Little Party Nibbles: Mini Apple Sponge Cakes

My sister is having a few parties in NZ this month. And as I am 8,961 miles away  (14,421 km) I am not sure I can make it.  So I am going to join in by sending her a couple of my favourite party nibble recipes.  Though I never called them parties, we had gatherings.

Mini Apple Sponge cakes have a pastry base, unsweetened apple centre and sponge on top. The tart apple hits the sweet sponge with a crunch of pastry. Perfect.   I make them in the tiniest muffin tins you can find. In fact the tins I use are little round metal chocolate moulds. Very small. 

My rules with nibbles are:  You only have One hand for the food!  Think about it.  The other  hand is obviously going to be in possession of some kind of sensational sparkly beverage!   So nibbles must be little.  They must NOT be explosive (you know the ones) . And they should be small enough to pop into your mouth without overflow because juggling a drink, a bite, a plate and a napkin is not going to work. The drink always wins.

Make or buy some flaky pastry. Line your greased tins with little circlets of the pastry.  Cover in a barely damp cloth and store in the fridge.  Make little tiny leaves or shapes with your left over pastry, wrap these in a damp cloth and store in the fridge as well.

Cook 4 granny smith apples in a tiny bit of water until they fall apart then roughly mash with a fork. Allow to cool. Often I do this the night before. It is easier if the apple is cold. Do NOT sweeten.  The sponge does that for you. And no cinnamon either. Let that poor apple be!


  • 125g (4 oz) butter
  •  1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1tsp baking powder

Beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time. Fold in flour and baking powder.

Now  spoon a little apple sauce into the pastry. Place a small dollop of sponge on top of that (be careful not to overfill) and then top with a tiny hat of pastry. I glaze the little hat with apricot sauce or egg. Work fast so that your pastry does not get warm.

Cook at 200C or 380F  for 20 minutes. 

These can be made the day before and stored in an airtight container. 

Their shapes come out somewhat random.  But tasty.  I would make them more often but this lot just eat them. Just eat them without thought!  Snap. Gobble. Swallow. Gone!!

Maybe I should have put a guard on them.


74 Comments on “Little Party Nibbles: Mini Apple Sponge Cakes

  1. I love homemade nibbles. So much better than the store-bought, deep-dried stuff that all the supermarkets are trying to make us buy right now. Rock-bottom prices are bound to find a few takers but I’m hoping that people take the time to do proper homemade at this time of the year. I plan on making more of Dan Lepard’s oatcakes for our stilton. Ooooh yah…

    • Did you post your oatcakes already, i have a feeling you did, i must go and have a look because they sound like something I WANT!! And stilton, yes i must see if I can find some..I will try and make some blue next year.. we will see c

  2. These look so cute! I’ve never seen anything like them before. And I like your philosophy of small so that you can still manage the drink. I always pass on appetizers at work functions because they’re too clunky to manage with my glass of wine. 😉

  3. I think these are so delightful with their little “hats” brushed with apricot! We are having a gathering on Christmas Eve and I think these would be a perfect addition and something quite different, thanks, c. Your guard looks rather fierce! (I tried responding once before but it didn’t work, apologies if I come up twice!) ~Betsy

    • You seem do have got through OK Betsy, I could not think of a better word that hats, maybe next time i make them I will fashion real little hats that would be funny.. c

  4. My son is thoroughly enamoured with your chickens 🙂 When he and his sister were playing Human Planet yesterday (involving hunting narwhals from kayaks and teaching eagle chicks how to catch foxes) my son shouted, “NO! Mine’s not an eagle! She’s an angry chicken!” So awesome. Thanks, C.

    • Oh those kids are so cute, i hope he does not think all chickens are angry. Though mine are not a sweet bunch i have to say. c

  5. These sound really good, Miss C., but that jaunty little leaf crown really makes ’em! They seem Treacy-inspired. By the way, I do hope you won’t have to wait too long before you can get back to NZ for a visit.

    • Oh John I have to time my next visit between milking and pregnancies, I will finish with milking about this time next year, and will time the sheep so they start lambing sometime in march the following year then I think (fingers crossed) I should be able to get away December/ Jan of next winter, the tricky bit will be getting Out of town, you know how inclement our weather is.. So yes, am hoping to get home in 12 months, wow that sounds so far away. c

  6. I fully understand the dangers of making something so tasty and easy to eat that the treats are gone before one knows what has happened. Would the rooster deter me…no chance.

  7. I adore little sweet treats! And these are as cute as they look delicious!! I love the little leaves on top! I’m keeping this in mind for a ladies luncheon – they will love it!!

    • Oh what a great idea. You can put any kind of decoration on top that you like, I must keep a look out for little pastry stamps, they would be fun, maybe little hearts. c

    • I would love you to try it, and maybe you can play about with the filling, i have thought about a custard .. cc

  8. These are way too perfect for a holiday party. I’m obsessed! Your sister should definitely make these, as I’m sure they’d be quite the hit. 🙂 x

  9. I, too, wear a little pastry hat, mostly to church on Sundays. I’ll have to try brushing it with apricot sauce. Your mini-apple sponge cakes look so scrumptious, cecilia, absolutely delicious. mmmmm

  10. One more rule.. they should be small enough, that when one stuffs them in and is asked a question, the person eating shall be able to speak clearly… and these pass the test:) Yummy!!

  11. Oh goodness, those look so delicious! I would love one right now but sadly no oven! Maybe I’m just starving from it being dinner time and still five minutes till I get out of work? 😀

  12. These are just to cute! I totally agree with your definition of a nibble and bubbles are a must for Christmas ‘gatherings’

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