Cardamom and Apple-Rose Cakes

Cook time 1 hour
Servings 12


6 red apples, cored

Vegan margarine for greasing

65g spelt flour (½ cup)

65g chickpea (gram) flour (½ cup)

Pinch of salt

2 cardamom pods, seeds removed and crushed

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)

125g apple sauce (½ cup)

125ml orange juice (½ cup)

1 tsp orange zest

½ tsp vanilla extract or powder

4 tbsp almond butter

4 tbsp date syrup

To decorate

Icing sugar

Cardamom and Apple-Rose Cakes


Place a saucepan of water that can fit a steamer basket (or, in my case, a colander) over it and bring to the boil. Cut the apples in half and then, using a mandolin on the number 2 setting, cut the apples into thin slices, placing in the colander/steamer basket as you go.

Place the colander/steamer basket over the boiling water, cover with a lid and steam the apple slices for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 180°C and grease 12-cup muffin tray.

Place the spelt flour, chickpea flour, salt, cardamom and bicarbonate of soda in a medium mixing bowl and stir to lightly combine. Add the apple sauce, orange juice, zest and vanilla and stir to combine. Set aside.

Whatever you do, don’t lick the batter – raw chickpea flour is disgusting. Combine the almond butter and date syrup in a small mug or mixing bowl and set aside.

To make the apple roses: place about 10 pieces of apple in a long line, with a generous overlap. Gently roll up, then curl about 10 more pieces of apple around it, overlapping until you have a pretty rose. Repeat to make 12 roses.

Spoon 1 scant tablespoon of cake batter into each muffin cup, making a little well in the centre of each as you go. Now, working one by one, spoon 1 teaspoon of the date and almond butter mixture into the wells and immediately top with an apple rose, pushing the rose down firmly when you place it into the batter. Don’t spoon all of the almond butter mixture into all the muffins first and the top with the roses, as the butter will run to the edges and you’ll miss out on the ooey gooey centre.

Bake the cakes in the hot oven for 15 minutes. Allow to cool in the tray, then remove. You should be able to simply remove them with your fingers, unless some of the date syrup has escaped to the edges, in which case use a butter knife to loosen the edges. Dust with icing sugar immediately prior to eating.