Spiced Christmas Cake

The festive season is well underway, but I feel like I haven’t had that many sweets. As I’m feeling better after being ill, I’m finally ready for the treats! So I decided to make something festive and full of what Christmas tastes like to me. Make way for this Spiced Christmas Cake which is sure to be a crowd pleaser. Here is what you’ll need:

  • 2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground giner
  • 1/2 teaspoon all spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup applesauce
  • mincemeat filling (optional)
  • powdered sugar to top (optional; ignore the white sugar in the photo. Imagine its powdered sugar since I noticed the mistake just now.)

First, measure out the flour into a large bowl. Then add the baking powder and soda, salt, brown sugar, and all the spices. Combine evenly.

Next in a separate bowl, beat all four eggs very well. Whenever I make a cake, I make sure that the eggs are as smooth as possible. This ensures a silky batter with an even rise; well, most of the time anyway. The last thing you want is to take a bite of cake and then find a bit of scrambled egg in your mouth!

Once the eggs are beaten, add the vanilla, vegetable oil, milk, and applesauce. In the states, its easy to find smooth applesauce, and sometimes several brands to choose from. In the UK, it’s more of an accompaniment with meat I believe, and there are jars of it especially around the holidays. I found a small jar at Tesco on Broadmead for 55p, made with chunks of bramley apple.

Add the wet ingredients to the bowl of flour and spices, and mix very well. If you have a mixer, use that, other wise get a whisk and combine everything well to form a smooth batter.

Line a round baking tin with baking paper, or butter and flour. Pour the batter into the tin and let it settle for a few minutes.

Heat your oven to 180 C / 350F and bake on the middle or low rack for ~35 minutes. I like to bake cakes a bit lower on the racks to avoid browning the cake top too soon.

Once it comes out of the oven, let it cool completely. Then you can really get creative to how you want to spruce it up! I cut it in half creating a top and bottom. Here you can add a layer of cream, or to make it truly festive, spread on a layer of mincemeat! Then top with a sprinkling of powdered sugar.

And there you have it, Spiced Christmas Cake! This cake is fragrant with seasonal spices and goes great with a cup of tea or coffee. I made this for my work Christmas lunch, and completely forgot to take a photo before we cut into it. This is because I waited til the morning of to put the finishing touches to the cake while I was making my breakfast and getting some slow cooker soup together in the crock pot. And I wonder why I get so tired at the end of the day! Anyway, although there are a lot of ingredients that go into this cake, its totally worth it! The cake is super moist and the flavour is just devine. Its what Christmas tastes like! I hope you get the chance to give this cake a try and that it becomes a part of your Christmas dessert recipes. Have a very Merry Christmas, and as always, thanks for reading and Happy Eating!

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Wild Fruit Crumble

This cooler weather has been so nice and comfortable. It’s the perfect temperature for running and cycling, and for foraging wild fruit on the way.

I loaded up on these berries and apples during a bike ride, and the most obvious thing to make was a warm and filling crumble. Here is what you’ll need:

  • 2 cups blackberries
  • 3 small apples
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1/2 cup porridge oats
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup raisins or sultanas
  • 1/3 cup almond milk

First wash the fruit very well, then peel and chop the apples into chunks. Put all the fruit into your baking dish.

Pour the sugar and flour over the fruit, and mix it around trying to coat the chunks as much as possible.

Next you will prepare the topping, which is essentially a bowl of porridge. Put the oats, cinnamon, almonds, raisins, and almond milk together. Let it sit for about 5 minutes so the oats absorb as much of the liquid as possible.

Spread the topping over the fruit. Make sure it’s as even as possible.

Place in the oven at 180 C / 350 F for 35 – 40 minutes, depending on your oven. It’s done when the fruit is soft and the topping is golden brown.

And there, you have it, Wild Fruit Crumble! You can pretty much use any fruit you want. Damson, blueberries, and red plums work well too! And the topping is on the healthy side compared to traditional crumble which often has a lot of butter and sugar. As I’m training for the Bristol Half Marathon, this is definitely a dessert I can get behind! And you can even have it for breakfast! It is part of your five a day and a lovely way to fuel your morning workout. Give this recipe a try and you can start by picking some wild fruit. Thanks for reading and Happy Eating!

Apple Cider Caramel Cake

I know I’ve been a bit lax on the posts lately… I blame that on the cold and snow. So I decided to make a cake for Easter this past weekend using some cider I bought at The Cider Shop here in Bristol. It’s a bit time intensive, but well worth it in the end. Here is what you’ll need:

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 3/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 mashed banana
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup any kind of milk (I used almond)
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon almond essence

In a large bowl, combine your dry ingredients- almond flour, coconut flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder.

In a separate bowl, mash a ripe banana very well, until it becomes paste like.

In the wet ingredients bowl, add 4 beaten eggs, the almond milk, melted coconut oil and almond essence.

