A recipe created for the first ever RHS London Rose Show. Rose hip syrup gives a hit of complex sweetness to this wholesome apple cake. Don't be tempted to tip the grated apples into the cake batter without juicing them first – it'll make the cake rather too dense.
This recipe makes up to 16 slices, so it’s great for a crowd, but to make a smaller cake you can halve the recipe, use a 6×6” (15×15cm) tin, and test after 35-40 minutes.
Apple and Rose Hip Cake Serves up to 16
200g plain wholemeal flour
150g plain white flour
80g ground almonds
3 tsps baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground mace
250ml olive oil (we like to use extra virgin for extra flavour)
225g golden caster sugar
4 large eggs
4 decently-sized sweet apples (gala work well in cakes)
60ml rosehip syrup
80g roughly chopped whole skin-on almonds
- Preheat your oven to 180°c (160°c fan). Grease, line and dust a 9×9” (23×23cm) square cake tin.
- Beat together the eggs and sugar until pale and creamy.
- Weigh together the flour, ground almonds, mace, cinnamon, salt and baking powder, and whisk to combine.
- Gradually add the oil to the eggs and sugar, and beat until thoroughly combined.
- Coarsely grate the apples – you should end up with around 400g. Then squeeze out as much juice as you can into a separate bowl, and reserve.
- Stir 100ml of the juice into the rose hip syrup, and set aside.
- Place the sultanas in a saucepan, pour over the remaining apple juice, and heat on the hob for a couple of minutes, or until the juice has been absorbed by the sultanas and they’re nice and plump.
- Fold the flour mixture into the eggs/sugar/oil, followed by the grated apples and sultanas.
- Fold in the apple juice and rose hip mixture.
- Pour into the tin, scatter over the almonds, and and bake for around an hour. When it’s ready, the centre of the cake should feel firm and offer little resistance when gently pressed by a finger.
- Leave to cool in the tin for 15 minutes, before turning out onto a wire rack and leaving to cool completely. This cake tastes even more delicious after being kept in a tin at room temperature for a couple of days.
If you’re feeling indulgent…
Skip the chopped almonds, and decorate the cake with this rose hip buttercream. Cakes decorated with buttercream should be kept in the fridge.
150g butter (completely softened)
275g icing sugar
1 tbsp rose hip syrup (or more to taste)
Pinch of salt
- Stir together the butter and icing sugar until the mixture looks crumbly, add the salt, then beat until smooth.
- While beating, gradually pour in the rose hip syrup. Continue until everything’s completely combined and you have a smooth, beautifully pink frosting. Use immediately – you could pipe it on as roses should you have the patience!