Toffee Apple Hazelnut Cake for Bonfire Night or Other Autumnal Occasions

Toffee Apple Hazelnut Cake with Smoky Salted Caramel Sauce

Autumn, Large Cakes | 15th October 2017 | By

The leaves are turning, the mornings are misty and the season of mellow fruitfulness has definitely arrived. There are apples aplenty here in the New Forest and apple cake is an autumnal essential bake. For Bonfire Night last year, I reckon I created my best ever. It’s a toffee apple hazelnut cake and is just perfect for this time of year.

The Food Journal: Seasonal Treats

My toffee apple hazelnut cake featured in the Seasonal Treats edition of The Food Journal last year. It contains a whole host of recipes from fellow food bloggers all pertaining to a specific season. So if you fancy such delights as Valentines cookies, Easter morning carrot cake bars, green goblin soup or cinnamon spiced snowmen, follow The Food Journal link where you’ll be able to download a PDF of the entire publication.

October 2018 Update

The link is no longer valid, but you can still download the PDF if you do an internet search for the title – The Food Journal: Seasonal Treats.

Toffee Apple Hazelnut Cake

Toffee Apple Hazelnut Cake

I’ve made many an apple cake in my time and they are all good. My almond apple cider cake and my Dorset apple cake with chocolate caramel were exceptionally good (she says modestly), but I reckon this toffee apple hazelnut cake tops them all. It’s a light fruity sponge made with wholemeal flour and seasonal hazelnuts and apples. As if this wasn’t good enough, a key ingredient is a homemade smoky salted caramel sauce.

Toffee Apple Hazelnut Cake with Smoky Salted Caramel Sauce

The tart apple combines with the sweet salty caramel to create a taste sensation. The smoky salted toffee sauce is divine and can be greedily eaten with a spoon just as it is, or drizzled over ice cream. The cake is also excellent served warm as a dessert with a jug of the toffee sauce on the side.

Toffee Apple Hazelnut Cake

With its toffee apple flavour and smoky notes, my toffee apple hazelnut cake is perfect for Bonfire Night or any other autumnal occasion where cake or a filling dessert is needed.

Toffee Apple Hazelnut Cake – The Recipe

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Toffee Apple Hazelnut Cake with Smoky Salted Caramel Sauce
Toffee Apple Hazelnut Cake
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
50 mins
Total Time
1 hr 10 mins
A light fruity sponge made with wholemeal flour, ground hazelnuts and apples which is drizzled with a delightful smoky salted toffee sauce. Perfect Bonfire Night fare.
Course: Afternoon Tea, Dessert
Cuisine: British
Servings: 8 people
Author: Choclette @ Tin and Thyme
Smoky Salted Toffee Sauce
  • 100 g golden caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp golden syrup
  • 75 unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp smoked sea salt (or just use sea salt)
  • 125 ml double cream
  • 180 g unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  • 100 g light muscovado sugar
  • 100 g golden caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs (duck eggs are particularly good)
  • 175 g golden wholemeal flour (or half wholemeal flour and half white flour)
  • 1 rounded tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 100 g hazelnuts – 75g freshly ground and 25g roasted and roughly chopped
  • 2 cooking apples - peeled, cored and diced to roughly 1 cm sq
  • 100 g buttermilk, sour milk or kefir (you can make your own sour milk by adding 1 tsp vinegar to milk and leaving for a few minutes).
  • 1 Cox’s Orange Pippin or other tart dessert apple – peeled - cored but not peeled, then finely sliced
Smoky Salted Toffee Sauce
  1. Pour the sugar into a medium to large saucepan and place over a medium heat.

  2. Add the golden syrup and leave for a few minutes until the sugar has melted and turned a light brown colour.

  3. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter. Be careful as it might spit.
  4. Return the mixture to the heat and simmer for a minute.

