Spiced Apple Cake

Although it’s similar to a Dorset apple cake, my Spiced Apple Cake is stuffed with mixed dried fruit for natural sweetness and the wonderful tang of citrus zest. Of course, the spices in this recipe add nutritional benefits as well as flavour, as ginger fights infections and inflammation, while cinnamon actually helps your body to regulate blood sugar levels. The addition of almonds provides protein to help make this cake more filling and less fattening. It’s delicious for tea, but can also be served warm as a pudding with custard, vanilla ice cream or even cream.


Makes 1 loaf/10 slices

225g (8oz) self-raising wholemeal flour

3 tsp ground mixed spice

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 large cooking apple, unpeeled, coarsely grated

150ml (5fl oz) mild or medium (not extra virgin) olive oil

75g (3oz) xylitol (or soft brown sugar)

1 tbsp agave syrup (or honey or golden syrup)

1/2 tsp almond extract (not artificial almond essence)

50g (2oz) dried mixed fruit

2 large free-range or organic eggs, lightly beaten

100g (4oz) flaked almonds, roughly chopped, plus

25g (1oz) flaked almonds for sprinkling on top


1 Preheat the oven to 150°C/300°F/gas mark 2. Line a 22 x 12 x 6.5cm (2lb) loaf tin with baking paper.

2 Sift the flour, mixed spice and cinnamon into a mixing bowl (tip any leftover grains from the flour back into the mixture). Add the grated apple, oil, xylitol, syrup, almond extract, dried mixed fruit, eggs and 100g of almonds. Stir well until it’s all mixed together, then scrape into the prepared tin.
Scatter the remaining flaked almonds on top.

3 Bake in the centre of the oven for 1–11/4 hours or until the top feels fairly hard and the mixture doesn’t wobble when the tin is shaken. Leave to cool on a wire rack, then store in an airtight container.

Cook’s Notes

Dairy-free, yeast-free • V • Can be made in advance • Suitable for freezing

From Delicious, Health Sugar Free by Patrick Holford and Fiona McDonald Joyce. With special thanks to Fiona McDonald Joyce for use of these recipes for Holford Health Club members.

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