Spiced Pumpkin and Apricot Cake

For me, Summer stone fruits are officially in season when there are multitudes of apricots sitting in the kitchen, stockpiled my mum to make the year’s apricot jam. I decided to do something a little bit different and less sugar filled and make a (healthier) lightly spiced pumpkin and apricot cake instead.

Spiced Pumpkin and Apricot Cake
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 320g pumpkin (peeled weight) peeled and chopped
  • ¾ cup raw almonds
  • ¾ cup wholemeal spelt flour
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground dried ginger
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup rapadura sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4-5 ripe apricots
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Line a cake pan with baking paper (I used a 20cm round tin for this recipe) and oil spray.
  2. Take your pumpkin and steam or microwave it until tender. Allow to cool.
  3. Place almond in the bowl of a food processor or blender and blend until you have an almond meal- nothing too chunky. Alternatively you can use ¾ cups of store bought almond meal instead.
  4. Place the almond meal in a large bowl and stir in the flour, cinnamon, ginger and baking powder. Set aside.
  5. In another bowl, mash the pumpkin until smooth. Add in the oil, eggs, vanilla and sugar and mix well until combined.
  6. Add the pumpkin mix to the flour mix and stir until smooth.
  7. Pour batter into you prepared cake tin and smooth over. De-stone the apricots and slice thinly. Arrange the apricot slices on top of cake as desired until cake is covered but you can still see some batter underneath.
  8. Bake in an oven for 30-45 minutes (depending on oven) or until the middle is set and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  9. Allow to cool in tin or eat warm.

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Fig and Dark Chocolate Hot Cross Scones

After trying out multiple “healthier” hot cross bun recipes I have given up trying to make this yeast-leavened, sultana studded treat – at least for this year. My attempts have ranged from disastrous (small sad buns so hard they could be used as a weapon) to disappointing (lovely and risen but dry and lacking salt). As a result, I have hung up my baker’s hat and relegated my box of yeast to the back of the fridge for a while. Instead I have chosen to make the cheats version of this easter staple, the hot cross scone. My rendition is generously filled with juicy pieces of dried fig, 70% cocoa dark chocolate and delicately spiced with cinnamon. Don’t get me wrong, I love the traditional flavours of spice and dried sultanas but sometimes a more luxurious version is called for.

Having said that, these buns are not nearly as sinfully indulgent as they appear….

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Chocolate Hazelnut Brownies

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Spending a bit of time in the kitchen means that I definitely have those epic recipe fails,especially when trying to make recipes healthier, pancakes don’t set, biscuits burn and sugar-free cake turns out bland and rubbery. Others you get right but have to spend a while perfecting. But this recipe wasn’t either one of those, it was one of those freak recipes that come along and somehow manage to turn out perfect first go. I’m not saying its never going to change, most of my recipes get adapted somewhere along the line but for now I am more than happy. Who knew healthy brownies could be so good. Just to be sure I tested them on my housemates and friends (anyone else want to be my guinea pig?) and they agreed these were pretty awesome.

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Lemon, Strawberry and Peach Muffins

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Soft, fluffy and easy to transport and eat, who doesn’t love a good muffin? However, most of the muffins you buy from cafe’s/supermarkets or bakeries are made from premixes which are full of hydrogenated fats, preservatives, artificial flavours and highly refined ingredients. I always make my own cakes at home and would rarely buy anything out, that way you know exactly what you are eating and can play around with any flavours you have on hand. Here I have chosen to forego the highly refined white flour and sugar and filled these muffins with fruit to keep them moist and add sweetness.

These strawberry, peach and lemon muffins came about because we had heaps of very ripe strawberries and a half eaten tin of peaches in the fridge that were begging to be used up. You can experiment with almost any fruit you like or keep to the original.

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Raspberry, lime and coconut cheesecake slice

 

 

If there is one combination I love its coconut and lime. Add summer raspberries into the mix and you have summer on a plate. This recipe is great because it looks a bit complicated and time consuming but really its super easy, all you need is a food processor or high speed blender.

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The ultimate healthy chocolate fudge brownie – three ways

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Who doesn’t love brownies, super sweet and fudgey they are the ultimate indulgence. Brownies are great to have every once in a while but not to eat regularly (anyone else ever feel slightly nauseous from so much sugar?).

So to satisfy my chocolate brownie craving I have been on the hunt for the ultimate “healthified” chocolate brownie recipe. Some have been great, some ok and some utterly terrible. The criteria: must be lower in sugar and not too high in fat, must be high fibre and not use white flours and above all had to be delicious. And then I found this one.

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Choc fudge cupcakes

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Soft, fluffy, fudgey, chocolatey cupcakes, sounds good right? what if I told you they were lower fat and sugar free? And gluten free too? With choc-chips! And yep and they still taste pretty awesome.

The secret here is using kidney beans. They remove the need for flour and give the cake a lovely moist and fudgey texture. At first when i heard about using kidney beans in cakes I was really weirded out but they work so well, I was definitely converted….

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Choc mint cheesecake

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Let me introduce you to a cheese cake that is going to blow your mind. Are you ready? it doesn’t actually contain any cheese or even any dairy. In fact, this cheesecake is completely free from any animal products so it is vegan friendly and is gluten free too.

Its amazing how soaking and blending cashews turns them into a smooth and creamy cheesecake filling that even the most dedicated cheesecake eaters will love.  …

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Citrus, almond and ricotta cake (sugar free)

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Sugar free cake sounds kind of terrible doesn’t it? It conjures up ideas of bran laden bricks of cake made by crazy hippies don’t you think? I know I have made some pretty terrible ones in the past as I pursued the idea of the perfect healthy cake.

I have some good news though, this one is amazing. You have the tanginess from the citrus, the crumbliness from the almond meal and the lovely moistness from the ricotta, and a secret weapon. Nativa. Natvia is a brand of stevia made especially for baking (so it won’t turn bitter or lose its sweetness) that you can use cup for cup for sugar. I’m definitely a fan and once you have tried this cake I’m sure you will be too.

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