Recipe: Apple of your eye!

Be inspired this weekend to whip up a traditional upside down apple cake, by Mercy Fenton
Recipe: Apple of your eye!
Upside down Apple and Star Anise by Mercy FentonPicture: David Keane.

This upside down apple cake is full of crunchy Granny Smith apples, which keep a lovely fresh bite and take on the beautiful flavour of star anise. The cake feels healthy as there is so much apple and it’s not too sweet either. This would be delicious on its own or served with ice cream or cream, and it also makes a great morning coffee cake or a fine dessert.

Upside Down Apple Cake with Star Anise



50g butter

50g golden caster sugar

3 whole star anise

3 to 4 crisp Granny Smith apples

Cake mix

100g unsalted butter

100g dark soft brown sugar

100g self-rising flour

1 tsp baking powder

¼ tsp ground ginger

½ tsp ground cinnamon

2 free range eggs

Zest of 1 lemon grated


  • Pre-heat the oven to 180C.
  • Melt the butter and caster sugar together in a pan with the star anise until the sugar is dissolved.
  • Pour into a buttered spring form tin; place a star anise in each thirds of the tin, evenly distant from each other.
  • Peel and core the apples, halve and thinly slice.
  • Arrange the apples on the base of the tin curved side (skin side) down, in concentric circles.
  • Fill the base with apples, allowing a thick layer.
  • Sift together the flour, baking powder, ginger and cinnamon.
  • Next, beat the butter and sugar together until pale and creamy.
  • Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well between each addition.
  • Finally, fold in the sifted dry ingredients.
  • Spoon this mixture carefully onto the apples spreading gently.
  • Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until cooked through.
  • Leave to cool for 5 to 10 minutes then turn out onto a flat tray to cool.
  • Serve the dessert warm with cream or ice cream.
  • You can email Mercy Fenton at

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