Saturday, August 31, 2013

Nigella's Apple Almond Cake (Cook Like a Star)

This was the Apple and Almond Cake that I just baked this morning, it was a very moist and "buttery" cake although there wasn't a single gram of butter or flour, only apples, ground almonds, eggs and sugar. The recipe was adapted from Nigella's Apple and Almond Cake for Passover. I did very few adaptations to this recipe, I used 2 very big Jonagold apples instead of 3 tart apples, 8 medium instead of large eggs and I reduced the sugar from 275g to 250g which I still found it a teeny weeny too sweet, but then again I am a very sugar-conscious person. Last but not least, I omitted the dusting of icing sugar on top. :)

I like this cake very very much, coincidentally I had a few pieces of an apple cake bought from a bakery by a family friend who visited us 2 days ago and I was still musing about how I could achieve such a commercial standard apple cake. That apple cake came with slices of apple on top and the cake itself was heavenly, it tasted very much like frangipane. I suspect that there was no butter in it too. I think with this recipe, thanks to Nigella Lawson, I may have achieved the commercial standard apple cake, just need to tweak the sugar and apple content a little, maybe add some thin apple slices on top instead of almond flakes as that is what my husband prefers. But I really like the crunchy almond flakes on top as they gave this apple almond cake a whole new different dimension in terms of taste.

This cake may be a little heavy on the waistline in terms of sugar and egg content, but then again this is a fairly large cake. Luckily there was no butter in it (if that provides any comfort to you) and the ground almonds really worked like magic, as it gave such a "buttery" taste to this cake, my hubby found it hard to believe there was no butter inside. :)

I like this apple almond cake very very much (yes, this is the 2nd time I am saying this), so I am sharing this with the Cook Like a Star event organised by Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids, Joyce of Kitchen Flavour and Anuja of Simple Baking.

Recipe adapted from Nigella Lawson

(requires a 10-inch or 25-cm round cake tin, preferably springform)

Ingredients for apple puree
3 tart apples (I used 2 big Jonagold apples)
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp caster sugar

Ingredients for cake
a splash of oil to grease the tin
8 large eggs (I used medium sized eggs at room temp)
325g ground almonds
275g caster sugar (I reduced it to 250g)
1 tbsp lemon juice
50g almond flakes

To decorate
1 tsp icing sugar (I omitted this)

1. Peel, core and chop the apples roughly. Put them in a saucepan with lemon juice and sugar and bring them to a bubble over medium heat. Cover the pan and cook over low heat until you can mash the apple to a rough puree with a wooden spoon or fork. Leave to cool. (I cooked the apple puree the previous night, transferred it to a bowl covered with clingwrap and chilled it in the fridge overnight. Then I took it out of the fridge 1 hour before baking to bring it to room temperature.)

2. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 4/ 180 degrees celsius/ 350 fahrenheit. Grease a 25-cm or 10-inch springform pan with flavourless cooking oil and line the bottom with parchment paper. (I lined the bottom with parchment paper and greased the bottom as well as the sides with baking spray.)

3. Put the cooled puree in the processor with eggs, ground almonds, caster sugar and a tablespoon or general squeeze of lemon juice and blitze to a puree. Pour and scrape with a rubber spatula into the prepared tin, sprinkle the flaked almonds on top and bake for 45 min, but you can check at 35 min interval as ovens do vary. (I didn't have a big enough food processor so I dumped everything into my biggest mixing bowl and mixed it with my hand-held mixer for a while until it became a smooth batter. I let the cake bake for exactly 45 min. My almond flakes were a little bit too roasted, something to take note in future.)

4. Put on a wire rack to cool slightly then spring open. The cake is best served slightly warm, though still good cold. (Verdict: The cake was indeed very nice when slightly warm!)

5. Sieve a teaspoon of icing sugar to give it a light dusting before serving. (This was omitted, the flaked almonds were good enough for me.)


  1. That is a lovely cake! It looks so moist and tender. It turned great with the changes you've made. A slice would be lovely with a cup of tea!
    Thank you for linking!

    1. Yes, it is indeed very nice. Thanks to Nigella Lawson, this will be my standard apple cake to impress my guests in future! :)

  2. Hi Miss B,

    I was going to bake her Italian Apple Cake at Nigellissima but had to move on to cook and bake The Pioneer Woman recipes.... Seeing your delicious apple cake reminds me that I missed baking this Nigella's recipe. *sign*

    Like you, I'm sugar conscious too but prefer to eat cakes with their fuller taste rather than cutting back the sugars too much :p


    1. Actually 250g sugar is just nice in sweetness, I shouldn't cut it any further in future. I would love to bake this again in a few weeks time, but it was such a big cake, it took myself, hubby and the kiddies 2 days to finish despite the cake being very delicious.

  3. Mmmmm, this looks delicious. I have never baked without butter or flour, so I must give it a try. Tomorrow might be a good day ... Thanks for sharing!


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