Friday, November 01, 2019


Simple, old-fashioned cakes are the essence of autumn desserts. One bowl, one whisk, and a few staple ingredients. It can be ready in under an hour, and served, too, especially if you like warm desserts. Fragrant toasted hazelnuts, cinnamon, and dark rum guarantee a flavourful cake; and apple butter and semolina make sure it stays tender and fresh for days.
Apple butter is a magical ingredient when it comes to baking. It gives both flavour and sweetness, as well as moisture to any baked good. The one I used in this cake is my homemade apple butter, but you can use shop-bought one, of course.
A few final notes – This cake can be made fully vegan by making sure that the apple butter is vegan, since everything else already is. I always serve it with strong coffee, as that is what I find pairs best with warm autumn flavours, but a cup of aromatic tea can also be fantastic with a generous slice of this cake.

200 grams plain flour
100 grams semolina
50 grams beet sugar
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
¾ teaspoon cinnamon
50 grams ground hazelnuts
300 ml water
150 grams apple butter, divided
100 ml vegetable oil
1 tablespoon dark rum

Sift the flour into a large bowl, along with the cocoa powder, baking powder, and cinnamon. Add in the semolina, sugar, and the hazelnuts, and whisk everything well. Make a well in the centre; pour in the water, oil, dark rum, and 100 grams of apple butter. Mix everything very well, and let the batter sit at room temperature for about 5 minutes.
Line a 20x30 cm baking pan with baking parchment, pour in the batter, and level it as much as possible. Bake the cake in a preheated oven, at 180°C, for about 20 minutes. Test the cake with a toothpick to make sure it is baked, but not dry. Let it cool in the pan until lukewarm, and then spread the reserved apple butter all over the surface. Serve with additional chopped hazelnuts, and strong coffee. Yields 12 servings.