Apple and Almond Cake

We invited some dear friends to supper last night for an impromptu birthday celebration. Although I’m not the world’s most prolific or skilled baker I decided to make a cake. My inspiration was a delicious apple and almond cake I tasted at the delightful Southern Cross cafe in Edinburgh – it made such an impression on me that I vowed to recreate it. It’s supposed to have some flaked almonds on top to make it look pretty but the cupboard was bare yesterday so that didn’t happen. The resulting cake is both light and dense, moist and crumbly – easy to make and well worth the effort.


  • 2 large cooking apples (such as Bramleys) or 3 tart eating apples
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • zest of half a lemon
  • Olive oil to grease the cake tin, if using
  • 5 organic, free range eggs
  • 100g xylitol
  • 300g ground almonds
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 50g flaked almonds


  1. Grease or line a loaf tin with baking parchment and pre-heat the oven to 160’C
  2. Peel, core and chop the apples roughly into a small saucepan with the lemon juice and zest. Cook gently for 10 minutes until it forms a rough puree.
  3. Allow the apple to cool for an hour or so.
  4. Combine the cool apple, eggs, xylitol and half the almonds and blitz in the large cup of your nutribullet or food processor and mix until thoroughly amalgamated.
  5. Add this batter to a mixing bowl and combine with the rest of the almonds.
  6. Scrape the cake mix into the cake tin, sprinkle the flaked almond on top, and bake for around 40 minutes until the top is slightly cracked and the cake has a little bit of bounce when pressed in the middle.
  7. Optional – add half the cake mix to the tin, arrange a layer of berries in the middle, add the rest of the cake mix on top. I used blueberries but raspberries would also work well.
  8. The cake works well warm or cold, served with Greek yoghurt.


  • If using eating apples you can leave the puree lumpy to add more texture to the cake.
  • Experiment with adding extra flavours like vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon, or lavender into the mix at stage 5.
  • Cover the top with pumpkin seeds instead of flaked almonds.
  • Use pears instead of apples.
  • Substitute ground pistachios or hazelnuts for some of the ground almonds.



Warm Salads: the easy way to ten-a-day

You can’t have missed last week’s headlines announcing that the five a day target needs to double. The New York Times led with ‘You’re going to need a bigger bowl‘.

The study found that up to 600g per person per day of vegetables leads to a reduced cancer risk and that 8oog reduced all cause mortality. Apples and pears, citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables, cruciferous veg and salads were all found to be helpful, with a particular emphasis on green-yellow vegetables and crucifers for cancer risk.

I know many readers greeted the news with dismay. It can be hard to meet those targets.  Continue reading