A new take on an old favourite is always fun- but when the main ingredient comes from your own backyard, it’s even better!
Blessed with a pest-free winter crop of custard apples, I’ve adapted the traditional teacake to allow the humble custard apple to shine. Custard apples are a fruit that many of us grew up eating. Whether we found them on a tree at school, on a family farm, were gifted them by neighbours or cheekily pinched one that was hanging over a fence, they always taste like childhood, laughter, and fun.
This custard apple & cinnamon tea cake isn’t difficult to make- essentially, it’s a fairly simple cake with some fruit on top. The beauty of a good teacake is its light and fluffy texture, and there are 2 keys to getting it right. These are, having your eggs and butter at room temperature, plus mixing it in such a way that it traps the maximum possible amount of air. This isn’t just something that your gran made up- there’s actual science to it.
Custard apple & cinnamon teacake, like many cake recipes, starts with creaming the butter and sugar together. When beaten, butter is capable of holding air and the creaming process allows butter to trap that air. The trapped air expands from the heat of the oven, thus producing a fluffy product. Room temperature ingredients create a smooth-textured batter, because they bond together very easily when they’re warm. A smooth batter with lots of trapped air results in a light, fluffy cake that has a uniform texture. It’s very much worth planning ahead to get your ingredients at room temperature- if you try to blend cold ingredients together, it won’t work because they don’t emulsify. This will give results that are less than ideal, like cake that’s too heavy, lumpy icing, crunchy bits throughout a cake, breads that don’t rise.
We love a good home-made cake here at Self Sufficient Me, so why not check out more of our fantastic cake recipes!
Here’s How to Make It
De-seed your custard apples and set aside in a small bowl. Grease and line a springform tin with butter and baking paper. Preheat the oven to 180C.
Make the topping and set it aside. Combine the sugar and cinnamon in one bowl, and the small knobs of butter in another.
In a large mixing bowl, first cream the butter and sugar together with electric beaters. Beat well, until the mixture pales in colour. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing in well.
Sift the flour, cinnamon and ginger power together into a bowl then combine well.
Fold 1/3 of the flour mixture into the butter mixture until well combined. Then fold in 1/3 of the milk. Repeat, in 2 more batches, with the remaining flour and milk.
The key to making a light, fluffy cake is the folding. To fold a mixture, use a flexible soft plastic spatula to press down the centre, then lift it up and over itself, scraping around the sides as you go. This traps the maximum possible amount of air through the mixture, and gives tea cake its unmistakeable lightness.
Once all the ingredients have been mixed in and the batter is complete, spoon it into the base of the tin and smooth it out with a spatula as best you can.
Drain any excess liquid from your custard apple, then spread it over the top of the cake. It doesn’t have to be perfect!
Spread the topping over the cake, then add the extra knobs of butter, spacing them evenly. Bake for 35-40 mins. Remove from the oven and let sit in the tin for 20 minutes to cool.
Custard Apple & Cinnamon Teacake
- baking paper
- electric beater
- 1 springform cake tin
- 1 Spatula
- 2 small bowls
- 1 large mixing bowl
- small knob of butter, for greasing
- 125 grams caster sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 100 grams butter at room temperature
- 2 eggs at room temperature
- 1.5 cups self-raising flour
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 100 ml milk
- 2 medium custard apples about 350 grams – doesn't need to be an exact measure
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1.5 tbsp caster sugar
- 25 grams butter, chopped
- Preheat oven to 180C or 160C fan-forced (355F).
- Brush a springform pan with a knob of butter then line the base with baking paper (parchment).
- Make the topping by combining the the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Beat the butter and sugar in a bowl with the electric beater until pale.
- Add the eggs one at a time, beating well.
- Sift the flour, cinnamon & ginger into a bowl.
- Fold 1/3 of the flour mixture into the butter mixture until well combined. Then fold in 1/3 of the milk. Repeat, in 2 more batches, with the remaining flour and milk.
- Spoon the cake mixture into the base of the pan and smooth it out with a spatula.
- Arrange the chopped custard apple over the top, then sprinkle with the topping mixture.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Check it at 30 mins. Note that tea cakes become dry very easily, so be sure to remove from the oven when it is *just* cooked.
- Once cooked, remove the cake from the oven and leave it to cool for 20 minutes before removing it from the tin.