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Apple Cake with Honey Icing

Dirty Clean Food customer Catriona has shared her favourite recipe using honey and we through we would share it with you all in celebration of Honey Month. Adapted from Ottolenghii: The Cookbook,  Catriona prefers to use honey instead of maple syrup to make this delicious treat.



100g sultanas

275ml water

350g plain flour

½ tsp ground cinnamon

1 ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda

½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

3 large Granny Smith apples (800g)

200g castor sugar

150ml extra virgin olive oil

2 large eggs, lightly beaten plus 2 extra egg whites

scarped seeds of ½ vanilla pod

1 tsp finely grated zest of lemon 


100g unsalted butter, room temperature

100g brown sugar

85g honey

220g cream cheese



  1. Preheat oven to 180°C (160° fan forced). Grease and line the base and sides of a 23cm round cake tin with baking paper. Set aside.
  2. Place the sultanas and 200ml water in a medium saucepan. Simmer over a low heat until all the water has been absorbed, then set aside.
  3. Sift the flour, cinnamon, bicarb of soda, baking powder and salt together into a bowl and set aside. Peel and core the apples, then cut into 2-3cm dice and set aside in a separate bowl.
  4. Place the sugar, olive oil, whole eggs, vanilla seeds and lemon zest in the bowl and beat with electric mixer for 6-7 minutes until the mix is light in colour, doubled in size and has thickened a little. Remove the bowl and using a large spatula fold in the apple, sultanas and remaining 75ml water. Add the sifted dry ingredients and gently fold to combine.
  5. Whisk the egg whites in a clean bowl, either by hand or with a mixer, until they have a soft meringue consistency. Fold them into the batter in 2 additions, trying to maintain as much air as possible.
  6. Pour the batter into the lined pan, level it with an icing spatula, and place in the oven. Bake for 1 1/2 hours, until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the cake tin.
  7. Once the cake is completely cooled, you can assemble it. Remove from the tin and use a large serrated knife to cut it in half horizontally. You should end up with 2 similar disks. If the cake is very domed, you might need to shave a bit off the top half to level it.
  8. To make the icing, beat together the butter, sugar, and honey until light and airy. You can do this by hand, or preferably, in a mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the cream cheese and beat until the icing is totally smooth.
  9. Using the icing spatula, spread a layer of icing 1cm thick over the bottom half of the cake. Carefully place the top half on it. Spoon the rest of the icing on top and use the spatula to create a wavelike or any other pattern. Dust it with icing sugar, if you like.

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