Summer is finally upon us and I am busy in the kitchen making apple cake as the smell of cinnamon, nutmeg and lemon waft through the house…

Wait, did I just type lemon?

You see, summer to me is synonymous with lemons (and lemonade!). And this year, like no other year, the lemon tree in our garden has been very in tune with my lemon obsession, producing lemons like there’s no tomorrow.

But lemons and apple cake you ask?


Why, yes! The sweetness of the apples and the spiciness of the cinnamon are perfectly balanced by the cake’s zesty lemon icing. When in season, this cake tastes divine with Meyer lemons too.

Another thing that I love about this cake is its buttery moist texture and tangy taste that the buttermilk gives it. If buttermilk is not on your grocery list, don’t worry! Just combine a cup of your regular milk with a tablespoon of vinegar. Give it a stir, wait 15 minutes and ta-dah! Your buttermilk is now ready for use!

And another thing I forgot to mention. All you need is one bowl. For everything.

Start by combining 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour, 1 ½ cups light brown sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a bowl (the one and only bowl, remember?). The recipe works just as well if you replace all or some of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour for healthier outcome.


Add the eggs, buttermilk, butter and vanilla extract. Whisk everything together until combined or use an electric mixer and beat on medium speed for 1 minute. Be careful not to over mix because the cake will end up denser and less fluffy.


Peel, core, and chop 3 medium sized apples, about 2 ½ cups. Stir them into the batter with a wooden spoon.


Spread the batter evenly into a 33x23cm (13”x9”) greased metal baking pan. Bake at 180C/350F for 30-35 minutes.


Cool completely on a wire rack before icing, otherwise the icing will get all runny!


A taste of summer in every bite!


Summer Apple Cake with Lemon Icing Recipe


2 ¼ cups all purpose flour
1 ½ cups light brown sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp salt
½ tsp ground nutmeg
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 peeled and chopped sweet apples


Preheat oven to 180C/350F.

Combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add eggs, buttermilk, butter, and vanilla extract. Beat on medium-low speed using an electric mixer just until blended, about 1 minute. Scrape sides and beat for 1 more minute. Stir in apples.

Spread batter evenly into a greased 13”x9” metal baking pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let the cake cool completely in pan on a wire rack before icing.

To make lemon icing– Whisk together 2 ¼ cups icing sugar, 3 tbs melted butter, 3 tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice and 1 tsp finely grated lemon zest.