This easy apple traybake with its buttery pastry base, soft almond sponge top and juicy apple layer, is an comforting bake that is delicious with a cup of coffee or served for dessert with a scoop of ice cream or custard.
One of my all time classic bakes is almond slice, with it’s jammy layer underneath a sweet soft almond sponge. In this recipe I have replaced the jam with a stewed apple layer to create a delicious tray bake for Autumn or Winter.
Why we love this recipe
- Apple slice is a simple, homely slice that smells delicious baking.
- This traybake has been tested on many of my family and neighbours, and is always popular.
- This is a great recipe if you have a glut of apples from the garden, or some sad wilting apples sat in the fruit bowl.
Ingredient notes and substitutions
Please scroll down to the recipe card at the end of the post for ingredient quantities.
- Pastry – plain flour / all purpose flour, icing sugar / confectioners sugar, butter and water.
- Apples – you can make this slice with both cooking apples or eating apples.
- Ground almonds – also called almond meal or almond flour.
- Butter – I like to use unsalted butter but you can use salted if that’s all you have. You can use margarine if you prefer.
- Caster sugar – also known as superfine sugar. The smaller sugar crystals of caster sugar help create a finer textured sponge. If you don’t have caster sugar you can use white sugar / granulated sugar but the sponge texture won’t be the same. It’s still delicious though 😉
- Almond essence – almond essence adds a sweet strong hint of almond to the sponge. If however you are not a fan of almond essence, leave it out.
- Flaked almonds – flaked almonds add a delicious crunch and extra almond flavour as they become toasted as the slice cooks in the oven, however you can top the slice with nibbed almonds, roughly chopped raw almonds, or bake the slice without any almonds on top.
How to make almond and apple tray bake from scratch
Please scroll down to the recipe card at the end of the post for the full recipe.
- Make the apple layer: peel, core and chop the apples, then cook in a small saucepan until the apples have broken down and liquid has evaporated. You can mash to create a smooth puree of leave a few lumps in it. Leave to cool.
- Make the pastry: Mix flour and icing sugar together, then grate in the butter. Mix the butter in to the flour lightly with your finger tips until it resembles breadcrumbs. (See middle image below). Add cold water and mix to form a dough. Wrap in cling film and place in the fridge.
- Roll out the pastry between two sheets of baking paper then place it in the base of the lined tin, using any off cuts to make sure it covers the base evenly.
- Place in the preheated oven and bake until golden. TIP: you want the base to have some colour, this will help ensure the base is crispy once the slice is baked.
- In a large bowl or a stand mixer, mix the butter with sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add the ground almonds / almond meal, flour and baking powder, then add the whisked eggs and almond essence. Mix with a spoon to combine.
- Spread the cooled apples over the pastry base in an even layer.
- Spoon over the almond sponge batter and lightly spread out in an even layer with a spoon.
- Sprinkle over the flaked almonds and place in the preheated oven to bake.
For these images I have used a cooking apple, but I have also made this slice with Granny Smith. You can use your favourite eating apples, keeping in mind an eating apple will take longer to soften than cooking apples.
Yes you can, just make sure you drain the apple slices first, otherwise your slice could be soggy.
My recipe tips
- This slice is best served the day it is made, or the day after. After a couple of days the base loses it crunch a little. It is still edible, and if you are serving it to family it is more than fine; but if you wanted to make it for a bake sale or party, it is best to bake the slice just before serving.
- The pastry for this apple slice is thin and fragile – the best way to roll it out without sticking is between two sheets of baking paper. If you prefer you can roll it out and then press it in to the lined tin with your fingers.
- Cook the pastry until lightly golden as this will provide a slightly crunchy base. If you undercook the pastry it can become soggy when you top with the apple and almond sponge.
- Wait until the slice is cold before you cut it, otherwise it can be crumbly. Use a sharp knife – this will make it easier to cut through the flaked almonds neatly
Serve warm or cold, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or drizzle with custard.
This slice is best eaten within 2-3 days as the base softens over time (but is still edible!) Store at room temperature.
- Hazelnuts on top. Swap some of the almond meal / ground almonds for hazelnut meal / ground hazelnuts and top with chopped hazelnuts.
Ideas for almond meal / ground almonds
- Almond biscuits: lemon and almond biscuits, ricciarelli, almond flour chocolate chip cookies.
- Cake: Torta caprese (Italian chocolate cake), cherry and almond cake, lemon syrup cake.
- Curry: adding almonds to a curry like this chicken pasanda makes it thick and rich.
Why not try…
You may also like these other family friendly slices:
Almond Apple Traybake
- 20 x 20 cm / 8” x 8” square baking tin
- 220g (7¾ oz) apples *see note below.
- 60ml (¼ c) water
- pinch ground cinnamon, optional
- 100g (½ c + ⅙ c) plain flour
- 50g (1.7oz) butter cold, grated
- 15g (⅛ c) icing sugar confectioners sugar
- 1½-2 tablespoons cold water
- 100g (3½ oz) butter softened
- 100g (⅓ c + 1½ tablespoons) caster sugar superfine sugar
- 100g (1 c) ground almonds / almond meal / almond flour
- 40g (¼ c) plain flour
- 2 eggs size large
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon almond essence
- 30g (1 oz) flaked almonds, for the top, optional
Cook the apples
- Peel and roughly chop the apples. Add to a medium sized saucepan with the water and ground cinnamon, if using.
- Cook gently over a low-medium heat for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the apples have broken down (if using cooking apples), or soft (if using eating apples). The mixture should be quite dry, but if it starts to catch before the apples are tender, add a little more water.
- You can either puree the apples, mash them with a fork, or leave with a few lumps in. Leave to one side to cool.
Make the pastry
- In a medium sized mixing bowl combine the flour with icing sugar / confectioners sugar.
- Grate in the cold butter.
- Gently rub the butter in to the flour with your finger tips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
- Add 1½ tablespoons of cold water and mix. If the pastry seems a little dry add a little more water. Bring together and gently knead for a minute until it becomes smooth.
- Roll in to a ball, wrap in cling film / cling wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 200˚C fan / 220˚C / 392˚F convection / 428˚F.
- Line a 20cm x 20cm (8" x 8") square tin with baking paper / baking parchment.
- Roll the pastry out between two sheets of baking paper lightly dusted with flour (the pastry is delicate and can stick to a work surface).
- Carefully lift up the rolled out pastry with the bottom sheet of baking parchemnt and then flip upside down and lay it over the lined tin, trimming any excess and patching up any gaps as needed.
- Place in the preheated oven and bake for 7-10 minutes until the pastry is light golden.
- Take the tin out of the oven and place on a wire rack or heat proof surface to cool slightly.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 170˚C fan / 190˚C / 338˚F convection / 374˚F.
Make the frangipane sponge
- Beat the butter and sugar together with a spoon until light and fluffy.
- Add the ground almonds / almond meal, flour, and baking powder.
- Whisk the eggs and almond essence together with a fork then add to the flour and margarine and mix with a spoon to combine.
Layer the slice
- Spoon the cooled apple puree over the slightly cooled pastry base and spread out in an even layer.
- Spoon the almond frangipane over the apple puree and then smooth out with the back of a spoon.
- Sprinkle with flaked almonds, if using, then place in to the cooler oven and bake for 25 minutes until golden on top and a skewer inserted in to the sponge comes out clean.
- Cool completely in the tin. Cut into slices when cold.
- Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days (Best enjoyed the day it is made, or the day after) or freeze up to 2 months.