Apple & Thyme Cake – Random Recipe 8

5 Star, Large Cakes | 25th September 2011 | By


Dom’s random recipe challenge this month is to randomly pick something from our stashes of magazines, cuttings and pull-outs. He knows us so well; don’t we all have a pile of those lurking around somewhere, trying to attract our attention and making us feel guilty? In my more organised moments, I gather clippings and old envelope jottings and put them in folders – three in fact, one for sweet stuff, one for savoury and one for Christmas. Annoyingly, I haven’t got organised enough to have one for chocolate. However, I’m not as efficient as I’d like to be, so most of them are still lying about the house in various places or used as bookmarks. I was NOT going to embark on a mega house-clearance and recipe sort out week, so I put my hand into the file for sweet recipes, hoped for the best and pulled out ……. another apple cake recipe!!!!!

I’d pretty much thought I’d done my bit for apples this month, but it was not to be. This recipe for Lord Lambourne Apple & Thyme Cake, came from an RHS Grow Your Own card that I think I picked up about four years ago when visiting RHS Rosemoor in North Devon. Anyway, I have plenty of apples from my mother’s tree, the use of thyme seemed interesting and I could easily add chocolate chips into the mix so I started peeling apples.

  • Cored, peeled and roughly chopped 3 apples (Cornish cooker / eater variety).
  • Placed apple in a pan together with 25g cardamom sugar, 25g unsalted butter and 1/2 tsp cinnamon and simmered for a few minutes until soft, but not broken.
  • Creamed 125g unsalted butter with 125g cardamom sugar, 100g light muscovado sugar and the leaves from 3 sprigs of thyme.
  • Beat in 3 eggs – one by one.
  • Sifted in 190g flour (1/2 wholemeal, half white and including 1 heaped tbsp Mesquite powder), 1 heaped tsp baking powder and 1 tsp cinnamon, then mixed.
  • Stirred in the cooked apples followed by 50g milk chocolate chips (40%).
  • Spooned into a 23cm cake mould and baked for 50 minutes at 150C.
  • Allowed to cool for a while, then turned out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Mixed 1/4 tsp cinnamon with 1 tbsp icing sugar and dusted this over the top.

It’s very hard to tell as I have only memory for comparison purposes, but I think this might be the best apple cake I’ve made so far. It was totally delicious. Very smooth in the mouth, cinnaomony and toffee appley too. My only complaint was that the thyme was only just detectable.

Oh well, six apple cakes down – at least as many to go!


  1. Leave a Reply

    Johanna GGG
    25th September 2011

    I had an apple cake this year where the apples were cooked before baking a cake and they were amazing – am still waiting for the recipe so am happy to hear this sounds like a similar recipe

  2. Leave a Reply

    Dom at Belleau Kitchen
    25th September 2011

    God this does look very good. You can never go wring with a clutch of apple cake recipes eh? And the fact that this may be the best ever… well, you can thank me later!! ;0) thanks so much for taking part again. It’s lovely. Now, wheres my paracetamol? Xx

  3. Leave a Reply

    25th September 2011

    Apples and thyme, that is a fantastic idea … and the chocolate too ;0)
    I don’t think we can ever have too many apple cake recipes.

  4. Leave a Reply

    25th September 2011

    this looks great!! i am always nervous about baking with herbs…but i trust your “best ever” verdict! 🙂

  5. Leave a Reply

    25th September 2011

    This looks great but I’m now extremely worried about my cut-out recipe stash glaring at me from the corner of the sitting room – 3 shoe boxes full…how does the man know….?

  6. Leave a Reply

    Grazing Kate
    25th September 2011

    I like the sound of the thyme too – it’s great to not just restrict them to savouries. How do you make the cardamon sugar – do you just grind a few pods and add the seeds to some caster sugar?

    Rosemoor’s an interesting place – I found it a bit stark (in the winter) but still always generates a few gardening ideas

  7. Leave a Reply

    25th September 2011

    Ooh thyme – very interesting. I’m going to have to give this a try!

  8. Leave a Reply

    25th September 2011

    this cake really appeals to me but unfortunately i have never seen mesquite powder here in there anything you would recommend as a substitute?

  9. Leave a Reply

    26th September 2011

    What a wonderful and unusual recipe. I’m always hoarding magazine pages, clippings and recipe cards too – really must get around to digging some out soon, especially if I can discover gems like this!

  10. Leave a Reply

    The Caked Crusader
    26th September 2011

    Now that sounds interesting – never had thyme in a cake before. Can never go wrong with apple though…best…cake…ingredient….EVER!

  11. Leave a Reply

    26th September 2011

    Johanna – I’m wondering if it’s the pre-cooking of the apples that gives this such a silky texture – it’s that or the mesquite powder!

    Dom – hope you’re feeling a bit more the thing now – the copious quantities of cake you’ve been consuming should have sorted you out 😉

    Victoria – I guess it depends how strong the thyme is – ours wasn’t very and the flavour was only faintly there.

    Chele – you’re probably right there – what would I do next year otherwise 😉

    Liz – ha ha – tis disconcerting 😉

    BVG – thank you, it has a really lovely smooth texture which makes it extra scrummy.

    Jo – thank you.

    A Trifle Rushed – it’s nice to be surprised – mostly!

    Grazing Kate – for cardamom sugar, I have a jar of sugar with a handful of cardamom pods which live there – just keep topping up with sugar every time I use some. A bit annoying having to sieve the sugar first, but it’s a small price really. I just love all the garden rooms at Rosemoor.

    Hannah – depends on the strength of your thyme – rather wishing I’d used more.

    Hazel – I just substituted mesquite for some of the flour. I’m experimenting with it at the moment.

    Little Loaf – yes funny how we cut things out obviously thinking they are worth making and then just forget all about.

    CC – even more than butter?

    Sarah – thank you. I’m just about to have a slice right now 😉

  12. Leave a Reply

    Karen S Booth
    26th September 2011

    I LOVE the name of the cake and it sounds delicious too ~ apple cakes are the goddesses of Autumn cakes and yours looks brilliant.

  13. Leave a Reply

    26th September 2011

    That looks nice. I like the idea of thyme in an apple cake.

  14. Leave a Reply

    Shu Han
    30th September 2011

    linked over from dom’s! so surprised to see thyme in an apple cake!

  15. Leave a Reply

    1st October 2011

    It looks gorgeous, I’m another apple cake lover so this sounds fab. I like the idea of adding the thyme too.

  16. Leave a Reply

    1st October 2011

    Karen – he he, you mean I’ve created a Goddess 😉

    Janice – the thyme really appealed to me too.

    Shu Han – thanks for visiting. The thyme is a very nice addition.

    C – it’s certainly the season for apple cake and I expect I’ll be making one or two more before the season is out.

  17. Leave a Reply

    Ruth Ellis
    2nd October 2011

    Apple and thyme sounds like fantastic combination – another one I now want to try in the future…

  18. Leave a Reply

    6th October 2011

    Ruth – I thought this worked really well. I’m making this again next week for a party.

  19. Leave a Reply

    11th June 2017

    This looks so lovely and moist, I love the addition of the thyme.

    • Leave a Reply

      11th June 2017

      I don’t use herbs enough in baking. Thyme is one of the few things I manage to grow in our garden, so it would be good to use it more often.

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