Apples Under My Bed

August 17, 2010
apples in bowl w800 1

When I was seven years old, I was an avid reader. I have my gorgeous mum to thank for this, as she always read to my brothers and I when we were young. She showed me how blissful it is to lose yourself in tales of adventure, mystery, magic and mischief. As a result, I would spend many hours at night getting lost in far away worlds with fascinating characters.

Naturally, as I devoured page after page, and the clock ticked on, I became quite hungry. My snack of choice was apples – crisp, sweet local Red Hill apples that were delightfully small. The perfect size for little hungry hands.

I would stay up late, reading and munching on apples, one after the other having a glorious time. What was I to do with the copious amount of apple cores that remained after a night spent with Mary and Colin in the Secret Garden?…pop them under my bed of course!

Im not sure whether I thought that mum and dad would be upset that I went through so many apples, or whether I honestly thought that this was an appropriate way to deal with the remnants – out of sight, out of mind? Either way, mum stumbled across my secret stash one day whilst cleaning under the bed. A lesson on appropriate apple core disposal methods ensued.

My younger brother, Jackson, didn’t follow in my footsteps – he likes to eat the entire apple, core and all. As for myself, I am pleased to say that I now dispose of my apple cores in the compost or bin. Come Autumn, I love to stock up on big bags of local apples at the Red Hill market.

As it is currently Winter, I am seasonally a bit off. Nevertheless, my first post must involve apples. Not only because I love to eat them, but to also explain my curious blog title.

I want to share with you a cake that my mum often bakes and that I adore. It reminds me of being at home in Red Hill, sitting by the fire reading, the smell of sweet apples and heavenly cinnamon wafting through the house. Incredibly delightful, warm and sweet, with a touch of spice – this is how I would describe both the cake and my mum. I hope you like the cake as much as I do.

Mum and I followΒ Carolynne Collier’s Beechworth/Stanley Spicy Apple Cake recipe.Β However we make a few alterations based on personal taste preferences. Our version has more apple, more spice and no nuts. I do enjoy nuts in muffins and biscuits, however I do not often add them to cakes when the recipe calls for them. I find they can get in the way of the fruit flavour. Perhaps my tastes will change, and soon I will crave the textural presence and taste of nuts in my cakes. But for now, I opt to omit them. I add in more apple as I often find that when baking cakes such as this one (and banana bread too) I crave a stronger fruit flavour. The extra apple no doubt makes up for the lack of nuts in terms of bulking out the cake. Adding in some poached rhubarb works wonderfully, and you can play around with the dried fruit (i.e. raisins or cranberries).

Spicy Apple Cake


6 medium Granny Smith apples
125g melted butter (often in recipes I use reduced fat dairy spread in place of butter, however this time I had nothing but the real deal on hand)
1 1/2 cups plain flour (I have not yet tried this recipe with wholemeal flour, however I am keen to try it soon. It is always good to opt for wholemeal when you can for extra nutrients!)
1 teaspoon spice (I use a French 4 spice blend containing allspice, nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon)
1 cup sugar (I often use half caster sugar, half brown sugar for a more caramel flavoured cake)
1 egg beaten
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup sultanas


Peel and dice the apples (apple skin contains lots of nutrients, so don’t throw it away. It can be used to make jelly (apples contain pectin), and I would one day like to try something like this . What I usually do is put the peeled skin in a bowl and much on it as I work/read).

apples on board w600 1

Put the diced apples into a bowl and sprinkle with the sugar. Stir to coat and leave for 2-3 minutes.

Melt the butter on the stove or in a microwave. Pour the melted butter over the apples and sugar, stir to coat. Add the beaten egg into the apple mixture.

Sift the dry ingredients together and add to the apple mixture, stirring until just mixed.
Add the sultanas.

sifting w600 1

Pour the cake mixture into a greased circle baking dish. Make sure the flour part of the mixture is spread evenly amongst the apple chunks. Smooth the top with a spoon.

smoothed cake w600 1

Bake at 180 degrees celsius for 50-60 minutes (mine cooked in 50 minutes, however I often check at the 45 minute mark, as my parent’s oven is gloriously strong – I save all my special baking for their oven).

Cool for 10 mins before turning out.

cooked cake w1000 2

I serve mine as is, however if having it for dessert, some vanilla ice-cream or cream would be a nice accompaniment. I find that this cake is even better the day after. Just be sure to store it in an airtight container or use plastic wrap.

This cake gives me a warm fuzzy feeling, making me want to put on some gumboots and prance around apple orchids. It is the perfect afternoon treat in the cooler months.

Thank you, mum, for introducing me to this cake, for our fun times reading together when I was a child, and for not getting mad when you found apples under my bed…

apple cake w600 1

Heidi xo

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  • riotersbloc August 17, 2010 at 11:56 pm

    Haha what a gorgeous story! Love your writing, and that cake is giving me the munchies. Looking forward to more of your posts πŸ™‚

  • Karen August 18, 2010 at 8:38 am

    What lovely memories , what a wonderful blog.
    Congratulations on a great beginning to an exciting adventure!

