Vegetarian food blog featuring delicious and nutritious whole food recipes, creative baking and luscious chocolate.

Triple Apple & Orange Cake – Snow Day Bake Off

Large Cakes | 8th December 2010 | By

I wanted to enter something for Julia’s Snow Day Bake Off, but as we still haven’t had any snow here, I didn’t have a picture to send in.  I made a cake anyway and then the frost came – no snow, but lots of frost.  I’ve been waking up to a white roofed town every morning for the last few days.  So I now feel I can submit this recipe, even if it wasn’t taken on a particularly white day. 

The weekend before last, I spent 3 1/2 hours stirring apple puree to make apple butter – a labour of love I’m not sure I will repeat, although the result was rather a good one.  Now I have a few more jars sitting in my kitchen with nowhere to go – my store cupboard is already overly full.  I’ve given one away and we’ve been eating apple butter on toast, but how about using some in a cake?  It was Wendy from the Omnivorous Bear who got me in to the whole apple butter thing in the first place and I had a vague recollection that she had made a cake with hers.  Indeed she had and a very nice cake it sounded.  One of the points of using apple butter in a cake is that you can substitute it for fat – that’s the theory anyway. Wendy had reduced the oil in her recipe rather than eliminating it all together, which sounded very sensible to me. So without looking further I adapted her recipe in a number of ways, but mostly to include chocolate and flavouring it with orange rather than vanilla as follows:

  • Peeled, cored and chopped 2 large cooking apples (unnamed Cornish variety) mixed in 1 tbsp lemon juice to stop the apple going brown.
  • Beat 200g castor sugar, 60ml rapeseed oil and 2 duck eggs together until thick and creamy.
  • Beat in 2 large tbsp of apple butter followed by 200ml Greek yogurt.
  • Sieved in 300g flour (150g wholemeal spelt, 120g white spelt, 30g quinoa flour), 1.5 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp bicarb of soda, a pinch of salt and a dsp of dried powdered orange zest (could use grated zest of 1 orange).
  • Mixed in 50ml cider
  • Stirred in 100g finely chopped orange milk chocolate (Divine) and the apples.
  • Spooned into a 23cm round cake thingie.
  • Scattered 1 tbsp demerara sugar over the top.
  • Baked for 40 mins at 180C.

The cake rose beautifully.  It was light, moist, not too sweet and had a lovely crunchy top.   It tasted really good with the apples predominating as you might expect with this much apple, but the orange flavour kicked in soon after. The chocolate chunks were oases of sweetness in the surrounding fruitiness. One week on it tasted just as good. It went very nicely with clotted cream – but what doesn’t?


  1. Chele

    8th December 2010 at 8:01 am

    Mmmmmmmmm – apple butter sounds wonderful even if it is a labour of love. I can imagine it would be lovely in a cake too, looks so tasty ;0)

  2. matthewsfoodblog

    8th December 2010 at 8:21 am

    Wow this looks great!, so nice to see you have a nice crunchy topping so many good cakes lack that lately.

    Love the sectional picture really shows it off!

  3. Celia

    8th December 2010 at 10:01 am

    So beautiful, Choc! One of the upsides of cold weather is amazing apples, and that cake obviously makes great use of them!

  4. Kath

    8th December 2010 at 10:02 am

    I admired wendy’s cake too and love your variation. Sounds and looks delicious.

  5. Tori @ eat-tori

    8th December 2010 at 10:19 am

    Just discovered your blog and am loving it- also love the apple butter. Can’t quite bring myself to give up cake- but there’s a pair of jeans that it would be quite handy to fit into…

  6. Suzler

    8th December 2010 at 10:25 am

    Oh, that does sound delicious and it looks so moist. I bet it smelt amazing. Perfect snow/frost day bakery.

    I’d better get going with mine…

  7. Suelle

    8th December 2010 at 2:25 pm

    This sounds a wonderful combination of flavours – just right for this time of year. I’ve yet to try apples and chocolate together – something I must remedy soon!

