Tag: cinnamon

Apple Cake with Pecan and Cinnamon Crumble Topping

I have a confession to make: I’m one of those really annoying people who just will not follow a recipe. I can’t help it. There’s creativity in my bones, and I’m drawn to changing things in an effort to make them even better.

So naturally, I couldn’t leave this apple cake recipe alone. It could have swum on through the internet, living out a successful life on the Pinterest boards of many, untouched by my meddling fingers. But thank goodness it didn’t.

Crumble cakes are kind of brilliant. After all, why only have a cake, when you can have the lovechild of cake and crumble? Sweet, comforting, warm apple cake, with the added crunch and zing of spicy crumble topping. I fully advocate adding crumble to normal foods, especially when it comes to creating a crumble/pie hybrid that’s sure to please those in both the Apple Crumble Camp and the Apple Pie Camp (it’s not just my family that’s divided on the subject, right?).

I also discovered it’s pretty good for helping to make friends with new neighbours who may or may not think you’re a little bit mad. My only advice would be to not ambush your neighbour, foiled package in hand, sporting post-baking hair and tracksuit bottoms, to force them to take said cake off your hands so you won’t eat it all. That might come across a little nutty.

But back to the cake. The recipe is loosely based on a crumble-less apple cake recipe from Smitten Kitchen, and will make two loaves.


Apple filling:
3 apples, cut into chunks
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

2 3/4 cups plain flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup vegetable or sunflower oil
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 eggs


40g pecan halves, chopped
50g butter
50g sugar
50g plain flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon


1) Toss apple chunks in sugar and cinnamon and set aside. Set oven to 180C.

2) Mix together salt, baking powder, and flour. In a separate bowl or jug, whisk together oil, sugar, juice, and vanilla. Add these wet ingredients to the dry, and mix well.

3) Add eggs one at a time. The mixture may seem like it’ll never come together. Stick with it!

4) To make the crumble topping, rub together the butter, sugar, and flour until you get a crumb consistency. Stir in the cinnamon and chopped pecans.

5) When the batter is thoroughly mixed, pour into your prepared loaf tin until about half full. Next, add a layer of apple chunks, and then another layer of batter to cover the apples. Finally sprinkle on the topping and bake for about an hour, or until a tester/knife comes out clean when inserted into the centre of the cake. If the topping starts to burn at any point, cover it with foil.

Although it’s delicious warm, this cake also keeps well and improves after a day – if it lasts that long!

Chocolate hazelnut cinnamon rolls

I’m sorry guys. I’m sorry that I have to barge in on your Thursday morning just to break your heart with lust for chocolate hazelnut cinnamon rolls. It isn’t my fault. Really. You can blame this on my dad for giving me the hazelnuts in the first place. What’s a girl to do, if not mix those hazelnuts with delicious melty chocolate and sweet warm bread? But I’m only a little bit sorry – because damn, these rolls are good.

I spent ages looking for a cinnamon roll recipe. I tried Google, I tried Pinterest, I tried Waitrose. Nothing. Nada. No recipe that grabbed me. So I went back to the old faithful, cinnamon sugar pull-apart bread recipe, and tweaked. And chopped, and sprinkled, and rolled. Cooked and waited and waited and waited, and then did a little victory dance around the little kitchen. Clapped like a seal a few times. This is a victory.

The great thing about this recipe is that you can get halfway and put the dough in the fridge overnight. So, with a bit of careful time planning, you could have these for an indulgent Friday morning breakfast to help get you through the day.

If you’re good enough to have the self-restraint to stop you from eating them all in one go, they will be just as tasty the next day, heated in a microwave for about a minute.

Recipe adapted from a recipe adapted from Joy the Baker. 



2 3/4  cups plain flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 envelope dry yeast
2 oz/50g (unsalted) butter
1/3 whole milk
1/4 cup water
2 large eggs, whisked
Sprinkling of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 oz/5og (unsalted) butter, melted until brown
50g skinless roasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped
100g chocolate, roughly chopped (I used 75g dark, 25g milk)


1)  Mix together flour, sugar, yeast, and salt.

2)  Heat the milk with the butter in a saucepan until the butter has completely melted. Remove from heat and add the water and vanilla extract. Let it stand for a minute or so to cool.

3)  Add the milk mixture to the dry ingredients, along with the eggs. This makes a very sticky mixture – just added a little more flour until its easier to handle.

4)  Transfer the dough into a greased bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave to double in size.

5)  While that’s rising, mix together your sugar and cinnamon for the sugar filling, grease your tin (I used a Bundt-style tin), and melt the butter. Preheat oven to 180C or gas mark 4.

6)  When the dough has doubled in size, tip it out and knock it back. Cover it with a tea towel, and leave to rest for 5 minutes. Roll out the dough as big as you can on a floured surface, or if you’re refrigerating it until the morning, wrap in clingfilm and pop in the fridge. Be sure to take it out of the fridge 30 minutes before you plan to roll it out!

7)  Slather the dough with the melted butter using a pastry brush or the back of a spoon, and sprinkle the sugar mixture over it. Next, sprinkle the chopped hazelnuts and chocolate over the buttered, sugared dough, roll lengthways and cut into rolls about 2.5 inches deep. Transfer them to the tin.

8)  Put a tea towel over your tin, and leave the rolls to rise for about 30 minutes – until they’ve doubled in size.
(As my flat is pretty cold, I put a hot water bottle underneath to aid the rising. True story.)

9)  When risen, place it on the centre shelf of the oven and cook for about 30-40 minutes, until a deep golden brown.
Similar to baking a cake, if you put a knife between the individual rolls and it comes out sticky, let them have longer. This might mean putting a foil cap over the rolls to stop the top from burning.