Vanilla & Apple Cake

A couple of weeks ago a new branch of Norfolk St Bakery opened at the top of the street where my office is. I can only describe this place as having some of the best cake I’ve ever eaten, not to mention the insanely good bread. They have an amazing range of Portuguese treats, pastel de nata, bolinhos, etc etc. The first time I went in I bought a few different things to share with my colleagues, all of which were incredible. The next day I went back and bought more of my favourite, the vanilla roll. I feel pretty certain that I’m destined to put on some serious weight with this place two minutes from the office, but there will so much joy in gaining that weight from the deliciousness of the cake, maybe I don’t care?


Anyway, having consumed all this cake, I realised that I’d never made any Portuguese cake, and that this clearly needed to change. I tried (unsuccessfully) to find a recipe for the vanilla roll, so decided to settle instead for a vanilla cake with caramelised apple topping. Maybe settling isn’t the best word, because, wow. Like, really wow. I think this might be just the beginning of a love affair with this type of cake. It has a load of egg in it, which creates a sort of denser sponge, but it’s not heavy, it’s just, great. Go find yourself a Portuguese bakery, or make some of this cake and indulge.


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Rosemary, Apple and Yoghurt Cake

Week 2! 

So, in case you’re wondering – the crumpet recipe I posted did work, fantastically well! The only thing to know for next time is to add more salt, and to freeze the crumpets you’re not going to eat immediately, otherwise they kind of shrivel up. But otherwise, success! 

This week I’ve started teaching myself French (after it’s been almost a decade since I stopped learning it, forgot most of what I knew, and adopted a horrendous English-sounding French accent) with the app DuoLingo, which is amazing. This has very little to do with baking, but everything to do with being a more well-rounded human being, which leads me to my next point: a New Year’s Resolution I forgot to mention! The last food-related one. Waste less. I don’t waste too much food, certainly less than the average 3.2kg a person throws away per week in the UK, but there are always times when you forget to use stuff up and then it’s mouldy and you feel bad, mostly because you’re throwing money away. So, today’s recipe was a good choice, because I had both apples and yoghurt to use up! 


But just before we get to recipes – if you’re a fan of epic cakes, or Game of Thrones – or both…my brother made a cake of the Wall and Castle Black which you can see here

The recipe this week comes from the Italian Cookery Course by Katie Caldesi. I’ve had this book for quite a while, and I bought it because I love Italian food, and it has such lovely photos. However, I’ve barely used it – so little so, that I took the price label off before I took this photo. Sigh.



This is a really simple cake to make, and tastes fantastic. The rosemary infuses the cake, and leaves a beautiful but subtle taste. I sliced my apples extra thin, because I don’t really like big chunks of apple, and it always makes the cake more gooey (not desirable in this case). 

250g caster sugar

250g natural yoghurt (I used half vanilla and half plain)

2 eggs

90ml oil (vegetable, sunflower, olive, whatever)

300g plain flour

3 tsp baking powder

1 tbsp chopped rosemary (it’s GOT to be fresh – I don’t think you’d ever get the same taste with dried)

2 large apples (or 3 small ones) peeled and sliced


1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F and grease a 23cm loose-bottomed cake tin.

2. Whisk the eggs, yoghurt, sugar and oil together until combined. Fold in the flour, baking powder and rosemary. Add the apples, and carefully fold in with a large metal spoon. 

3. Pour the mix into the tin, and bake for 40-50 minutes, or until golden brown and a skewer comes out clean. 


Next week, maple syrup and bacon scones!