> The Beesley Buzz: Apple, Blackberry and Courgette loaf cake: GBBO 2017 Week 1 Cake week

Apple, Blackberry and Courgette loaf cake: GBBO 2017 Week 1 Cake week

Bake Off is back - hurrah! As much as we're going to miss the previous line up, I'm still excited about it. This weeks challenges were family sized fruity cake using fresh fruit for the signature bake, 12 chocolate mini-rolls for the technical and an illusion cake for the showstopper.

As I had a tub of blackberries that I picked with the kids the other day, along with apples from a neighbour around the corner (our own apple tree has not fared well this year), I wanted to incorporate these into my bake so have opted for the fruit cake bake.

I also had a courgette in the fridge to use up so that's gone into the bake too.

I went totally off piste with this making up my own recipe. So I was surprised and pleased that it turned out well. The only thing I would do next time is reduce the amount of raising agent as I could taste the bicarb and baking powder a bit.

What I really love about this is that it is refined sugar-free and like the banana bread I made recently, it doesn't contain any added oil or fat - the apple puree replaces the job of the oil. I've also used flours that are gluten-free (although I'm always wary about claiming a recipe to be totally gluten-free as I eat less gluten rather than none at all so I never check too thoroughly). If you like things sweeter, then the amount of date nectar / honey could be increased but I liked it just like this as I've cut down considerably on treats that are too sugary and sweet.

frylight to grease the tin
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp cinammon
70g teff flour
70g brown rice flour
70g buckwheat flour
25g walnuts
25g mix of pumpkin, sunflower and linseeds.
2 eggs
120g homemade apple puree
50g cooked chopped apple pieces
240g courgette
75g blackberries plus a few extra for decoration
Unrefined sweetener of your choice - I used 15g honey and 35g date nectar

Crumble topping:
25g teff flour
25g brown rice flour
25g buckwheat flour
5g coconut sugar
15g coconut oil
15g ground almonds
a sprinkle of cinnamon
20g oats

Edible pine cone:
spoonful of hazelnut butter
2 tsp cacao powder
1 tsp lucuma powder
toasted flaked almonds
rosemary to decorate

1) Preheat the oven to 160C (fan), 180C conventional oven. Grease and line a loaf tin with baking parchment.
2) Whisk together the flours, cinnamon and baking powder and bicarb (Next time I would use less of the baking powder and bicarb - perhaps half a tsp of each?)
3) Prepare the 'wet' ingredients. I peeled and grated the courgette. I wouldn't normally peel it but the skin was tougher than usual. I use the grating attachment of my Kenwood chef mixer to make the grating easy. I then squeezed the grated courgette in a clean tea towel to remove the excess liquid.
4) Add the apple puree and eggs, along with the date nectar and honey. I used these purely because it is what I had open. I could have used maple syrup or a larger quantity of honey. Coconut nectar or palmyra jaggery might have also worked well.
5) I mixed together the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients in the mixer and added in the chopped cooked apple and the blackberries along with the nuts.
6) Then it was a case of pouring it into the tin and baking for 50 minutes until it was cooked. At first I was alarmed that I had baked it for too long but the darker colour was due to the date nectar and it was actually fine.
7) Whilst the loaf cake is cooking, I made a crumble topping separately. This was in case the cake turned out too soggy (but it turned out just right). The crumble made a nice decorative touch. I just blitzed together all of the crumble ingredients except for the oats to form a breadcrumb-like texture. Then the oats were given a really quick blitz so that they remained chunkier.
8) I spread the crumble mixture onto a baking tray and baked it for 15 minutes at 160C.
9) Whilst the cake was cooling, I made two mini edible pinecones for decoration. Simply mix together the ingredients and press in some flaked almonds. I accidentally omitted anything sweet so they tasted really dark-chocolate like and slightly bitter so next time I'd add some dates or date nectar too to make the pine cones taste sweeter.

Then it was just a case of assembling the cake with the crumble topping on top, plus a few decorative blackberries.

It tasted really nice with a dollop of greek yogurt, and I also tried a slice with butter, as well as trying it with a dollop of cream cheese. There's not much of it left now!

Delighted to be linking up to Mummy Mishaps GBBO Bloggers linky:
Mummy Mishaps


  1. Love the sound of the flavours, especially the courgette which I love in cakes. Your pine cones are so incredibly cute and creative, I thought they were real!

    1. thank you Cat. The Pine Cone idea came from Frances Quinn instagram feed. I made up the recipe for it here but saw how pretty they looked on one of her amazing bakes. x

  2. I love how you have created such a healthier alternative , and the flavours sound delicious. And your edible pine cones are inspired! so clever of you .
    thank you so much for baking along again xx #GBBOBloggers2017

    1. thanks Jenny. I can't take credit for the pine cone idea as I saw some similar on frances quinn's instagram so i made up my own recipe to make some!

  3. I love how you made the pine cones, they are brilliant. The loaf looks absolutely delicious, I really love food like this, sadly my family are not so keen. Would it be so sinful to make a whole loaf for myself? xx

    1. thank you. You absolutely should make a whole loaf to yourself! I ate most of this single handedly and froze a couple of slices for another day. x

  4. What a fab bake Rebecca. When I saw your picture on IG I instantly loved it as you know (what with the blackberry & apple combo & crumble topping - I just love crumble!) but now I realise what you mean about edible 'pine cones' :-) They're so cute, and a lot of fun :-)
    Angela x

  5. Your cake looks really good and for it being so healthy is such a bonus too. The pine cones are simply bee's knees though :), super inventive and look so pretty with the cake.

  6. It sounds so tasty Rebecca, love the crumble topping x

  7. So pretty and autumnal too - seems like perfect for this time of year!


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