spiced apple and buttermilk cake


If you haven’t already figured from Instagram, I’m… uh, kinda excited about this post. I’ve been waiting approximately two weeks to upload it and in the meantime, I’ve had joy bursting out of my ears.

Why? Well, it’s not just any old post about apple cake. It’s a celebration post; a deliciously heartfelt contribution to a virtual Bridal Shower hosted by my blogging friends Kayle, Stef and Stephanie.

You may already be familiar with the gorgeous bride-to-be – it’s the auburn haired, ever-smiling Stephie from Stephie Cooks (read more about how I met Stephie here). She and her fiance Alex are set to get hitched in a few short weeks (April 2015!) so we’re celebrating in the natural way that bloggers do: making food and photographing it. And then eating it, with Stephie and Alex in mind.



The girls above spilled the beans on Stephie’s wedding theme a few weeks ago in preparation for this virtual shower. She and Alex are running with the idea of ‘rustic elegance’, complete with BBQ for dinner and pies for dessert!

In keeping with the ‘rustic’ idea, I decided to discard my initial plan to make individual tarts or decorated cupcakes in Stephie’s honour. Instead, I made one giant country apple cake, complete with chunks of fruit and lashings of double cream.


A comment from Stephie’s mum Julie (@jkswope) on an Instagram post of mine further solidified my decision to use homegrown apples:

Make those little Apple pie cookies that Stephie made. They are so good!

Then, bring some to us. We’ll need them with the frantic wedding planning. #fourweeks 

Apple goodies for wedding planning? Okay Momma Swope… I’m onto it!

However, after searching Stephie’s blog for the apple pie cookies, I became sidetracked by this stunning apple cake from a few months ago. Caramel, apples and vanilla bean? Yum. I quickly decided to make my very own apple cake, packed full of organic apples from my own mother’s heaving apple tree. After it baked, I briefly considered the idea of sending it over to the United States but… well, that didn’t seem so sensible.

Yep, I ate it instead.


So, before I stop blabbering and leave you with the recipe, I just have a few short words to share in regards to our amazing bride-to-be:

Stephie, you are brave and beautiful, hilariously creative, heartfelt and loyal. It’s been a privilege to be a friend across-the-seas for the past couple of years. I will be praying for strength, love and blessings to inhabit each step that you and Alex take as a married couple – on your wedding day and afterwards. I can’t wait to see your celebration photos, to drip tears of joy into my keyboard and to cheer you on in your endeavors to come (of which there will be many, I’m sure!).

One day, we will share cake together across a table. But for now, this recipe will have to do.

P.S. I know this is a Bridal Shower but Alex, you’re pretty awesome too. Peat whisky has made us friends for life.


Spiced Apple and Buttermilk Cake

Adapted from A Pinch of Yum

Cake batter:

  • 1 cup raw caster sugar
  • 1/2 cup molasses sugar (substitute dark brown sugar)
  • ⅓ cup virgin coconut oil
  • 1 large free range egg
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp natural vanilla essence
  • 2½ cups plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 2 cups peeled. diced apples


  • 1 apple, peeled and finely sliced to decorate
  • ½ cup raw caster sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp butter

Preheat your oven to 160 degrees C (325 degrees f). Grease and line a 20cm diameter round cake tin, then set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the sugars, coconut oil, egg, buttermilk and vanilla essence. Sift in the baking powder and plain flour. Stir through the diced apples.

Pour the cake batter into your prepared cake tin. Mix together the caster sugar, cinnamon and butter for the topping. Gently layer over the reserved sliced apples in a circular pattern from the outside to the inside of the cake. Dot over the cinnamon butter mixture.

Gently transfer the cake into the preheated oven. Bake for 45-60 minutes or until risen and pale golden (a skewer inserted into the centre should come out with only a few moist crumbs attached).

Allow to cool in the tin before slicing. Serve warm or at room temperature, dusted with icing sugar and accompanied by a thick dollop of double cream.


Want to visit the rest of the Bridal Shower?


Click on the links below:




79 responses

  1. Oh my Laura…. I love EVERYthing about this post. The recipe, the amazing photography!, the message, the meaning behind it all, and the love you pour out! I can see why you were so excited. AWESOME post! <3

  2. Wow, I love this moody style of photography you have got going on hunny! I used to lurve apple cake but sadly it is chockers full of fructose and will only lead to regrets later on….doesn’t stop me drooling over your photos though! xx

    • Aw, yeah it’s not a fun cake for people on a low fructose diet :( Glad that at least the photography was fun, I’m loving the light at this time of year! xxx

