Loosely based on French Apple Cake, this Coriander and Thyme Apple Cake is a keeper.
What to expect from this bake? Buttery skin on the outside and zesty, soft and moist crumb filled with apples. Thyme and ground coriander seeds are bringing out interesting, sharp and sweet (rather than mellow) notes from apples. On top of that, both herbs are intensifying zesty lemon punch.
This apple cake disappears in one sitting. It’s quick, easy and flavourful little bake!
For a good bake:
All ingredients should be at room temperature. Especially butter, yoghurt and apples.
Creaming - beautiful and buttery texture comes here from the creaming method. Leave butter for 30 minutes at room temperature before starting to prepare the cake. Butter should be soft but not oily. When pressed, you should leave a dent on the butter (without oily marks). When creaming, the mixture may look split after adding 3rd egg - don’t worry, it will have no impact on the final bake. Don’t mix for too long.
Thyme and coriander will bring out fruity, sharp and sweet (rather than mellow) flavour of apples and will intensify zesty punch of lemon. Don’t worry - the cake will not be overpowered with the aroma of herbs. Rub thyme, coriander and zest into sugar to release flavour. Use ground coriander seeds (rather than fresh leaves). Thyme - you can use dried or fresh thyme (mince fresh leaves).
Lemon zest pairs beautifully with thyme, coriander and apples. I’ve used here zest from two lemons and that gave great zesty punch to this cake. If you want crumb to be more buttery and less zesty - stick to zest from 1 lemon.
Apples - use hard or semi-hard apples for this bake. Gala, Pink Lady, Honey Crisp, Russet, Granny Smith - all are a good choice.
Don’t over-mix after adding flour - few swift moves should bring the batter together.
Gently fold in coarsely chopped apples.
Let this cake rest for 1 hour after baking (if you can!). This will allow the crumb to set and flavours to fully blend in.
Coriander and Thyme Apple Cake Recipe
Yield: 12 servings
Time: 25 min prep + 45-50 min baking
Tin: 21 or 23cm round tin
Ingredients (all at room temperature):
2 large apples (350g)
150g sugar or caster sugar
Zest from 2 lemons
1 and 1/2 tsp ground coriander seeds
1/2 tsp ground dried thyme or 2 tsps fresh minced thyme leaves
150g unsalted butter
3 (180g) large eggs
1/8 tsp salt
15g (1 Tbsp) light olive oil
80g natural yoghurt
200g all-purpose (plain) flour
1 tsp baking powder
+ confectioners’ (icing) sugar to decorate
Preheat the oven to 175C (155C fan forced). Line bottom of the baking tin with parchment paper and lightly grease sides with butter.
Prepare apples: peel and core apples, coarsely chop. Set aside.
Prepare zesty coriander/thyme sugar: Mix sugar with lemon zest, ground coriander seeds and thyme and using finger tips rub the mixture to release flavour.
Prepare fluffy cake base: Place butter into your main mixing bowl. Using paddle attachment or handheld mixer beat for 1-2 minutes until creamy. In two turns add sugar and continue beating for 3-4 minutes (medium-high speed) until sugar is incorporated and butter becomes pale and fluffy. Scrape sides of the bowl 2-3 times to ensure the mixture is creaming evenly.
Combine: Add eggs to creamed butter - one at a time, making sure egg is fully incorporated before next addition. The mixture may look split after 3rd egg - don’t worry, it will have no impact on the bake. Don’t mix excessively. When done, add pinch of salt, tablespoon of olive oil, yoghurt and mix only until combined. Mix flour with baking powder and sift straight into the rest of ingredients - mix only until combined (few swift moves). At the end, fold in coarsely chopped apples. Place the batter into the baking tin.
Bake at 175C (155C fan forced) for 45-50minutes. Check with the skewer if fully baked through. When baked, remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 15 minutes, then run thin knife around the edges, release from the tin and cool for 1 hour before serving. This time will allow the crumb and flavours to set. Decorate with confectioners’ (icing) sugar. This cake is most enjoyable on day 1.