Spiced Apple Cake

Words and Images: Genevieve King


2 ½ cups apple, peeled and cubed (3-4 apples)

200g butter, chopped into pieces

1 ½ cups sugar

2 large eggs

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp each of nutmeg, allspice and salt

2 ½ cups flour

2 tsp baking soda

1 cup sultanas (optional)


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 160°C. Line a large spring-form cake tin with baking paper.

  2. In a large pot, place the chopped apples and just cover with water. Bring to the boil and cook with the lid on until softened, about 5 minutes. Drain water.

  3. Add butter to the hot apples and set aside until melted.

  4. Add sugar, eggs and sultanas. Stir well. Add dry ingredients and fold in gently, until just combined. Transfer cake mix into the lined tin.

  5. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour. The cake should be springy to the touch, with a skewer coming out just clean.

Pears or peaches can be thrown in with the apple; use up whatever is in season and readily available.

For special occasions double the recipe, make two cakes and layer them up with salted caramel.

Salted Caramel

1 cup white sugar

85g butter, cut into cubes

½ cup heavy cream

1 tsp salt

Heat the sugar in a pot, stirring continuously. It will form clumps and eventually melt. Once melted, immediately add butter and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Slowly drizzle in cream. Boil 1 minute then remove from heat and add salt. Leave to cool, then transfer to a jar and store in the fridge.

Sesame Brittle

115g butter

1 cup white sugar

¾ cup sesame seeds, toasted

1 tsp flaky sea salt

Melt the butter and sugar at a medium heat. Cook without stirring until it has turned a medium caramel colour. Stir in sesame seeds. Pour over baking paper. Spread out to 5mm thickness, sprinkle sea salt over and gently press into the surface. When cold, break into pieces.

Recipe and image reproduced with permission from Valley Gathering by Genevieve King.

Published by Something Beginning with G. NZ$45 + Shipping

As seen in Volume 8

Valley Gatherings is the first book by Genevieve King. Inspired by the valley where she grew up, Genevieve has shown a glimpse of life in the area with photos, stories and recipes using local produce. She is also a raft guide on the river, and you can read about one of her recent adventures here.