These cute toffee apple pops from Royal Wedding cake maker Fiona Cairns are a modern twist on the classic Halloween treat. Surely because they’re smaller it means we can have more than one?
- For the cake:
- 100g unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for the tin
- 300g self-raising flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 200g light muscovado sugar
- 3 dessert apples
- Squeeze of lemon juice
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- 100ml whole milk
- 30 lollipop sticks
- Hundreds and thousands
- For the buttercream
- 175g unsalted butter, softened
- 225g icing sugar, sifted
- For the toffee covering
- 160g white caster sugar
- 200ml double cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 170°C/340°F/Gas Mark 3½. Butter a 23cm square cake tin and line the base with baking parchment. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and cinnamon and stir in the sugar.
Peel, core and finely grate the apples. A lot of excess juice may come from the apples; it is very important to squeeze this out using a tea towel, or you will have a soggy cake! To stop the apple from browning, squeeze over a little lemon juice and combine.
Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and mix in the grated apples, eggs, melted butter and milk. Stir until just combined, but do not over-mix. Tip into the tin and bake for 35–40 minutes, or until a skewer emerges clean. Stand the tin on a wire rack for a few minutes, then turn out, remove the papers and cool completely.
To make the buttercream, in an electric mixer or in a bowl using a hand-held whisk, beat the butter until really pale and fluffy. Add the icing sugar and beat for at least five minutes more.
To make the pops, crumble the cake into a large bowl, removing any crusty bits. Mix in enough buttercream to hold the crumbs together. You may not need all the buttercream, but this is the quantity I used. Roll the mixture into about 30 balls. Place the balls on a tray lined with baking parchment and chill for several hours, or overnight.
Meanwhile, make the toffee covering. Place the sugar and 60ml water in a small, scrupulously clean, heavy-based pan over a gentle heat. Ensure all the sugar has dissolved, then increase the heat and bring to a boil. Watch all the time until it turns a beautiful golden caramel colour and thickens. Remove from the heat, stand back and add the cream and vanilla. It will splutter and seize, but keep stirring until you have a smooth shiny caramel.
Allow to cool for a minute or two. Place each lollypop stick into the caramel, then insert into each cake and dip into the caramel, covering it completely. Place on a tray and return to the fridge to set. Re-shape the pop if it’s cracked slightly. When ready to serve, roll each in a tray of hundreds and thousands to cover.
These toffee apple cake pops will keep in the fridge for a couple of days, so save time on your party day by making them in advance.