Bready or Not: Apple Slice Tray Bake

Posted by on Mar 24, 2021 in apples, Blog, blondies, Bready or Not, breakfast, cake | Comments Off on Bready or Not: Apple Slice Tray Bake

This Apple Slice Tray Bake would simply be an Apple Cake to most Americans. Whatever you call it, it’s packed with apples and delicious.

Bready or Not: Apple Slice Tray Bake

This is third consecutive recipe I’ve modified from the Bake from Scratch Magazine July/August 2020 Ireland-themed issue. I still have a few more things I want to try in the coming months, too!

Bready or Not: Apple Slice Tray Bake

I’ve found that French, Irish, and British apple cake recipes tend to be lighter on sugar and spices than typical American recipes. The focus is really on the apples.

Bready or Not: Apple Slice Tray Bake

I used Honeycrisps here, which are one of my favorite apples to eat outright or bake with! Two big apples will work.

Bready or Not: Apple Slice Tray Bake

This bakes up light, lofty, and cakey, with a sugar-crusted top and a lovely flavor of apples throughout. The pieces freeze and thaw very well, too, meaning you can enjoy this like it is fresh but spread over days or weeks!

Bready or Not: Apple Slice Tray Bake

This Irish-style apple cake is lighter on spices and sugar than American versions, letting the natural, pure sweetness of apples shine through. (Note that the all-purpose flour, salt, and baking powder could be replaced by 3 1/3 cup self-rising flour.) Modified from Bake from Scratch Magazine July/August 2020 Ireland-themed issue.
Course: Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine: irish
Keyword: apple, bars, cake
Author: Beth Cato


  • 9×9 baking pan
  • uneven spatula


Apple layer:

  • 2 large baking apples Honeycrisp work well
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon white sugar


  • 1 1/4 cups unsalted butter (2 and a half sticks) room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 4 large eggs room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste or substitute vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice
  • 2 Tablespoons turbinado sugar


  • Preheat oven at 350-degrees. Line a 9×9 pan with foil and apply nonstick spray.
  • Peel and core the apples, then slice to about 1/4-inch thickness. Place slices in a large bowl and toss them with lemon juice and 1 Tablespoon white sugar, until apples are coated. Set aside.
  • In a big mixing bowl, beat butter and white sugar for several minutes, until blended and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing in well and scraping bowl afterward. Add vanilla. The batter may look curdled, but that’s okay.
  • In a separate bowl, stir together flour, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, and allspice. Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the wet.
  • Spread about half of the batter into the pan, using an uneven spatula to form an even layer. Arrange apple slices, flat side down, to cover the batter entirely. Top with the remaining batter, using the uneven spatula again to even out as much as possible. Sprinkle turbinado sugar all over the top.
  • Bake until the middle of the cake passes the toothpick test, which will be from 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes. Cover pan with foil about halfway through to prevent it from browning too much.
  • Let cool in pan for an least 10 minutes, then use foil to lift cake onto a cutting board. Slice into squares. Tastes best warmed and at room temperature. Pieces can also be shrouded in plastic wrap and frozen for later enjoyment.