Friday, April 11, 2014

Plum, apple and almond cake (vegan)

I am rather in love with this cake. To me, it sings of autumn and Easter and lazy weekends. It is the sort of cake to eat with a cup of tea and a good book - or without the book, but the company of friends and family. It is a cake to relax with.

It is, in short, very good.

I made this on a whim, drawing on my almond-semolina-apple-oat slice recipe for inspiration, and being guided by the plums in my fruit bowl and the flours in my fridge. The resulting cake sets sweet plums and apple pieces against almond tones, a pairing (tripling!) that is very harmonious.

I also used a mix of flours for this: semolina, wholemeal spelt, and almond meal. I suspect other flours would work too. The almond meal seems essential, but feel free to experiment with plain wheat flour instead of the semolina or spelt components, or to try alternative gluten-free flours if you prefer.

This recipe calls for a decent number of plums, and the resulting cake is gorgeously moist as a result. It doesn't really need accompaniment, but if you wanted it, some vanilla ice cream or coconut whipped cream would no doubt perform well.

Plum, apple and almond cake
A perfect mid-afternoon treat
Makes 16 small square slices, or 12 medium slices

Author: Bite-sized thoughts

1 tbsp chia seeds mixed with 3 tbsp water and set aside to gel
1/2 cup semolina
1/2 cup almond meal (ground almonds)
1/2 cup wholemeal spelt flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp mixed spice / pumpkin pie spice (or use 1/2 tsp each of cinnamon and nutmeg)
1/2 cup non-dairy milk of choice
1/4 cup apple sauce
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 tsp almond essence
1/3 cup rice malt syrup, agave or honey
1 large apple, peeled and diced (~180g with peel and core or a heaped 1/2 cup diced)
10 - 14 small plums, roughly chopped (~400g with cores or a heaped 2-1/2 cups chopped)

Preheat your oven to 180'C and line a square baking dish with baking paper. 

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flours (semolina, almond meal, spelt), baking powder, baking soda and mixed spice. Add the milk, apple sauce, oil, vanilla essence and almond essence and stir to combine. Add the liquid sweetener and chia seeds in water and stir to combine.

Add the diced apple and approximately 2 cups of chopped plums to the batter, reserving approximately 1/2 cup of plum slices. Stir the fruit through until incorporated.

Pour the batter into your prepared pan and then top with the reserved plum slices. 

Bake for approximately 30 minutes (my oven took 30 minutes but I recommend checking from 25 minutes) until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for approximately 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

Submitted to Healthy Vegan Fridays.

Do you have a favourite stone fruit cake?


  1. I love how this contains elements of summer and fall with the plums and apples! These fruits were meant to be paired with almond. How lovely.

    1. The only sad thing is that it took me so long to realise plums were meant to go with almonds! So much lost cake eating time! ;)

  2. sounds perfect - has me eying off the fruit bowl in hope - I have plums there waiting for stewing - but last week I made a plum crumble slice that I love for this time of year. Plums are surely my stone fruit that I prefer to cook rather than eat raw

    1. Plum crumble slice sounds gorgeous - I think plums in general go well in baked goods at the moment. I love them fresh but at this time of year they start to look more appealing in cakes and slices and muffins!

  3. This cake looks really good. I quite like peaches in a cake.

    1. And after seeing your peach jam the other week, peaches are on my mind for all sorts of things :)

  4. This is just my sort of thing Kari. I love using ground almonds in baking and love the flavour of almond extract too. I can't wait for stone fruit to arrive, though it will be some time off here...
    I don't think I've ever made a cake with stone fruit but I love an apricot frangipane tart or a plum crisp/crumble.

    1. Apricot frangipane tart! That sounds amazing. I might have to try that when I get to my second stone fruit season for this year (the UK one) :D

  5. This does look like a great cake to be presenting at Easter. I love how it has so many plums and they're so plentiful at the moment. I don't like eating plums as they are, but cooking them takes them into another place. I'd love to try this! xx

    1. Plums are in great supply right now, aren't they? I like them fresh and cooked, but this is a favourite method just now!

  6. This sounds like a delicious combination- I love baking with spelt flour, plums, almond meal and rice malt syrup. I used to eat semolina porridge growing up but haven't baked with it much- must try it!

  7. Yum! I can't wait for plum season! Thanks for linking up with HVF!


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