By Katie Bryson
A warming winter bake which makes a lighter alternative to Christmas cake and is ideal for serving up to visitors over the festive season. The soft sponge is spiked with cinnamon and mixed spice, flecked with apple and topped with a brandy spiked cream cheese frosting.
Prep Time:15 minutes
Cook Time:30 minutes
Makes: 16 slices
For the cake:
180g butter, softened
140g golden caster sugar
250g self raising flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice
150g dessert apple, peeled and finely chopped
For the frosting:
280g icing sugar
125g cream cheese
2 tbsp brandy
1. For the cake: Pre-heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Grease and line a 22cm x 30cm tray bake tin.
2. Beat the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Then add the eggs one at a time until combined.
3. Mix in the flour, spices and milk until a smooth batter forms, and then fold in the finely chopped apple.
4. Spoon the batter into the prepared cake tin, spreading out with a spatula to form an even layer and then bake for 25-30 minutes until golden and a toothpick poked into the sponge comes out clean.
5. Allow to cool in the tin for 10 mins, then pop on a wire rack to cool completely.
6. For the frosting: sieve the icing sugar into a large bowl then add the butter, combining the two using the back of a wooden spoon to rub it in. Do the same with the cream cheese.
7. Add the brandy and then whisk with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Spread over the cooled cake with a palette knife into a lovely swirly pattern. Cut into 16 pieces and serve.