  5. Add the cream and salt, stir and allow to cook for a further minute. Take off the heat and allow to cool.
  1. Cream the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy.
  2. Beat in the eggs one by one, adding a little of the flour in between each one if the mixture curdles.
  3. Sieve in the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda. Add the ground hazelnuts and stir until just mixed.
  4. Stir in the apple pieces followed by the buttermilk until everything is just mixed.
  5. Spoon into a 23cm round silicon cake mould or lined baking tin.

  6. Arrange the apple slices over the top, then drizzle with 4 tbsp of the toffee sauce.
  7. Bake at 180℃ for 40 minutes or until the cake is well risen and firm to the touch and an inserted skewer comes out more or less clean.
  8. Leave to cool in the mould or tin, then transfer onto a serving plate.

  9. Drizzle with 3-4 tbsp of the toffee sauce, then scatter the roasted hazelnuts over the top.
Recipe Notes

Can also be served warm for dessert with the rest of the toffee sauce if desired.

Other Bonfire Night recipes you might like


I’m sharing my toffee apple hazelnut cake with Only Crumbs Remain for #BakingCrumbs and Mummy Mishaps for #BakeoftheWeek.

Keep in Touch

If you make this toffee apple hazelnut cake, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below or via social media. A photo is always good too. For more delicious and nutritious recipes, follow me on TwitterFacebook, Instagram or Pinterest.

Toffee Apple Hazelnut Cake. PIN IT.

Toffee Apple Hazelnut Cake


  1. Leave a Reply

    Charlene Flash
    15th October 2017

    Gorgeous and is perfect for the Autumn season.

  2. Leave a Reply

    15th October 2017

    Oh great job Choccy, this looks (and I bet smells!) just incredible

  3. Leave a Reply

    Kate | The Veg Space
    16th October 2017

    I can just about imagine how beautiful Autumn in the New Forest is, all those trees! What a beautiful cake, I’ve never really got on with toffee apples as they just make my teeth stick together, but this is such a lovely way to make the most of all those flavours. Delish!

  4. Leave a Reply

    16th October 2017

    This looks amazing! I would love to share it with you although I doubt there’s any left!

    • Leave a Reply

      1st November 2017

      Thanks Alida. I’m not sure I could cope with it for breakfast, but any other time of day would do me very well indeed 🙂

  5. Leave a Reply

    jenny paulin
    16th October 2017

    oh my goodness! This is so my kind of cake – all that toffee lushness and apple moistness! Oh I could dig in with my fork right now! thank you for including my cake link 🙂 and for linking to #Bakeoftheweek x

  6. Leave a Reply

    18th October 2017

    Ooh wow this looks delicious and perfect for an autumn celebration. Love the drizzled sauce over the top in particular – drool!

  7. Leave a Reply

    19th October 2017

    This looks incredible! I love the sound of all the textures and flavours – absolutely perfect for this time of year.

  8. Leave a Reply

    Monika Dabrowski
    22nd October 2017

    Looks absolutely gorgeous and I love the idea of using wholemeal flour in a cake recipe – even bakes can be made healthier. I’ve never used smoky sea salt but it sounds very interesting, I’ll look out for it next time I am in a supermarket.

    • Leave a Reply

      23rd October 2017

      I always use wholemeal flour when baking, or at least it’s very rare for me not to. I usually use less sugar than most bakes too, so although not exactly healthy, my bakes are usually a lot less bad for you. That’s the theory anyway 😉

  9. Leave a Reply

    Angela / Only Crumbs Remain
    27th October 2017

    Ooh yummy! I absolutely love this Choclette, and the drizzle of the caramel sauce (which I’m fascinated to try being smoked and salted) down the sid of the cake is just soooo inviting!
    Angela x

    • Leave a Reply

      29th October 2017

      Thanks Angela. When I found smoked sea salt, I just had to use it in a bonfire cake.

    • Leave a Reply

      1st November 2017

      It’s definitely that time of year. I’m feeling I need toffee and apple.

    • Leave a Reply

      1st December 2017

      Thanks Kat. It was a good one. All my favourite flavours combined. Well almost – no chocolate!

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