Nutty Apple Cake with Spicy Caramel Sauce

Apples, calvados, ginger and 5-spice powder combine to make a deliciously different cake in Paul Bloxham's scrumptious fusion recipe
By Paul Bloxham
Nutty Apple Cake with Spicy Caramel Sauce
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6-8
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes plus 15 mins resting
  • Effort: medium



  • 100 g unsalted butter
  • 125 g sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod, lit open lengthways and scraped
  • 2 tbsp grated ginger
  • 2 large eggs
  • 150 ml Greek yogurt
  • 250 g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp chinese five spice

For the apples:

  • 250 g unsalted butter
  • 100 g sugar
  • 5 Granny Smith apples
  • 100 g chopped pecans

For the caramel sauce:

  • 2 star anise
  • A pinch of chinese five spice
  • 100 ml calvados
  • 250 g sugar
  • 150 ml water
  • 75 ml double cream


1. First make the cake mixture. Preheat the oven to 190°C/gas 5.

2. In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar with a wooden spoon until well-blended.

3. Mix in the vanilla pod seeds, ginger, eggs and yogurt and mix thoroughly.

4. Sift in the flour, baking powder, salt and 5-spice powder, folding in well.

5. To cook the apples, heat the unsalted butter and sugar in an ovenproof frying pan until melted.

6. Add the apple slices flesh-side down and sprinkle over the pecans. Cook, stirring now and then, until caramelised.

7. Pour the cake mixture into the centre of the frying pan dish over the apples.

8. Place on baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes until golden and set. Remove from the oven and cool for 15 minutes.

9. Meanwhile, make the caramel sauce. Heat the star anise, 5-spice powder and calvados together in a small pan. Bring to the boil and cook until reduced by half.

10. In a separate pan, bring the sugar and water to a boil and cook briskly without stirring until it caramelises, thickening into a golden syrup.

11. Add the spicy calvados reduction to the caramel syrup, mixing thoroughly. Whisk in the double cream.

12. Remove the warm apple cake from the dish and serve in slices with the spicy caramel sauce.

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