  • mscrankypants August 18, 2010 at 8:59 am

    What a lovely story, and I share your love of Red Hill apples. I am also known to raid the Red Hill cherry and berry farms near the football ground around Christmas time, and look out anyone who gets in my way :-).

    minithemeezer on Vogue

  • Harriet August 18, 2010 at 9:10 am

    Looks delicious Heidi! I love cinnamon, but perhaps I would substitute the sultanas for something else! xox

  • Heidi August 18, 2010 at 9:57 am

    Thanks for the support girls! How lovely.

    Yes, bring on the Red Hill markets and the cherries at c
    Christmas time! The markets start in a few weeks, I believe. Cant wait.

    And bean, I forgot that you don't like sultanas! All dried fruit is out, if I remember our time spent looking for fruit-free muesli. I remember picking the fruit out of my muesli in bulk whilst watching tv πŸ™‚ Just leave them out or put in the nuts.

    Heidi xo

  • Chanel11 August 18, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    Being read stories by my mother is one of my most treasured memories, and it is what instigated my love of books. I too, used to get a reading snack of quartered apple with cinnamon and sugar – it's such a wonderful combination and it creates the most gorgeous smells – especially when baked into a cake as scrumptious as yours looks

  • Heidi August 18, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    Thanks, Chanel11. I often go to your blog for a no-fail dessert recomendation πŸ™‚ Im glad this cake tickled your fancy. Apples and cinnamon are the best combination!

  • Jackson August 18, 2010 at 7:46 pm

    "My younger brother, Jackson, didn't follow in my footsteps – he likes to eat the entire apple, core and all."

    Guilty πŸ™‚ tee hee! nice pictorials sis xo

  • Patricia Scarpin August 20, 2010 at 12:19 am

    I love baking with apples and now I'm craving this delicious dessert! Yum!

  • Doff and Roo August 20, 2010 at 5:17 pm

    Hiedi love your blog and your story and recipes I'm sure every one will enjoy it and all the healthy tips keep it up

  • Carly Findlay August 22, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    I love the way you've written this story, combining it with food.
    I really look forward to reading your blog each day.

  • Heidi August 22, 2010 at 6:13 pm

    Thanks Carly! And thanks for introducing me to your blogs, I look forward to reading them too πŸ™‚ xo

  • Jackson August 24, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    the eggs! they have hats….
    they think they're people! i love it πŸ™‚ ps- oatmeal pancakes… yum! i think you should write about how we were halfway through making a pancake mix and realised we ran out of milk, so used chocolate big m instead.. and the result was legen-wait for it-dary!

  • Denita August 24, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    Heidi this is fantastic! Despite being 10.44pm and not hungry at all I desperately want that dessert right now. I absolutely love your blog – I will be a regular visitor here πŸ™‚ xx

  • Kara August 24, 2010 at 5:24 pm

    could not be prouder!!! Wonderful to see you have started writing…I look forward to many more delicious posts in the future πŸ™‚ x

  • Heidi August 24, 2010 at 6:17 pm

    jackson – love that you like the pancakes. when im home next you can make me some big M ones πŸ™‚ xo

    De!! thanks lovely. miss you so much xo

    Kara you're so sweet πŸ™‚ thanks for the blog love xo

  • hollypop August 26, 2010 at 11:35 am

    the story you shared from your childhood is so adorable. i liked to stay up late reading, too. but i never thought to snack.
    oh and the cake looks so yum.

  • Primordial Soup September 11, 2010 at 6:58 am

    Hello Heidi

    I came across your comment on another Heidi's blog and was intrigued by the name. You see, we also have an 'apples under the bed' story in our family!

    In a house full of teenagers, my father – longing for some peace and quiet – purchased a hobby apple orchard about 90 minutes from the city. My mother was skeptical that he could pull off a harvest, but from the very first season, baskets of apples started arriving every Sunday evening. We could not eat them fast enough. Not wanting to offend, my mother started hiding the apples – you guessed it – under the bed! I don't think she was ever discovered …

    My mother is 83 now and, like you, I would also describe her as incredibly delightful, warm and sweet, with a touch of spice! πŸ˜‰

    Great minds think alike, and I can see only success in your blog and lifetime endeavours, if you follow in the footsteps of such awesome ladies.

    Congrats on a lovely blog, from our orchard to your oven!

  • Heidi September 11, 2010 at 8:49 am

    What a gorgeous story, Primordial Soup! Your mother seems very sweet indeed. How lovely to have such similar stories πŸ™‚
    Thank you so much for your incredibly kind words. They mean so much to me. Cheers to apple love!
    Heidi xo

  • Kath (Eating for Living) September 11, 2010 at 9:58 am

    That is such a lovely story behind "Apples Under My Bed"! (Btw I love the name of your blog! And I also love apples!)

