Friday, 15 February 2013

Whole Wheat Apple And Marmalade Cake

That I enjoy baking with the fruit of the season is something you've probably figured out by now. And I usually get my cue of what's in season, when the fruit gets seen everywhere from fruit stalls to roadside pavements to even, traffic signals.

From the tiny fruit in my mother's garden to mounds of the fruit on the pavements, oranges have been catching my eye for a while. Seeing it in such abundance had my inner Martha Stewart toying with the idea of making my very own batch of orange marmalade at home. I wasn't too fussy with the oranges I used. Simply went ahead with what was easily available in the market. The process is time consuming but nothing too complicated, especially if you have a candy thermometer, of which I am now a proud owner.

The marmalade turned out well for a first attempt. It had a beautiful colour, the peel remained suspended and did not sink to the bottom. It should have had a better consistency to cut through it and the purists would have pointed out that the bitter undertones should have been stronger. But, it worked well for me and everyone at home. And yes, indulge me with the cheesy, personalised label that I've used on the bottle! But, you've got to admit, it has its appeal! (Label Credit : Jam Labelizer)

But, I am not a jam/marmalade person. I enjoy it once in a while but it is not regular for my breakfast. So, while I pondered on how to get to the bottom of the bottle, I came across this cake in Nigel Slater's Ripe. He describes it as a 'good, reliable cake' that would be found in British village-fete cake stalls.
The flavour combinations sounded interesting and the cake used whole, wheat flour, a big tick mark in its favour. The cake comes together fairly easily. What I did differently was that I baked it in a loaf tin and omitted the raisins, simply, because I had none in the pantry at the time.

Reading through the recipe, you imagine a rustic looking cake and that is what you will get. This is not a cake for celebrations but perfect for your every-day, home baking. You can taste the orange and the cinnamon. The apples retain a slight bite although the skin did leach a bit and that is the pink that you see in the photographs. I did wonder if the whole wheat would yield a dry crumb but nothing of the sort. This cake was beautifully moist and it is recommended that you wait till it cools down completely, to let the flavours come through. And, it tastes even better the next day!!

This cake is a step towards the kind of baking I want to move towards. Baking with a healthier grain, with fruit and other healthier alternatives to traditional ingredients. But more than anything, this cake is what home baking is all about for me - rustic, no frills and full of flavour!!
Whole Wheat Apple and Marmalade Cake
Adapted from the book, Nigel Slater's 'Ripe'.
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup demerara sugar + some for sprinkling on top
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 heaping teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 apple
  • 1/3 cup raisins (optional)
  • 3 tablespoon orange marmalade (Use store bought or make your own. I used this recipe from Closet Cooking.
  • finely grated zest of an orange
  • Pre-heat the oven to 160 deg C. Grease and line a 8 x 3 x 2 loaf tin.
  • Beat the butter and sugar until light and pale coloured.
  • Meanwhile, beat the eggs lightly with a fork.
  • Sift together the flour, baking powder and cinnamon powder.
  • Core and coarsely chop the apple. They should NOT be bigger than approx. 1 cm. squares.
  • Toss the chopped apples with the raisins and stir in the orange marmalade and orange zest.
  • Add the beaten eggs a little at a time to the creamed butter and sugar.
  • Gently but firmly fold in the rest of the flour. If you find the mixture too dry, do add one tablespoon of milk to the batter. I did and it helped to mix it along.
  • Fold in the fruit and marmalade mixture.
  • Spoon the batter into the prepared loaf tin.
  • Scatter a thin layer of demerara sugar over the top, and bake for an hour and fifteen minutes, until skewer comes out moist, without any cake mixture sticking to it.
  • Cool before serving.


  1. Oh wow you made your own marmalade??? Me and my husband are big fans of marmalade and we always have a bottle in the pantry!! I jsut loved the idea of your own label. Can you send across a jar here. The cake looks marvellous as well.The use of whole wheat gives a healthy edge to the fruity cake :)

    1. Sending you a jar right away Nandita!! Honestly it wasnt too tough, especially if you have a thermometer, then you know when to take the syrup off the heat!! As for the label, the result of me and google on a very boring afternoon!! :))

  2. My husband is not a big fan of fruit cake which is why i hardly make these :) I love the beautiful lighting on the photos and the warmth!

    1. Oh.. a pity.. cos this cake was a pleasant surprise.. not dry with the marmalade ensuring it wasnt cloyingly sweet!!

  3. Replies
    1. I know aren't they?! Frankly I made my marmalade at home, Just so that I could use the labels!!

  4. hi, and thank you for the recipe, but what is the Demerara sugar

    1. Hi Dena, Demerara sugar is a kind of brown sugar. It also referred to as turbinado sugar in some countries. If you don't have access to it, you can easily use regular white sugar in this recipe, no worries!!

  5. Hi, could you please point to the marmalade recipe you used? My marmalade attempts are always hopelessly caramalised.

    Love your blog btw!

    1. Oh, just noticed the link in the recipe

    2. Just one pointer .. if your marmalade is getting caramelised.. you are overcooking it!! It just happened to me last week! :) Try and invest in a sugar/candy thermometer.. and when the mixture reaches 104-106 deg C.. turn it off.. it will set beautifully!

    3. The cake was delicious, even with my dark almost-burnt marmalade :)

    4. Ahh perfect!!!! yay! and what I like best is that it is whole wheat.. so makes it healthier too!! thank you so much for writing back!! Come again!


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