Combine the wet and dry ingredients, mixing very well. Go ahead and pour the batter into a lined round baking tin and bake for 35 minutes at 350 F /180 C.

Once baked, take the cake out of the tin and while it is cooling, you can make the caramel topping. Here is what you’ll need:

  • 1 cup of sweet apple cider
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup salted butter
  • Sliced almonds to top cake at the end

I picked up a bottle of Woodredding medium sweet cider at The Cider Shop while I was exploring the Wapping Wharf cargo shops the other week. This was lightly sparkling and not too dry, so very enjoyable to drink on its own. It’s also a sweet variety which is great to reduce when baking.

On a medium high heat, combine the butter, cider, and sugar. Melt everything down and stir, stir, stir. You really want to make sure to keep an eye on it, constantly stirring at this heat, and having the patience not to raise the temperature too much.

As the liquid and alcohol evaporate away, the mixture will thicken. I cooked it a little too long, but next time, I will stick to 20 minutes then reduce the heat for another 5 – 10.

Let the caramel cool only slightly, then pour over the cake, smoothing it evenly over the surface.

I was aiming for a caramel that wasn’t as thick so it would drip down the sides, but, you can’t have it all, eh? Top with sliced almonds and eat vigorously.

And there you have it, Apple Cider Caramel Cake! It may take some time to make, but is sooo worth it in the end! And although my kitchen smells like a pub from the evaporated cider alcohol, my tummy is very satisfied.

This is a great treat to make for garden parties or just to enjoy on your own as the weather gets warmer. It’s also a great way to showcase some of the wonderful cider the West Country has to offer. Pick your favourite sweet cider and have a go! Hope you all had a relaxing long weekend, and fear not, Spring is (probably) on the way! Thanks for reading and Happy Eating!

Upsidedown Spiced Apple Cake – no flour!

Fall is here! I love walking along the harborside amongst the changing colours of the leaves. It’s also a reminder that winter is not far behind, so I definitely enjoy taking advantage of these afternoon strolls before the weather becomes truly cold. The only thing to make this better is an upside down apple cake with lots of spice! Here is what you’ll need:


For the bottom on the pan:

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar

For the apples:

  • 3 apples (I used Granny Smith)
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

For the batter:

  • 1/2 cup (100 g) butter
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice or allspice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups (200 g) almond flour


First, line your baking tin with paper. In a small bowl, cream together the tablespoons of butter and sugar, then spread it on the bottom of the tin.


Next, peel and chop the apples into chunks.


You will then add the brown sugar, lemon juice, vanilla, and cinnamon. Mix well, ensuring the apples are coated well.



Pour the chopped apples into the pan, spreading them out so the bottom is lined with them as much as possible.


For the batter, soften the butter and cream with the regular sugar.


You will then add the cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice (or all spice), and vanilla.


Mix well until smooth, as seen above.


You will then add the almond flour and eggs, mixing very well. I would suggest using a mixer or a whisk to get all the lumps out. Then pour the mixture over the apples (which I forgot to take a photo of) and place it in the oven at 350 F / 180 C for 25 minutes.


And there you go, Upsidedown Spiced Apple Cake. It tasted just like autumn, but for some reason it didn’t rise much. I may try some baking powder next time. Anyway, it kind of reminded me of a steamed pudding, so I think in the end it still ended up a nice treat. Hope you had a nice weekend, thanks for reading, and Happy Eating!

Oatmeal Apple Cookie Bars

Woah! Have you been feeling that cold wind coming through Bristol? Summer is truly over. So why not warm up by baking something with apples? Here is what you’ll need:1/2 cup (100 g) coconut oil

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 (50 g) cup sugar
  • 1/3 (75 g) cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup (125 g) plain flour
  • 1 3/4 cup (175 g) quick oats
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

For the Apple topping:

  • 2 apples
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla


First, combine the coconut oil, vanilla, and egg. It helps if the coconut oil and egg are room temperature.


Next, add both the white and brown sugar, and cream well.


You will then add the remaining dry ingredients which are the flour, oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt. Combine very well, making sure the dry ingredients are absorbed and that the batter comes together evenly.


Press the dough into a baking dish; I used a lasagne type one as it’s all I had.

Chop up the apples next, slicing thinly. You can leave the skin on if you like, or peel them; just a matter of taste and if you feel like getting the peeler out. Place the apples in a bowl and cover with the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and vanilla. Combine well, making sure the apples are covered in the mixture.


Line the top of the cookie dough with the apples, making sure to pack them tightly.


Heat your oven to 180 C / 350 F, baking for 25 minutes. Once done, take out and let cool completely before devouring.


And there you go, Oatmeal Apple Cookie Bars! This is a warming, kind of wholesome treat for the weather we’ve been having. September always brings out the apple recipes in my kitchen, and what better place to enjoy apples than in the West Country!  Check out the apples that are popping up in the local markets and I’m sure you’ll fine some autumn inspiration. Stay warm out there Bristol, thanks for reading, and Happy Eating!