    I want to make an apple pie right now! Usually, I don't eat pie, but yours doesn't seem to contain a big amont of flour, so I think I could replace it with ground almonds. Have to give it a try!

  • Heidi September 11, 2010 at 11:21 am

    Hi Kath! Thanks for your comment πŸ™‚ You're right, it really doesn't contain much flour, so it is a nice light cake. Happy baking!

  • Iron Chef Shellie September 19, 2010 at 10:09 pm

    What a gorgeous story! I can't understand people who can eat the core, and those people who eat the rind of citrus.

    I too am an apple lover.. but it was always chocolate under my bed πŸ˜‰

  • Heidi September 19, 2010 at 10:16 pm

    Hehe – love it, Shellie πŸ™‚

  • snackgirlgoeshealthy December 30, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    WOW! We sound like twins! I freakin love apples! I can down 5 or 6 in a day .But choose to limit it to 3 πŸ˜‰

  • Fikranilam February 19, 2011 at 2:02 am

    What a cute story behind the name, Heidi. And by the way, hi! I just found your blog and have a great time reading your writing.


  • zoepitchi May 22, 2011 at 12:33 am

    Hi Heidi,

    I have had your site bookmarked for a while and finally came back today to get and make the French Toast from your recipe! It turned out fabulously, thank you!

    I am really excited to find your blog, I think we have a lot in common with our ideas about food. It is interesting that you are a dietician, I have been looking for a good one to make sure I am getting all I need as a vegetarian! Perhaps we could talk some time πŸ™‚

    I made this cake tonight and I noticed that the amount of apples in your recipe is about twice that in the initial recipe. I only used 3 apples but stuck the the rest of the recipe and my batter seemed a lot more dense than yours in the picture. It still turned out lovely though. Is yours crumbly? Maybe I just need to add more butter. Any advice?

    Looking forward to your future posts πŸ™‚


  • Heidi May 22, 2011 at 7:30 am

    Hi Zoe, I'm so pleased you liked my French Toast! Yes I added more apples as this is how my mum has always made it! This way it turns out that there is very little batter, which doesn't make for a dense cake. Im not sure why she does this, but now it is habit for us with this recipe πŸ™‚ That's the only thing we changed that would alter the texture, really – the apples (which provides extra sugar). It allows the cake to be a little crumbly but not overly so. Thanks for such a lovely comment! Heidi xo

  • zoepitchi May 29, 2011 at 12:48 am

    Thank you for your response Heidi πŸ™‚ I hope you don't mind, I had to post the recipe on my blog (everyone knows it's from you though! All my friends will probably be visiting your blog now too) because SO many people asked me for the recipe! I made it for a second time with the right amount of apples and following your recipe, it is so easy and delicious! It was just the right amount of crumbly.

  • Heidi May 29, 2011 at 4:42 pm

    That's great to hear, thanks Zoe! πŸ™‚ xo

  • Shu Han September 12, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    i read your 'about' and it really sounds like me (: great blog, and very interesting first post!

    • Heidi June 16, 2014 at 7:01 pm

      Thank you!

  • Rosa’s Table - Apples Under My Bed - A food diary. August 17, 2013 at 6:03 am

    […] I’m having the time of my life rambling about food to you all. Thank you for reading. Here is my very first post, in case you’re a new reader or if you’re feeling nostalgic. I need to make that cake […]

  • Jannine May 19, 2014 at 10:49 am

    Hi Heidi

    I have made this cake twice now and it has been delicious both times. Can I sub gala or pink ladies for the granny smith’s? I just bought a large bag of both πŸ™‚

    • Heidi June 16, 2014 at 7:03 pm

      Hi Jannine, I just saw this comment, sorry! I use a range of apples in the cake so sure thing, give it a go. Let me know which is your favourite, I’d love to know x

      • Jannine July 24, 2014 at 2:17 pm

        Ahh, I can’t actually choose πŸ™‚ I actually have one baking at the moment which is a mixture of pink lady & green apples. Our oven is crappy so I’ve been using our trusty Weber, it has turned out perfect each time πŸ™‚

        • Heidi July 24, 2014 at 2:59 pm

          oh brilliant!! I love that, how rad. Thanks for keeping me in the loop x

  • Dartza June 16, 2014 at 5:30 pm

    I just made this recipe into cupcake size & they’re the perfect winter snack. I also made them with whole meal flour & it’s perfect. Thank you for the great recipe & site! You’re a great inspiration (:

    • Heidi June 16, 2014 at 7:05 pm

      Oh that’s a great idea, I love it! Thank YOU for the inspiration x

  • Nicole peacock June 29, 2016 at 1:31 pm

    Made this cake last night, it is delicious! Thank you for all your wonderful recipes. I have an 18 month old and am going to try the pumpkin pikelets tomorrow xo

  • Avril July 23, 2016 at 8:46 pm

    Just lovely. Reading your blog is like reading a favourite book. You have to write one- something like the Kerry Greenwood Corrina Chapman series?
    Having a lonely & low night & this has helped so much. Thank you.