Blend some of the cooked apple with a little breast or formula milk until smooth.
Chop the cake into small slices that your toddler can pick up easily.
225g butter (room temperature), plus extra for greasing
550g cooking apples, such as Bramley
juice of ½ lemon
225g light muscovado sugar
300g self-raising flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
4 large eggs
1 tbsp full-fat or semi-skimmed milk
Icing sugar, to dust
- Preheat the oven to 180ºC (fan 160ºC/Gas 4). Grease the traybake tin with butter and line with baking parchment. Quarter, peel, core, and thinly slice the apples, and put them in a shallow dish. Pour over the lemon juice and toss gently together.
- Put the butter, muscovado sugar, flour, baking powder, ½ teaspoon of the cinnamon, the eggs, and milk in a large bowl. Beat thoroughly using an electric hand whisk for about 2 minutes (or use a wooden spoon for about 3 minutes) until smooth and light.
- Spoon half the mixture into the prepared tin and spread it out evenly. Lay half the apple slices on top and sprinkle over the remaining ½ teaspoon of cinnamon. Spoon the remaining cake mixture on top and carefully level the surface. Scatter the rest of the apple slices over the cake mixture and press them lightly into the surface.
- Bake for 40 minutes or until well risen and golden brown on top. The cake will feel spongy but firm, and will be starting to come away slightly from the edges of the tin. Also, the apples should be soft. Leave the cake to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then loosen the sides with a small palette knife and turn out the cake, peel off the parchment paper, and leave to cool on a wire rack. Sift icing sugar over the top of the cake.
Mary's top tips
It's all about the apples
Be sure to slice your apples very thinly. If the slices are too thick, they won't soften enough when baked. To help stop your apples from turning too brown, toss them in some lemon juice. This will also give them some flavour and extra juiciness.
When spreading the second half of the cake mixture over the apples and cinnamon, make sure you're being careful and use a palette knife to make sure the apple slices beneath aren't disturbed. This will make sure you keep the layered effect you're looking for. Spread the apples evenly over the cake mixture and gently press them in. Don't worry about being too neat when layering the apples; scattering the apples in a random pattern can often make it look better!