Apple, almond & date cake recipe

Apple, almond and date cake with spices and spelt flour

This cake is so simple and stunningly satisfying. It has a crunchy top and moist inside. The flavours are pleasingly complex with spicy sweet/tart apples contrasting with rich toffee-like roasted dates. The spelt flour and almonds give the cake a substantial nutty body.

It tastes great warm straight from the oven or cool later on. We like it a lot and have been known to eat it for breakfast.

The recipe originates from my mother-in-law who is a superb purveyor of cakey delights. She gave me the recipe for a German Apple Almond cake that we’ve been enjoying for years. I thought I take that basic recipe and give it a twist. I hope she approves.

It really is a doddle to make. Would you like to know how? Read on…

Welsh-German apple & almond cake recipe

You’ll need a 28cm spring form cake tin or similar lined with greaseproof paper.

Preheat your oven to 160°C with the shelf in the middle.


225g butter melted
4 tsp baking powder
350g wholemeal spelt flour (or use white plain flour or a mix of white & wholemeal plain flour)
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cardamom (or to taste)
225g caster sugar (the golden works well in this)
3 medium eggs
1½ tsp almond essence
500g apples, weight when peeled cored and cut into approx 2cm chunks
100g dates cut into bite sized pieces
50g flaked almonds


Prepare the apples first and let them rest in some acidulated water so they do not brown.

Melt the butter in a small pan or in a bowl in the microwave. Allow to cool a little.

Sieve the baking powder, flour, spices and sugar into a bowl.

Beat the eggs in a small bowl and add the almond essence and mix to combine.

Add the egg/essence mixture and the butter to the dry ingredients and mix well so that the ingredients are well combined and smooth.

Spread a little over half of the mixture into the prepared cake tin.

Distribute the apples and dates evenly over the cake mixture.

Dot the top of the fruit with big blobs of the remaining mixture. You want to leave some fruit uncovered so that it caramelises in the heat.

Sprinkle over the flaked almonds.

Bake for 1½ hours until nicely brown and crisp on the top and shrinking away from the sides of the tin.

Take out of the oven and remove from the cake tin and remove the paper.

Apple, almond and date cake with spices and spelt flour

If you are going to serve the cake warm, place on a plate. If not, pop on a cooling rack until it is cool. Great served by itself or with crème fraiche and/or custard.

If you have a go at this, do let me know how you get on in the comments below.


This from Rebecca Sandover for a Forest School celebration:

Rebecca's Apple & Date cake

And this from Carla Tomasi in Rome (with added cranberries, figs & apricots and an icing sugar topping). I’m told the first cake didn’t last the hour…

Carla's apple cake

This one from Betty Mahoney, foodie & journalist in Cardiff who made this for her husband’s birthday and took it on holiday with her:

Betty's cake




13 responses to “Apple, almond & date cake recipe”

  1. Zarina Nawaz Avatar
    Zarina Nawaz

    Just found u! I think its going to b a great combination. Try yours first ya n then the fruity suggestion next time!! Thanks Carl lucky to have ppl like u around.bless u!!

  2. Aline Atallah Avatar

    What is the temperature required for this cake?

    1. Carl Avatar

      Hi Aline

      I say at the begining of the recipe:

      “Preheat your oven to 160°C with the shelf in the middle.”

      Hope that helps


  3. Marieke Avatar

    I so love a cake with cardamom in winter. I just realized I made lots of cakes with cardamom and cakes with apple but never did I combine the two in one cake. But now I have to!

    Wonderful recipe Carl!

  4. Choclette Avatar

    It took me a while, but I’m glad I remembered to take a look. You can never have too many apple cake recipes and I love the fact this has morphed from a German to a Welsh version. it looks scrummy, which I’m sure it it. I particularly like the cardamom addition and the layering of the fruit in the middle. Will bookmark for next year.

  5. Dee Sewell Avatar

    That really does look scrummy – have bookmarked! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  6. Gregoire Avatar

    With a nice and smooth vanilla sauce – I am very confident I can eat that whole cake by myself! 😉 Looks delicious Carl!

    1. Carl Avatar

      Ahhh Gregoire, what a lovely idea – the vanilla sauce would just finish this off nicely. I’m not sure eating it all would help maintain your svelte racing-snake figure though 😉

      1. Gregoire Michaud Avatar

        Svelte is the word, Carl! 😉 Just right for me! ahahah

  7. carla tomasi Avatar
    carla tomasi

    this lovely looking cake is a compendium of all things nice. On Tue I went to the small neighbourhood market and my fave stall had just received the sesonal stock of walnuts,raisins, dried fruits, candied fruits for yeasted cakes and also big ,fat soft dates. Cake here I come.
    Thanks Carlxx

    1. Carl Avatar

      Ciao Carla

      I’ve now added your cakes to the post. Looks fab, a good idea to use loaf tins to make them in.

      Keep the variations coming 🙂


  8. joanna Avatar

    Another Delicious recipe! I like the layering details, good way to encourage the fruit not to sink – and anything with flaked almonds on the top has my name on the list queuing up to make it 🙂

    1. Carl Avatar

      Hi Joanna

      Thanks again for the encouragement 🙂

      We’re really pleased with this one and the spelt flour gives a good lasting cake.

      We’ll have to try Carla’s mega-fruit variation now.