  8. Sushma Mallya

    8th December 2010 at 3:44 pm

    lovely combo,sounds really nice and yum

  9. Brownieville Girl

    8th December 2010 at 5:28 pm

    Wonderful photo of the frosty leaves – no shortage of snow here, I could send you some!!

    Your cake looks moist and delicious.

  10. Ananda Rajashekar

    8th December 2010 at 6:40 pm

    i have eyeing apple butter from wendy now see many of you all doing it i have to give it try man soon….ur add ups orange i am in love!

  11. Janice

    8th December 2010 at 10:07 pm

    looks like just the thing for a cold day.

  12. Dom at Belleau Kitchen

    9th December 2010 at 12:04 am

    apple butter!?! apple butter?!?! OMG… that sounds amazing… and then you bake with it… thats heavenly! Nice cake!…

  13. Choclette

    9th December 2010 at 8:26 pm

    Chele – apple butter is excellent on toast, especially for breakfast as it’s not too sweet. But it also does make an exceedingly good cake 😉

    Matthew – thanks for you nice comments – I do like a crunchy top.

    Celia – we are indeed very lucky to get fantastic apples here and I really couldn’t go through the season without making at least one apple cake.

    Kath – thanks. Was just wondering about making apple butter in the aga. Thinking about a load of apple puree in the bottom oven and leaving it for ages with an occasional stir – wonder if that would work – hmmmm. Might have a word with my mother next year – it would save all that stirring and it does make for a good cake.

    Tori – thanks for you kind comments. No how you feel about the jeans. I seem to have acquired a whole wardrobe of stuff that I’d kind of like to get back in to …….. one day!

    Suzler – you’re so right, I don’t think I mentioned the wonderful smell as it was baking.

    Suelle – one to remember for a next autumn we should cocoa event – maybe!

    Sushma – thank you, you’re always so generous with what you say.

    BVG – oh, how much snow have you got?

    Ananda – apple butter is certainly good if you find yourself with too many apples on your hands.

    Janice – I think it would be really nice warm, although I sadly didn’t try that.

    Dom – thanks. Apple butter lovely and a great cake ingredient, but not sure I shall have the fortitude to make it again.

  14. M D

    10th December 2010 at 1:43 pm

    This sounds and looks delicious. Love the crusty top. I would love it with my dollop of vanilla ice cream 🙂

  15. cityhippyfarmgirl

    10th December 2010 at 9:45 pm

    Good to see yoghurt in your cake again. It gives such a lovely moistness to anything it goes in. (I’m hooked on it in my sourdough at the moment.)
    This cake looks perfect for a little frosty weather.

  16. Choclette

    11th December 2010 at 7:16 am

    MD – ice-cream would be lovely, especially if it was served warm.

    CityHippy – I’m a complete convert to yogurt in cakes now, it does add a lightness to the texture as well as moistness. You are brilliantly adventurous, I’m so scared of my sourdough going wrong I’ve just stuck to exactly the same method since I started making it.

  17. MaryMoh

    12th December 2010 at 1:47 am

    Mmmm…moist and delicious. Love that apple and orange combination. Would be so good with a cup of hot tea.

  18. Jacqueline

    12th December 2010 at 6:22 pm

    I saw the title and thought that sounds good, I like apple cake, then I got to the photo of the slice and thought wow! Look at those lovely chunks. Mmmmmm 😛


    12th December 2010 at 7:01 pm

    Choc, I forgot to mention – we make apple butter in a large roasting pan in the oven. Much easier than stirring the vat of bubbling lava for hours! 🙂

  20. Choclette

    12th December 2010 at 7:26 pm

    MaryMoh – thank you. A cup of hot tea sounds quite a nice idea right now.

    Thanks Jac – it is quite an appley cake – not sure is you were referring to the chunks of apple or the chunks of chocolate, but both good.

    Celia – that is ringing bells with me now. How long do you keep it in the oven?


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