Spiced Apple and Walnut Traybake

Spiced Apple and Walnut Traybake

Though the apple season has more or less passed, it is a fruit that can be made to last extremely well. Indeed, it isn’t unheard of for apples to remain edible for 6-12 months if stored in a dry place and wrapped individually in newspaper. Since October is arguably peak season for this universally beloved fruit I’ll assume there are a few spares to hand for this wintry Spiced Apple and Walnut Traybake.

Apples and walnuts are a great combination for this time of the year. There’s just something so comforting and homely about the flavour and texture of an apple, and the walnuts provide a delightfully contrasting crunch. Walnuts also have the additional benefit of caramelising a little when baked, making for a toffee apple flavour of sorts.

Spiced Apple and Walnut Traybake

As we move closer to the festive season it’s always nice to add a little spice to cake, cookies, biscuits and tarts. In my mind, summer is the time for sweet and airy bakes. Cold winter days, on the other hand, are made for a good dose of flavour and close textures. However, it’s good to be a little cautious when adding spices to cake as they can easily overpower the other flavours, especially one as subtle as apple. If you like you could even add a little citrus zest to the mix, but whatever you do enjoy this cake while it lasts!

Spiced Apple and Walnut Traybake

Makes one 20x20cm cake


• 300g self-raising flour

• ½ tsp ground cinnamon

• ½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg

• ½ tsp ground cloves

• ½ tsp ground ginger

• 100g light muscovado sugar

• 1 tbsp black treacle

• 250ml sunflower oil, or similar

• 4 eggs

• 3 apples, unpeeled and grated

• 100g walnuts, roughly broken

• 20g icing sugar

• 1 tbsp water


1. Heat the oven to 160C/140C fan and line your tin. Combine the flour, spices and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Beat the oil, eggs, treacle and apple together in a measuring jug and whisk gently into the flour mixture. Fold in the walnuts and tip into the prepared tin.

2. Bake the cake for 40-50 minutes until cooked through – a skewer should come out clean. Leave to cool for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack.

3. Prepare your icing by mixing together the icing sugar and water. Drizzle over the cool cake and leave to set for 5 minutes before slicing and eating.

Spiced Apple and Walnut Traybake Spiced Apple and Walnut Traybake

Cost: Though this cake contains a large assortment of ingredients, its only really luxury is the quantity of walnuts. I’ll grant you, 100g of any nut may sound expensive, but walnuts inhabit the cheaper side of the spectrum and you should be able to find the amount needed for little more than £1. Indeed, the entire cake should set you back no more than around £3.80.

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38 comments on “Spiced Apple and Walnut Traybake

  1. cookinginsens
    November 15, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    Cake again 🙂 My husband would love that.

    • frugalfeeding
      November 21, 2013 at 10:57 am

      I need to start baking more – readers love sweet things…

  2. thesinglegourmetandtraveller
    November 15, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    Yummy! I could do with a slice right now with my afternoon cuppa 🙂

    • frugalfeeding
      November 21, 2013 at 10:57 am

      Never has a cake been more perfect for a cuppa 😀

  3. chloeanneride
    November 15, 2013 at 4:51 pm

    This looks amazing!!

  4. Sharon
    November 15, 2013 at 4:53 pm

    Looks interesting..and tasty! 🙂

  5. lizintheshed
    November 15, 2013 at 5:16 pm

    I am still leaving apples outside the gate with a ‘take me’ sign, so will bring some back in and have a go at this. Yum!

    • frugalfeeding
      November 21, 2013 at 10:57 am

      I see that quite a lot – thank you generous people. My friend dropped some off for me to make this actually.

  6. Karista
    November 15, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    Holy Moly these look good! I’d love some with my coffee this morning. 🙂

    • frugalfeeding
      November 21, 2013 at 10:56 am

      Thanks, Karista! They go very well with coffee.

  7. wonkywizard
    November 16, 2013 at 1:02 am

    My wife bakes good walnut cakes. She is more generous with the walnuts, and no icing (too sweet).
    Sometimes, she used raisins, soaked for 2 weeks with brandy.

    • frugalfeeding
      November 21, 2013 at 10:56 am

      I found the little amount of icing to be just right – adds very little sweetness.

  8. Andrea
    November 16, 2013 at 6:41 am

    Yummmmm! I bought a full bushel of apples a couple weeks ago that I am slowly working my way through. Not sure what a ‘traybake’ is, though… Looks like what we Yankees call a bar! Yours is more descriptive! I like it!

    • frugalfeeding
      November 21, 2013 at 11:02 am

      It’s exactly what it says – something baked in a tray :D. A one pot sort of thing.

  9. Katrina Tauchen
    November 16, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    This looks delicious! Do you think raisins would be nice in lieu of walnuts (alas, I am allergic). Or maybe something else with a bit of crunch? I’m going to have to try this soon!

    • frugalfeeding
      November 21, 2013 at 10:55 am

      Yes, use raisins – they’ll puff up and get really juicy. Any nut would be fine.

  10. trixpin
    November 16, 2013 at 5:54 pm

    Stunning recipe! I’ve been making tonnes of apple loaf cakes this autumn but no tray bakes, and certainly none as rich and luscious as yours. I love the walnutty addition 🙂

    • frugalfeeding
      November 21, 2013 at 10:55 am

      Thank you! Traybakes are a must at this time of year!

  11. Trish
    November 16, 2013 at 11:17 pm

    wow does this look great. Is treacle the same or similar to molasses? I am going to sub pecans, as a friend very generously gave me a few pounds (in the shell) from her tree, and I have been trying to decide how to use them.

    • frugalfeeding
      November 21, 2013 at 10:55 am

      I don’t think it’s the same, but very similar… Sounds perfect!

  12. cityhippyfarmgirl
    November 17, 2013 at 1:15 am

    damn, I’m hungry now.

  13. Iain
    November 17, 2013 at 11:54 am


  14. movita beaucoup
    November 17, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    Traybake! What a perfect name! I’ve never heard that term – I guess in these here parts we like to say square or bar. Traybake sounds WAY cooler!

    Also, that apple/spice/walnut combo sounds like autumn on a plate…

    • frugalfeeding
      November 21, 2013 at 10:54 am

      Seems to be a British term – to the point. It was autumnal in every respect 😀

  15. Francesca
    November 18, 2013 at 6:19 pm

    We love these kinds of spiced cakes in our house 🙂 What can I substitute treacle for?

  16. Kathleen
    November 19, 2013 at 4:53 pm

    Oh my gosh, that sounds DEADLY!!!! Very common for your recipes. 😉

    • frugalfeeding
      November 21, 2013 at 10:47 am

      Deadly, but relatively healthy too given that it’s cake 😀

  17. whilehewasout
    November 19, 2013 at 7:04 pm

    Mmh just in time for walnut season 🙂

    • frugalfeeding
      November 21, 2013 at 10:45 am

      Indeed – I need to do more with walnuts this year…

  18. Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward
    November 20, 2013 at 8:42 pm

    Gorgeous recipe. I adore the warm spices and deep flavor from the molasses scented sugar. Of course, apples are now in season. Just lovely. Best – Shanna

    • frugalfeeding
      November 21, 2013 at 10:59 am

      Thank you very much! The flavours here work very well.

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