April 8, 2016


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I recently bought the new Sainsbury’s baking book.  I did hesitate briefly and wonder whether I need any more baking books, but then remembered that this book costs about the same as a single copy of any popular monthly magazine, which I would read once then throw away, possibly after cutting out and saving a couple of recipes.  So I talked myself into the idea that it was money well spent…….and a girl can never have too many recipe books.

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A few days later I spotted this cake stand in a local charity shop.  Once again I hesitated for a moment.  I already have several cake stands…...plenty in fact.  Then I remembered a conversation with someone in a shop recently.  Her friend had a handbag fund.  For birthdays and Christmas she asked for a contribution to her fund instead of a present and when the fund got up to £1,100 she bought herself a Mulberry handbag – a cheap one at that.  So then I felt less guilty about spending the grand total of £7.99 on a new recipe book and a cake stand. 

I have to say that if I had £1,100 with which to treat myself I would not spend it on a handbag for all the tea in China, but each to their own I suppose. 

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The book has lots of tempting recipes in it but this apple and coconut cake caught my eye.  I had found a pack of dessicated coconut at the back of the cupboard and thought it was time I did something with it. 

The cake was quick to make and lovely to eat, an all in one mix with apples arranged on the top.

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It had a nice, even crumb and kept well for a few days in an airtight tin.  I think that next time I might add a spoonful of apple compote to make it even more moist and to add more apple flavour, but in fact it was perfectly alright without any deviation from the recipe.

Ingredients (as used by me)

For the cake

125g Flora Buttery.  Softened butter or any other baking spread would be fine.

175g golden caster sugar

200g self raising flour (gluten free flour also works well)

2 eggs

1 tblsp semi skimmed milk

50g dessicated coconut

½ tsp vanilla extract

For the topping

1 dessert apple, peeled, cored and thinly sliced

juice of ½ a lemon

¼ tsp ground cinnamon

½ tblsp demerara sugar


Preheat the oven to 180° C / 160°fan / gas mk 4.  Grease a 20cm round springform tin and line the base with a circle of baking paper.

Put all of the cake ingredients into a large bowl and beat with an electric whisk until well combined.  Spoon into the prepared tin and level the top.

Put the topping ingredients into a bowl and carefully mix together until the apple slices are evenly coated.  Arrange them on top of the cake mixture.

Bake for 40-50 minutes until the the apple is brown and the cake passes the skewer test.  Cool in the tin for 5 minutes then remove and cool on a rack.  Dust with icing sugar before serving.

Cuts into 10-12 slices.


  1. The cake looks lovely, and the cake stand very practical and attractive. We once had a client who bought 16 (yes, sixteen) handbags in Italy before touring with us in France.

    1. Sixteen is an awful lot of handbags. Where on earth would one put sixteen new handbags?

    2. And how did she get them back home on the aeroplane.....assuming she arrived in Europe on a plane.

  2. oooh, apple and coconut! Win Win... love the sound of this cake. I rarely buy cook books any more but you're so right, they are so much cheaper than weeklies and you get so much out of them. Fab stuff!

  3. I just love a cake with apple and this would do me just fine. I haven't bought a genuinely new cook book in a very long time, partly because I've nowhere to put them. Funnily enough, I haven't bought a handbag lately either.

  4. Such a pretty looking cake. I love the sound of adding apple compote to it too.

    I like your reasoning with the cookbook and I don't think a person can ever have enough cake stands. I've lost count of how many I own. They all get used though as it's nice to have variety. £1,100 for a handbag... yikes. I wonder how many cake stands I could buy with that!

  5. I just made this cake. It's terrific. It looks beautiful, and has a really nice texture. Just the right amount of coconut. I added a good dollop of stewed apple to the batter and used the leftover lemon juice/sugar/cinnamon mixture as a drizzle when the cake came out of the oven. Delicious.

    1. Susan, that's great! I had a feeling that some stewed apple or apple compôte would improve the cake.