  3. I’m sitting here bawling. Seriously. Ok. I’m a little emotional right now, but this post is beautiful. Do you know how much I wish that you were able to come to the wedding? And watch facebook, because I’ll be uploading some videos and lots of pictures (although it will be on my personal account, but I’ll set it so you can hopefully see it). What a great friend you have been, and I’m so thankful for you and your friendship. And this cake?? Jerry (Papa Swope) just drooled all over my computer looking at your gorgeous photography. Looks like this is on the menu! Thank you, sweet girl. xx

    • Oh Julie, I am so, so excited for all of you… it’s going to be an amazing week! I really wish that I didn’t live on the other side of the world right now. Seriously, the internet is both wonderful (in introducing me to beautiful people like you and Stephie) and terrible (because now the distance between us seems so incredibly great). I will be watching your updates with anticipation, and most probably crying into my phone when the weekend rolls around. SUCH a privilege to be part of this event for Stephie and Alex. SO thankful to be part of the faraway Swope/Predmore (eep!) friend family. We WILL eat cake together one day xxxx

  4. Awh Laura, I love this post!!! and this cake!! I met Stephie in Miami last year at a blogger conference and although I don’t know her nearly as well as you do, I definitely see the brave, beautiful, hilariously creative and heartfelt beaming through her. :) what a wonderful surprise bridal shower!!! so special!

    • Aw, I wish I could’ve met her. She’s beautiful inside and out, one day we will definitely meet face to face! Thanks so much Alice (you’re another that I want to meet one day!) xxx

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  15. I wish I’d seen this before I made an apple cake this morning – yours looks so beautiful! What a lovely thing to do, a virtual bridal shower (and I love that you made the wise decision to “eat the cake with her in mind” rather than send it ;) Very noble.)
    Amazing post and stunning photos. x

  16. I LOVE that you made Stephie’s cake for the bridal shower! I’ve been meaning to whip up some of her recipes as they’re always so mouth-watering and this cake has been at the top of the list foreeevah! I enjoyed reading your heart-felt post! Stephie truly is an amazing soul and I’m happy I got to get together with ya for her virtual bridal shower! Hope you have a great day, m’dear!

  17. Thank you so much, dear friend, for the sweet words! I am so overwhelmed with kindness and love today, I can’t even fathom it! And this cake…what a beaut! Let’s make sure we do share this at th same table someday, even if it’s when we are 60 years old. I promise Alex will still love peaty scotch as much then as he does now. ;-) love you so!!

    • I love you too beautiful one!!! Aaah, one week to go… so excited for you both (and the extended family of course, eep!). You deserve each and every one of these posts/declarations of love. You are amazing and it’s such a blessing to be able to share these special days with you from afar. Love and excited best wishes for the next few incredible days xxxx

  18. Gorgeous photos and I’m not gunna lie, your post made me tear up a little about my dear friend. I also love that Stephie knows so many good cooks and good people. I loved learning about you and your site in her Friend’s First series.

    • Aw, it’s been such a pleasure getting to know you to Stef! I’m pretty late in reading everyone’s posts (I’ve been away for the past week) but I’m getting a little sniffly reading about Stephie’s friendship with everyone too. She is such a warm, wonderful person and it’s such a privilege to be included in this band of beautiful women (you being one of these!). Thanks so much xxx

  19. A lovely post Laura with beautiful words and gorgeous photos. That apple cake looks so yummy and will earn me lots and lots of brownie points if I make it for my better half ☺

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  21. The cake looks wonderful, and I can only imagine how truly elegant the wedding will be. There is nothing more elegant than simplicity… David

    • Haha, let me know if… you know… a wedding is on the cards for you Uru. I will definitely organize a cake! (and maybe a virtual shower of sorts! Woop woop) xx

  22. Oh my goodness. I love apple cakes, and love buttermilk cakes, so this cake will be true everlasting love. It sounds absolutely perfect for Steph’s wedding shower. Perfect. BTW, we love apples so much in this house, we’ve decided to plant 2 apple trees in the back yard. Very, very excited. Pinning this right now!!!

    • Yay! Hope that the apple trees establish themselves quickly! The cake was wonderful, so moist and moreish. Definitely one for your ‘regular baking’ list when you get a glut of homegrown apples! xx

  23. What a lovely way to celebrate your friend’s wedding! I hope Steph and Alex have a beautiful day and enjoy each step on this new journey together.
    I can’t wait to try your cake, and while it won’t be with homegrown apples this year, I know by next year Mum’s trees might have some fruit on them too :) This cake is simply perfect for the turning of the season. Thank you for sharing Laura. Also, I love these dramatically shadowed photos. Beautiful.

    • Thanks beautiful Amy, always so nice to get a note from you! Hope that your Mum’s trees will indeed yield some fruit next year! Homegrown or not… this cake is such a nice vehicle for apple and spice flavours. Hugs xx

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