Food and Drink

Worldly Appetites: Dorset apple cake

Savour the tastes of Dorset with this recipe for the county’s world-famous apple cake.

Dorset is ideally suited to the growing and savouring of seasonal, traditional and local food; its fertile soils, long farming history and food heritage combine to provide a rich variety of tasty treats, from fish caught off the Dorset coast, to artisan cheeses, breads and ciders.

A visit to Dorset would not be complete without sampling Dorset Blue Vinny cheese, Dorset apple cake and Moores Dorset Knob biscuits. And remember, Devon does not have a monopoly on cream teas – the Dorset version is just as delicious.

Dorset Apple cake
© MShev, Shutterstock

On every tea shop menu you will see Dorset apple cake, a truly local treat. Countless different recipes exist, each subtly different, but I really enjoy this slightly lemony one.


8 oz self-raising flour

4 oz butter

4 oz caster sugar

8 oz cooking apples – peeled, cored and diced

Grated zest of 1 lemon

1 medium egg, beaten

2 oz sultanas (optional)


Preheat the oven to 375°F/190°C. In a large mixing bowl rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar, apples, lemon zest and egg, and mix well.

If you want to add the sultanas, you can do so now. Put the mixture into a well-greased 8-inch cake tin and bake for 30–40 minutes, or until golden in colour. Serve warm or cold, with or without custard or ice cream.

Keen to explore more of Dorset? Start planning your trip with our guide.