed so she is now part of our little family.  She's nine years old and is settling in really well so far.

You can read more about Daisy here.


225g self raising flour

175g softened butter or baking spread

175g golden caster sugar

3 eggs

1 tsp ground cinnamon

3 eating apples

50g raisins


Preheat the oven to 190°C / 170° fan / gas mk 5.  Grease or line a 2lb loaf tin or a 11" x 7" baking tin with parchment.

In a large bowl, cream the butter or spread with the sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in the eggs one at a time, adding a tblsp of flour with each addition.

Sift in the rest of the flour and cinnamon and fold in.

Peel and core the apples.  Chop 2½ of the apples into small dice and add to the mixture with the raisins.  Stir into the mixture and transfer to the tin.  Level the top.

Cut the remaining half apple into thin slices and arrange on top of the cake.

Bake for 40-50 minutes until golden brown and set.  Cool in the tin for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.

Dust with icing sugar before serving.

Cuts into 12 squares or 8-10 slices.


  1. I am agast that someone would leave their animal never to come back for it.

    1. I haven't quite got to the bottom of all that happened but believe there was a lot going on in his life at the time.
      I don't think Yvonne would have fared well at a rescue as the pretty, younger cats are more likely to get rehomed. It's a happy ending for all of us.

  2. It's impossible to have too many apple cake recipes and this looks like a fine one to me. I did come across Odlums some years ago when someone I knew back then had been living in Ireland and insisted on using their flour because, they claimed, soda bread wasn't right with any other flour. Incidentally, I've just found my apple corer but I've now lost my melon baller.