Monday, 24 October 2011

Apple Treacle Cake

When Janet asked me, "Michael, would you like some more apples?", my immediate answer was "Absolutely!". How and why would I refuse, delicious free apples. Plus, I still have a list of apple recipes I want to try. Though I must say, no matter how much I cook, the list isn't getting any smaller. Every time I ticked a recipe off the list, I then found new ones to add to the list... 

The original recipe is actually called apple molasses cake, but I don't have molasses. What I do have is black treacle. I don't know if they're the same thing and I was too lazy to google it. I have a feeling they are (they look the same), but maybe I'm completely wrong. All I can tell you, the cake works great with black treacle. As described by Anne, the cake is "stodgy in the best sense, moreish, dark brown with a deep, comforting flavour". 

To be honest, I don't really care for the honey-butter icing. But, I'm still going to make it the next time I bake this. However, instead of using it as an icing, it'll be lovely as a spread on the warm slices of apple cake.

Apple Molasses Cake
Recipe by Anna Jones

250 grams flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 teaspoon ground clove
2 tablespoons molasses
150 grams soft light brown sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
150 ml olive oil
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 cm round piece of ginger, peeled and finely grated
3 cooking apples, such as Bramleys, peeled and diced
Butter, for greasing

Honey-butter icing
125 grams butter, at room temperature
5 tablespoons honey
A small handful of almonds, roughly chopped

Preheat the oven to 180 C. Sift the flour into a bowl with the cinnamon and cloves.

In a separate large bowl, mix the molasses, sugar, eggs and oil. Add the flour mixture, baking powder and soda, then mix. Fold in the ginger and apple.

Butter a standard-sized loaf tin and pour the cake mix in. Smooth the top and bake for about 1 hour or until a skewer inserted in the thickest part comes out clean. If the top looks like it's browning too quickly, cover with foil. Remove from the oven and cool in the tin for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

For the icing, beat the butter and honey with an electric mixer until fluffy. Lavish it over the cake, sprinkle over the almonds and serve with a cup of tea.


  1. The butter icing is killing me! The cake looks gorgeous, molasses or treacle!

  2. Michael, this cake sounds and looks delicious, ginger, cinnamon and apples...and using the icing as spread sounds really good.
    Hope you have a great week ahead :-)

  3. I'm pretty sure molasses and treacle are the same thing. It's another example of Brits having their own words for things. How's this for a recipe: aubergine and courgette with bangers and a treacle sauce. Am I funny or what?

  4. love a good apple spice breakfast cake, sounds like you found one too... molasses around these parts is taken serious, there are several different stages depending on when the syrup is drawn from the boiling cane juice... blackstrap is the third boil, so dark and rich with a sulfur content, also one loaded with nutrients, it was used for medicinal purposes... I believe your treacle is similar and also used for tummy aches...

  5. I don't know how anyone could pass up apples either.. seems odd :) The cake looks and sounds so delicious, Michael! I wished you lived closer to me!

  6. Sounds and looks delishy, treacle is what we would call it back in Britain but it's molasses here in the U.S same thing I think..
    Take care,

  7. What a wonderful recipe. I love all these apple recipes around at the moment. This one looks divine and I'll be adding it my 'must make' folder. Yummy x

  8. I, too, am loving all the apple recipes ... and apple varieties being used in these many recipes! You treacle cake look terrific .... and I think you have a good point about slathering a warm slice with the butter icing ... a nicer effect, I think.

    And speaking of Brit words that Americans are ignorant of ... what is the meaning of 'faff' ?

  9. I'm with you and the apples all the way. This time of year rocks with all the apple recipes and this is added to my list of ones to make. YUM

  10. yet another apple cake! you're becoming quite the expert on them! i have yet another 2 kg of apples with me from apple day at the farmers' market....hmmmm....

  11. I love the warm spiciness of this - so perfect with apples! The honey butter as a spread couldn't sound any better! I am so obsessed with apples right now...

  12. The cake sounds scrumptious and it is seasonally perfect. I love fall harvests season. The aroma from the kitchen is just too divine. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  13. Isn't molasses the same thing as black treacle? ;-) I have a big jar of treacle in my fridge and I'm forever looking out for recipes that use it, and this seems to be the perfect one! Does Janet have an orchard or something? You're so lucky that your friends are offering you all these free apples, Michael. Your apple cake is the bomb!

  14. How many apples do you have? If you've got a truckload (or the food volume equivalent), I SOOOO recommend making apple butter. I've got the Kim Boyce recipe on my blog. It's amazing. You cook down apples in apple juice for hours and hours until it's a molten buttery (no butter though, it's a mystery!) fragrant essence of apple. And then you can keep it for ages too.
    Oh, and I think treacle is a wee bit darker than molasses... and a little thicker? But I might be mistaken.

  15. I was so sick last month, I can't believe I miss out 7 of your posts especially the truffle as well as your malteser cakes. So decadent. Now that I met you in person, the way you talk and your voice has stuck in my head. Reading your post is like having a one-on-one conversation with you on the train/restaurant.

    We don't have treacle here in Canada as I am aware of. I did go to wikipedia :), it seems to be similar to molasses but lighter in colour.

    P.S- I know you love desserts, I posted on my fan page pics of some chocolate desserts at a shop in MTL. I bet you will drool on it.


  16. Fabulous cake, Michael. How about a brown sugar icing?

  17. Michael that looks so unbelievably good! :-D

  18. Michael, that apple cake would be the perfect breakfast item on my table! Great job.

  19. I love apple cakes of all shapes and sizes and this looks great. I was recently told by an American living in England that I shouldn't substitute treacle for molasses because the taste of treacle was too strong. But who cares if it works?

  20. Well, Michael...I sure don't have to venture too far for the yummiest dessert recipes...ever!
    Love the honey butter icing, and the mollases in the cake batte. They go so perfectly together!