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

Apple & Thyme Cake – Random Recipe 8

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. Victoria

    25th September 2011 at 10:59 am

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

  2. Johanna GGG

    25th September 2011 at 10:04 am

    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

  3. Dom at Belleau Kitchen

    25th September 2011 at 10:23 am

    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

  4. Chele

    25th September 2011 at 11:49 am

    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.

  5. Liz

    25th September 2011 at 12:38 pm

    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. Brownieville Girl

    25th September 2011 at 1:36 pm

    Love the idea of the thyme in there, and the texture looks just perfect.

  7. Jo

    25th September 2011 at 2:29 pm

    Yum, looks lovely and juicy.

  8. A Trifle Rushed

    25th September 2011 at 5:44 pm

    Yum! Yum! I love adding unexpected ingredients such as thyme, this sounds scrumptious.

  9. Grazing Kate

    25th September 2011 at 7:33 pm

    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

  10. Hannah

    25th September 2011 at 7:46 pm

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

  11. teawithhazel

    25th September 2011 at 10:57 pm

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

  12. thelittleloaf

    26th September 2011 at 6:32 am

    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!

  13. The Caked Crusader

    26th September 2011 at 7:40 am

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

  14. Sarah, Maison Cupcake

    26th September 2011 at 8:39 am

    I love apple cakes, thyme would be brilliant. Mmm really fancy a slice now…

  15. Choclette

    26th September 2011 at 5:44 pm

    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 😉

  16. Karen S Booth

    26th September 2011 at 6:33 pm

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

  17. Janice

    26th September 2011 at 6:59 pm

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

  18. Shu Han

    30th September 2011 at 9:06 pm

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

  19. C

    1st October 2011 at 7:26 am

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

  20. Choclette

    1st October 2011 at 8:04 am

    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.

  21. Ruth Ellis

    2nd October 2011 at 6:51 pm

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

  22. Choclette

    6th October 2011 at 9:45 am

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

  23. anthony harrington

    22nd February 2013 at 12:09 pm

    this looks delicious!

  24. Janice

    11th June 2017 at 6:23 pm

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

    • Choclette

      11th June 2017 at 7:58 pm

      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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