Lumberjack cake

by Ed Halmagyi


  • 1 cup chopped dates
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 185g unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 1 tsp natural vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1½ cups plain flour
  • 500g grated apple
  • 110g brown sugar
  • 125ml milk
  • 1 cup shredded coconut


1 Preheat oven to 180°C. Put the dates and bicarbonate of soda in a bowl and pour over the boiling water. Set aside to cool completely.
2 Combine 125g butter with the caster sugar I the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on medium speed with the paddle attachment for 5 minutes, until light and creamy. Beat in the vanilla and egg, the fold in the flour, apple and date mixture. Spoon into a lined 23cm cake tin and bake for 40 minutes.
3 Meanwhile, combine the remaining butter I a small saucepan with the brown sugar, milk and coconut and bring to a boil. Spoon over the cake, then bake for a further 20 minutes, until the top is brown and crisp. Cool in the tin.