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Spiced apple bundt cake with ginger icing

Apple puree is a very versatile thing to have in your kitchen. Made by simmering peeled, cored, chopped cooking apples with a little water until they turn to mush, and then blending to a pale green foamy puree with a silky texture, it has a multitude of uses in cooking, and in baking cakes.

Apple puree is an excellent addition to a cake batter. It makes everything so much more moist, while delivering a subtle sweetness that isn’t overpowering and will complement other flavours. You can use it in lower-fat baking to replace some of the butter or oil, because it gives the cake a delicious moist texture. Having said that, this recipe still contains a good quantity of fat, but you could probably experiment with scaling down the butter and oil a little if you so desired.

This bundt cake. Isn’t it just so stylish? Although bundt cakes are no more effort to make than ordinary cakes (although they do require you to purchase the appropriate tin, should you not already be in possession of one), they somehow have more of a wow-factor than their simple non-doughnut-shaped siblings. You can drizzle icing over them in a completely haphazard fashion and they will still look artistic. Result.

Secondly, this cake has an incredibly interesting and complex medley of flavours running through it. There’s a base of flour and sugar, enriched with butter, rapeseed oil and magical apple puree that gives it a subtle fruity hint. Then you start going spice-crazy: cinnamon, cardamom, ground nutmeg, ground cloves, ginger and black peppercorns all go into the mix. I bet that last one threw you a bit. Black pepper? In a cake? Trust me, it’s amazing: it gives this incredible warm, spicy kick to the sweetness of the other flavours.


Apple Puree

  • To make apple puree, simmer peeled, cored and chopped cooking apples in a pan with a splash of water until they turn to mush, then put in a blender and puree. You’ll probably need around four large apples for the amount in this recipe, but it’s worth making a big batch and freezing it in portions so you can make this cake (or other similar cakes) quickly in the future.


  • Pre-heat the oven to 170C. Grease a large bundt cake tin. In a large bowl or using an electric mixer, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder and spices. Add the apple puree, eggs, oil and butter and mix until just combined. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for an hour, or until the cake is firm and springs back when pressed with a fingertip. Cool in the tin for half an hour, then turn out onto a rack and cool completely.


  • Mix the icing sugar with the ginger syrup and water, a teaspoon at a time, until you have a pouring consistency (if you add too much water just add more sugar to balance it out). Drizzle this over the cake using a spoon. Leave to set, then serve.

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