Great Britsh Bake Off contestant shares recipe for a Mad Chatter’s Tea Party

Cathryn Dresser, the fabulous contestant from this summer’s Great British Bake Off (BBC Two), kindly shared with us her recipe for a delicious Toffee Apple Tray Bake in celebration of Mad Chatter’s Tea Parties happening across the country for Chatterbox Challenge 2013.

Remember, cooking is a fantastic activity to do with your little ones. They can learn and practice a whole range of skills and it gives them an understanding of food and where it all comes from. But even more important than that, it is fantastic fun.

Start by teaching basic cooking skills like mixing, and you could soon have a budding chef in the family.

For more information on I CAN’s Chatterbox Challenge, please visit

Toffee Apple Tray Bake

You will need

  • A rectangular shallow cake tin measuring 27x18cm
  • Scales
  • Measuring jug
  • Food processor or grater
  • Whisk
  • Sieve
  • Wooden spoon
  • Large metal spoon
  • Large and medium sized mixing bowls
  • Baking paper
  • Cling film
  • Small palette/table knife


For the cake

  • 3 big Bramley apples, or 4 Granny Smith apples
  • 1 lemon
  • 175ml sunflower oil
  • 3 medium free range eggs
  • 200g soft light brown sugar
  • 200g plain flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1½ teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt

For the topping

  • 100g soft butter
  • 150g sifted icing sugar
  • 4 tablespoons condensed milk toffee, which can be bought in any supermarket


Preheat the oven to 180˚C

Butter and line the tin with baking paper.

Roughly chop the apple (you can leave the skin on but discard the core), pop it into the processor (or grate) and blitz into small pieces.

Take the blade out of the food processor.

Tip the blitzed apple into a medium-sized bowl and squeeze over lemon juice. Cover the bowl with cling film and move it somewhere out of the way for now.

Put the oil into a medium-sized bowl and add the sugar.

Mix these together with a whisk until the mixture is light and airy.

In a separate, small bowl beat the eggs together with a fork, then slowly add them to the sugar mixture a little at a time, whisking in between each addition.

Now squeeze most of the juice from the blitzed apple your hands.

Stir the squeezed-out apple through the mixture gently.

sieve the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and cinnamon into the mixture and fold these the dry ingredients through the mixture with a large metal spoon, making sure it’s all combined.

Pour your mixture into the prepared tin and smooth the top with a palette/table knife.

Pop into the oven and bake for around 40 minutes until it has risen and is springy to the touch.

Leave this to cool in its tin for ten minutes and then carefully turn out onto a wire rack to completely cool.

To make the icing, use a sieve to sift the sugar into a medium sized bowl with the soft butter and beat for 10 minutes with a wooden spoon or electric hand whisk until it’s very light and fluffy, then add the toffee and mix it in.

Spread the icing over the cake with your palette/table knife. You can make it lovely and smooth or use the knife to make a pattern or peaks with the icing instead.