Date, Apple and Coconut Cake

By Anna, 26 January, 2012 6:42 pm

Firstly, sorry. To say I have been absent from my own blog is putting it mildly. It’s not that I haven’t thought about it, or any readers still out there in the ether, but life got in the way. Rather, a change to my life.

You see, I’ve lost 3.5 stone (49lbs), dropped 4 dress sizes and from starting c25k in April, am preparing for my first half marathon in three week’s time.

Yeah. Crazy. I’m a running fool. Love it. Can’t be without it. Even better? Now that I have the thyroxine at the right level and do all this running, I can eat cake. And bread. And pasta.

I. Love. Running.

I can eat cake without gaining weight.

Is miracle.

Also, our computer monitor went majorly up the creek and getting the colour right has been a mission. If the photos look very dreadfully wrong, do let me know.

So enough about me, let’s talk about this here cake. I got the magazine – Country Homes and Interiors (October 2011) – fourth-hand. I’ll be honest, it was a bit depressing looking at these spectacular places in the countryside with their achingly cool interiors and shabby chicness flung around, so I turned to the recipe bit. You know where you are with recipes. Doesn’t require a lottery win either. Or a grubby fling with a millionaire.

I chose it because it looked easy, simple and, well, filling. Nourishing. Not airy-fairy or full of cool, but solid and hole-filling.

Turned out to be one of the most flavoursome and delightful cakes I’ve made. Can’t recommend it enough.

Isn’t it just lovely when that happens?


Start by mixing 2 peeled, cored and diced apples with the chopped dates, 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda and 200 ml boiling water. Leave to cool completely.


Preheat the oven now and grease and line either a rectangular tin of 24x14cm or a 19-20cm square tin. I opted for the square tin. Now, if I were to stumble across a rectangular one with those dimensions, I could justify buying that. Feed that baking tin habit. Feeeeeeeeeeed it.


Beat the butter and sugar together til pale and fluffy/creamy/whatever

Beat in the eggs and vanilla then stir in the flour gently


Followed by the date/apple/water mixture (including any liquid left in the bowl)

Level the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 1 hour.

Towards the end of the cooking time, make the topping. Put light muscovado sugar, butter and coconut cream (or coconut milk) in a small saucepan and heat until the butter melts.

Bring to the boil and let it bubble away for a couple of minutes

Remove from the heat and stir in 115g dessicated coconut then spoon over the cake

and smooth to an even layer

Return to the oven for another 15 minutes or until the topping is golden.

Cool in the tin before revealing its beauty

and slicing into delicious, moist, flavour-packed slices.


Date, Apple and Coconut Cake

(Country Homes and Interiors October 2011)

PRINT THIS RECIPE (opens in a new window)
200g dates, chopped
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and diced
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
200ml boiling water

125g lightly salted butter, softened
200g caster sugar
2 medium eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
200g plain flour

75g light muscovado sugar
50g lightly salted butter
100ml coconut cream or coconut milk (the cream gave it a really rich flavour)
115g dessicated coconut

Mix the dates, apple, bicarb and boiling water in a bowl then leave to cool completely.

Preheat the oven to GM4/180C/350F.
Grease and line a square tin of 19-20 cm or a rectangular tin measuring 24x14cm.

Beat the butter and caster sugar until pale and fluffy/creamy.
Beat in the eggs and vanilla.
Stir in the flour then tip in the apple/date mixture – including any liquid left in the bowl. Stir to combine.
Put into the prepared tin and level the top. Bake for 1 hour.

Towards the end of the cooking time, make the topping.
Put the muscovado, butter and coconut cream in a small saucepan and heat until the butter melts.
Bring to the boil and let it bubble for a couple of minutes.
Remove from the heat and stir in the dessicated coconut.

Spoon over the baked cake evenly, then smooth to an even layer.
Return the cake to the oven for another 15 minutes or until the topping is golden brown.

Leave to cool in the tin before slicing.
Store in an airtight container.
It won’t last long.
The Borrowers eat it.

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8 Responses to “Date, Apple and Coconut Cake”

  1. R- says:

    Glad to see you back! Great to hear about your health success! The cake looks luscious. Yumm.

  2. Kiya says:

    So glad to see you back as I only stumbled on to your blog late last year. I also completed C25K last year and found out I like running so can appreciate where you are coming from. Lovely cake recipe – husband already sampled many things off the site.

  3. Kara Nagle says:

    This looks so divine! Once copious amounts of chocolate cake from pantry have vanished, I will be trying this one. Good luck for the marathon doll xxxx

  4. Shannon says:

    Made this cake the other night. It was gone after only one night, and that’s impressive in a house of 4!

  5. Maxine says:

    I first came upon your site when I was looking for a shortbread pastry recipe at Christmas – now it is firmly on my favourite list and the first place I look when I’m needing a delicious recipe. I love the way you write your recipes and the great thing is they’re yummy too!

    Well done on the healthy front (you lucky thing being able to eat cake! I’m still in the diet stage so making these for others at the moment) and good luck with the marathon. :D

  6. Kara Nagle says:

    Made this over the weekend – divine! Used thread coconut instead of desicated in the topping and it was a bit crumbly to be honest – oh shame, will just have to try it again with desicated! It’s a fab tasting cake Anna, thank you again xxx

  7. Anna says:

    Thanks for the kind words all :) I ran the half marathon in 2hrs 20mins. Yay!
    But anyway, isn’t this cake fab? So glad you’ve all enjoyed it. I have a blog post in the works, so watch this space. xx

  8. Emily C says:

    Hi Anna,

    Its Emily from The Cake Slice Bakers!! Hope you are well and would like to get back into baking and eating cakes now that your thyroxine levels are top-notch. We would like to see back backing with us at The Cake Slice Bakers! Email me if you are keen to rejoin the group (emilycyc57 at gmail dot com)

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