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Apple and marmalade wholewheat cake

Apple and marmalade cake
Apple and marmalade cake

We have a mountain of cooking apples from the garden (actually ourdownstairs neighbours garden, but they don’t want them) to use up. Last year we just stewed them all then froze them in portions for crumbles throughout the winter, but right now the freezer is full of milk so I was looking for other ideas. I asked on Facebook and this one was one of the things suggested.

It’s a Nigel Slater recipe originally from the Observer. I made quite a lot of changes: I upped the apple content because the point was to use them up and adapted some of the portion sizes (my scales are not precise enough for 210g and surely everyone knows butter should always be measured in 50g (or 25g at a push) portions so you don’t have to actually weigh it). I also switched the raisins for chopped up dates as I don’t like raisins and had the dates at home. The recipe also asks for a helluva lot of different bowls to mix things in before mixing them into other things. I didn’t bother with that because I hate doing the dishes as it is without creating lots of unnecessary extra ones. This is a one-bowl cake! Oh, and finally, this made two 20cm cakes rather than one for me. I also substantially reduced the baking time, so maybe my 20cm tins are smaller than Nigel’s. This is the first time in my life I’ve ended up with more than the recipe suggested!

It makes a lovely cake that tastes both orangey and appley. I think this would be nice as muffins too, because of the wholemeal flour it feels quite substantial, so I think would be good as a snack.

250g butter at room temperature
200g light muscovado sugar
4 eggs
250g wholemeal flour
a lightly heaped teaspoon of baking powder
½ tsp ground cinnamon
300g apples (peeled weight), whopped into 1cm square pieces
100g dates, chopped into smallish pieces
125g orange marmalade
finely grated zest of an orange (I used a trusty orange back again)
Demerara sugar

makes enough for 20cm cake tins with a removable base

  • Set the oven at 160C/gas mark 4.
  • Beat the butter and sugar together until light, fluffy and pale coffee-coloured.
  • Beat the eggs in one at a time, introducing a spoonful of flour if the mixture starts to curdle.
  • Sift together the flour, baking powder and cinnamon and fold into the egg mixture.
  • Toss the chopped apples with the sultanas or raisins. Stir in the marmalade.
  • Fold in the apples, dates, marmalade and grated orange zest.
  • Spoon into a buttered cake tin, scatter a fine layer of Demerara over the top.
  • Bake for about 45 minutes, or until a skewer comes out moist but without any cake mixture sticking to it.
  • Cool before serving.

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