This is the ultimate apple cake. The use of the sweet starter transports this cake to another level, giving it a rich, indulgent flavour without being too cloying or sweet. The natural sourness of the sourdough enhances the floral flavours in the apple. If you like a bit of crunch in your cakes, chop the apple chunks slightly thicker, if you prefer them softer, cut them thinner; we like a combination of the two. The flavour of this cake actually improves after a couple of days, but don’t worry if you can’t wait that long as it’s also delicious still warm from the oven, especially with a dollop of fresh cream or coconut yoghurt. As an added bonus, it also freezes well.
- 50g coconut sugar
- 50g milk
- 50g spelt flour
- Active sweet starter (see below)
Add the sugar, milk and flour to the whole quantity of the sweet starter. Mix well and leave loosely covered at room temperature overnight.
- 150g recipe starter made on Day 1
- 180g coconut oil, melted
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 200g coconut sugar, plus extra for topping
- 225g spelt flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 apple, unpeeled, cored and chopped into chunks
- 1 apple, unpeeled, cored and sliced thinly, for decorating the top
1 Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/ Gas mark 6 and line a 20cm round, deep, loose-bottom cake tin with baking parchment.
2 In a large bowl combine the recipe starter, coconut oil, eggs, vanilla and sugar. Mix well.
3 In another bowl stir together the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Stir in the apple chunks – by coating them in flour you prevent them from sinking to the bottom of the cake as it bakes.
4 Add the flour and apple mix to the wet mix and combine well.
5 Pour the mixture into the cake tin, top with the apple slices and sprinkle with coconut sugar.
6 Bake for 45 minutes until a skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool in the tin for 10–15 minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack.
Recipe from Modern Baker: A New Way To Bake by Melissa Sharp with Lindsay Stark (Ebury Press, RRP £26). Photography by Laura Edwards.